Network migration

We in IT Services and External Relations are preparing to migrate all blogs on https://blogs.ilrt.org to a new WordPress service. This will take place in May 2018. While University staff can still sign up for a blog, and will be able to until the migration takes place, please be aware of the following information.

Background

The existing blog network was set up several years ago to serve specific requirements of the University’s Institute for Learning and Research Technology (ILRT – which no longer exists) and was not intended to serve as a large-scale blog and website service for the University. However, it now hosts nearly 200 active blogs/websites and is maintained on a best-effort basis.

New service: changes

We are therefore moving the network to a third-party service run by a company called CampusPress, which has dedicated resources to support blog networks like ours, ensuring websites on our blog network remain secure, fast and reliable.

URLs

Both networks use the WordPress platform so very little will change with regards to editing and maintaining a blog. URLs will change from blog-name.blogs.ilrt.org to blog-name.blogs.bristol.ac.uk, with redirects in place to ensure old URLs will still work.

New theme

Alongside the project to migrate the blog network, we are also developing a new, University-branded theme for new websites on the network. This theme will provide our users with a flexible design that is easily customisable while being recognisable as part of the University. The theme will be available on the new network for existing blogs, and as the default theme for new blogs.

New users

If you decide to sign up for a blog before migration, we will be in touch with you as part of the migration process with further information.

All blogs now served securely

All blogs hosted on blogs.ilrt.org are now served securely using SSL certificates. This is important because browsers increasingly complain when serving insecure sites.

New blogs will automatically have a free certificate provided by Let’s Encrypt. The new certificate may take up to 24 hours to be created.