WordPress upgraded to 4.4

We’re now running wordpress 4.4.2, the latest Automattic WP release. This is a minor release change from the previous version we were running. It does incorporate some new features, like enhancements that make your, and your readers’ experience more connected and responsive, and a new twenty theme: Twenty Sixteen. The update also includes a set of security fixes, which are always a good addition.

Version 4.4 of WordPress, is named “Clifford” in honor of jazz trumpeter Clifford Brown. For more info about the new features in this release, check out Automattic’s news release.

Blogs.harvard.edu is now live

As mentioned in a previous update, Harvard blogs were slated to move from blogs.law.harvard.edu to their new home at blogs.harvard.edu, which would establish the platform as the official University-wide system. The migration was successfully completed last night.

You should not need to take any action as a result of this shift (besides clicking on ‘update’ banner if you have Jetpack enabled) and you should not notice any change in service (besides a new, shorter URL). If you do, please drop us a line with and explanation of the problems you are experiencing.

The next step in the update to the blogs system will be to migrate the ownership and support of the platform from the Berkman Center for Internet & Society to HUIT. We will keep you posted as this effort unfolds.

Server migration and a few bugs with CSS

You may have noticed earlier this week that the blogs were unavailable for a portion of the day and that some blogs were displaying errors or were displaying incorrectly.  If you noticed this, you are one of the few blog owners or blog viewers who were adversely affected by our server migration early that morning.

We worked over the course of the day to fix the various issues that appeared, including rewriting some code in various plugins and themes. One of the issues that could not be fixed was an incompatibility between two plugins, Jetpack and WordPress Custom CSS (also known as Safe CSS). As a result of this conflict, the WordPress Custom CSS plugin had to be removed. There were approximately 50 blogs that were using the WordPress Custom CSS plugin which were affected by this incompatibility.

We’ve worked over the week to migrate all the custom CSS over, to work with the new custom CSS functionality within Jetpack. However, you as the blog owner who were using the previous plugin now need to enable the Jetpack functionality.

To do this you first need to perform the following steps:

  1. Enable Jetpack
    1. Click on the Jetpack link in the administration section of your blog. The link should appear in your admin left navigation bar as well as on your administration dashboard.
    2. Connect to your WordPress.com account by clicking the connect button and logging in to WordPress.com or if you don’t have an account you can create one on the same page.
  2. Once Jetpack is enabled, enable Custom CSS
    1. If you are not already on the Jetpack dashboard, click on the Jetpack link again.
    2. Click on the ‘See the other 27 Jetpack features’ on the bottom of that page
    3. Hover your mouse over the Custom CSS row – a link to activate that feature will appear.  Click on that link.
  3. Once Custom CSS is enabled, activate your CSS customizations
    1. Hover your mouse over the Custom CSS row – a link to configure that feature will appear.  Click on that link.
    2. A CSS stylesheet editor will appear – your original custom CSS edits should appear in this window.
    3. Click Save Stylesheet to apply the Custom CSS
  4. You should now see the custom CSS changes.

Thank you for your patience in the process of our migration – we apologize for the inconvenience this caused.

A new home for blogs

Over the past several months we have implemented changes and updates to the blogs.law.harvard.edu service to upgrade the site. The last of these updates will be to move blogs.law.harvard.edu to blogs.harvard.edu, which will establish blogs.harvard.edu as the official University-wide blogging platform.

Following these interface and system changes and the shift to blogs.harvard.edu as an official platform, HUIT will assume management of the updated service. The effort to recast and further develop the new University blogging platform has been made possible, in large part, by the support and cooperation of HUIT.

In practical terms, this change means that URLs for the blogging site will no longer have “.law” in them. This switch will happen in the first weeks of September (stay tuned for a more exact date). After this date, you’ll notice that your blog posts will have the blogs.harvard.edu URLs instead of the blogs.law.harvard.edu URLs that they used to have. Your existing posts will be moved to blogs.harvard.edu as well. Any blogs.law.harvard.edu URLs will forward automatically to the new site at blogs.harvard.edu, so that previously distributed links should continue to work as normal. You should not notice any change in service, this change should not affect the search rank of your content and you will not need to take any action.

We look forward to this new chapter of blogging at Harvard and hope you have found these changes to be positive improvements.

Theme and Plugin updates

Along with the recent maintenance release to the WordPress core platform, various themes and plugins were recently updated.

Plugins:

  • Gravity Forms
  • Syntax Highlighter
  • Creative Commons Licensing Configurator
  • Akismet
  • Jetpack

Themes:

  • Twentyfifteen
  • The Newswire
  • Responsive
  • Virtue

WordPress 4.2.3 Maintenance Release

Harvard Blogs is now running WordPress 4.2.3, the latest security and maintenance release from Automattic. This is a maintenance release change from the previous version we were running and mostly it is a necessary update because of security fixes.

There should be no noticeable differences in the platform, however more info about the bugs and fixes included can be found on Automattic’s news release.

WordPress upgraded to 4.2

We’re now running wordpress 4.2.1, the latest and greatest from Automattic. This is a minor release change from the previous version we were running.  It does incorporate some new features, like new character sets (including emoji!) but mostly it is a necessary update because of security fixes.

This release is code named “Powell” in honor of jazz pianist Bud Powell.  For more info about the new features in this release, check out Automattic’s news release.

WordPress upgraded to 4.1

We’re now running wordpress 4.1, the latest and greatest from Automattic. This is a major release change (as far as version numbering goes, but not necessarily in UI and compatibility goes) from the previous version we were running.  This version adds many improvements along with many useful features and a new Automattic theme, Twenty Fifteen.

This release is code named “Dinah”, in honor of jazz singer Dinah Washington.  For more info about the new features in this release, AKA “Dinah” check out Automattic’s news release.

Homepage update

As you may have noticed there are some updates to the theme of the blogs homepage. This is our new look – I hope that everyone likes it. Please explore around, there is some exciting new functionality that we hope will lead more browsers farther into the great content that all of you create. There may be some oddly displaying pages, and if you do see one, please let us know in the Contact Us page.

Theme updates

Along with plugin updates we updated the themes that had updates available.  Some themes that users have are what are called ‘child themes’, so even though you may not be directly using a theme that was updated you may see new features.

  • Updated the twentyten theme
  • Updated the twentyeleven theme
  • Updated the hemingway theme
  • Updated the northern coders theme
  • Updated the okami theme
  • Updated the p2 theme
  • Updated the pool theme
  • Updated the tarski theme

In addition to updates we also added some new themes.

  • Added the responsive theme
  • Added the spacious theme
  • Added the virtue
  • Added the twenty twelve, thirteen and fourteen themes

And like always, the old cobwebs have to get cleaned out.

  • Removed the banana smoothie, blue green, fresh bananas, girl, green marinee, greenery, gridlock, hoofei, iceburg, leto prime, manga, roundflow, sandbox, sunburn, supposedly clean, sweet blossoms, twilight, twenty-eight thirteen and vermillion christmas themes.