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Go-Live Process

The following instructions are for how to go live with a website that was built on a development server and will be using the same URL as the previous live website. Please contact our helpdesk if you are planning a go-live so we can assist you during the process.

The modules that use a site of their own, such as course catalog and occasionally blogs, also use this process to go live. Otherwise, modules are considered "live" as long as they are in a live site, or linked to from a live page.

A go-live can be a complicated and lengthy process. We highly recommend preparing beforehand by setting up the production server to parse everything the new site's pages need (such as server-side scripts, LDP, etc.), and scheduling the go-live at a time of low activity for your site. For our support team to be on hand during the go-live, it must be during our scheduled business hours.

Simple StepsLink to this section

  1. Update the HTTP root in the new site's site settings to point to the live domain. If this shares the same root as your old dev site, you have to update that HTTP root as well. Otherwise, both sites will publish to the same location and you run the risk of someone publishing files from the old site and overwriting files on the new site.
  2. Go to Setup > Site and click on Scan > Revert Site, converting all dependency tags to root-relative or absolute links, depending on the site settings.
  3. Use find and replace to update any hard-coded links from the old domain to the new one. Review any other content not covered by this (such as RSS itemsdirectory variables, and add-ons) to replace links as necessary.
  4. Re-publish all assets.
  5. Do a dependency scan to convert all links to dependency tags again.
  6. Publish the site.

It is common practice to keep the old site up with the HTTP root at a subdomain (e.g. test.site.edu or old.site.edu) for a little while, but this is not necessary.

Detailed StepsLink to this section

Because the first step listed below requires physically moving production files, that causes 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.

In the following example, the development server exists in a subfolder (www.domain.edu/redesign) of the production server at www.domain.edu.

Swapping Production Files

Unless all of the new site's files and resources are located in the OU Campus staging server, you most likely need to directly swap out the contents of your web-root folder, as mentioned above.

  1. Either SFTP to the production environment, or directly access it via RDP.
  2. Navigate to the web-root folder.
  3. Make a copy of this folder for back-up purposes.
  4. Delete the contents of this folder, EXCEPT the /redesign/ folder. The old website is now down.
  5. Paste the contents of the /redesign/ folder to the root. The new website is now up.

You can delete the /redesign/ folder after finishing all remaining steps.

Changes to Site Settings

The OU Campus production server needs to be switched from the development environment to the live environment, so published pages affect the live site moving forward.

  1. In OU Campus, navigate to Setup > Sites and click on Edit for the new site.
  2. Edit the Production Server FTP/SFTP Settings as follows:
    • FTP Root: Change from /redesign to /
    • HTTP Root: Change from development to live. http://www.domain.edu/redesign should become http://www.domain.edu/.
  3. If you have LDP, edit the LDP Settings as follows:
    • LDP Admin Host: The 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 the development server, update the host URL to the production. If not, leave unchanged.

At this point both the old site and the new site are pointing to www.domain.edu. We recommend changing the old site's production server connection so it publishes to a different location, to avoid content from the old site overwriting content on the new if published.

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.

In OU Campus, perform the following find and replace:

  • Type: Regular Expression
  • Find: ([^n])/redesign/
  • Replace: $1/
  • Scope: all files and folders. Make sure “Include Assets” is checked.

Once the replace has been performed, confirm that pages render appropriately. If you perform this action before swapping production files, some pages may appear broken until the files have been moved into their final destination.

You may also have directory variables that point to a hard-coded URL. Review all directory variables and replace URLs as necessary.

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 development location to the live server, you 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.

To update links for RSS feeds:

  1. Navigate to Content > RSS.
  2. Edit the feed and change the link from http://www.domain.edu/redesign/ to http://www.domain.edu.
  3. Click Save.
  4. Publish the feed.

To update URLs for RSS media items:

  1. Navigate to Content > RSS.
  2. Select "Items" for the feed.
  3. Edit an item and under "Media Content," click on the media item's title.
  4. Update "Link" and "Thumbnail" to update file URLs.
  5. Save the media item and RSS item. Repeat for each item.
  6. Publish the feed.

Publishing Content

Once you confirm the pages in OU Campus are correct, republish the site to push the new content to the production server at www.domain.edu.

  1. Navigate to Setup > Sites.
  2. Hover over the new site and select Publish > "Publish Site."
  3. Review the publish options.
  4. Click Publish.

This publish takes a long time; we recommend publishing at off-peak hours to increase performance.

For LDP gallery assets to be used across multiple sites, they use absolute URLs to the thumbnail and image locations based on the current HTTP root. Once the HTTP root has been updated, they need to be republished as well.

  1. Navigate to Content > Assets.
  2. Sort the assets by type by clicking the page icon in the header bar..
  3. Select all gallery assets and publish them.

Analytics

To prevent skewing analytics data, the tracking code is typically hidden during development. The steps for enabling analytics depend on your implementation and what was decided during the technical specifications process. The most common method is for an analytics.inc file to be included on each page. To update this file:

  1. Navigate to Content > Pages and find the include file. A common location is /_resources/includes/analytics.inc.
  2. Edit the include via source code.
  3. Remove <!-- ... --> from around the code.
  4. Save and publish the file.

Final ChecksLink to this section

Test your search functionality. If you are using OU Search, you may want to review all URLs in the module's settings and update any best bets. Similarly, if you have OU Insights, you also want to review any URLs stored in insights.txt.

Test any social media sharing links.

Verify all robots.txt files have been uploaded or updated.

Verify the favicon icon in the browser tab is enabled.

 

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