Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali’s blog about education

Where to Host My Class Website and Blogs Next Semester?

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

For several years now, I’ve been co-teaching a course on Creative Thinking & Problem Solving, for which we have this awesome domain: www.creativitycourse.org/

I’ve been using that url to mainly aggregate student blogs (I syndicate using RSS) and I also sometimes post my material there rather than on the LMS (makes it easier to find the next year tbh). My co-teacher and I recently also wrote a book chapter about how we assess learning in our course and we link to the course website (we’ve also linked to it in presentations and such).

Now I’m not teaching that course next semester inshallah and I’m not sure if my co-teacher wants to continue aggregating WordPress student blogs, or if she’s moving to a new platform (I haven’t asked because I’m not teaching the course, so she’s free to do whatever she likes).

I’m stuck on something else… which domain to host my new course?

Yes, if you’re not in Egypt, you’re thinking, buy a new domain for the new course. But the cost of this is not trivial in Egyptian pounds. I’m already paying a teacher account for hosting (so I won’t pay more hosting) but I’d have to pay for the domain name, and I don’t want to create a new domain for every course I teach and then have to renew it annually and depend on it forever or lose it or transfer it.

I could, in future, I think, use a bit.ly link (hoping bit.ly doesn’t disappear) for all my courses, so that if I ever switch the domain, people can still find it. I recently went through the process of letting go of www.edcontexts.org domain and moving the site to www.mahabali.me/edcontexts (technically very simple with minor glitches, thanks to Jim Groom and Reclaim Hosting cPanel clone function). I’m not comfortable with having www.mahabali.me as the main domain for edcontexts… Edcontexts was the brainchild of Shyam Sharma and me, and had a team of around 6 people. Archiving it on my own website isn’t ideal, but it’s what everyone agreed to – because it wasn’t worth renewing the domain if we weren’t adding to it regularly.

Now for my new course… I’ve got concerns. I don’t know how long I’ll be using it, but I also don’t want to create it on wordpress.com because I’m spoiled for using the self-hosted – I get frustrated by little restrictions you get with .com and so I know I prefer to host it.

But should I host it under mahabali.me? Like mahabali.me/teaching/CORE2096 or such? Or is that tying the course to my personal name problematic in case I co-teach or someone else teaches it and we share resources in future? Or should I host it on creativitycourse.org/CORE2096 which is REALLY misleading, because CORE2096 is NOT a creativity course but a digital literacies course… but it’s a way to ensure that domain gets used since I’ll be paying for it anyway…

In reality, I’m paying for mahabali.me and creativitycourse.org ANYWAY so it doesn’t technically make a difference where I host CORE2096 (I’ll probably give it a meaningful name related to course title, but I’m just abbreviating here to make my point).

I sense it would be confusing to host it under creativitycourse.org and not strange to host under mahabali.me since I am teaching it alone anyway. Maybe if I teach it enough times it will eventually be worth moving it… and the thing is, if I link it as www.mahabali.me/Core2096, if I ever move it to another site like www.core2096.org or whatever, I could always still keep www.mahabali.me/core2096 as a redirect, right?

YES! It’s settled then!!! I’m keeping it under my name domain for now because that’s going to be easier to transfer in future without causing disruption.

Thanks for reading as I thought through that (now seemingly obvious, stupid?) question!

2 Comments

  1. Subdomains can be your friend.

    • Yep. What’s the convention re course.mahabali.me vs mahabali.me/course?

      The way cPanel is organized, it tends to do this stupid thing when I create a sub-domain that goes subdomain.mahabali.me/subdomain and that’s how i originally had blog.mahabali.me/blog but eventually fixed it. I was originally aiming for edcontexts.mahabali.me but that thing happened so i changed to what i have now

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