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The Source

Website Upgrades on August 7, 2018

July 26, 2018

Update, noon Aug 7: the migration and upgrade were both successful. Editor access is restored. Report issues to New Media.

 

On the morning of August 7, 2018, the Lewis & Clark website will undergo two significant changes:

  • First, we will move our site from a web server computer in Watzek out to the cloud in the Amazon Web Services system.

  • Second, we will upgrade the LiveWhale CMS software to the latest version.

Morgan Stone Grether, the Lewis & Clark director of new media, answers some questions on the changes at hand.

Q. Why move the site to the cloud?

A. Our institution needs a website that is up and running at full capacity for as close to 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year as we can make it. The current system on a single computer in a single room on campus is vulnerable to various issues, like power failures, natural disasters, and so on. A cloud-based system is harder to knock offline, while simultaneously being easier to maintain. Additionally, the cloud gives us more options and tools than we currently have. For instance we will soon have multiple, separate copies of the website running at all times; we will be able take one copy offline to test something like a big upgrade, while the outside world still gets the full lclark.edu experience.

Q. What changes will we see with the upgrade to LiveWhale?

A. Many of the major changes are under the hood, helping us build a more secure and accessible site. But expect nice tweaks throughout the software improving your experience. The widget manager for instance has many new options, including better handling of forms. And look for little things such as when you add an event or story, images are now handled in the upper left, and summaries are right below the headlines. Good improvements all around!

Q. Will there be training sessions for the changes in the LiveWhale CMS?

A. Yes, there will be sessions announced soon. Additionally, starting August 8, we have weekly LiveWhale “office hours” to get you hands-on help. They are at the Trail Room cafe in Templeton Campus Center every Wednesday from 9:30 - 11am.

Q. Can I edit my web content prior to August 7?

A. Yes! Keep editing as needed. On the morning of the 7th [EDIT:] On the afternoon of August 6 however, we will shut down editing as we move the site. Afterwards, you will be able to login and edit again as before.

Q. What can we expect to happen on August 7?

A. Hopefully, not much. As stated above, we will be turning off editing most of the morning on August 7 [EDIT:] of the afternoon of August 6 and the morning of August 7, but all should look and behave as usual to outsiders. Expect a few hiccups with some browsers’ cache, but that will be passing. More complex issues will dealt with as quickly as we can.

Q. If someone finds a bug or other software issue, what should they do?

A. We have built a page where you can see and report known issues at https://www.lclark.edu/support/troubleshooting/known_issues/