The following instructions detail how to update a site that has been built on a development server and for which the domain name needs to be reappointed for the live website. The process involves keeping the live web-root folder the same and replacing the contents of that folder with the contents of the development folder. If your go-live follows a different process and you require assistance, contact email@example.com.
In the following examples, the development server is www.domain.edu/redesign and the production domain is www.domain.edu.
Because the first step listed below requires physically moving production files, that will cause the site to go live. It is recommended that you follow all steps on this page in order, but know that until you finish the final steps, web visitors may still be taken to pages in the development folder. Some steps can be performed out of order, to help prepare pages for their final location, but doing so may cause them to appear broken until the new site is live.
Swapping Production Files
Unless all of the new site’s files and resources are located in the OU Campus staging server, you will most likely need to directly swap out the contents of your web-root folder, as mentioned above.
To do this, either SFTP to the production environment, or directly access it via RDP:
- Navigate to the web-root folder.
- Make a copy of this folder for back-up purposes.
- Delete the contents of this folder, EXCEPT the "redesign" folder. The old website
is now down.
- Paste in the contents of the "/redesign" folder to the root. The new website is now
You can delete the "redesign" folder after finishing all remaining steps.
Changes to Site Setup
Updating FTP Settings
The first major thing that needs to be adjusted is switching the OU Campus production server from the development environment to the live environment, so published pages will affect the live site moving forward:
- In OU Campus, navigate to Setup > Sites and click on Edit.
- Edit the Production Server FTP/SFTP Settings as follows:
- Server: Should stay the same.
- FTP Root: Change from /redesign to /
- HTTP Root: Update from development to production. http://www.domain.edu/redesign/ should become: http://www.domain.edu/.
If you have LDP, edit the LDP Settings as follows:
- LDP Admin Host: The OU Server Side Module (SSM) may be installed on the same web server as your published files, or it may be on a separate server. If installed on development, update host URL to production. If not, leave unchanged.
Note that the old site is still set up to publish to the production server (www.domain.edu). Once you make the switch to start publishing the new site over to domain.edu, it’s prudent to change the original site’s production server connection so it publishes to a different location. That way, if someone goes to the old site and publishes a page, it doesn’t overwrite the redesign page with the old design on the production server.
Fixing Any Hard-Coded Links
Any hard-coded links to files located within the /redesign subfolder need to be adjusted to point back to the root of the site.
If possible, it is recommended to keep the development subdomain active for a period following the go-live to ensure that all links are updated. There are multiple instances where absolute links to the development domain may need to be updated manually.
Via Find and Replace
In OU Campus, go to Content > Find and Replace and perform the following Find and Replace:
- Type: Regular Expression (Note: This is not the default setting!)
- Find: ([^n])/redesign/
- Replace: $1/
- Scope: all files and folders. Make sure “Include Assets” is checked.
Once the replace has been performed, go in OU Campus to confirm that pages render appropriately.
Note: If you perform this action before swapping production files, some pages may appear broken until the files have been moved into their final destination.
Updating RSS Feeds and Items
The XML files that comprise the RSS feeds in OU Campus are located on the production server, which means that during the development process, the RSS feeds are on the development production location. When moving the production location to the live server, you'll need to move the RSS Feeds over to the new server as well.
If there are too many items built out to edit by hand, OmniUpdate has a tool to automate this process. Please contact your Project Manager about scheduling the best time prior or after "go-live" to make these updates.
Updating Links for RSS feeds
- Select Content > RSS from the global navigation bar. The RSS Feeds view is shown.
- Edit the feed itself by clicking the linked path or hover over the row to display the options and select Edit.
- Change the Link from http://www.palmbeachstate.edu/redesign/ to http://www.palmbeachstate.edu.
- Click Save.
- Publish the feed for the changes to take effect.
Updating URLs for RSS Media Items
- From Content > RSS > hover over the feed and click Items (Admins Only)
- Click on the item’s Title to edit the item.
- In the Edit view, under Media Content, click on the media item’s Title to edit that media item.
- Update “Link” and “Thumbnail” to update file URLs to remove “/redesign” from the path.
- Save the media item and RSS itemand repeat for each RSS item.
- Publish the feed for the changes to take effect.
Perform a Site Publish
Once you confirm that pages are good to go in OU Campus, republish the site to get the new content appearing on the production server at www.domain.edu
- In OU Campus, go to Setup > Sites.
- Hover over the redesign site and click Publish.
- Add a version description, something like “republished site to go live.”
- This publish will take a long time; we recommend doing so at off-peak hours to increase performance.
To enable LDP Gallery assets to be used across multiple sites they are given absolute URLs to the thumbnail and image locations based on current HTTP Root. After the HTTP Root has been updated, gallery assets will need to be checked-out and republished. Republishing the assets will republish all pages on which they are placed.
Updating Gallery Assets
- Navigate to Content > Assets.
- Click the header for the Type column. This sorts all assets by type and groups galleries together.
- Check-out and publish each gallery asset.
To prevent skewing of analytics data (e.g., Google), the code is typically hidden during development. Enabling analytics will depend on your implementation and what was decided during the specifications process. The most common implementation is for an analytics.inc file to be included on each page.
Updating Analytics Using Includes
- Navigate to Content > Pages.
- Use the Source Editor to view the source of include file, which is commonly located at /_resources/includes/analytics.inc/. Keep in mind the location may be unique to your site.
- Remove <!-- ... --> from around code. If no code has been provided, this include will be empty. Existing analytics code can be retrieved from the Google Analytics site.
- Save and Publish the include file. This will update all pages where that file is being included.
- Test search functionality
- Test "Share This" links
- Verify all necessary robots.txt files have been uploaded or updated
- Verify favicon icon (next to browser address bar) is enabled.
- Prepare to go live at a time when you believe the fewest amount of viewers will be visiting the website.
- Schedule the go-live with OmniUpdate so that members of the OmniUpdate support team can be standing by.
- Ensure that the production server is set up to parse everything the site's pages need (i.e., server-side includes, PHP, live delivery platform [LDP], etc.).
Please feel free to contact the Support team with any questions about the go-live process at firstname.lastname@example.org.