Fitting the Pieces Together

Here at Reclaim Hosting the company where I work in customer support, one of our main products is Domain of One’s Own. What you might ask is DoOO? Put in simple terms, it’s an all in one package aimed at educational institutions. Students are able to use their school login to access the account they have with us which keeps things really simple. All they need remember is that one password and they’re logged in. The front end is built around a highly customized installation of WordPress into which we embed cPanel. For those who aren’t familiar with the intricacies of web hosting, cPanel is probably the worlds most popular control panel in use today. It makes managing your hosting account very simple. DoOO also allows the account administrators to manage all aspects of their installation via WHM which is Web Host Manager. Think of it as cPanel on steroids for the server administrator.

A few weeks before the holidays, during one of our regular weekly support meetings, I had mentioned to my manager that we had been getting a lot of what I considered complicated tickets related to DoOO. She said that this was do to the end of the school semester when all the students needed to wrap up their class projects and all the administrators must have decided it was time to complete all those tasks sitting on the back burner before the end of the year. It was certainly a bit of a frustrating time. Some admins would send in multiple tickets each day with all variety of problems to solve from cleaning up domain aliases to finally solving that issue with a subdomain that wasn’t resolving. I found myself having a bit of a tough time with quite a few of these tickets especially since the DoOO infrastructure is spread over many servers. Not helping was that the tickets are on a one hour timer when they arrive. Obviously if there’s more investigation needing to be done this can disappear quite quickly so you obviously feel a little rushed with the extra pressure. Thankfully we have some terrific documentation resources to help in not only troubleshooting issues that arise but also for sending out to the DoOO admins. Our Workshop area covers all manner of topics ranging from an overview to cPanel backups to changing PHP versions. It really is a fantastic resource and one I use constantly when attempting to solve those tricky questions. We also have a demo of DoOO which can be used as a tool for seeing the process a student goes through when signing up for an account. I’ve used this a few times when needing to have a front end rather than a back end perspective on an issue.

I truly enjoy working with my colleagues here at Reclaim Hosting. My manager Meredith is always pushing us to learn new things and of course when I said about all of the DoOO tickets coming in, she promptly assigned me some additional learning on the subject. We recently hired a new part-time account manager who will be going through the initial DoOO Onboarding Training and I asked if I could sit in on this again since it’s been over a year when I took this myself upon being hired. I’m looking forward to the refresher and hoping that it will allow all those pieces of the puzzle to more easily fit together. A followup post shortly thereafter will summarize my thoughts with some additional DoOO areas I’ve been researching and also how the initial training helps me look at things from a different perspective after having more knowledge than when this was first presented to me.

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