Rounding Off the Summer

An old-fashioned red cartoon TV with antennae, on a yellow starburst background. The TV screen reads "Reclaim Roundup.
It's a sunshiny August Roundup!

News from August 2022

It's the start of term, and everything is picking up! May your start to the school year be smooth. We're capping off the summer and heading into the fall with our Monthly Roundup, bringing you an awesome mix of upcoming news, reflective blog posts, exciting new support docs, and fun staff picks!

Monthly Announcements

Reclaim is Hiring!

First things first: we're hiring! Reclaim is looking for a Junior Systems Administrator to join our dauntless Infrastructure team. In many ways Infrastructure is the backbone of everything we do here, and we want to strengthen and grow the team to make it even cooler than it already is.

Wiggling orange text that reads "We're Hiring"
Come join the team!

The position will jump in on our roadmap projects, assist with our toughest support questions, support our existing server infrastructure, and collaborate with the rest of Reclaim to create a great experience for all our clients. If you're looking for a way to strengthen your skills and provide the foundation for people to reclaim ownership of their digital presence, get in contact! You can find more details on our Careers page here.

September Workshop - Domain of One's Own 101

That's right, it's DoOO 101. This September 13th and 14th we're hosting a deep dive into the fundamentals of administering Domain of One's Own. This workshop will be a great chance to refamiliarize yourself with the admin systems that make up DoOO, learn even more ways to leverage them, and even pick up some tips and tricks to level up your institution's Domains project. If you're interested in attending, please let us know. You can register here, and there are more details available here on our events page – why not come join us?

Neon arcade console with a bomb-like fuse blows up into the words "Level Up!"
Level up!

October Workshop - WordPress Multisite 101 with Tom Woodward

Coming this October to an Internet near you, it's our first ever WPMS 101 workshop! Tom Woodward is joining us to host a multi-part workshop that will run throughout the month, tailored to help WordPress Multisite admins manage and refine their project.

We'll be covering skills for managing an ongoing project: outlining your goals, using your resources effectively, assessing your progress over time, and planning sustainable growth. We'll also go into more tech-oriented areas like streamlining signup workflows, picking your plugins and themes, and capturing usage evidence. Let's spend the spookiest month of the year together, making this work a little less scary! As always, there's more information on the course, including how to register, on our events page.

A flock of bats flying across a full moon
We're batty for Wordpress

October/November Flex Course - Hacks for Hybrid Working

For many of us in Higher Ed, hybrid working is here to stay. So whether you’d like to create a better work/life balance juggling being on campus with working from home, or you are looking to move from crisis mode to a way of working that is more sustainable, healthful or simply a little more joyful, this course is for you. Join us to explore hacks to create a better hybrid workplace for everyone.

We are excited to join forces with Dr. Maren Deepwell, author of Leading Virtual Teams, to host this free flex course. Each week features ideas to try out, prompts to reflect on and resources with a host of community voices. It'll run from October 31st through November 23rd, and as always, the details are on our event calendar.

November Flex Course - Running a Newsletter with Ghost

If you think the Roundup is cool (and we really hope you do), wait until you find out about Ghost. Ghost is the application we use to build the Roundup, and you can use it for a newsletter of your own as well! Whether it's weekly departmental updates or a monthly recap of your recent hikes, Ghost has the most to help you get the word out.

This three-part series will take place over the course of November. We'll talk how to set up your Ghost instance, how to get all your email settings in place, and how to organize your content effectively to engage your audience. For more details, including how to register, check out our events calendar right here.

A cartoon bedsheet-style ghost waves its arms while floating
Don't be scared, it's only a ghost!

September Community Chat - Defining Success for Domain of One's Own

Join us on Wednesday, Sept. 21 from 12:00-1pm for our monthly community chat. This month we're talking how Domain of One's Own admins define success for their projects. We field a lot of questions about reporting and metrics for DoOO, but what measurements are useful? Come on by and let's talk about what your goals are, and how you want to measure them. You can register for community chats here, and as always, our events calendar has all the details.

Recapping August Events

In August we hosted both a Community Chat on WordPress Full Site Editing, and a flex course on Headless WordPress. Both of these were free to attend, and the resources are available to all of you.

In the August Community Chat we were joined by Anne McCarthy of Automattic, who talked with us both about WordPress's new Full Site Editing feature that rolled out recently, and what the future of WordPress is likely to look like! You can find all the resources from the Community Chat here, and watch the recording here.

