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Publish to Your Website (Go Live)

Modern Campus CMS is a decoupled system, meaning you create sites separately from the production server that hosts your live website. When you publish an Modern Campus CMS site to your production server, or go live, you are enabling your web visitors to see your website.

You may need to publish a site following a redesign or when switching from a development domain to your live web domain.

To go live, you need to ensure that the site can connect to the production server.

Prepare to Go LiveLink to this section

First, determine who will set up the production server and change the Domain Name System (DNS). In most cases someone at your institution, like your IT department, controls the DNS. Sometimes the DNS is managed at your district level.

Schedule to go live at a time of low activity for your site. Please contact the Modern Campus CMS Helpdesk if you are planning to go live so we can assist you during the process.

Production Server Administrator: One Week Before

One week prior to going live, the production server administrator completes the following:

  • Incrementally decrease your DNS Time To Live (TTL) record to 300 seconds.
    • When domain propagation is complete, set the TTL record back to the default (86400 seconds).
  • Define the DNS Canonical Name (CNAME), FTP and HTTPS root, and subdomains for the new site.
  • Generate and install an SSL certificate on your production server.
  • If you already have redirects in place, transfer them to the production server.
    • We suggest you leave the development domain up for at least one week after going live, and put a redirect in place from the development domain to the live, production domain to help tackle two issues:
      • Stop the indexing of development domain URLs by search engines.
      • Assist with calendar-type URLs.
  • Configure a backup schedule for production files and database(s).

Site Administrator: One Week Before

One week prior to going live, the Modern Campus CMS administrator completes the following:

  • Export your site as a ZIP file to preserve a backup.
    • We recommend setting up a process to regularly back up your staging environment.
  • If you have implementation folders with migrated content (for example _migration), delete them.
    • If you choose to keep these folders, do not select them when republishing your site.
  • If your new site shares global resources/templates, ensure the site containing the resources is live.
    • Certain parts of your site, such as header and footer include files, may not display correctly at this point. Once your DNS propagates, these include calls will be resolved.
  • Verify that the robots.txt file is in the top-level directory of the site to tell search engines which of your site pages to include or skip in their search results.
    • We recommend excluding the /_resources/ folder from robots.txt, along with any other content you don’t want indexed.
  • Work with the production server administrator to develop a rollback strategy, in case you need to revert your site while going live.
  • If your new site structure has changed dramatically, we recommend that you use a server-side 301 redirect.

Site Administrator: One Day Before

The day before going live, the Modern Campus CMS administrator completes the following:

Find and Replace

This may result in some content with temporarily broken links until the go-live, but helps you prepare for a more efficient go-live the next day.

  1. Go to Content > Find and Replace.
  2. Perform a replace to change any hard-coded links from the old domain to the new one.
    • Select the checkboxes to include assets and components.
    • Be careful not to change any system URLs, for example
      <!DOCTYPE document SYSTEM "http://commons.omniupdate.com/dtd/standard.dtd">

      or
      <document xmlns:ouc="http://omniupdate.com/XSL/Variables">

Dependency Scan

Convert all links to dependency tags.

  1. Go to Setup > Sites.
  2. Click the More Actions More Actions menu menu for the site.
  3. Click Scan > Dependency Scan.

When the dependency manager scanner has successfully completed, you can proceed to the next step.

Publish Assets

  1. Go to Content > Assets.
  2. Select all assets and Publish.

Site Publish

  1. Go to Setup > Sites.
  2. Click the More Actions More Actions menu menu for the site.
  3. Click Publish > Publish Site.

Go LiveLink to this section

Production Server Administrator

Update DNS and Add Redirect

  1. Update DNS record of your live domain to point to the web server that the CMS is publishing to.
  2. Add a redirect for the development domain to the new live domain.
    • This will cause the preview of pages in the CMS to appear broken, but this will be fixed after propagation.

Site Administrator

Update your HTTP Root

  1. Wait until the DNS is fully propagated.
    • This will take some time. You can perform a DNS lookup using free tools online to confirm the domain has been repointed to the new IP address.
    • If you are a SaaS customer and wish for us to clear the DNS cache on the CMS servers, please let us know.
  2. Go to Setup > Sites.
  3. Click the More Actions More Actions menu menu for the site.
  4. Click Edit > Site.
  5. In Production Server FTP Settings, update the HTTPS Root to point to the new live domain.

Site and Sitemap Publish

At this point your new website is ready for visitors, but we recommend you perform one more site publish to ensure everything is perfectly coordinated.

  1. Make sure that pages preview correctly.
  2. Go to Setup > Sites.
  3. Click the More Actions More Actions menu menu for the site.
  4. Click Publish > Publish Site.
    • If your site uses absolute URLs, select the checkbox to Use Last Published Version.
      • You can determine if your site uses absolute URLs at Setup > Sites > WYSIWYG Editor > URL Type.
    • To speed up the site publish, select the checkbox to Exclude Binary Files.
    • Add a “Go-Live" publish note so that all files will have this version description.
  5. Publish the sitemap.

Test your live website to ensure content, navigation, and SSL certificate are working as expected.

Configure RSS and Modules (optional)

RSS feeds and some modules, such as Modern Campus CMS Website Search and Modern Campus CMS Calendar, use a site of their own. Configure these modules for your new domain, if applicable.

Move RSS Feeds and Items

The XML files in Modern Campus CMS RSS feeds are located on the production server. To display existing RSS feeds on a new site, move the RSS feeds and items to the new domain.

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

Update links for RSS feeds, as follows:

  1. Navigate to Content > RSS.
  2. Click the More Actions menu for the RSS feed.
  3. Click Edit.
  4. Change the link from https://www.domain.edu/redesign/ to https://www.domain.edu.
  5. Click Save.
  6. Publish the feed.

Update URLs for RSS items, as follows:

  1. Navigate to Content > RSS.
  2. Click the More Actions menu for the RSS feed.
  3. Click Items.
  4. Click the More Actions menu for the RSS item.
  5. Click Edit.
  6. Click the title of the media content.
  7. Edit "File"  and "Thumbnail" to update file URLs from https://www.domain.edu/redesign/ to https://www.domain.edu.
  8. Click Apply.
  9. Click Save
  10. Repeat for each RSS item.
  11. Click Rebuild Feed

If there are too many items to edit manually, contact the Modern Campus CMS Helpdesk for a tool to automate this process.

Modern Campus CMS Calendar

Image paths in calendar events are not updated when you perform the Find and Replace operation and will require manual updates. Go to Calendar > Settings and edit event images to point to the new live domain.

Modern Campus CMS Website Search

Once your website loads properly in your browser, index your newly launched content with Modern Campus CMS Website Search.

  1. Log in to Modern Campus CMS Website Search.
    • Modern Campus CMS Website Search has a separate login and interface than Modern Campus CMS.
  2. Go to Settings > Basic Walk Settings.
  3. Update the Base URL to point to the new live domain. 
  4. Take note of what your current walk type and set Walk Type to "New." 
  5. Click Update and Go.

After the walk is completed, change the walk type back to what you noted down in the previous step or to “Refresh.”

If you have created Best Bets, you will need to update their URLs manually to use the new live domain.

  1. Navigate to Tools > Best Bets Groups.
  2. For the group, select “Manage Best Bets”
  3. Edit each best bet to contain a URL of the new live domain.

After Go LiveLink to this section

We recommend the following best practices after a site publish:

  • Test the search functionality on your live website.
  • 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.
  • Review google analytics and adjust redirects, if needed.
  • Submit sitemap.xml to Google Search Console to re-index your new site.

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