We’re happy to announce that LibGuides site admins can now request a LibGuides v2 beta site via your LibGuides v1 Admin dashboard!
We know the anticipation has been building and we appreciate your patience for the past few weeks. There was an important last-minute code change we had to make – switching from the no-longer-supported Bootstrap 2.3 to the new Bootstrap 3. It meant changing literally every screen and changing every template (a great new v2 feature!), because the Bootstrap 3 code structure is very different. It’s an exciting change, though, because Bootstrap 3 fixes several accessibility issues and makes LibGuides even more mobile friendly, given BS3’s mobile-first approach. We still need to polish some things and plug in several remaining pieces of functionality, but we’re ready for you to start requesting your beta sites.
Requesting a Beta Site
When you’re ready – before or after the holidays – go ahead and request your beta site via your LibGuides Dashboard. We’ll do our best to install your beta site as early as we can, and within 30 days of your request.
Given that we have 4,200+ live sites, it’s impossible to get everyone started at the same time. Folks who started earlier with LibGuides v1 will have preference in the beta install queue. (i.e., the lower your institution ID [IID], the sooner your site will be installed.)
Your beta site will not have any content in it initially. Content migration comes later. (Explained below.)
Beta Site Domain / 2 Concurrent Systems
Your beta system will be installed on a temporary domain, with your current site and beta site running simultaneously. Your existing system is still your official, public-facing LibGuides system, until you are ready to make your v2 system live.
In your beta system, you can start working on customizations, templates, workflows, and training your staff on the new platform. (Never fear, we’ll have documentation & training webinars available!) You can even start creating content, if you’d like, but do not share URLs for this content with your patrons since the domain will change once you go live.
Planning for Content Migration
Starting at the end of January / beginning of February 2014, you’ll be able to request a content migration from your current site into your beta site. We’ll work with you to determine the best time to migrate, and run the scripts at that time. This is a one-time migration, so make sure you are ready for it to happen.
After Content Migration
Even after your content has been migrated, your existing LibGuides v1 system will remain your public facing system – for a little while longer. You should not create any new content in your LibGuides v1 system from this point on. Any new content you create will not transfer to your LibGuides v2 system.
You will need to go through the migrated guides in your v2 system and fix whatever needs fixing. The new page / content structure is completely different, so it’s not unreasonable to expect that each user will need to spend anywhere from a couple of minutes to a couple of hours fixing / restructuring the content on each of their guides to take advantage of new functionality. This could include things like:
- Removing “hacks” for things like tabbed boxes, rotating images, or boxes spanning columns and using the new Tabbed box type, Gallery box type, or Top/Bottom boxes (to span across columns).
- Combining some content into one box vs. several.
Taking Your v2 Site Live
When you’re happy with your new site, we’ll work with you to go live with your shiny new site!
Have a custom domain? We’ll give you instructions to change the DNS records on your end. You’ll need to work with your IT department on this change.
No custom domain? We will update our DNS records to point your current LibGuides URL to your new site.
Once your new v2 site is live, this will be your official LibGuides system – for both you and your patrons. Your existing v1 system will be hidden on a temporary domain. You will still have access to it for a few months, if need be. (i.e., only you and your colleagues will have access to the “old” system at this point.)
A New Platform
We built the LibGuides v2 platform from scratch (literally), based on several years of usage data and awesome suggestions & ideas from our clients. Because of this, we are now capable of offering features and functionality that were impossible in the old structure. We know you’re going to love it – everybody who has seen the system has been impressed.
The other side of the coin is this: it’s a new codebase, a new system, so there will be bugs / issues at first – just like with any new platform. So we ask for your patience in working with us on resolving any issues that might arise. With that in mind, don’t feel you have to rush with the transition. We are as excited as you are because the new system is awesome, but let’s also keep in mind that the existing LibGuides system is battle-tested and works well – it easily handles 180M page views and millions of users every month.
So, don’t rush with the content migration – there is no time limit on upgrading, no rule that your system must be live within 30 days of content transfer. Take your time, get your current content ready to migrate, learn the new system / set it up the way you want, train your staff on it, and take advantage of the new functionality. We’ll use this time to do more testing, polishing, and adding of new features – we are still updating the code on a daily basis.
As I often say when talking with clients: We (Springshare) are in this for the long haul. We are building a great company and great products, with the long-term view. The official rollout of LibGuides v2 and our upcoming LibApps platform (unifying all of our apps into one cohesive platform) is just one part of the great things we have in store for you in the near future. In other words, we’re just getting started, folks!
Without being too corny, I will say that every single one of us Spingys loves what we do and we love working with all of you, our clients. And when you love what you do, it shows! Thank you for your ideas and your help in making LibGuides v2 the best content curation and management platform for libraries.
Let the LibGuides v2 fun begin! As always, we’re here for you if any questions/issues pop up.
Slaven & the Springy team