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UB Web Management

Transforming UB’s digital communications through process and tools

Site Activation

Site activation is a collaborative effort involving several teams from CIT. It includes technical changes to a number of areas in the UBCMS, as well as adjustments to several servers and other backend systems.

This technical process must be coordinated with any other scheduled changes that CIT is carrying and, depending on the complexity, may require formal approval from an oversight committee.

This process usually requires at least four weeks. Typically, the actual launch will occur before the work day begins during the Wednesday maintenance window.

We will be giving you a Site Launch Form that needs to be filled out 4 weeks before you come in for deployment.  The reason this is so important is that we have a team of experts to review the Site Launch Form to make sure everything goes smoothly for your deployment.  The Site Launch Form will ask questions regarding choosing your URL, redirects, responsive web design (RWD), Google Analytics, Site Activation (Quiet Rollout), Full Launch (Redirecting Traffic) and Communications.

The following will all impact the complexity of your site launch, and may necessitate even more time. Please contact us to discuss your site and to help plan your launch date.

1.  After the switch, everything at your current website will go to UBCMS and your current site will effectively vanish. This means all your      current files must be stored in the CMS (for example, on the page or in the Digital Assets Manager) and nothing can link back to            your original site.

2.  Will any password-protected pages be needed in the CMS? Do you need to securely transfer information (e.g. sensitive student or f        financial data using HTTPS/SSL)?

3.  Will any redirects be needed (old site URLs, etc.)?

4.  When will tree activation(s) be needed? What paths (typically /content/www/xxxxx, /content/shared/www/xxxxxx,                  /content/dam/www/xxxxx, /etc/designs/www/xxxxx)?

5.  Will preview/testing with QA server and hosts file be needed? (Recommended if step 1 is not clean or certain, or if there are a lot of        redirects in step 3.)

We will do our best to schedule to your requested activation date. 

The Monday before your Go-live date, your site will have a Quiet Rollout.  The site will be activated and made live between 6:00 – 8:00am.  An email will be sent to you once the Quiet Rollout has been completed.  During Monday and Tuesday your team will test your site.  

  • Every page needs to be looked at and "blessed" that it is truly done and ready for the public.
  • Every link must be clicked on to be sure it works
  • Any pages that draws information from other sites (Facebook, video, RSS, databases, third party vendors) needs to be looked at to see if the "feed" is working
  • Any page with an HTML snippet or customized CSS or JavaScript that you put in must be looked at in Firefox, Safari, IE, and on mobile devices to see if it is displaying properly (If no snippets or custom CSS or JavaScript are used, this does not have to be done)
  • All forms should be tested (check that email is sent properly, data is recorded, etc.).
  • Any search results pages using UB’s Google search appliance should be temporarily deactivated until the new site URLs have been indexed by the search (probably a day after the real deployment with redirects).
  • By 3pm TUESDAY the site MUST freeze and if you are not ready for deployment email dcthelp@buffalo.edu by no later than 3pm and we will work with you to reschedule your deployment date.
  • You must let ANYONE who links to your site know the new URL for the site

UBIT wants to activate new sites outside business hours on Wednesday mornings.  Your Lead contact and technical contact should plan to participate in verification at the time of go-live between 6:00am and 8:00am.  

  • Redirects will be put in place from the old site to the new site between 6:00-8:00 am
  • Your representative (identified on the site launch) will be available to test the redirects and affirm everything went well
  • Not all sites have any extra steps to perform for the Wednesday deployment (brand new sites with no old sites or redirects will not have anything to do here).
  • Search results pages can be re-activated once the new site URLs have been indexed by the search (probably a day after the real deployment with redirects)

Go-live cannot be rolled back once the business day begins (8:00 AM).  If roll-back is needed during business day (or cannot be completed before business day begins -- give 30 minutes notice), it will be delayed until next business day.

It is recommended that you have testers checking on your site before and after the go-live.