December 2, 2022

Major Changes Coming to Domain of One’s Own, UMW Blogs

Digital Learning Support (DLS) and the Digital Knowledge Center (DKC) are making some exciting changes to our web publishing platforms UMW Blogs and Domain of One’s Own.  We wanted to provide a brief overview of these changes since many of you use these platforms for aspects of your teaching, learning, professional, and personal lives.

Summary of changes: 

  • We are launching a replacement for UMW Blogs called Sites@UMW in January of 2023.
  • Starting in January 2023, no new UMW Blogs accounts will be created as we transition to Sites@UMW.  Anyone with an existing UMW Blogs account will continue to have full access and all current sites will be fully functional until summer 2023 courses are complete.
  • All UMW Blogs sites will be archived after courses after summer 2023 courses are complete. When archived, the sites will still be online, but users can no longer access them or make changes.
  • We are creating a new login page to access both Sites@UMW and Domain of One’s Own on the same page, launching in January of 2023.

Read on for the details…

Background: 

UMW Blogs started at UMW in 2007 as a way for the UMW community to easily create sites on the open web using WordPress. Many students, faculty, and staff use this system for class blogging, course websites, or their own projects. Domain of One’s Own, invented right here at UMW, is a more advanced platform providing a free domain (a web URL you choose), web hosting space, and an online control panel that allows installation of many different types of open-source software. Both platforms have been at the heart of moving UMW forward as a leader in Digital Humanities over the last decade.

What is changing and when? 

We are making three major changes:

First, in the Spring of 2023, we will release a new web-publishing platform to the UMW community called Sites@UMW. This platform will allow easy website creation using WordPress, just like UMW Blogs. For UMW Blogs users, the experience on Sites@UMW will look and feel almost exactly the same, but with some much-needed behind-the-scenes improvements.

Second, we will archive the UMW Blogs platform in Summer of 2023. All past UMW Blogs sites will remain viewable online, but will no longer be editable.  We will close UMW Blogs to new user registration and disable the creation of new sites starting in January of 2023, but current users will have full access until Summer of 2023. We will work with UMW Blogs users to move any sites you’d like to keep active onto Sites@UMW.

Third, we will create a new web portal that will serve as the shared entry point for both Sites@UMW and Domain of One’s Own. This portal will provide a side-by-side comparison of the two platforms, allowing users an easy way to evaluate their needs and choose the platform that makes the most sense for their goals.  Aside from the new shared entry point, Domain of One’s Own will remain unchanged in this process.

Wait! I have more questions! 

We are happy to answer them!  Please see our project webpage for more details, answers to frequently asked questions, and ways to ask us other questions about the project.  You can also contact us anytime at dls@umw.edu.

We will be regularly communicating about this project, and look forward to working with all of you to improve our web publishing platforms for the UMW community.

Thanks!

Digital Learning Support Staff 

Jerry Slezak, Director – Digital Learning Support Cartland Berge, Director – Digital Knowledge Center Shannon Hauser, Associate Director – Digital Knowledge Center