Category Archives: pantheon and wordpress: starting, migrating, or importing a site

part one of this tbd series deals with starting a brand new install from scratch on pantheon, or migrating an existing site (local or remote) onto patheon. but first:

a brief foray into pantheon terminology

pantheon has three main ways of categorizing your wordpress build. two make sense.

code: your entire file structure of your wordpress directory. basically everything except the database. oh, and, somewhat inexplicably, without the uploads* folder. you’ll need it, but i’ll get to that.
*located at wp-content/uploads

database: er, yeah, the database, in the form of an SQL dump.

files: here’s where it gets a little weird. for reasons that my cursory googling could only partially figure out (storage, size reasons), pantheon keeps everything normally in an uploads folder in a separate root directory called “files”. so that’s a thing.

Continue reading and wordpress: starting, migrating, or importing a site and wordpress: intro to a potential three-parter

disclaimer: i started writing this in december and then realized it was a lot more information than i thought (mo’ files = mo’ problems). so i split the info into three categories, but i haven’t written the latter two yet. the first is mostly ready so should be out soon. skip to part one


for the past three months, i’ve been using for my development process making a relatively small but almost entirely custom wordpress build. pantheon specializes in hosting and managing wordpress and drupal sites, and for me was mostly a good experience. for some quick tl;dr:


  • Git integration and insta-repo — push changes right from command line or your preferred Git client
  • handles all of your server needs and maintenance
  • somehow free for the first 15 sites
  • relatively easy to initialize and go between dev and testing environments (with a few caveats*)
  • sFTP options
  • one-click backups per-environment


  • setting up locally is a bit of a pain and docs are outdated
  • if you are migrating a large site, gear up your command line skills and pat yourself on the back for good luck
  • exporting a large site for the first time is similarly awkward
  • not really sure what’s happening with the database unless you export the whole thing and look
  • the git/sftp toggle makes updating wordpress & plugins a pain
  • if you’re not sticking with pantheon for the entire dev to live process, it can get a little…awkward, shall we say.

in the upcoming articles, i will (hopefully) outline:

  1. starting from scratch on or migrating a site to pantheon
  2. developing with pantheon
  3. exporting a site from pantheon

note that this article assumes a basic understanding of source control (specifically Git) and wordpress, and that i develop on a macbook pro so most of this will be with os x experience.

*stay tuned!