Welcome to the University Blog Service!

The University Blog Service provides sites for faculty (for non-course related purposes) and staff at The University of Texas at Austin. The service uses WordPress, a popular blogging platform. Blogs can be created for individuals, groups, projects, or departments.

Have a question? Read about the University Blog Service and find help and the Service Level Objectives (SLO). Alternatively, you can submit a Service Now ticket by emailing us at help@sites.utexas.edu.

The Events Calendar Plugin on UBS

Hello Blog Owners,

Last week, on April 17th, the UBS stewardship team announced the retirement of the Events Calendar Plugin. UBS stewards have secured the plugin against the reported vulnerability with help from the Information Security Office. As a result, The Events Calendar plugin will not be removed from the service on April 27th as originally stated. However, the plugin will be retired from the service on June 29th, 2017 instead. This decision was made based on ongoing incompatibilities with other critical plugins on the service.

The impact of this change is that sites using the plugin will lose access to their calendar(s) unless site owners find an alternative to displaying calendar information before June 29th.

Stewards have made available the Google Events Calendar plugin which offers similar functionality. Current users will be provided documentation on how to make this transition. Assistance will be made available on a best effort basis during Web Publishing office hours (every Tuesday in FAC 30, between 1:00PM – 2:30PM).

All sites which have The Events Calendar plugin already activated will remain active until June 29th. Do not deactivate the plugin until you are ready to transition away from it as it will become immediately unavailable.

Best,

UBS Stewards

UBS Release Notes 4/20/17

Hello Blog Owners,

Please note the following changes now in effect.

UBS Email Configuration Updates

UBS now relays email through the proper channels.

Apache Logging Format Configuration Update

UBS will now log access over HTTP(s) in the expected format.

Please do let us know if you should have any questions help@sites.utexas.edu.

Events Calendar Plugin Deprication

The Information Security Office has identified a cross-site scripting vulnerability originating from this plugin. A fix from the developer has not be identified.  As a result, UBS stewards will be removing The Events Calendar plugin from the service on April 27th. Service stewards have reached out to users of this plugin individually.

UBS stewards are working to find a suitable replacement and migration path. Please stay in touch for further details as they become available.

Database Quarterly Maintenance Complete

MySQL Enterprise administrators have successfully updated the UBS’ underlying database servers at 7:01 AM!

Routine Database Maintenance

UBS stewards will perform routine database maintenance this evening between 5PM – 10PM which may impact service performance. Page load times may increase slightly while this task is being performed.

Customer Acceptance Testing Complete!

Dear Blog Owners,

We would like to thank everyone who participated in the acceptance testing in the new QUAL environment. We are on track and preparing for the April 3rd, 2017 maintenance window as originally planned.

As noted on March 1, 2017, UBS will be migrating its current server setup to a new version of the Linux operating system on April 3rd. We will be migrating all customer sites at the same time. What this means is we will be taking the service offline between 7AM and 12PM to ensure we’re capturing all site content and settings and to complete post-migration test cases.

Please feel free to continue testing your content at https://qual.sites.utexas.edu. Do note that any new issues relating to the migration discovered after this point will be noted and put into our work queue for deployment at a later date.

See further updates at https://sites.utexas.edu/. Got questions? Send them on over to help@sites.utexas.edu.

Changes to UBS Mail Relays

Tonight we will be updating how email is send from the UBS server. This is in response to upgrades that ITS Systems is performing with campus email appliances.

No service interruption is expected, however, if you should for any reason stop receiving any emails from the UBS server where you otherwise expect an email, please do contact the ITS Service Desk with a description of how this email is reproduced and the kind of email that you expect.

Thank you!

Customer UBS Acceptance Testing

UBS will be migrating its current server setup to a new version of the Linux operating system this April. Starting today, UBS customers are invited to visit their respective sites on qual.sites.utexas.edu and test for any defects.

Please note that this server is ONLY available to the campus network or VPN. 

Direct any questions you may have to help@sites.utexas.edu for further assistance.

UBS Quarterly OS Patches Tonight (FY17 Q2)

The University Blog Service will undergo a planned quarterly maintenance this evening. Updates to the operating system will be followed by a quick reboot.

Thank you for your patience!

Changes to Custom Domain Mapping

UBS Administrators will be replacing the current Domain Mapping plugin on 1/26/17. Information on the new plugin can be found here; premium.wpmudev.org/project/domain-mapping/.

This change is being made to ensure that UBS utilizes properly maintained plugins that are compatible with the most recent version of WordPress. In addition, this plugin promotes self-service by placing control of your sites custom domain configurations within your site dashboard.

For detailed instructions on setting up and managing a custom domain for your site, please read our Domain Mapping Guide.