Our two-session Headless WordPress flex course was hosted by Jeff Everhart of WP Engine. He showed us how to use WordPress as an API, the potential for WordPress as an editor and database, and how Headless WordPress can be used to design sites that go even beyond what you can accomplish with WordPress. You can rewatch the sessions here – check it out!

Upcoming PHP Changes

At the beginning of August, PHP 8.1 was made available to all our servers. Starting in October, we're going to be making another change: the default PHP version on all servers will be updated to 8.0. Any application using the server default PHP version will be inherit that change, so if users want their application to run a specific version, they'll need to change that manually in their cPanel. For more information about upcoming PHP changes as well as other Infrastructure updates, check out our page for Infrastructure Announcements through 2022.

A person programs on their laptop
Time for an update!

DoOO Pricing Change

And in case you missed it last month, we're updating our pricing model for Domain of One's Own in 2023. Our pricing hasn't changed since 2015, and we've grown a lot as a company since then – there are so many new things we're able and excited to offer. For our current schools, these changes will go into effect for renewals due on or after August 1st, 2023.

You can find more specific information about what these pricing changes will mean for you here, but please know that we're happy to work with schools on early renewals or multi-year pricing lock-ins. If you'd like to lock in multiple years up front at our current pricing model, let us know, especially if you want to do this before the end of 2022.

What's Happening in Discord/ICYMI

Here's what you missed in Discord! We have an Educational Technology Discord server where the community can swap tips about their projects. Occasionally Reclaim host impromptu streams, exploring new tech or applications that we're excited to try. You can join the Discord here, and please enjoy these recordings of some of the streams we hosted in August.

Showcasing Our Ghost Installer with Taylor & Jim

We've been doing more and more work in Ghost – maybe you can tell – and this month Taylor and Jim talked about our custom Ghost installer for Reclaim Cloud. Taylor's put a lot of work into developing a Ghost installer that will automatically perform a lot of fiddly setup details, streamlining the process for anyone who wants to get Ghost up and running! You can watch the stream here, and Taylor's also published a blog post with timestamps right here.

De-brief on the Understanding Containers Reclaim Edtech Flex Course

In July we hosted a flex course on Understanding Containers; in August we unpacked our work. Jim and Taylor streamed their de-brief on the experience of running this flex course: demonstrating tools that were useful in the making of, reflecting on the structure for weekly activities, and considering what can be learned for future courses. Watch the stream here, and check out Taylor's timestamps here.

Recent Blog Posts

Docker containers are so flexible – you can have some really cool adventures with them. Text adventures, that is! In his blog post, "Adventures!? With Text!?" - Chris talks about the text adventure he's been creating in Python, as well as how he's configuring it, its server, and the Docker container the server is running in. If you're interested in the magic behind the magic, check it out.

Bilbo Baggins from "The Hobbit" runs through a field towards the camera, shouting "I'm going on an adventure!"
Always run, don't walk, towards adventure!

In "Dumping Jekyll for Hugo", Amanda talks about her love of static sites: how she got started building them, how she got introduced to static site generators through Jekyll, and why she's moving away from it. And where is she moving? Hugo! Hugo is the static site generator that Taylor uses to run his blog, and according to Amanda, it's extremely beginner-friendly.

After our August Community Chat on the new WordPress Full Site Editor (which you may have seen in the announcements), Lauren took the opportunity to dig into it herself. She documented her experiments with a site-editor compatible theme in this blog post, where she goes through some of the tools, considers them from a beginner-friendly versus a site-dev perspective, and jots down her thoughts on what the Site Editor implies about the future of WordPress.

Rainbow circles radiating out from the WordPress logo, a capital W inside a circle
WordPress's influence radiates throughout the interwebs...

Related to that, Jim also reflected on his relationship with WordPress over the years and his impressions of the Full Site Editor in, "Ghosting WordPress?" He compares the recent work Reclaim has been doing with Ghost to WordPress past, present, and future – thinking about the classic editor, Gutenberg, the new Full Site Editor, and how WordPress's editing environment is getting more and more complicated. Ghost is a very simple, streamlined publishing platform... will that be the future of the Bava?

And continuing on the theme of Ghost, Jim took his recent dive into the Ghost Installer with Taylor, which was streamed as an ICYMI, and dug even deeper. He documented his experiments moving his personal Ghost installation to a new environment created using Taylor's Ghost installer, showing off both the technical steps of moving the site and some more questions that came up around juggling images for a Ghost installation in the Reclaim Cloud file manager.

