Editing Atlas-Hosted Web Pages in GitHub

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Please ensure that your GitHub account is configured for two-factor authentication by following the instructions in the GitHub documentation.

For institutions hosted by Atlas Systems, web pages will now be maintained in GitHub repositories (repos).

Maintaining web pages in GitHub features many upgraded benefits. Some of these include:

  • Easy to contribute to your pages
  • Tracking changes across versions
  • Changes reflected in your live system within 1 minute
  • Ease of troubleshooting by locating the date and time when problems occurred
  • More flexibility for your local web development processes

Guide Navigation

Obtaining Access | Web Page Layout | Downloading a Backup of Your Web Pages | Making Changes | Reverting Changes | Using Testweb | Version Control Systems 


Obtaining Access

Your repository has restricted access. Please contact support@atlas-sys.com to obtain permissions to the repository for your institution's web pages. You will need an account set up in GitHub for access. Atlas Hosting Services will send you a link to your repo when you are registered. This will allow you to edit and save (commit) changes to your web pages directly within the GitHub interface. Access is granted per individual, not per institution since individual accounts are required for tracking changes in GitHub. Please let hosting know if additional people at your institution require access to edit the web pages.

Web Page Layout

The web pages structure may appear slightly different than the directory structure in IIS that you are used to. The file structure is flattened to a single level in the repo. For example, instead of clicking the illiad folder then the Lending folder to access the lending web pages, the top level would be illiad_Lending.


The tree under the README.md file shows the folder structure as it would appear in the server. 


Repository Do's and Don'ts 

Your GitHub repository will give you a wide range of flexible options and tools for managing your web pages. However, there are a few restrictions and guidelines to keep in mind while editing your web pages in GitHub: 

Don't: Do:
  • Do not rename or move folders in the repository - This will break synchronization and your web pages!
  • Do not edit or delete webpath.txt.
  • Do not save backups of your web pages on the server in GitHub. 
  • Add, delete, or modify files as needed within the folders.
  • Consult Atlas Support if you need structural changes to the folders.
  • Save backups of your files locally on your workstation for safekeeping.
Note: It is recommended to avoid making changes to the README.md file in your web directory. If you would like to keep a file to track internal information such as a list of staff members' editing responsibilities or a list of your customized pages, you should create a new CHANGELOG.md file in the same location as the README file to hold this information.

Downloading a Backup of Your Web Pages 

Downloading Web Page Backup 2.png

If you would like to make a backup copy of your web pages for safekeeping, these should be downloaded to your local machine rather than made within your GitHub repository. To download a copy of your web pages from GitHub to your machine, follow the steps below:

  1. Navigate to the homepage of your repository in GitHub.
  2. Click on the green "Code" button.
  3. Click the "Download ZIP" option from the dropdown menu. 


  4. A copy of the files in your web directory will be downloaded to your workstation as a ZIP file. You can then store these files wherever you'd like on your machine for safekeeping.

Making Changes

Making Changes.png

You can edit pages directly within GitHub and these changes, when committed, are reflected within a minute on your server. Only changes committed to the main branch will be applied to the web pages at this time. However, you can work on other branches and commit changes prior to merging the work onto the main branch. 


In the example below, we're going to change the search bar on the navigation menu to the alternative style in the include_menu.html page.

  1. Navigate to the appropriate web page.


  2. Click the edit icon highlighted in the picture above.
  3. Make the appropriate changes.
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the pages and edit the comment box to describe the change(s) you made.
  5. You can optionally add an extended description.
  6. Click Commit changes, making sure Commit directly to the main branch is selected.


View Change History 

To see all the changes for a specific webpage:

  1. Navigate to the appropriate web page.
  2. Click the History button.


  3. Click the title of the change.


Any changes will be marked in green and any legacy formatting/verbiage will be in red. By default, the change view is Unified with both the previous formatting and the changes included in one view. See the image below.


To view the changes in a comparison format, click the Split button. See image below.


Reverting Changes

Reverting Changes.png

If you make a change to a web page, but then later decide you'd like to reverse the change that you made, you can use GitHub Desktop to quickly revert the web page back to its previous version. 

Step One: Download and Configure GitHub Desktop

  1. Download the GitHub Desktop application for your workstation.
  2. Navigate to the homepage of your repository.
  3. Click the green "Code" button.
  4. Click the "Open with GitHub Desktop" option from the dropdown menu.


  5. A pop-up window may open in your browser asking you to confirm that you want to open the GitHub Desktop application. Confirm your decision and the application will open.
  6. If this is your first time opening the repository in the application, it will prompt you to sign in to GitHub and clone the repository to your machine. Follow the prompts to complete this process.
  7. Your repository should now be accessible on your machine through the GitHub Desktop application. Click "Fetch Origin" at the top of the application window to ensure you have the latest version of your repository on your computer.


Step Two: Find and Revert the Change in GitHub Desktop

  1. After opening your repository in GitHub Desktop, click "Fetch Origin" at the top of the screen to ensure that you have the latest version of the repository loaded into the application if you have not done so already.
  2. Click the "History" tab on the left side of the application window. 


  3. Find the change that you want to revert in the History menu.
  4. Right-click on the change and select "Revert Changes in Commit" from the menu.


  5. A new entry should appear at the top of the History tab noting that you reverted the change.

  6. Click "Push Origin" at the top of the application window to push the reverted change to your GitHub server.


  7. Confirm that the change has been reverted by viewing the web page on your server. 

Using Testweb

If you'd like to edit the pages in your Testweb first to see how they will work in the live system, simply edit those pages and they will be updated within 1 minute so that you can verify any changes before making them in the production pages.

For example, to edit the pages in your ILLiadAuth/Testweb folder, you would find those pages to edit in the repo under:


Loading a New Set of Default Web Pages into Testweb 

Loading Pages into Testweb.png

If you would like to load a new set of default web pages into your Testweb for previewing, testing, or customization, follow the steps below:

  1. Download the newest copy of default pages from the ILLiad Downloads page.
  2. The pages will download as a zip file. Extract the files in the zip file to a folder on your workstation. 
  3. Navigate to your repository at GitHub.com, click the green "Code" button, and select the "Open with GitHub Desktop" option.

    See the Reverting Changes section of this guide for information on configuring GitHub Desktop.


  4. A pop-up window may open in your browser asking you to confirm that you want to open the GitHub Desktop application. Confirm your decision and the application will open.
  5. From the main window of the GitHub Desktop application, click "Show in Explorer."


  6. The File Explorer will open and display the folders in your repository. Navigate to your Testweb folder.
  7. Within the Testweb folder, delete all files except webpath.txt, web.config (if present), logon.txt (if present), and any files ending in .dll (if present).

    Do not delete these files or your new pages will not work properly!
  8. Navigate to the folder containing the new default web pages you downloaded in step one. Copy the files within this folder into your Testweb folder.
  9. Return to the GitHub Desktop application. You should see a log of the changes made to the web pages in your directory.
  10. Enter a description of your changes (e.g., "Deleted old files and uploaded new 9.1 default web pages").
  11. Click "Commit to main."


  12. At the top of the application window, click "Push to origin."


  13. Within a minute, your changes should be applied to your production server. View your Testweb and Production directories to verify that the changes were made appropriately and to check functionality.

    You may also need to do a hard refresh with Ctrl-R if you find that your changes have not been applied.

Version Control Systems

Since the web pages are now hosted in GitHub, if you are familiar with Git, feel free to use your favorite interface to edit your web pages. There are several free Git tools such as the aforementioned GitHub Desktop application or free editors that support Git like Visual Studio Code



If this article didn’t resolve your issue, please contact Atlas Support for assistance:

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