Keeping up with UChicago Sites

Clearing caches may save your sanity

UChicago Sites use caching to speed up performance. It makes accessing your content much faster for visitors to your site.

But when you change existing content, caching can get in the way. You may notice that after you change text on a page or in a block, the change doesn't appear to be saved. But it really is! You can see it when you are logged in and making changes. However, users who are not logged in are seeing cached content. The solution is to clear the caches.

How to clear the caches

Log in to your site. Click on "Flush caches" in the top navigation menu. When it is complete, you will see the message "Successfully cleared caches" in a green box at the top of the page.

flush-caches.png

When to clear the caches

You should clear the caches when 

  • changing the text in existing pages, features, directory entries and blocks.
  • things look wonky. When in doubt, clear the cache. If there is still a problem, contact Web Services.

Add Simple Ecommerce to Your UChicago Site

Site owners now have the ability to accept online payments via their UChicago Sites for registration fees, application fees and the like. 

Using webforms and the university's epayment gateway, you can create a form that, upon submission, passes the user to the credit care payment site. The user is then passed back to your site after payment. You set up the webform; we will complete the integration with the epayment gateway.

Please note that the first step to receiving online payments is requesting a merchant account from the bursar. Read about this process at http://bursar.uchicago.edu/accepting-credit-card-payments.

For more details about using webforms, visit https://answers.uchicago.edu/page.php?id=57458.

What you see (on the screen) isn't always what you get (on the printer)

As we move closer to a "paperless" world, we're thinking less and less about how our content exists when it comes off the printer. Headers and footers, links and images, sidebars and sharing buttons all have different meanings on the printed page than they do on the web. Luckily, we web developers have had a solution to this problem since the very early days: the print style sheet.

There are lots of great articles about print style sheets dating back to the early 2000's, but basically, a well-designed print.css allows us to streamline the design of your content for the print (or PDF) medium in the same way that responsive design principles allow us to make your site display differently on your mobile device or tablet. 

Print preview display, with annotations

If you open Print Preview on any of your UChicago Sites pages (when you are not logged in to the site) you'll notice a number of changes to the page, all made for your printing convenience:

  • The header and footer are streamlined and background colors are removed to save you ink.
  • The navigation links in the left sidebar are removed, as they don't make sense on a piece of paper.
  • Best of all, any hyperlinks in your content magically appear on the page, inline with your text!

This means you're free to make meaningful, accessible links instead of just pasting a URL on the page. Check out our Knowledge Base video for more information about how to create link on UChicago Sites.

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