Category Archives: Web Development

Zendesk Update

Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 2.08.23 PMSeton Hall’s cross-functional web team and University Advancement have been using the Zendesk ticketing system for web and digital communications, creative and strategic marketing support and advancement services successfully for several years now. You can creating ticekts by email (, submitting planners or by visiting (

Screen Shot 2014-09-07 at 9.18.45 PMThe interface for Zendesk has seen upgrades in the last couple of years, and we’ve elected to turn the forums back on, now known as the ‘Help Center‘. Everyone should see this when first signing in. These discussion groups are exclusive to Seton Hall, and you can follow new posts and comments via email by clicking the ‘Follow’ button in the section you’re interested in.

Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 11.50.39 AMWhen viewing the Help Center, click on your name in the upper right corner. Depending on your settings, you will either see “My activities” or “Open agent interface”, which will bring you to your tickets. Agents can jump back to this view by clicking on the life-preserver icon (on lower right side) when viewing tickets.

Although this blog has served as a resource for many of our content contributors, we are looking to transition the more technical updates and notices over to our Zendesk Help Center for stronger engagement when support is needed. In addition, this is a place where you can ask our agents (which include members of the web team, digital media support, public relations and publications) questions and share discussions without necessarily opening a ticket.

Questions or comments about this update? Let me know:

Blog Subscribers Update

email-integration-2Recently we experienced an issue with the WordPress plugin that supports our subscription list for the Web and Digital Communications blog. We suspect that during a recent update the email addresses were inadvertently purged from the database. As a result, we’ve had to manually recreate our subscriptions from our list of CommonSpot contributors, department colleagues… and memory.

We’ve taken steps to prevent this from happening in the future, but we may not have added everyone who was subscribed — or mistakingly added someone who hadn’t. Please subscribe again if we missed you, or accept our apology if we mistakingly added you to the list.

A New Home on Twitter and Global Template Updates

In an effort to make our social media presence more intuitive, the Web and Digital Communications team at Seton Hall has successfully migrated our Twitter address to @setonhall. This new address will allow for a more seamless interaction with past, present, and future Pirates as well as the Seton Hall community. We’re sharing this update across all Seton Hall digital outlets now. Please update any links you have to our Twitter account!
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To reflect this, we’ve also updated out global footer across pages to include the new link. We’ve also elected to move around those icons, and switch out our Pinterest icon for a link to our LinkedIn university page.

Planners Update

Screen Shot 2013-10-03 at 1.28.03 AMIn an ongoing effort to provide the best digital communications support, our teams have been working to update and create new web, creative and marketing “planners” for the University Community. These planners provide an easy way to make marketing and creative requests as well as submit new digital communications for the Seton Hall website, email distribution, portals and social media channels.

Many of the older PDF forms are now replaced with updated Formstack forms. Here is the full list of available planners:

*Under development review and testing. Feedback welcome.

Most of these forms initiate a workflow in campus ticketing systems — you will receive a confirmation e-mail when requests are received by these systems, and/or direct communication from campus support teams as requests are processed. Updates to this list will be made available on the Web, Creative and Marketing Planners page.

Shorter Authoring URL

It’s here and it’s easier to remember.  You can log in to the authoring server for Commonspot using an address that is easier to remember:

Internet1For the main website:

For the landing page site:

The first time you use these links, please add ‘login.cfm’ to insure you see the CommonSpot controls and aren’t redirected.

You can, of course, still use the previous URL ( or – but we think this one is so much easier to remember.

Let me know if you have any questions!


Cookies and CommonSpot

Now that we’ve moved CommonSpot into the cloud, a few people have experienced issues signing in due to their local browsers remembering the older links we used to author and edit. This is a cookie problem, where the link prefixes have changed even through the domain is consistent. An error message will look similar to this screenshot, suggesting you’re working on a page in another session.

CS Error

To correct this problem on your computer, we recommend clearing your browser cookies, signing out and restarting your browser session. For help clearing cookies in your browser, please reach out to the Information Technology Service Desk.

What Are Cookies?
A cookie is a small data file that a Web site transfers to a user’s hard drive when a user visits the Web site. A cookie file can contain information such as a user ID that the site uses to track the pages visited. The only personal information a cookie can contain is that which a user supplies. A cookie can’t read data off a hard disk or read cookie files created by other sites. Seton Hall does not use cookies to store passwords or any other personal information about a user. For more information, please visit the University’s Privacy Guidelines page.

PirateNet Sign-In and Service Messages

Keep a pirate’s eye on the sign-in link, technology homepage and technology Twitter feed for a few changes and updates this August.

New Sign-In Window
Screen Shot 2013-08-16 at 1.15.59 PMOne the most popular clicks visitors make on the Seton Hall website is PirateNet, the link currently in the upper right of most of our pages used to sign in. From here you can access services like your email, Blackboard or the full PirateNet portal. We recently updated the sign in process to include a page of service choices.

In our efforts to continually enhance and improve user experience, we’re changing the behavior of the link to display a “modal”, or floating window, with these same key services — along with links to our mobile applications and technology Twitter feed.

