WebTech Monthly News - November 2022

Year-end clean-up: How to ensure your website is ready for 2023

The holiday season has arrived (with gale-force winds!) and winter intercession will soon be upon us. For many of us in academia that means a little free time that we can spend preparing for the new year. Here are three quick fixes to help ensure your website is in great shape when the students return.

Check the Siteimprove Quick Fix Report

Siteimprove, is an online tool that Western subscribes to; it has a nifty report that shows you if you have errors on your site. It displays a link to the location of each error, and in some cases makes recommendations for easy fixing.

Are you not yet signed up to receive a report for your website? Learn more about Siteimprove and gain access to your website’s 5-minute fixes report.

Remove or Update Old Content

Nothing says neglect like a website that is displaying old or dated content on it. The year-end is a perfect time to visually scan for any mentions of the prior year (or earlier) and check pages you have not updated in a while, but which users frequent regularly.

Have any mentioned procedures changed since you last updated content? Is the information still applicable? Are the forms updated and accurate? Have key people moved on and has their contact information been updated?

And cleanup isn’t just about getting rid of content that is not needed anymore – sometimes it means adding in things that are. Make sure you have a strong call to action on your homepage, so users know where to click next. Consider adding new content to keep your website fresh. If students or users are calling and asking the same questions repeatedly, is there a way to add that content to the site so folks can find those answers online?

Check For Archived Catalog Links

One of the most common things we run into are departments or institutions displaying catalog links that point to archived catalogs. The catalog changes every year; thus, links need to be updated every year. Archived catalog links do not register as broken links (they still exist – just as part of an archived catalog) yet they are inaccurate. If you display catalog links on your website, take a peek and see if they contain the catoid=19 in the link string. For example: https://catalog.wwu.edu/preview_entity.php?catoid=19&ent_oid=2024&returnto=5131

If they show other numbers within the link, that means the link is referring to an older/archived catalog listing. If you click the link, you will see a small note mentioning the [ARCHIVED CATALOG] Every year the catoid=XX (and the string of numbers behind it) is updated with the new catalog number. To help remind ourselves, we put a recurring note in our calendar to update these catalog links annually.

Questions? Please reach out to webhelp@wwu.edu.

Drupal Updates

Reminder: New Administration Theme Forthcoming

Shortly after December 12th, 2022 WebTech will be enabling a new administration theme for editors of websites. We are adopting the default administration theme within Drupal 9 and 10, named Claro. We are doing this to further align with user experience and accessibility goals for all editors utilizing Western Drupal websites. The full overview can be found in October’s news.

The adminimal toolbar theme will also be removed at that time, though the administration menu functionality will stay the same. Claro provides support.

Issues Resolved

  • Security Updates
  • Upgraded PHP from 7.4 to 8.1

Module Updates

  • Drupal Core
  • Numerous modules to be compatible with PHP 8.1

New Modules

  • None at this time.

The complete Drupal Changelog.

Drupal Theme Updates

  • Improvements to email signature for screen readers
  • Various dark mode and a11y style fixes

Find out more on the Ashlar Changelog.

WordPress: Updates from CampusPress

WordPress Theme Updates

  • None at this time.

Plugin Updates

  • Advanced Custom Field Pro: upgraded to version 6.0.4
  • Admin Bar: Fix – custom roles not displaying in admin bar.
  • Advanced Network Settings: New – option to force “link to media file”.
  • Accessible Social Share (Scriptless Social Sharing): Upgrade – version 3.2.1.
  • PHP 8 Compatibility Improvements: Network Messages, Blog Categories, New Site Template, Classes, Reader, Wiki, Accessible Content, Super Admin Exports, Slide-In, Cloner, Dogo Content Widget, Infinite SEO, WP Mega Menu, Blog Importer, Edit Flow and Improved Simpler CSS (Custom CSS).

Review the CampusPress Changelog for specific details on plugin updates.