A ghost teacher teaches a classroom of child ghosts.
Let's all learn about Ghost

Pilot took a chunk of August to start catching up on our July Containers flex course. They wrote up their experience with the exercises for week 1 in, "Containers Workshop Week 1: Hello, World!", where they talked through their thoughts, a few points of confusion, and hopes for the upcoming weeks of the course.

New Support Documentation

It wouldn't be a month at Reclaim without some shiny new Support Documentation! While we're here, just a note: Reclaim Hosting is in the process of beefing up and building out our guides for WordPress Multisites. Our goal is to bring you stuff you can really use, so if there's something you want to see, reach out to us and let us know.

This month we're bringing you all kinds of guides on Reclaim Cloud, cPanel, and comparisons between the two. Now, without further ado, let's get rolling!

Three figures made of green moving text stand in a hallway also made of green moving text.
Welcome to the Matrix

First up is Taylor, with "Running Ghost on Reclaim Cloud". You may be noticing a certain Ghostly theme this month, and if you aren't yet familiar with the application, this guide is the perfect way to familiarize yourself. It covers what Ghost is, how to get set up quickly, easy workflows for more advanced customization steps, and even the technical details behind our custom Ghost installer.

And hey, even if you're not using Ghost, we've got you covered. In "Debugging in Reclaim Cloud (without access to cPanel)", Amanda walks you through how to debug WordPress, Omeka Classic, and Omeka S easily in the Cloud, even without cPanel to guide you.

Of course, debugging is always easier when you know how to navigate the file system. Meredith's one step ahead with "Understanding File Systems: Reclaim Cloud vs cPanel", which is an easy beginner guide that will help you take a look under the hood, so to speak. It's always useful to know how the files that make up your site are structured, and this guide shows you how to get right down to it.

Two men walk up to a sedan and pop open the hood to look at the engine. A third joins them. The caption says, "What's under the hood?"
Always good to get familiar with your site's engine.

While you're in the file system, it's a good time to consider your tech. Specifically, robots. More specifically, web-crawling bots. Gordon's new guide, "How and Why to Set Up a robots.txt File", talks you through how and why you might set up a robots.txt file, which will manage how web crawlers access your site.

Bouncing back to Reclaim Cloud for a minute, Taylor's written another guide: "Generating and using SSH key pairs". SSH keys are a great and extra-secure alternative to passwords when you want to connect to your server by SSH and SFTP, but how do you get them set up? Taylor's guide will show you exactly how to get configured with both cPanel and Reclaim Cloud.

A cross-section of a lock shows an inserted key correctly pushing all the tumblers. The lock opens.
Not that sort of key!

Our last doc of the month is actually an updated one, not newly published. Lauren's added some new information to "Payment Methods Available", so if you want to refamiliarize yourself, head on over and take a look.

Staff Picks

Let's round out the month with some staff picks, just for fun.

Right off the bat, Gordon wants you to know that Winamp is back, baby! Winamp is a freemium third-party Windows application for music playback, and after four years of development, its new release rolled out in late July. If you're looking for an alternative to iTunes, Apple Music and Spotify, check it out.

Also from Gordon, we wanted to give a special shoutout to @Bodegacats_ on Twitter, which is an account dedicated to sharing cute pics of, well, local NYC bodega cats. Check out these corner store kitties if you want to smile.

Three orange kittens climb around on a turntable. The right-most cat is spinning uncontrollably on a moving record.
Cats and music? Who can resist?!

This August, Jeff Everhart joined us to host our Headless WordPress flex course. And during one session, he name dropped Hipster Ipsum, which generates modern nonsense text in the style of lorem ipsum. It's a great and goofy way to spice up your placeholder content.

From Taylor comes Monodraw, an ASCII art editor for Macs that lets you easily create plain-text visuals, from fun drawings to useful flowcharts. ASCII art is eternal, so why not take a look?

And if you want a real throwback, we're rounding off the Roundup with Chris, who's sharing 90's Cursor Effects. 90's Cursor Effects is a free and easy way to add those classic cursor trails for your site's visitors. They're designed to run quickly and efficiently in any modern browser, and they're mobile-friendly, too! A rainbow tail adds a little color to any site, so let's go retro this September.

That's all we've got for you, folks! It's been a great month, and here's hoping this is going to be a great fall.

A man (Bilbo Baggins from Lord of the Rings) standing by a tree says goodbye, then vanishes.
See you next time!

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Dr. Brian Oblivion