If you're an instructor who would like to use cPanel campus web hosting with your class, the following suggestions may help you and your students create class-related sites more smoothly.
cPanel can be a helpful resource for class instructors who would like for their students to have a free space to create web-based content, learn interface design and content management, work with database-driven websites, and/or try programming languages such as Ruby or Python.
(There's no money involved; "reseller" is cPanel's term for people who have the ability to manage smaller groups within the entire campus' cPanel site collection.)
If you sign up as a campus reseller, you'll gain the following benefits:
However, being a reseller is not a requirement; you could decide that you don't want to be involved in troubleshooting class sites.
To become a cPanel reseller, fill out the Reseller Agreement form at https://go.illinois.edu/cPanelResellerAgreement
Every person can create an account and domain with their own NetID. Other account names need to have 9 - 16 characters in them, so that they aren't accidentally the same as someone else's NetID.
An easy way to set this pattern is to combine a class identifier (8 characters or less) with their NetID.
Using your class's department code and section number is human-friendly; for a student in four classes with class website projects, patterns like ENGR 445 and ACES 295 are more recognizable than CRNs like 34193 and 70852.
(Because a cPanel site name needs to be less than 16 characters total, and NetIDs can take 8 of those, you shouldn't include your section identifier in the name pattern. Hyphens are also not allowed in cPanel site names.)
Replace dept101 with your own course identifier and your instructions to your students could look like this:
You won't become the reseller (group owner) for every site created by your student, only for the ones where they used your support code during the account creation process. Combining a reseller support code with the name patterns in step 1 gives you access to the student sites for your courses, and gives other reseller-instructors access to the student sites for their courses.
Replace MYCODE with your own support code and dept101 with your own course identifier, and your instructions to your students could look like this:
While cPanel offers several options for backing up content, your students will have to choose their methods, their frequency, and where to store them. By default, automatic backups are stored in the same account space; this means that in the default 2 Gb storage space, if a site is 500 Mb, a student could store 3 backups at a time before needing to move them elsewhere such as to Box.
A cPanel site must have a person with an active NetID associated with it in order to remain active. For seniors and departing transfer students in particular, this means that site access may be lost once a semester ends. However, it's a good idea for any student to practice off-site backup storage, as well as to remove no-longer-needed sites.
From an instructor reseller's point of view, encouraging your students to archive or migrate their site work and remove their class-specific sites at the end of the semester means that your administrative view will have more currently active sites and fewer past-semester sites as well.
If your students would like their sites to continue to exist, but without the class-specific identification (and without your reseller group association, if you use one), they can create a different account name and migrate their site content to it using cPanel's Backup and Restore options. If they don't use your reseller code when creating the personal instance, then it won't appear among the options in your reseller view.