The University of Texas at Austin
As part of the Web Central Services Retirement project, the ITS website will be retired. Information about IT services will be replaced by two new sites, IT@UT and UT ServiceNow, and ITS departmental information will be migrated to a new location. All changes will be completed by 7/19/2016.

University Blog Service

Last Updated: February 22, 2016 @ 9:03 am
Next Review Date: 01/01/2017
Service Manager: Farhad H Fatahalian
Governance Group: IT Architecture & Infrastructure
Document Status: Published

Key Metrics

  • Availability: 99%

Overview

The University Blog Service is available for use by current faculty, staff, and students; however the service does not meet the FERPA requirements and is not approved to host Confidential data. Additionally, the service is not approved for course-related activities. Faculty and students are encouraged to utilize Canvas for fulfilling their classroom needs.

The service uses WordPress multi-site (MS). Blogs and websites can be created for departments, individuals, groups, projects, or departments. Additional information about this service can be found at http://www.utexas.edu/its/blog/.

Service description

A recent version of the WordPress MS software is made available to the intended customers. For this service, recent is defined as six months. The login process is encrypted and uses UT EIDs for authentication.

Blog platform A single installation of the WordPress MS (multi-site) software that supports multiple blogs for multiple users, published to http://sites.utexas.edu.
ThemesA pre-determined set of themes for users to select. This service does not provide custom themes for individual users.
StorageEach blog has a maximum of 250 MB (megabytes) for publishing documents (.pdf, .xls, .ppt, etc.) and multimedia (.png, .jpg, .mov, .wav, etc.). UT Box should be used as a storage location for large documents and media.
StatisticsAn administrative tool for blog owners to view basic statistics like hits and popular pages with the Google Analytics.
Spam ProtectionAkismet plugin is utilized across the service to provide protection from comment and trackback spam.
Plugins & widgetsA pre-determined set of plug-ins and widgets. This service does not allow users to install plug-ins or widgets.

Supported Computing Environment

Visitors are able to view websites and blogs on the University Blog Service using any device running a university-supported Web browser.

The WordPress MS software will be upgraded on a regular basis following these criteria:

  • A stable production upgrade version of WordPress MS has been released for at least two months. Exceptions will be made for security upgrades.
  • The stable production upgrade version of WordPress MS is compatible with all required plug-ins.

Intended users

The University Blog Service can be used by faculty, staff, and students. The service is not approved for course-related activities. Students and faculty are encouraged to utilize Canvas for fulfilling their classroom or instructional needs.

Technical support

Both Tier 1 and Tier 2 technical support is available during normal business hours, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., to handle routine requests. Routine requests are typically addressed within one business day.

All requests for technical support will be logged using the ITS centralized ticketing system help@its.utexas.edu.

Tier 1

Initial support requests can be directed to the ITS Help Desk at 512-475-9400 or help@its.utexas.edu.

Tier 2

Issues that cannot be handled by Tier 1 (like site creation) will be escalated to Tier 2.

Maintenance

ITS will notify customers about maintenance or service disruptions using the ITS Services Status page. Services may not be available during the maintenance periods.

Normal Service Availability

The University Blog Service is designed to be available for customer use 24-hours-per-day, seven days-per-week, 365 days-per-year (24/7/365) excluding scheduled maintenance times.

Scheduled maintenance

Scheduled maintenance may occur weekly on Thursdays from 5-10 p.m. To the maximum extent possible, installation of server and application updates will be performed during scheduled maintenance.

Unscheduled maintenance

Unscheduled maintenance tasks that require service downtime will be announced as soon as possible on the ITS Services Status page.

Change notification

ITS will notify the university community using ITS distribution lists of service change notifications; the IT Architecture & Infrastructure > Web Technologies & Infrastructure Subcommittee oversees service changes.

Dependencies

The University Blog Service is dependent on the uTexas Enterprise Directory (TED), ITS MySQL Service, ITS Virtual Services as well as the campus network and related systems. The availability of those services will have a direct impact on the availability of the University Blog Service.

User responsibilities

All users agree to be aware of and adhere to the university's Acceptable Use Policy.

University Blog Service users agree to:

  • Not post or store any Confidential data in the University Blog Service.
  • Provide critical information to ITS in a timely manner when requested for purposes of resolving subscriber issues.
  • Use the University Blog Service in a manner consistent with UT Austin’s educational goals, as well as comply with local, state and federal laws and university policies.

Data Persistence

Blogs or websites will be subject to deletion after one year of inactivity (no updates to content).

Cost of Service

Cost information for this service can be found on the University Blog Service website.

We Can Help

Get help from an expert:

* UT Service Desk

* Call us at 512-475-9400

* Submit a help request online

We also have a walk-in service in the first floor lobby of the Flawn Academic Center (FAC). Stop by and let us help you!