Setting up a domain and hosting

We use Reclaim Hosting for domain registration and hosting in this class. To get started, head on over to

Reclaim Hosting home screen

Click the blue “Sign Up” button to head to this page:

Reclaim Hosting plan selection page

Here, click select the $30/year “Students & Individuals” plan. On the next screen, enter your preferred domain name.

Reclaim Hosting domain name selection page

On the following screen, be sure to check the box to enable ID Protect:

Reclaim Hosting ID Protect screen

On the checkout screen, try discount code sniderclass to save 10%:

Reclaim Hosting checkout screen

After completing checkout, you’ll receive several emails from Reclaim Hosting. One of the emails will include a verification link. Be sure to click it to confirm your email address and activate your account. Another will look like this and includes your cPanel & SFTP Login Credentials

Reclaim Hosting welcome email with credentials

You’ll need these for our next steps, so keep them handy.

After clicking the verification link, head to your cPanel. To get there, head back to and click “Client Area Login” in the top-right corner, or just click here.

If prompted, enter the email address and password you used when signing up with Reclaim Hosting 1 to get to this screen:


This page is where you manage information about your Reclaim Hosting account (like billing details, etc.) and where you access other tools. In the navbar on this page, click the third link labeled “cPanel”:

Reclaim Hosting Client Area

You’ll then arrive at your cPanel, which looks like this:

Reclaim Hosting cPanel

Click on the icon that looks like a truck labeled “FTP Accounts” to arrive at this page:

FTP Accounts page

Scroll down to the section labeled “Special FTP Accounts” and click the blue “Configure FTP Client” link next to the account without the _logs suffix to see this view:

Configure FTP Client options

Now’s a good moment to remind you to configure Chrome to download files directly to your desktop 2. To do so, either click “Chrome > Preferences” in the menu bar or hit ⌘ + , to get to this screen:

Chrome preferences screen

Scroll down to the very bottom and click advanced to reveal more options. Scroll until you see the Downloads section:

Chrome preferences download section

and click the “Change” button in the “Location” section and select your desktop. Now that that’s done, let’s return here:

Configure FTP Client options

And click the gray “SFTP Configuration File” underneath Cyberduck. That’ll download a file delightfully suffixed “.duck” to your desktop:

Double-click that file to launch Cyberduck. If a panel pops up asking if you want to make Cyberduck your default FTP client, select “Make Default.” If you’re prompted to download a new version, close that prompt for now. You’ll then be presented with a prompt that looks like this:

Unknown fingerprint dialog

Check the box for “Always” and then click Allow. You’ll then be prompted for your password on a screen that looks like this:

Cyberduck password prompt

Enter the cPanel / SFTP password you received via email from Reclaim Hosting here (copying and pasting is likely best) and be sure that “Add to Keychain” is checked before clicking Login. After successfully completing this process, you’ll be taken to this screen:

Cyberduck browser

Double-click on the “public_html” folder and then click on the Bookmark icon (second from the left in the icons in the top left corner underneath “Open Connection”) to see a screen like this:

Cyberduck bookmarks screen

Click the “+” icon in the bottom-left corner to open another window like this:

Cyberduck bookmark details screen

In the new window, the only thing you’ll likely want to change is the Nickname—just choose something clear and descriptive, like your URL or your name. Then, close the window where you updated your nickname to be left with a screen like this:

Cyberduck bookmarks screen with bookmark added

Now, to access your site via FTP, you’ll just need to double-click that bookmark! Be sure to repeat this process on your personal laptop as well so that you can access your server outside of the NMI lab.


  1. Not your cPanel / SFTP information from the email

  2. Why? Because 1) Your desktop is super-easy to access 2) It’s visible so you should at least be mildly incentivized to keep it clean unlike… 3) Your downloads folder, which inevitably becomes a hot mess of random files because it’s mostly out of sight