Moving Out Why and how to take your web stuff to a hosted space Lisa M Lane Program for Online Teaching Creative Commons licensed A-NC-SA 2011
It's kind of like living with your parents. You've got all your files for class on the college server, or they're just on your hard drive and you upload them to Blackboard. Maybe you've got a few things uploaded at YouTube or Flickr. What you don't have is a place of your own, out there on the web. Photo cc flickr jollyU K
And just like living with your parents, maybe you've contributed to the household and maybe you haven't. You might need some skills to learn how to do the dishes or sort the laundry. When you move out, it's gonna be a little scary. You'll need to learn new things. Photo cc flickr by Mr.Thomas
So why move out? Because you want control over your own stuff, you want to try things you haven't tried before, like running your own blog or Moodle. You want to store all your class materials in one place so you can link to them from learning management systems at three different colleges. You want both autonomy and flexibility. That's why you move out.
First you need to find a place. There are many hosting companies out there. There are two I can recommend personally: Lunarpages and Bluehost. Each offer basic hosting for about $10 a month, plus a bit extra for backing up your stuff and restoring it if something goes wrong.
The hosting company will give you access to a bunch of files and applications on their server, accessed through a Control Panel. They offer way more than you'll need, including scripts, shopping carts, hundreds of email accounts. It can be very confusing.
The File Manager is where you upload your files. To put things on the web, you'll use the public_html folder. You can upload to here directly or through an application. An FTP application can be as simple as Fugu or as complicated as Dreamweaver.
Your stuff will then be available on the web from anywhere, using your own URL for the files. You can link your own web pages, photos, videos, etc. from anywhere. Lisahistory.net/images/Lmay09face.jpg Lisahistory.net/media/britforum.mov
You can even get your own domain name through your hosting company. This brands your stuff and makes it easy for you to find. It's fun having your own place online.