Update: The scheduled upgrade to PHP 8.1 was successful. If you encounter any issues, please contact email@example.com.
We have scheduled the upgrade for our managed WordPress platform to PHP 8.1 on Tuesday, May 2, 2023. This is a major upgrade from PHP 7, with some significant compatibility issues with older plugins and themes.
PHP 7 is officially unsupported by the PHP community, but our hosting partner continues to provide extended long-term support for this older version.
We have been testing extensively for a few months, and we are confident that most issues are resolved. However, site owners may need to contact firstname.lastname@example.org if they experience any issues after the PHP upgrade.
The Editoria11y Accessibility Checker is now available for WordPress, and site admins on our managed WordPress platform can activate it from their site's dashboard. At some point in the future, we plan to activate this plugin across all sites on our platform.
Editoria11y (pronounced "editorially") is an accessibility quality assurance tool that is automatic, unobtrusive, and seamless – like a spellchecker.
Created by John Jameson, Princeton University's Digital Accessibility Developer, Editoria11y was previously only available as a module for the Drupal web content management system. Editoria11y is installed on over 2,700 Drupal sites around the world, and it is a standard feature of the Drupal-powered Princeton Site Builder. One reviewer called Editoria11y "The Best Drupal Accessibility Checker for Content Authors…"
A major revamp of this website is coming soon, but for now, I wanted to provide a quick update. The WordPress 5.8 brought a significant change to the way widgets are edited in the Customizer and the Appearance - Widgets page. By default, the widgets use the Block Editor (Gutenberg) instead of the classic interface where widget boxes on the left are dragged into widget locations on the right.
For those who prefer the classic widget experience, we have installed the Classic Widgets plugin. Site administrators can enable this plugin for all users on their individual sites.
WordPress 5 was released on December 6, 2018. This major release includes the new block editor, aka Gutenberg, the most significant change to the WordPress editing experience since WYSIWYG was added.
On Thursday, December 20, we deployed WordPress 5.0 to our multisite network. However, we network activated the Classic Editor plugin. With this plugin active, the editing experience is unchanged from previous versions of WordPress. Site admins have the ability to override this plugin on an individual site under the Writing settings in the WordPress dashboard.
If the new block editor is enabled, the content on existing posts and pages is placed into a "Classic Block." A classic block can be left as-is, or it can easily be converted to the new Gutenberg blocks, where each paragraph, image, embed, etc. is a separate block.
Also, be aware that the accessibility level of the new editor is currently unclear, and those who rely on keyboard navigation, rather than touch or a mouse, could experience difficulty trying to create content.
WordPress 5.0 comes with the new Gutenberg-optimized Twenty Nineteen theme. The new block editor should work with most existing themes, but some content, such as full-width images, might be constrained by the limitations of that theme. We will be adding more Gutenberg-ready themes in the coming months.
Our multisite WordPress network is now running PHP 7.2. This change was necessary because PHP 5.6 will no longer be supported after December 31, 2018.
Site performance should be improved after this update, as PHP 7 boasts remarkably optimized memory usage, and WordPress running under PHP 7 can run twice as many requests per second as the same platform running PHP 5.6.
Our managed hosting service includes the basic set up and support of WordPress sites that support the mission of the University, including sites for officially-recognized student groups. Faculty, staff, undergraduates, and graduate students are invited to use the service.
Today we finally finished migration of the OIT-managed WordPress server to the Pantheon cloud-hosting service. Page load times are noticeably improved. We hope that uptime for the service will also see significant improvement.
We apologize for the many issues with the service during the last few months.
Future enhancements include replacing the Authorizer plugin with a less obtrusive single-sign-on solution.
All sites in the OIT-managed WordPress environment now use Princeton University's Central Authentication Service (CAS) for authorizing access to protected pages, including the WordPress admin dashboard. This replaces the LDAP-integrated WordPress login page.
Accessing /wp-admin or wp-login.php will automatically redirect to the CAS login page. After authentication through CAS with a Princeton netID and password, a logged-in user will be directed back to the original WordPress site. If a netID uses Duo two-factor authentication, Duo will work the same here as with any other CAS-enabled site.
One feature that is not available with the new CAS solution is the ability to bulk add authorized users to a site. We hope to find or write a plugin that will re-enable this feature.
Enabling CAS was one of the last milestones before migrating all of the sites in our managed WordPress environment to a cloud hosting provider.
This morning we deployed WordPress 4.7 to the OIT-managed WordPress environment.
One of the main new features of the new version is a brand new default theme, Twenty Seventeen. This theme is not yet activated across our network because I want to first create a child theme that includes the option to add the Princeton University branding to the footer. I will get this theme deployed by the end of next week.
One of the main new features is that the Custom CSS feature is now available in the WordPress Customizer, allowing live previews of CSS design changes. This builds off of the custom CSS feature that is part of the Jetpack plugin suite.
You must be logged in to post a comment.