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Changelog 5.3.0 Released [Updated]

Our latest change, released just this past weekend, is an important infrastructure update designed to improve server and caching performance. It's not only a system update with important benefits, but it's also an update that can have a noticeable effect on how your site updates depending on where you've been doing your edits to this point.

What changed?

We moved from APCu to Memcache (server caching, defined by https://whatis.techtarget.com, is a process "that saves Web pages or other Internet content locally. By placing previously requested information in temporary storage, or cache, a cache server both speeds up access to data and reduces demand on an enterprise's bandwidth.") to improve how the SiteFarm service handles caching and memory usage.

What this means for you

  • Your site is not live yet - no change, continue as you have.
  • Your site is live and everyone in your unit is editing the site using: sitename.ucdavis.edu/login or sub.sitename.ucdavis.edu/login - no change, continue as you have.
  • Your site is live and some or all of the people working on the site are using: sitename.sf.ucdavis.edu/login - changed: do not use your sitename.sf.ucdavis.edu/login domain to log in and do work; use your live domain name.

Why you should work from your live domain

  1. The new memory protocols incorporated into SiteFarm mean that content will automatically refresh every 6 hours. This is a passive protocol that doesn't require you to do anything. If work has been done in sitename.sf.ucdavis.edu, then after the 6 hours have elapsed, the content will be published out to sitename.ucdavis.edu.
  2. All changes made from your live domain, sitename.ucdavis.edu/ or sub.sitename.ucdavis.edu/, will notify the server to update its content and display it immediately. As this is the version of your site the public sees, they too will receive the update almost at the same time.
  3. All changes made from your sitename.sf.ucdavis.edu are only visible to people who can access that domain name until the protocol to refresh the memory runs, after which the changes will be visible on the live sitename.ucdavis.edu.

UPDATED - Cache Clearing Issue Identified

With our 5.3.0 release detailed in this Changelog, we updated the method used for caching site traffic across the entire SiteFarm platform. In our Changelog, we indicated the importance of editing content from your live domain if you have already launched your site (this does not apply if you're still developing your site). However, after testing this process, we have learned site changes are still not appearing to the public immediately after saving. Instead, the updates are relying on the default passive cache clear set to 6 hour intervals.

We recognize this needs to be changed as quickly as possible and, to that end, we've been evaluating the Purge module. This will allow the caching system to become aware of your changes immediately so that your new content will be available to the public even quicker than ever before.

We have scheduled the deployment of this update for Sunday, October 21.

We thank you for your patience while we fine-tune the balance between performance caching and rapidly-updated content.

Your SiteFarm Team

How to sync your site and fix the problem if you're experiencing it

If you discover you or someone on your team has been working on the sitename.sf.ucdavis.edu version of your site advise your team to immediately switch to editing the site from your live domain URL ONLY.

AS A LAST RESORT IN AN EMERGENCY: If you have access to Site Factory, run the Clear Caches command from your site card to force a refresh. If you don't have access to your site, you're welcome to submit a request to the SiteFarm team to perform this test for you, but please communicate the importance of only editing from your live domain URL. Please DO NOT perform multiple Clear Caches:

  • It is bad practice to clear cache via Site Factory unless something is very wrong. It will significantly slow down your site for a bit until the cache is warmed again.
  • Larger sites performing this task can significantly slow down the performance of all the other sites in the service while the process runs. Be kind to your fellow SiteFarmers.

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