The Roundup's Marchin' On

The Roundup's Marchin' On
Image Credit: "Keep On Reclaiming" by Alan Levine.

News from March 2022

Welcome back to the Roundup! We've got our monthly announcements, tons of recent blog posts, all-new support documentation, and a whole host of staff picks. It's been a big month at Reclaim, so let's get right to it.

Monthly Announcements

Upcoming Changes to cPanel & WHM

We've been checking in with cPanel regarding their planned upcoming changes, the most impactful of which will be the changeover for the current user theme, Paper Lantern. As we noted in the last Roundup, cPanel will be extending support for Paper Lantern through Summer 2023; they've also let us know that long-term support for v94 will be extended from March 31, 2022 to June 30, 2022.

However, they did recently roll out an update, v102, that modifies the default theme of WHM from cPanel to the new WHM theme, Jupiter, and removes support for theme-switching, meaning a lock-in on Jupiter. (Note: both WHM and end-user cPanel currently use the same theme, Paper Lantern; the new theme for WHM is Jupiter, but end-user cPanel's upcoming theme, Glass, will be different from Jupiter.)

Image of the new Jupiter theme for WHM
Jupiter Theme for WHM

We and many others are communicating with them to try and create a smoother transition for our admins, but we'll need to balance maintaining familiar interfaces with keeping servers up-to-date. If you have questions, feel free to reach out to us – we want to keep communication around this as transparent as possible.

The Roadshow Is On The Horizon!

In case you missed it, we're putting on a Roadshow! We've been talking about it a lot lately, and we've got some dates on the calendar. This virtual event is taking place on May 24th-25th, hosted by St. Norbert College in Green Bay, Wisconsin. It's a two-parter: Day 1 will be Domain of One's Own 101, and Day 2 will be Domain of One's Own 201. You can sign up for one day or both depending on your availability, and it's all remote, so you don't have to be local to come!

For the full information on what this will look like and what we’ll go over in the workshop, the agenda's right here. Take a look and get inspired, and if you like what you see and want to sign up, mosey on down to the registration page.

Reclaim Ponders Education and Technology

Reclaim’s been thinking deeply about how we do things over the past few months. We’ve always aimed to be the ultimate support for web hosting in academia and do the best we can by our clients and our community. Now we’re looking at how to support you not just with the tech you use, but with how you use it.

Our new Instructional Technology team has been puzzling over professional development opportunities for the admins at our schools: how we can best support you and help you grow as educational technologists online. We've got some big news on this front coming very soon (April 04th!), so mark your calendars, keep your eyes on your email, and maybe follow us on Twitter, if Twitter's your thing.

April Community Chat: What We Talk About When We Talk About WordPress

If you've been waiting to hear about what's on the docket for April, wait no further. Our Instructional Technology Community Chat is scheduled for April 13th 2022, 11am Eastern Time (that's 10am Central, 9am Mountain, and 8am Pacific). The title? What We Talk About When We Talk About WordPress.

We'll be inviting you – designers, technologists, anyone who's ever found themselves teaching people how to get started with a WordPress site. How do you like to start that conversation? Do you talk about digital identity, about the technical aspects, about the dashboard, posts and pages? What have you found effective, and what do you think is most important? Let's talk concepts and share strategies for guiding those who are just starting out on their WordPress journey.

For more information, you can see our community forum page with all the news. If you just can't wait to sign up, feel free to register right away using this form right here. And if you can't make it, no worries. We'll miss you, but we'll be recording it so you don't have to miss anything.

March Community Chat: WordPress Multisite, Domain of One's Own, and Project Homepages

And following from that...

A few weeks ago we were joined by John Stewart from the University of Oklahoma and Noah Mitchell of Coventry University, two schools that have integrated both WordPress Multisite and Domain of One's Own into their digital offerings. They shared their thoughts on the two platforms, what the benefits are for both new and experienced users, and how they run their projects and design their homepages to make them accessible and informative for newbies.

If you missed it, there's no need for FOMO. We recorded the chat, which is available on Youtube here, and we have a list of the resources that came up either in the conversation or the chat. Jim also blogged a short reflection on the experience!

Recent Blog Posts

As seems to be a pattern, the Reclaim blogosphere this month was absolutely hopping! We've got articles left, right and center for you to peruse.

First up is Chris's reflection on the situation in the Ukraine. If you're a German speaker, this one's for you, but if not, why not run it through Google Translate and take a look anyway?

If you're a Mac user who's ever wanted to mess around in the metadata for your files, Lauren documented her process for doing just that. In this case she's removing the "Where From" property on a PDF that got filled in with an ugly URL; let's hear it for keeping things neat.

Meredith did a great writeup on domain names: how they're regulated, what the rules are, and how you move them around the Internet. If you've been confused about domains in the past, consider bookmarking this one, 'cause it's a great resource.

