WordPress Maintenance Window (and some updates!)

The sites.dartmouth.edu server will be down for maintenance tomorrow (Thurs March 28) from approximately 8pm – 10pm. Please do not edit your site during that window as your changes may be lost.

After the upgrade, you will notice some improvements. For example:

  1. A few additional themes (P2, Radius, Twenty Twelve)
  2. Additional plugins:
  • Google Analyticator: To replace the current Google Analytics plugin which does not function properly.
  • LaTeX for WordPress: For writing math expressions and formulae.
  • Restricted Site Access: Restrict your site such that only logged-in users can access it.
  • Subscribe2: Set up a mailing list so that users receive email notifications when new content is posted to your site.
  • The Events Calendar: Manage events on your WordPress site. (This is different from the main Dartmouth Events Calendar, currently under development.)

WordPress Software Updates

WordPress has been updated and we’ve added some new functionality. Please let us know if you notice anything out of place.

Themes

  • The Blagolife theme (which you can check out under Appearance > Themes after the update.
  • The Dartmouth theme now has 22 banner images from which you can choose (up from 6).

Plugins

  •  New plugins include Local Time Clock (displays the local time of many cities in a sidebar widget), Simple Section Navigation Widget (allows you to create more customizable navigation menus), Promotion Slider (creates slideshows that can be embedded in pages)

Usability Improvements

  • At the moment, all user accounts on the Dartmouth WordPress services must use Dartmouth NetIDs for logins. WordPress will allow site owners to create user accounts with whatever usernames you want, but it’ll cause problems down the line. However, although users must be created with Dartmouth NetID usernames, this is not clear in the login and user management interface. We’ve tweaked the verbiage to make this a little smoother. If you have already created users with non-NetID usernames, WordPress will not allow you to change these usernames by default, but we can help you do this.
  • Each site has an “admin” email address associated with it (where comment moderation emails, etc. are sent).  If you’re the site owner, you will likely receive a confirmation email asking you to confirm the change. Please click through and confirm to complete the process. If you are *not* the site owner, you can change this yourself later under Settings > General.
  • We’re hoping to launch http://sites.dartmouth.edu “for real” (i.e., no longer in pilot) soon. To wrap up the pilot phase, I’ll be following up with site owners soon with a brief survey about how WordPress has been working out for you so far. Your feedback is very much appreciated.