Start Up Your UMass Create Site

UMass Create is a pilot that allows members of the UMass Amherst community to manage a hosted web space and install powerful, commonly-used web applications including WordPress, MediaWiki, Omeka, and Drupal. Users can name their own web space (example: yourname.umasscreate.net) and can take the site with them when they move on from the UMass community.

The UMass Create pilot is provided by Reclaim Hosting, a web hosting company focused on serving students and educators.

Here’s how members of the UMass Amherst community can request to join the pilot:

Step One: Request a Site on UMass Create

  1. On the UMass Create home page, click Get Started. The UMass Web Login page will open.
  2. Sign in with your UMass Amherst NetID and password. If you do not already have an account on UMass Create, an interest form will open.
  3. Fill out and submit the interest form. You’ll soon be contacted by a UMass IT staff member about getting access to your UMass Create web space.

Step Two: Choose your Domain and Sign Up

Once you’ve received email saying you can request a domain:

  1. Return to the UMass Create home page, click Get Started. A UMass Web Login page will open.
  2. Sign in with your UMass Amherst NetID and password. This time, the Choose Your Domain page will open.
  3. In the Use a subdomain from UMass Create field, enter the domain address prefix you want (your URL will end in “.umasscreate.net”). You will see a notice informing you whether your domain is available.
    umcchooseyourdomain
    Note: Be sure to choose a domain address you expect to be both comfortable with and proud of for the next few years.
  4. Click Continue. The Review page will load.
    umcdomainreview_annotated-abc
  5. On the Review page:
    a. Read the UMass IT Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources Policy Interpretation Guidelines.
    b. Once you have done so, check “I have read and agree to the Terms of Service,”
    c. Click Sign Up.
    A Congratulations page will appear and you will be redirected to your UMass Create site Dashboard.

Step Three: Develop Your Site

  1. Once you’ve set up your domain, on subsequent logins to UMass Create, your (cPanel) Dashboard will open.
  2. From the Dashboard you can install applications such as WordPress or MediaWiki.
    Find help for installing, setting up and using your application:

      • Find support links on the overview page for each application in cPanel.
      • For additional help, see Reclaim Hosting’s “Guides”.
      • Search the Internet for videos and user forums.

    screenshot of the Dashboard

  3. Once you’ve installed an application, go to “My Apps” to work on your Web Site(s).

Step Four: Make Your Web Site Secure

HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is an internet communication protocol that protects the integrity and confidentiality of data between users’ computers and the websites they visit. Without HTTPS, visitors to your site will experience browser alerts, and web pages with input forms may not function.

In order to use the HTTPS protocol, your website needs a SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate. Reclaim Hosting offers free SSL certificates through Let’s Encrypt. There are two steps to the set up:

1. Get an SSL certificate for your domain: See Installing Free SSL Certificates.

2. Enable SSL: See Force HTTPS for your site.  This step involves editing the .htaccess file for your site. You must complete this step in order for your site to be secure.

Step Five: Start taking control of your digital identity!