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Publish to Your Website (Go Live)

Omni CMS is a decoupled system, meaning you create sites separately from the production server that hosts your live website. When you publish an Omni 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 server 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 Omni CMS Helpdesk if you are planning to go live so we can assist you during the process.

Production Server Administrator

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 HTTP 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.
  • Configure a backup schedule for production files and database(s).

Site Administrator

Anytime prior to going live, the Omni 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 folders with migrated content (for example _migration), delete them.
  • If your new site shares global resources/templates, ensure the site containing the resources is live and that both sites share the same account settings for HTTPS
  • 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.

Go LiveLink to this section

Publish a Site

Production server administrator changes your domain's DNS record.

Omni CMS administrators complete the following:

  1. In the unpublished site's settings, enter the FTP and HTTP root that points to the live domain.
  2. Enter a server name.
    • Generally, server name is the IP address of your server.
  3. If you have Live Delivery Platform (LDP), enter the LDP Admin Host (name or address for the server where the server-side module (SSM) is installed).
  4. Revert dependency tags to links.
    • Depending on your site settings, these will be either root-relative or absolute links.
  5. Use find and replace to change any hard-coded links from the old domain to the new one.
    • Select the checkboxes to find and include assets and components.
  6. Review RSS itemsdirectory variables, and add-ons to replace hard-coded links, as necessary.
  7. Re-publish all assets.
  8. Scan dependency tags to convert links to dependency tags.
  9. Publish the site.
    • To speed up the site publish, select the checkbox to exclude binary files.
  10. Publish the sitemap.

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

Configure Modules

Some modules, such as Omni CMS Search and Omni CMS Calendar, use a site of their own. Configure these modules for your new domain, if applicable.

Omni CMS Search

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

  1. Log in to Omni CMS Search.
    • Omni CMS Search has a separate login and interface than Omni CMS. 
  2. Go to Settings > Basic Walk Settings.
  3. Update the Base URL to point to the new live domain. 
  4. Set Rewalk Type to "New." 
  5. Click Go.

Helios Calendar for Omni CMS

  1. Establish an FTP connection to the production server that has the Helios calendar installed.
  2. Go to the config.php file
    • Generally located at /var/www/html/calendar/inc/config.php
  3. Edit the CalRoot and AdminRoot variables to point to the new live domain.
  4. Save the file.

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.
  • If you are using Omni CMS Search, update best bets.
  • Review google analytics and adjust redirects, if needed.
  • Submit sitemap.xml to Google Search Console to re-index your new site.

Move RSS Feeds and Items

The XML files in Omni 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 http://www.domain.edu/redesign/ to http://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 http://www.domain.edu/redesign/ to http://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 Omni CMS Helpdesk for a tool to automate this process.

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