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Integrated Messaging
Featured services, such as registration, will appear at different times on the modal window to help you get where you need to be quickly.

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If there are any technology problems affecting services you normally utilize, the sign-in window will also feature a message to alert you of reported issues.

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System and Service Status Updates
The new sign-in window isn’t the only place to find out if any systems or services are currently under maintenance or unavailable. Follow Seton Hall’s technology Twitter account for messages — or visit and check the lower left-hand corner for our most recent status alerts.

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Next Steps
As an extension of the ongoing web redesign project and our mission to provide the best user experience to our community, we’re working on new sign-in landing pages for all our services — and bringing content together through single-sign-on technologies. Stay tuned!

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Have a question, comment or problem about a website page or site? We’re interested in hearing from you! The quickest way to send feedback directly to the web team (in addition to leaving comments here on the blog) is by using the University Website Feedback form.

A New Look for “SHU Connect”

multi-channelBeginning this week, our web ticketing system, or “Connect” (, will look a little different. For several years now, some of Seton Hall’s cross-functional teams have utilized Zendesk, a robust user-centric ticketing system for communications and development support. Around campus we’ve called this connect, as it bridges the gap and supports engagement between all sorts of web and communications liaisons.

Zendesk has rolled out a heavy upgrade to there graphical user interface, and added some nice features we are now choosing to upgrade to. For information about the new Zendesk, please check out their blog and site: Please take a little time explore the environment next time you create, view or update a ticket. If you have any questions or comments, please let us know!

We’re in the Cloud!

CLoudThe website has successfully migrated over to the cloud, although some tasks still remain and the Web Dev team is working to resolve any outstanding issues.

In the meantime, authoring has been enabled and you are free to make any authoring changes on your site. If you wish to author, please use the following URL:

You’ll be happy to know that we shall be changing this somewhat bulky address to a much more user-friendly “” but this does take some time to create.  We shall let you know as soon as this new URL is available.  In the interim, however, please use the above URL to login and make any edits to your pages.

If you have made edits using the old URL (, you will need to duplicate your edits using the above URL. This “old” authoring site has been disabled so that there is no confusion on your part as to where your edits are being made.

If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact me.

Marie Somers
(973) 761-7566

Intermittent Outages for University Website

Screen Shot 2013-07-23 at 10.43.24 AMSystems Support is working to resolve the DNS problem that caused the move of the Seton Hall Commonspot website to the cloud to be postponed yesterday.  During this time, there will be short outages of the Commonspot website as the DNS information is changed.

I will continue to post to this blog as we get more information and the DNS problem is finally resolved.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me directly via email or phone.

Marie Somers

Cloud Migration Status Update

Changing the DNS entry to complete our migration to the cloud is taking longer than anticipated.  Instead of resuming normal authoring functionality tomorrow, July 23, we expect to enable authoring on July 24.  I shall use this blog to keep you updated on the latest news.

In the meantime, if you need any urgent authoring to take place on our current website, please e-mail me directly.

Marie Somers,

We’re Almost There!

CLoudSince we shut down authoring on July 15, the Web team has been working with our vendor Paperthin on the final steps of our migration to the cloud.

All the current content has been successfully moved over and you can see it here (it’s the same link we originally provided on June 3).  As we suggested before, you should be able to log in and make edits, view your dashboard – in effect, all the same functionality and permissions you currently have should be in place.  If you have any issues or problems logging in, please let me know.

Please note: you will be able to author edits “in the cloud” but we would ask that you refrain from doing so, so that we keep both versions in sync.

So what’s next, you may ask.  The final step is changing the DNS entry (read Wikipedia for the basics about DNS) which means that instead of pointing to a server here on campus, the DNS will point to a server in the cloud.  Sounds simple, but there’s a lot of tasks that the Web Team, Systems Support and the vendor need to complete to make that happen.  However, please be assured that whether here on campus or “out there,” users will not experience any interruption of service.

We plan to make that DNS change on Monday, July 22.  We shall restore all authoring on Tuesday, July 23.  I will keep you informed if, for any reason, this proposed timeline should change.

Moving to the Cloud

CLoudNext week starting on July 15, Web Development will be working with the vendor of our Content Management System (CMS), Paperthin, to move our CMS to the cloud.

Why the move?
Taking advantage of Paperthin’s cloud services provides redundancy as well as additional infrastructure support.

What does this mean for me as a Content Contributor?
Nothing will change for you as a content contributor.  All the URLs will remain the same, both for authoring as well as for viewing content.

Will there be down-time?
No, the website will continue to function as normal.  However, during the migration, authoring will have to be disabled while we push existing content to the cloud environment.  This will mean that no changes to the website can be made during that migration period.

When will the migration happen?
The migration process will start on July 15 at 3 p.m. when authoring for the website will be disabled.  Please keep this date and time in mind, since once we disable authoring, no additional updates to existing content can be made.

How long will the migration take?
We expect to have authoring enabled on July 18, barring any unforeseen issues.  We will make sure that we continue to keep our Content Contributors updated as to the migration’s progress.

Please reach out to Marie Somers with any questions or concerns about the migration.