Domain Camp

This one time, at Domain Camp…

Photo by Krists Luhaers on Unsplash

When I started this blog as part of the Extend East cohort of Ontario Extend, I had high hopes of going back to expand on the Domains of Our Own aspect and build more at Reclaim Hosting than just the blog.  While I did have some early successes such as creating subdomains, I found that moving on into the more advanced items I wanted to include was languishing.  It felt like an uphill battle to figure out how to do the things I wanted.

Then, during a lunch-time drop-in chat session with Adam Levine (@cogdog), who is guiding Extend through the summer, I found out about Domain Camp.  This four-week summer camp was set up to help us develop our skills in managing our domains.   What a fantastic idea!  And just the kick in the rear I needed to get back to doing a bit more with Learning Squirrel.

I had already taken care of the Getting Ready for Domain Camp activities by having a domain with Reclaim Hosting.  The intro also introduced the Reclaim Hosting Community.  The Community is there to answer questions and facilitate discussion.  I wish I had known about this resource sooner!  Info on Domain Camp is also posted there.

So, what does a typical week look like at Domain Camp?

Tuesdays – sessions start for the week with a blog post announcement and a recorded live demo.  Activities for the week are posted in a special Domain Camp Activity section of the Extend Activity Bank.  Campers work at their own pace on activities that are of interest to them.  On Wednesdays, there’s a live Zoom drop-in session that allows campers to seek help from the camp staff.  And of course, we can always take advantage of the Reclaim Hosting Community.

I’m going to do a series of entries documenting my weeks in camp.

Domain Camp Week 1

This week introduce Cpanel, Reclaim’s control panel.    It was great to have a recorded demo to go to.  While I’d played around in Cpanel, I’d missed some very useful features.  Our first activity was to build a front entrance to our Domain using the Site Publisher.  I had done this (rather unsuccessfully) in the past.  I found I had trouble taking it beyond a rough landing page.  However, I played with it a bit as part of this activity.  This is the original landing page I had.

I changed the default template I was using for this activity and then combined Activity 2 which showed us how to use the file manager to change up images.  The revised landing page looked like this when I was done.

Already an improvement!  And what a feeling of accomplishment even with these first steps.

For the next activity, I started to set up a self-contained site.  I selected the Dimensions template from HTML5 Up! site.   I intended to just extract the site and to change the name.   However, I quickly found that I wanted to do more.  And that this would require me going in and making code changes.  I’ve started to tackle this and am happy with my progress so far!  My first changes included:

  • Adding the Learning Squirrel name and tag
  • Changing a button and linking it to the main blog
  • Changing page headers to reflect Learning Squirrel
  • Adding a new sub-menu for Videos and editing the content to redirect to the Learning Squirrel YouTube Channel and to start adding a list of favourite videos by others.

There are tons more things I want to do including changing all submenus to ones I want for my page, changing background images, editing front page content.  More to come!  This sit will be updating regularly and I hope it will become a template I can use for the actual landing page in time.   This sandbox version of the landing page can be found at and will be evolving.  A couple images of progress are below.  More to come as Camp progresses!