Reclaim's been exploring the video calling platform Jitsi recently, and experimenting with streaming through Peertube as well. Jim documented his process for integrating the two systems on his blog, and if you've got any interest in video calling or livestreaming it's definitely worth checking out. Jim also used Jitsi and Peertube to stream and record a conversation he hosted around the history of Eduglu, a tool meant to aggregate feeds for course resources.

And in case you do try Peertube and think, "This is great, but how can I make it a little more me?", don't worry – Taylor's been digging around in CSS customization for the Peertube experience. Check it out!

Recently Jim experimented with migrating his blog to a WordPress Multi-Region Cluster, which is a setup where the blog lives on three different data centers – primarily in the UK, but with failover options in Toronto, Canada and on the US West Coast. It went not-so-smoothly the first time around, because what doesn't? But Jim doesn't give up, so he documented not only his first attempt but his second as well, so that he and others can learn and grow from this experience.

Have you ever started filling out a form online, gotten distracted, and closed the window without realizing you hadn't submitted the form? So frustrating. Luckily, Taylor's got a fix for that – here's how to add a warning in your Gravity Form in case someone tries to close it prematurely.

For all the Dungeons and Dragons players out there, guess what? You can run the virtual tabletop application Foundry on Reclaim Cloud! Learn how by following this post of Taylor's.

Between Jitsi, Peertube, Multi-Region Clusters, and Foundry, Jim and Taylor have been doing a lot of experimenting with Reclaim Cloud so far, but that's not all. They also recently worked together to upgrade ds106's Azuracast installation to the newest version, and you can read all about that process here.

You may have already seen it in the announcements section, but Reclaim is hosting an EdTech workshop pretty soon! And in preparation, Lauren put together a great site with all the information one would possibly need by consolidating sites from events past. Get a peek into what that work looked like on her blog here.

Meredith's had some need recently to activate Omeka users without a password reset email, which seemed to her like a tip that needed sharing. Take this down for the next time you run into that issue!

If you're ever wondering what the fundamentals of open source are, the licensing's a big one. Taylor recently wrote about copyright and its importance in regards to open source, since many people don't realize that copyright is inherent (so unless you declare your work is open... it isn't).

And at a tip from Taylor, Pilot recently blogged a new trick they learned about Slack: you can search by emoji to see messages that people have used that emoji as a reaction on. That makes Reclaim's new paper airplane emoji super useful for tracking what might go well in the newsletter!

New Support Documentation

Throughout March our Support team has been bringing you great new documentation! Here's a quick look at what they've been up to.

In case you want to set up a staging site for your production site, so you can test your changes before they go live, Installatron actually has a tool for that! Paul's written that up for you here, in "Staging Sites using Clone Tool".

Paul has also put together an informative writeup on the Neatline plugin for Omeka. We've seen compatibility issues arise when sites using older versions of Neatline try to update their overall Omeka version, and this article explains the problems and how to avoid them.

Many of our users like to use the Email features available in cPanel, but they're not always intuitive for a new user. That's why Meredith wrote up this guide,"Checking Email Through WebMail in cPanel", so you'll always be able to find your emails.

In just about anything, file management is key, whether that's keeping your work safe in case of emergency, or accessing it to make changes. This month, Gordon put together two guides – one on what to do if you need to restore your entire cPanel account from a backup, and one on setting up and accessing the Web Disk tool for cPanel.

Staff Picks

And for our staff picks this month, here's a quick collection of all the other things we just thought you should hear about:

Taylor shared an interview with Matt Mullenweg, the CEO of Automattic – otherwise known as the company that currently owns WordPress, Tumblr, WooCommerce and others. Among other things, Mullenweg talks about his philosophies surrounding open source technology and running a company that distributes a partially open project.

Back in January, our Community Chat was all about setting up a community site for Domain of One's Own schools to share users' work. Ed Beck and Tim Clarke have both been working on projects based on this concept and blogging through their process. You can read Ed's post here, and Tim's (most recent) post here.

What's your favorite text editor? We've been chatting about that in the Reclaim Slack recently. Gordon and Pilot both recommend Atom, an open-source text editor that's customizable with themes and plugins; Taylor prefers Vim, though he's also mentioned Visual Studio Code and its many magical SSH powers.

If you didn't see it, there was a great conversation on Twitter on Wednesday about people's favorite WordPress plugins. We've had a lot of people swapping their faves, so if you're looking for a recommendation, look no further – and if you think there's a great plugin people just have to hear about, join in.

SkipDNS, a temporary-link tool that Reclaim's used in the past to preview sites before moving DNS and nameservers (very useful during migrations), recently got an overhaul that's made it much smoother to work with. If you're curious, you can check it out here.

You can't work with WordPress as often as we do without running into a bug or two. Luckily, Gordon wanted to make sure everyone's aware: WordPress has tools for PHP debugging! Keep that in your pocket for the next time you're scratching your head trying to figure out what's going on with WP.

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Dr. Brian Oblivion