Over the last two years we have been working towards moving the main Bellevue College website from web servers located on our campus to ‘cloud’ based servers. This move will make our website much more resilient and secure, and prevent power outages and other on-campus events from disrupting our primary online presence.
We have spent the last several months making final preparations for the move (those of you who assisted me in moving forms, thank you!), and we will be making the final transition during winter break.
In order to make this move, we will need to ‘freeze’ the content of the website for the duration of the move itself.
This means that you will not be able to make any content updates to any www.bellevuecollege.edu sites between Wed, Dec 12 at 7:30 am and Wed, Dec 19 at 4:30pm.
It is possible that we will be able to allow access again earlier, but please plan on the content freeze lasting the full duration. Most of you will not be able to log in at all during this period; if you are able to log in and make changes, those changes may be lost.
A few notes/disclaimers/FAQs:
- If there is an emergency of some sort during the freeze, IT Services will be able to make small content updates if absolutely necessary. Please submit a Service Desk ticket at www.bellevuecollege.edu/servicedesk/ at the time if this becomes necessary.
- This update will not change how the website looks, or impact the admin dashboard- our website will still be running on our WordPress Content Management System. The only impact should be that things will run smoother with fewer errors, and should be much faster for off-campus visitors.
- This freeze only applies to sites at www.bellevuecollege.edu – if you have forms running on forms.bellevuecollege.edu, personal sites at commons.bellevuecollege.edu, or have students who have club sites at studentweb.bellevuecollege.edu, these will not be impacted. In addition, non-WordPress systems at www2.bellevuecollege.edu and other subdomains will also not be impacted. SharePoint/MyBC will also not be impacted.
- Important Note for Forms Users: If you have forms that are NOT located on the new forms.bellevuecollege.edu forms server, some entires may not be recorded within the Forms Entries section of your dashboard during the transition. Email notifications will still be sent, and things like mailchimp integrations will still work, but your ‘Entries’ section and any exports after may not include all entries. If this is a concern, please submit a Service Desk ticket listing your site and any impacted forms, and I will reach out to discuss how we can minimize this impact.
- If you have additional questions or concerns that I have not addressed, please submit a ticket at http://www.bellevuecollege.edu/servicedesk/, and I will do my best to ensure they are resolved!
Sometimes it is easy to forget who has access to your website- with employee turnover, sometimes things get missed. You can now find a list of all users with editing access to your site on your WordPress dashboard!
Today we are moving the Bellevue College website to exclusively use encrypted connections (HTTPS).
Forcing the use of HTTPS has a number of benefits, including better privacy and security for our users, better search engine rankings for websites, and the future possibility of using HTTP2 and other new web technologies.
Data sent using HTTPS is secured via Transport Layer Security protocol (TLS), which provides three key layers of protection:
- Encryption. Encrypting the exchanged data to keep it secure from eavesdroppers. That means that while the user is browsing a website, nobody can “listen” to their conversations, track their activities across multiple pages or steal their information.
- Data integrity. Data cannot be modified or corrupted during transfer, intentionally or otherwise, without being detected.
- Authentication. Proves that your users communicate with the intended website. It protects against man-in-the-middle attacks and builds user trust, which translates into other business benefits.
— from http://www.oncrawl.com/switching-https-priority-2017/
Quick update- in order to keep things running smoothly, moving forward we will be only keeping the most recent 10 revisions of posts and pages. This will help keep our database size down, and hopefully still provide all the functionality you need!
On August 24 we changed the service that provides site search on the Bellevue College website. The service that we have used for many years, Google Custom Search, was discontinued by Google earlier this year. Our new service is powered by Swiftype, a widely used site search provider. We are excited to launch this new system, and hope that it will allow us to provide more relevant and dynamic results to the students and employees we serve.
As Swiftype and Google are different systems, search results may be somewhat different after this change. We will be working with Swiftype throughout the launch period to ensure that search results meet the needs of our campus; it’s very important that students and employees can find what they are looking for!
If you notice issues with the system, please submit a Service Desk ticket. This will help us improve search results over time!
Thank you for your patience and assistance as we make this change!
Updates that made this possible
Moving to Swiftype required us to update several projects that power the BC website; namely Mayflower, Mayflower Homepage, and Globals.
Along with the search updates, we also made some small tweaks to how headings are formatted, how title tags are generated, the small ad section of the BC homepage, and laid the groundwork for some new widgets in WordPress 4.8
The source code for most BC projects is open-source, and available on GitHub.
We have just released a series of updates to the main Bellevue College website.
Globals and Mayflower updates
We have released significant updates to our ‘Mayflower’ wordpress theme and ‘Globals’ content and style library. For advanced users, this means that all Bootstrap features are now supported, and that Bootstrap grid systems will have better spacing on mobile devices. Headings are also styled more consistently with Bootstrap layouts.
WordPress 4.7.x “Vaughan”
We have release WordPress 4.7 to production. This update has a bunch of small, behind the scenes fixes, but nothing major on the user side.
WordPress 4.7 “Vaughan”
The Bellevue College Events Calendar has moved to our new ADFS authentication, thanks to a great plugin provided by MiniOrange.
Sign up for Bellevue College Website Training Tuesday, January 31 2017 from 1:30pm – 3:30pm in D240L (on the second floor of the Library).
This is a basic training on the essentials of working with our Content Management System (CMS). It is a great refresher or first time training. We will be paying special attention to accessibility and content requirements.
This training is limited to 34 participants, but don’t worry, we will be offering this again soon.
Sign Up for this Training!
We took a few months off, but we’re back!
Sign up for Bellevue College Website Training Tuesday, December 13, 2016 from 1:30pm – 3:30pm in A109.
This is a basic training on the essentials of working with our Content Management System (CMS). It is a great refresher or first time training.
This training is limited to 12 participants, but don’t worry, we will be offering this again soon.
December Session is full. We will be scheduling additional training soon!
We have updated the main Bellevue College website to WordPress 4.6.x ‘Pepper’!
This is a pretty small update; the main new feature is that WordPress now checks links when you create them. For more information on WordPress Pepper, see the announcement on WordPress.org.
WordPress 4.6 “Pepper”
Note: Those who track these sorts of things may note that WordPress 4.7 was just released; we generally run about 1 version behind to allow time for stability testing.