Pixeldust is a pleased to announce that we are now Pantheon Drupal Development Partner! We’ve been using Pantheon Hosting for almost a year now, and we are excited to sing their praises.
Site hosting is an often-underrated, but integral piece of every website. Hosting has a huge impact on site performance, and hosting can either cripple or empower your developers in doing their job. Some development issues are at the level of your site code, but when they’re at the hosting level, a good hosting development toolset and good support can save you time and money bugfixing.
There are plenty of hosts offering one-click Drupal installs and web development tools, but Pantheon’s Drupal Hosting is above-and-beyond the best Drupal solution we’ve used. Tailored to the specific needs of Drupal development, Pantheon provides an array of savvy features that’ll make your developers salivate.
One of the most striking and useful features is streamlined environment management. Each site comes with a Dev, Test, and Live environment.
Easily move files and database data between environments with just a click. The Test environment is truly innovative: want to know how your Dev changes will work on the Live site? Merge the code from Dev with the database from Live in this Test environment and ensure everything will work smoothly.
These three environments give developers an intuitive workflow to seamlessly test and transition new features from a dev environment to your live site. This means less down time and more confidence that new features won’t have unexpected consequences on your live site.
Pantheon makes it easy to manage code in whatever way is easiest and most appropriate for your development workflow. Offering both Git and SFTP connection modes, Pantheon easily integrates with a local Git repository, or supports development directly on your Pantheon Dev site. All files uploaded via SFTP are automatically queued as commits to your Pantheon Git repository, so version-control is built-in.
Multidev is another amazing Pantheon feature. With Multidev you can create parallel development environments where different teams can work independently and then merge their changes back into the master branch. Multidev offers more than just Git forking; a new Multidev fork creates a whole new dev instance with a full copy of your site, including your database, that you can manage through the Pantheon dashboard.
All this makes your code and workflow more stable: there is less room for development conflicts, version control is much easier, and your developers can spend their time developing instead of managing where code is or should go.
Unlike other hosts, Pantheon offers tools tuned specifically for Drupal development. These tools will help Drupal pros with what they know needs doing, and help developers that may not be familiar with Drupal to better understand Drupal’s best-practices.
Many hosts offer automated backups, but Pantheon’s are Drupal-specific, and can be created or restored with a click. Drush, an essential development tool, is automatically supported, and Pantheon offers a Status panel that evaluates your Drupal site for both issues and best-practices. Additionally, Pantheon uses Varnish caching for increasing site speed, and integrates with New Relic for performance management.
Creating or migrating a site on Pantheon is just as streamlined as their other features: they offer a simple interface to create a new site or import your code and content from an existing one. And Drupal core updates are a breeze – they are automatically made available to commit on your Dev site repository; from there you can test and commit to Test and Live.
With this suite of development tools available, you spend less time (no time!) configuring your server, have a wealth of site information immediately available for debugging, and generally, have easy workflows for all your hosting-related development tasks.
Pantheon not only saves time setting up, configuring, and moving things around, but it also ensures your dev-to-live workflow runs smoothly, and helps you develop within Drupal’s best-practices. We whole-heartedly recommend Pantheon to anyone doing Drupal development; once you try it, you’ll wonder how you ever developed without it.