Take Advantage of Pantheon's Multiple Environments

Pantheon provides three environments for each site: development ("dev"), testing ("test"), and live.

The development environment is where you will upload/install new modules and apply updates available on your dashboard. The test environment is a good place to experiment and test the new code against your latest content. The live environment is what drives your live website.

You can use Pantheon's "Database / Files" tab in order clone the database and/or files between environments as needed.

Pantheon help page:...

Recommended Workflow

Recommended: Use Git

If you're comfortable with Git, we recommend that you keep your site in Git mode all the time and use it to keep your modules, plugins, and themes up to date. If you are not using Git, you will need to use SFTP or the Drupal or WordPress web interface to update non-core code.

Pantheon help page: Starting with Git

Alternative: SFTP workflow


Updating Drupal or WordPress Core

When a Drupal/WordPress core update is available, it will appear on your Pantheon dashboard in the development environment. At times there will be other code updates such as changes to Pantheon-supplied enhancements. If you installed starting with a distribution, you may also see distribution updates on the dashboard. See Recommended Workflow.

Pantheon help page:...

Keep Your Pantheon Site Up to Date

All Drupal and WordPress sites should have a designated technical contact to receive notifications of security and other code updates.

You or someone on your team will need to be able to apply code updates, test them, and push them to your live site using Pantheon's dashboard.

We recommend that notifications be sent to a departmental account or mailing list, instead of or in addition to a personal email address.

Schedule Automatic Backups

We recommend scheduling automatic daily backups for your live environment. You may also want to schedule them for your dev and test environments.

Pantheon help pages:

Backup Creation Restoring an Environment from a Backup


Working within Security Restrictions on your Computer

Site managers who work in highly-sensitive campus units may not be able to connect via Git, SSH, drush, or SFTP to outside services due to security restrictions. Pantheon is unable to provide fixed IP addresses, so it is not possible to add firewall exceptions for individual sites.

Other site managers may not be able to install the required software clients on their computers.

In either case, you can still accomplish the most common development tasks using the Pantheon dashboard and the Drupal site interface in your browser....

Creating a New Release of your Site

At some point you may wish to redevelop your Pantheon site. You can take advantage of Pantheon's multiple environments by doing your new work in the dev environment. However, you will not be able to apply updates to your live site without also pushing up all of your new code.

You can also create a new dev site and do all of your development independently. You can start from scratch or start by exporting your old site and importing it to create the new one.

Experienced developers might be interested in Pantheon's multidev feature, which allows multiple development branches....

Updating Modules and Themes

When you receive notification that an update is available, you will need to apply security updates to the applicable modules and themes as soon as possible. See Recommended Workflow.

Pantheon help pages:

Starting with Git ...