Pantheon is a professional website platform designed for web developers who are in charge of creating enterprise-level WordPress and Drupal sites. The team behind Pantheon are developers themselves who are tired of getting headaches and sleepless nights from traditional hosting.
While the Pantheon team originally created their platform for Drupal sites, they are now officially introducing the Pantheon for WordPress.
Pantheon has only one goal in mind: To have developers think of only three things -- build, launch, and run all their sites in one place. Pantheon works hard in the background so that you will never touch a server again.
If you’re still not sure if Pantheon is perfect for you, you can try it out by signing up for a free account, which will give you the Developer Sandbox plan. You can spin up a working WordPress installation on one of your two free dev environments and tinker with it in anyway you like.
At the time of writing, Pantheon for WordPress is still in invite-only phase. However, you can request an early access at this link.
For a more detailed information on how to get started, you can read the Pantheon tutorial, “Launching a WordPress Site”.
And when you’re ready to take your site live, you only need to pay for that one. You can even invite and add your clients to join and let them pay for the project’s monthly or annual subscription plan.
Pricing for each Pantheon Plan depends mainly on the amount of pageviews that your site is going to get. It’s as low as $25 per month for 10,000 pageviews and as high as $400 per month for 1 million pageviews. For sites that goes over the million limit, you’ll have to contact Pantheon for that.
“The pricing is the same for WordPress and Drupal. We know that makes us more expensive than a lot of WordPress hosting, but we think our service offers a lot more value, and hopefully clients and customers should be able to see that too. If we save one developer hour a month, it should more than pay for itself,” Pantheon co-founder Josh Koenig wrote in an email to TechVise.
Understanding How Pantheon Works
To simply explain the overall inner workings of Pantheon, Koenig describes their platform as similar on how Heroku runs. Just like Heroku users, Pantheon users are on the exact same platform as everybody else.
Pantheon gives you the best set of professional web development tools that lets you focus on developing WordPress sites and deliver more value to your clients -- and without worrying about the infrastructure, traffic spikes, security, or web performance.
Each Pantheon development environment includes a dashboard that is equipped with these power tools:
Continuous integration workflow
Git and SFTP Mode
One-click deployment (on the same platform you used to build it)
Separate Dev, Test, and Live environments
One-click core updates
Git, Drush, Varnish, Redis
Automated WordPress updates
In your Pantheon Dashboard, you will find the Dev, Test, and Live environments. These separate workspaces allow you to develop and test your site without impacting the live site.
For a more detailed information, you can read the Pantheon Workflow. It’s important to note that some of Pantheon’s tutorials have Drupal as examples. There’s no need to worry as the Pantheon workflow is just the same for both CMS platforms.
Importing a WordPress Site into Pantheon
Any developer knows that moving a WordPress site to another server is a fragile process. However, in Pantheon you only need to do two things: first, use WordPress Duplicator for archiving, and second, let Pantheon import the archive for you.
Alternatively, if you’re comfortable in the command line and have ssh access to your old WordPress server, you can use a mysqldump to export the database and zip everything up into a single archive.
Once you have the archive file, store it in a place where you can retrieve it via a URL. You will only need to copy and paste the URL to import everything to Pantheon.
For a complete and detailed tutorial on how to import a WordPress site, read the Pantheon article, “Importing a WordPress Site”.
Scaling with Pantheon
Your WordPress site on Pantheon is capable of scaling a hundreds of millions of pageviews on day one. You won’t need to upgrade to VMs and server clusters.
To help websites scale, Pantheon uses a method called “containerization”, in which Pantheon simply adjusts the number of containers that are running.
“The containerization is much more nimble and much more efficient than virtual machines are. … If you have a bunch of virtual machines that are all running websites, they’re probably all running the same server software, using the same libraries, but they’re doing many copies of that for every virtual machine, whereas we have one host endpoint and that can share all the common binaries, all the common libraries, for all the containers that are located there,” Koenig explained in an interview by Brian Krogsgard of Post Status.
Equipped with the world’s first container-based infrastructure for professional WordPress websites, Pantheon handles massive pageviews like a drop in the bucket.
Getting Customer Support
Existing Pantheon users can attest that customer service from the Pantheon team is top notch. I can personally vouch for that as I am able to talk with the founders themselves.
Darren Ladner of Hyperdrive Designs says, “Their Customer Service is awesome. You can email the founders and top Officers of Pantheon directly, that should tell you something. These guys care about their product and care about their customers, Bottom Line! So if you are looking for some new WordPress specific hosting, give Pantheon a try.”
Partnering with Pantheon
If you own or are part of a website development shop or agency, Pantheon offers a Partner Program for you. Benefits include Pantheon One for Agencies; inclusion in the Partner Directory; live training through Pantheon Academy; and free Pantheon hosting for company and personal websites.
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