Domains.coop terminating email and hosting services

I don’t think that is what they are asking, Webarchitects does sell .coop domain names via our Gandi.net reseller account however we are not a domains.coop registrar, see the lists here:

I pointed this out in my post to the ICA site.

No I get that. But if we can offer an integrated control panel with .coop as well as email and hosting that answers his point.

If “an integrated control panel” is a prerequisite then count us out, we don’t have such a thing.

Sorry, was working from your comment: “the only co-ops that are geared up for the fast provisioning of things like affordable Email and WordPress hosting”.

I don’t know. I can see his point - their customers want somewhere they can get it all sorted. So maybe not ‘integrated control panel’ but single supplier may be an attraction.

In your case how would customers set up hosting and email to go with their domains?

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OK, draft:

CoTech represents technology co-operatives across the UK. It has 43 coops in membership.

Four CoTech members are able to offer fast provisioning of email and hosting to your clients. They also can provide .coop domains.

They are, in alphabetical order:

GreenNet https://www.coops.tech/co-op/greennet

MediaBlaze Hosts https://www.coops.tech/co-op/mediablaze-hosts

Netuxo https://www.coops.tech/co-op/netuxo

Webarchitects https://www.coops.tech/co-op/webarchitects

All are experienced tech businesses who not only will be able to provide a range of other services to your clients, but also actually understand cooperatives because they are cooperatives.

We would be happy to work with you to present this information to your clients in a way that helps ease the transition.

OK?

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PS, maybe we need a landing page?

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Pretty sure it’s more than 43, maybe 45 or 46 member co-ops now :smiley: @chris you seemed to be keeping track of this?

We generally have an exchange of emails via our (self hosted and open source) RT ticketing system to work out what clients need and then generate an invoice via our (self hosted and open source) InvoicePlane invoicing system and setup services as required, if there is a time component to the work we record the time spent via our (self hosted and open source) Kimai time tracking site — we often do the website migration for clients as this is very quick and easy for us to do, especially if we have SSH access to the existing servers. Email migrating can tricky and time consuming so we suggest that clients use Thunderbird to connect to their existing and new IMAP accounts and drag and drop IMAP folders between them to migrate email.

For email there is a control panel via Mailcow for creating mailboxes and aliases etc and there is a SOGo webmail interface for people who don’t want to, or can’t, use a local MUA.

For web hosting the servers are configured via YAML files like this example (development server) one:

So we add clients to a YAML file like this for each server where we list the domains and sub-domains to generate the Apache VirtualHosts and we list the MariaDB databases and optionally automatic CMS installs (WordPress, Drupal, Nextcloud etc etc), then we either apply the updates via GitLab CI and GitLab Docker containers we also build via GitLab CI which contain Ansible or we run Ansible locally to update the severs.

Clients on shared web hosting then have phpMyAdmin as the MySQL control panel and SSH / SFTP / SSHFS access to the file system and also the option to use all the command line tools we have installed, git, composer, drush, wp-cli etc etc — there isn’t a web hosting based control panel, the only open source one we would consider is ISPConfig and we have hosted this in the past but found it too annoying, we would rather be in full control of servers — we take great care to ensure that there is no way for one client to access another client (PHP and SSH run in read-only bind mounted chroots that are totally separate from the main server OS)

Some clients have their own virtual servers that are also provisioned in the same manner as our shared hosting servers, so they have their own git repos on git.coop and are able to add and remove accounts and sites.

For domain names we are Nominet and Janet members so can directly order .uk, .ac.uk, .co.uk etc domains for clients. For non-UK domains we use our Gandi reseller account (we do have a domains.coop reseller account also but we are trying to close it down as the interface is so terrible). We have multiple DNS servers across Europe that are all provisioned using Ansible, and for some clients they have their own git.coop repos for their own Bind9 zonefile and they can update them as they wish, these are then checked and the servers updated, but there is no web interface to this other than the GitLab IDE, for most clients we manually edit their zonefiles for them as this is technically beyond their ability.

We have spend some time in the past looking at configuring ERPNext as a tool to integrate all our different systems (ticketing, invoicing, time keeping) and the provisioning of services with the view of also using this to offer clients an integrated control panel but we found that we don’t have the capacity to set this up ourselves at the moment — I’m flat out automating everything I do via Ansible and GitLab CI but our workers who do the invoicing do not have the skills to automate away their own jobs and I don’t have the time to take this on as well as everything else I do, so there is a lot of manual creating and issuing and chasing of invoices etc.

Our servers hosting all of this are located in Sheffield datacentre we have access to and we own all the hardware and the fileservers are running FreeBSD and ZFS and the front facing servers are running Debian and Xen — we are determined to own and provision the whole stack and not to be dependent on a capitalist provider of cloud services for our infrastructure, this is very important to us.

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OK, are we going with my draft? And landing page with similar text?

Thanks Shaun, that is great but I’d suggest amending this sentence:

To, something like:

Domain name registrations can remain with domains.coop or if clients wish the CoTech members can transfer them to their own .coop reseller accounts in order that clients only have one organisation to invoice for all their services.

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You are suggesting an additional page on www.coops.tech for this? That is doable but it will take more than 5 minutes to create…

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That’s inviting them to lose customers …

Co-operatives not listed on www.coops.tech:

So 46 in total?

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So I believe that this is why they had this in their original email (see the top post in this thread):

We appreciate it is more ideal for you to manage your web services under one platform, however please note it is very common for websites to have separate domain registrars and hosting providers.

We can’t escape the fact that there is only one co-operative ICANN-accredited .coop registrar can we?

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Multiple registrars - like Gandi - but only one registry. So they’d lose the registrar margin. But you’re right, assuming Blacknight is also a registrar then they already sold that pass.

They are, that is why they suggested them, they are the only one in the British Isles who are on the list I posted above (and on the ICA thread), take a look at it.

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I see. Crazy - they should have asked their resellers if they can provide the service - like me for example. OK will send as agreed with your changes later today.

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So, do I need to create a spash page of some kind?

Note that domains.coop have tweeted:

With a link to a version of the email John posted above.

Yes, that would be good - based on text?

CoTech represents technology co-operatives across the UK. It has 43 coops in membership.
Four CoTech members are able to offer fast provisioning of email and hosting to domains.coop clients.

Domain name registrations can remain with domains.coop or if clients wish the CoTech members can transfer them to their own .coop reseller accounts in order that clients only have one organisation to invoice for all their services.

They are, in alphabetical order:

All are experienced tech businesses who not only will be able to provide a wide range of other services such as web design. What’s more, they understand cooperatives: because they are cooperatives.

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