My Sites

Terms of Use

Revised 09/30/2015

In addition to the University wide policies outlined here: https://it.tufts.edu/univ-pol, use of sites.tufts.edu is subject to the following policies:

Content retention

Sites hosted on sites.tufts.edu will remain available so long as they are actively updated.  Once a site has been inactive for one year, we begin a retirement process:

  1. After 1 year of inactivity, all users with Administrator privileges and registered site_owner for the site are notified via email
  2. After 1 year + 2 weeks of inactivity, a second warning is emailed
  3. After 1 year + 4 weeks of inactivity, the site is marked “archived” which makes the site unavailable, but easily recoverable.   A final email is sent.
  4. After 1 year + 8 weeks of inactivity, the site is deleted from the system.

At any point, a user can freshen the site by making/editing a post, which resets the inactivity period.   A user can also take the opportunity to delete any sites they administer which are no longer in use.

Plugin/Theme policy

Plugins and Themes are developed by many members from the broader WordPress community.  ETS has installed a collection of plugins and themes from the community that we hope you will find useful.  Due to the large number of combinations and permutations in which plugins and themes can be applied, ETS cannot provide any assurance that all plugins will work well together.  If a plugin or theme causes problems for the system, we will try to update it or uninstall it.

Adding new themes/plugins

If a site owner/administrator needs a new plugin or theme installed, they can submit a request.  ETS will evaluate the request, checking for the following key requirements:

  • Be actively maintained – plugins that have not been updated in years are discouraged
  • Not duplicate features already available (we don’t need 5 Facebook Like button plugins)
  • Be multi-site compatible
  • Be available via the wordpress.org plugin/theme directory
  • Be a focused, limited-purpose plugin (no plugins that claim to do everything)
Licensing

Unless ETS purchases and enables a site-wide licensed plugin/theme, site owners will be responsible for purchasing/maintaining/renewing license codes/keys/etc.

Frameworks

Plugins/Themes that provide frameworks with their own plugins and modules are strongly discouraged.  These solutions have not been manageable in the past.

Upgrades

WordPress.org releases major updates (with feature changes) 2 or 3 times per year and minor updates (usually bug fixes and security updates) far more frequently.  It is important for security reasons that we keep up-to-date with these releases.  We will strive to update WordPress core code soon after updates are published.

  • For minor updates within a couple of business days of the release
  • For major updates within a couple of weeks of the release
  • We will apply plugins and themes updates as the are published (manually, as part of weekly maintenance)

Some plugins and themes may have compatibility issues with an upgrade.  In general, an incompatible plugin/theme will not prevent us from applying an upgrade.

Caching

sites.tufts.edu is fronted by a caching service, which helps the server cope with user requests.   When a change is made to a page or post, other viewers might not see the change immediately, but the change should be visible to all within 2 minutes.

User Accounts

WordPress user accounts are synchronized with the Tufts Directory. First name, last name, and email address values for your user profile cannot be changed. Users can modify their “nickname” if they would like to change how they will appear.

Abuse

If a site hosted on sites.tufts.edu becomes a target of abuse (i.e. comment spam), ETS reserves the right to make changes to the site configuration to protect the service.