The root of the problem is that the upstream services the CITES Video Player plugin relied on are no longer available or supported. Our update to the plugin removes all references to the missing upstream content, allowing the small number of sites still using this plugin (about 2.01% of the sites on PIE) to return to having normal page load/response times, but it does not fix the overall problems that videos you may have embedded using this plugin will not render. This is why we chose to update the plugin rather than disabling it entirely. In its current state, site owners can still log in and track down what videos they have embedded using the player (under the “Videos” heading in your WordPress dashboard if you have a legacy site that still has the plugin available to you), grab the URLs/content for the video they were presenting through the CITES video player plugin and then use an alternative plugin or block (like the Video block) to embed the content.
Our update to the plugin also adds a notification to the WordPress dashboard, alerting users that they are using the deprecated CITES Video Player plugin as well as providing some instructions on how to migrate to a different plugin/option. If you aren’t sure if you are using the plugin, just log in to your site(s). If you see a big dashboard notice, you’re affected. If you don’t, you’re not!
If you encounter any problems trying to replace the CITES video player with an alternative option, please open a ticket at help.illinois.edu and a member of the Technology Services Web Hosting Team will quickly be in contact with you to sort things out. 🙂