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UMass Amherst IT rolling out WordPress upgrades, improving security

February 13, 2018

Upgrades to the blogging and website software to take place in two stages, on February 13 & March 8, 2018

Blogs at UMass Amherst will be receiving new features and maintenance over the next few weeks as UMass Amherst Information Technology (IT) upgrades its WordPress blog and website software from WordPress 4.7 to 4.9.

Stage 1: Blogs at UMass Amherst Unavailable, Tuesday, February 13, 2018, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

The process, divided into two stages, began February 13, 2018 with Blogs at UMass Amherst being temporarily unavailable.

From 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., the blogging and website software was upgraded to WordPress 4.9, keeping Blogs at UMass Amherst users’ blogs/websites up-to-date with the latest updates and improvements.

Blog content was automatically transferred from the previous version of the software to the latest. Also included in the upgrade were several new features for users, including new widgets, the ability to draft and schedule site design customization, design preview links, and more.

Stage 2: Apply New Theme & Plugins Before Thursday, March 8, 2018, 8:00 a.m. (Certain themes & plugins only)

The second stage of the WordPress upgrades will continue on March 8, 2018 at 8:00 a.m.

To avoid security risks, certain dated, unmaintained themes and plugins will be removed during this time in order to protect the campus web environment from ongoing information security threats. No downtime is expected during this process.

If you use one of these dated themes, you are asked to choose a new theme before Thursday, March 8th. If you do not, your blog will be assigned the default Twenty Seventeen theme. For users with plugins scheduled for removal, UMass Amherst IT is providing replacement plugins with comparable features.

For more details, including new plugins and the themes and plugins that will no longer be available, see:,, and

For questions or to report a problem, please contact IT User Services at 413-545-TECH (8324) or