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Launch

Launching a Website Hosted by WDS

At least two weeks prior to launch, the Office of Communications will review your website to ensure that it follows University requirements and accessibility standards. Email helpdesk@princeton.edu with the alert that your new site is ready to go live. If WDS is working with you on your website, we will coordinate the website's launch for you.

Note that the Office of Communications reviews public facing sites for compliance with University requirements. If your site was designed by WDS, we will ensure that its framework complies. As the site owner, you are responsible for content. If you designed your own site, your are responsible for both its framework and content.

Launching a Website Hosted by a Third Party

Who Should Read This Document: If you have created a website that will be hosted on servers not managed by Princeton’s Office of Information Technology and,

You want your website to be accessed via a Princeton domain name such as yourwebsite.princeton.edu.

-- OR --

You want browsers to be redirected from a location on Princeton’s main website (www.princeton.edu) to your website.

Then this document will provide you with basic information you will need to launch your website.

NOTE:  If your website has been built by the WDS group in OIT, then you do not need to take any of steps listed below. WDS will take care of obtaining the required authorizations.

Your Agreement with the Third Party

You need to confirm that your contract or agreement with the third-party hosting provider includes the protections and level of support that you and the University require. For instance, if you plan to store any sensitive or confidential data on your site, the terms of your agreement covering data security will be very important.

OIT’s Project and Technical Consulting Office has made documentation available that will help you review your agreement. You can access this documentation at http://www.princeton.edu/projectoffice/resources/cloud/

If you need assistance in reviewing your agreement, you should contact Becky Goodman (beckyg@princeton.edu) in OIT.

Review by Office of Communications

All Princeton University web sites, whether hosted locally or remotely, should be reviewed by the Office of Communications to ensure that …

  1. The site is appropriately accessible

  2. Princeton trademarks, logos and fonts are used appropriately

  3. Copyright is respected

  4. The site meets the policies and guidelines published by OOC

Your request for review should be sent to the Office of Communications.

Assigning a New Princeton DNS Domain Name

After approvals have been obtained, you can request a subdomain in the Princeton University Host Database (DNS). The princeton.edu address should be an alias for the “real” name of the server managed by your hosting provider.

For example, the Chemistry Department’s website is hosted on Amazon AWS servers. The name chemistry.princeton.edu is an alias for an Amazon server whose real name happens to be dc-50822-1862555751.us-east-1.elb.amazonaws.com

When a browser accesses chemistry.princeton.edu, behind the scenes it is actually directed to the Amazon server. However, chemistry.princeton.edu will continue to appear in the browser’s address bar.

So, when you place your request for a Princeton domain name for your site, you want to request that:  “[name of your site].princeton.edu be an alias for [name of (not IP address of) the server managed by the hosting provider]”.

To submit your request, contact the OIT Help Desk (8-HELP). It can take up to a week to process such a request, so do not wait until the last minute.

Reassigning an Existing Princeton DNS Domain Name

If you are moving your site from servers managed by Princeton OIT to servers managed by a third party, you still need have Office of the General Counsel review your new site.

If you want the name of your old website to point to your new website on a particular date and time then there are a couple of things you should know.

By default a change like this made to Princeton domain name takes 12 hours to propagate throughout the world wide web. If you want the change to propagate more quickly, then you need to request that the Time to Live (TTL) on your site name be shortened prior to your launch date. At least a couple of days before the launch of your new website, you should request that: “the time to live (TTL) on the name [your website].princeton.edu be reduced to 10 minutes on [at least 2 days before your launch]”

With the TTL shortened to 10 minutes, any change will ideally propagate throughout the world wide web within 10 minutes.

After the TTL has been shortened you can request that your name be made an alias for the server managed by the third party (see the section above).

After you are satisfied that your new website is working as expected, you should place another request to reset the TTL on the name of your website to the default of 12 hours.

These requests should be submitted to the OIT Help Desk (8-HELP).  Allow a few days for the request to be processed.

Redirecting from Princeton’s Core Website

If in addition to having a *.princeton.edu name for your website you want browsers that go to http://www.princeton.edu/some_name to be directed to your new website then you need to request that an HTTP redirect be established.

To accomplish this you should submit the Request URL Redirect (WWW/redirect requests only) form.

Allow at least a week for the processing of such a request.

If You Have Additional Questions

If you have additional questions because the launch of your new web site is more complicated than the scenarios described above or you simply need clarifications, then please contact the OIT Help Desk (8-HELP) for more information.

This information can also be found in the Knowledge section of OIT Service Now system.

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