KRLX switches to WordPress tomorrow!

The theme is selected, the plugins have started to get written, and the old site is ready to migrate. The switch will occur starting at approximately noon tomorrow.

Here are all of the details you need to know, and some answers to common questions.

Important information about the transition

This was all included in an email to the KRLX Spring 2016 and Interest email lists, but here it is again:

The website will be taken offline at about noon tomorrow when we start the switch.

I’m sure you guys love reading the blog on the front page of krlx.org, but that will be unavailable during the entire upgrade process. Don’t worry, everything is safely stored in our database and we’ll be migrating it over to the new site pretty quickly once it’s installed.

The record libe cataloging system may be unavailable for a couple minutes – if this happens, don’t panic.

In order to ensure a smooth installation process, the record libe cataloging system (both administration and public searching) may be temporarily taken offline right at the start of the install. Once the new site is installed these services will be reinstated.

Live chat will be offline for a few hours

Monday shows, note that live chat will be unavailable for a few hours during the transition. Please have listeners call the studio if they want to talk to you or make a request.

When the new site is installed, please leave the live chat tab open in Chrome so that listeners can actually use it! I know it’s not pretty and people don’t use it very much, but it’s actually really useful for international listeners (yes, we do get them) and people who want to chat with the DJs but they forgot to drop the last call.

Most importantly: The stream is not affected and will remain online and operational!

While the new site is being installed you won’t be able to click on “Listen Live” to listen to the stream – but the stream itself will stay up! Please direct listeners to listen live at radio.krlx.org or use TuneIn. (I’m also trying to get us listed on the iTunes Internet Radio catalog.)

I’ll try to get a link to the stream up as quickly as possible, but there are a few things that will need to get done in advance.

Answers to common questions

Is the stream still going to work?

Yes! The stream itself will stay up the entire time at radio.krlx.org, though the link to it from the main page of krlx.org will be removed for a short while. I hope to get that link back up as quickly as possible once WordPress is installed.

The website and stream are on two separate servers, so doing maintenance on one won’t affect the other at all. (Dev nerds: our website runs on a VM, the stream runs on a separate dedicated box.)

Why WordPress? Why not just change your Joomla theme?

We’ve been using Joomla for the past while, and it’s worked great – but it’s actually really cumbersome to use from our perspective.

For instance, in order to get a post published, there’s a six-step process you have to undertake to get it to show up. In WordPress, all you’ll do is click Publish, and it’s live. (In theory it should be that easy in Joomla, but the way our site and server are configured, it takes quite a bit of effort to publish something.)

WordPress is also used by a lot more websites than Joomla (source), and I’m experimenting with a couple of ideas for plugins, like moving SAS to WordPress.

Wait, what the heck are Joomla and WordPress anyway?

Joomla and WordPress are two widely-used content management systems (CMS). They basically make the construction and administration of a website very easy, as instead of moving and editing scripts you just click a few buttons in your browser.

KRLX has been using Joomla for at least the past year, possibly more.

Why are you taking the site offline and replacing it? Why not stage and deploy?

Our server isn’t set up to support a stage-and-deploy kind of workflow, although if it did, I would use it. The big reason I can’t do it that way is because WordPress and its hidden files don’t like being yanked up a level in the file structure, and our VM isn’t set up with multiple subdomains.

We have been testing on the sandbox, but I can’t easily move files cross-domain, as mv only works locally and scping across domains would take ages and likely break everything in the process.

(For the non-technical folks: basically I would love to install WordPress on our server and not make it “live” until it’s ready, however our server isn’t set up to support that.)

What will the site look like?

We’re using the Chicago Dark theme. On the WordPress gallery it looks pink, but there’s an option within the theme customizer that lets us switch to black and orange, which are the station’s main colors.

Here’s a comparison of how the sites will look (old on the left, new on the right):

KRLX Site Comparison

Why are you taking the site offline in the middle of the day?

The big reason is that there are a lot of tasks that need to be done and I can’t automate the process. Also, doing the switch during the day means other board members can help out with the installation, such as getting their accounts set up.

What blog posts are being moved?

All of em. They’ll move in chronological order, so the migration will take a while.

Will the site work better on my phone?

Oh yes. Our new theme is designed to work on screens of almost any shape and size. Performance quality on smartwatches not guaranteed.

Wait, when do I get to search the record libe catalog?

Soon, although the record librarians are still setting it up. It’s going to take a while to get the entire record libe cataloged, and we’re waiting for a new scanner to arrive. Hopefully you’ll be able to search a limited collection starting fall term.

Is a hot dog a sandwich?

Nope.

Other details

If you have another question that’s not answered here, please send me an email.

My hope is that the bulk of the migration will be done by 1pm, with content from the old site starting to crawl over about then. (That process will likely take a few hours.)

Thanks for reading the entire post – I hope you enjoy the new site!

Posted by Tate Bosler