As previously announced, we have some exciting changes coming in the RJ WebBuilder 2.0 platform. All sites will be updated to Joomla 3.x (exact version will be determined at time of upgrade), all components and templates will be updated, a new help site will be launched that will include information about the 3.x upgrades, a new ticketing system will be deployed, and new training videos will be created. Live training will also be available to help you manage the transition. Each of those items will be detailed below with respective timelines. Keep in mind though, times are subject to change.
It is also with great pleasure that I officially announce our partnership with a new developer, one who is a familiar face to many RJ WebBuilder users. Jared Shih, who helped get the RJ WebBuilder 2.0 platform off the ground years ago, now runs NYC Help Desk, which will serve as our official development partner and lead these changes effective March 1.
With many of our sites currently running the last version of Joomla 2.5, the next logical step is upgrading to 3.0. The Joomla community is constantly making updates to its software to fix bugs, protect sites from known vulnerabilities and improve sites speed and reliability. Testing is already underway on upgrading the software for RJ WebBuilder 2.0, and once those bugs are determined and resolved, we will move forward with updating a group of sites at a time.
This upgrade will also include updating all components and plugins that were issued with the original template. If you have uploaded your own third-party components, you will still be responsible for updating those.
The timeline for these updates will be from now till the end of April. You will be notified in advance as to the timing of your site's upgrade plan. Our goal with these updates is to minimize disruption to your site content and user experience.
Another new feature included in our development will be a system that allows multiple sites to be monitored and maintained at once. A master dashboard will be created, and a new plugin will be uploaded to each site. This will permit us to upload to all sites simultaneously, which will allow us to keep all sites up to date.
By the end of March, we also plan to have a new help site and ticketing system in place. While many of the resources on our current help site will be brought over, this new one will feature new tutorials and videos specific for the version 3.x. The new software is called ZenDesk; it's a robust and popular customer service management system, and it will allow the URJ Help Desk to provide better response time. All current and old tickets will be migrated over as well. Unfortunately, we are not able to bring over the accounts currently set up on the help site. But the good news is, each synagogue will have an account with our help site, and each synagogue can have multiple users attached to it. We will provide more instruction once the help site is up and running.
We will also be unveiling new templates by the end of May. These templates will be customized with URJ congregations in mind. The new templates will be mobile responsive, clean, modern and easy to manage. If interested in a new template, your site will then be updated in June. But if you are happy with your current template, you can keep it.
The last round of updates will include two new custom components, one for article sharing and the other for donations and reservations. These will be launched, uploaded to selected sites and training will be provided between October and December. There are more details in the FAQs.
Also review these FAQs for answers to many other questions you may have. We will keep you updated along the way, and try to make this transition as smooth as possible.
Thank you for your cooperation during this important time.
Congregational Websites Manager