Announcing Pantheon for Trainers

The first time I taught “Intro to WordPress” to a class of Girl Develop It students, it took me hours to get all 30 student sites setup. I had my own VPS so I could at least create as many sites as I wanted, but it was time consuming and took a lot of manual labor.

Steps to Create Student Sites on my VPS

  1. I had to buy a generic domain name and associate every site with a subdomain

  2. Create an account in cPanel with that subdomain

  3. Log in to their new account

  4. Create a database

  5. Create a database user

  6. Assign the new user full access to the new database

  7. Log in to their account via FTP

  8. Upload all the WordPress core files

  9. Navigate in my browser to their subdomain and run the WordPress installer

  10. Create a user account for the student and document that somewhere

  11. Enter credentials from the database I just created (and hope I don’t get any passwords mixed up)

  12. Ensure that any themes or plugins I wanted to teach about were installed

There Has to Be a Better Way

This 12-step process was time consuming and the worst part about it was managing database passwords and WordPress user accounts. I wanted to be efficient and would have 2-3 sites uploading WordPress files at one time, but that meant keeping tabs on credentials for all the sites I had in limbo.

Training day had its own hiccups. Last minute registrations meant I had to run through all 12 steps of this entire error-prone process in the few precious minutes before class began.

The first part of class was spent walking through the WordPress dashboard and where to find things. This was a breeze, so long as everyone’s credentials were correct. The afternoon section included themes and a little bit of coding. I gave FTP credentials to all of the students so they could log in and see what the file structure looked like. It turns out that 30+ users logging in at one time looked suspicious to my VPS, and our IP address would get blocked. Fixing this issue involved opening a support ticket. It was a nightmare and a major disruption to the class.  

Pantheon for Trainers logo

Announcing Pantheon for Trainers

Back in December, I wrote a post about using Pantheon as a tool for teaching. Pantheon was a major time saver for me personally, and it was clear that others could easily use our existing tools to do the same. This is why we are excited to announce Pantheon for Trainers, a program dedicated to supporting educators with their environment needs.

Now when I want to spin up 30 student sites for myself or a trainer in our program, I run a script that sets everything up in a matter of minutes. Here’s what happens:

  • A training org is created so the trainer sees all of the student sites in one place

  • Student sites are created (each with their own subdomain and dedicated environments)

  • Students are invited to join their new sites

Once each student has their site, they can easily initiate the WordPress (or Drupal) install and just enter their admin credentials and they’re ready to learn!

The thing I like most about Pantheon for teaching/training is the fact that our platform uses Git behind the scenes. Most of the classes I teach are for beginner developers and learning Git at their own pace—with a dashboard and user interface—is a really great way to learn.

There Is a Better Way

Save time and headache on your next class and sign up for Pantheon for Trainers today. We created Pantheon for Trainers to be the easiest way to teach Drupal or WordPress in the classroom. There’s no cost and you’ll be paired up with one of our Developer Advocates for personalized consultation beyond just running the script.

Pantheon chalkboard  

Pantheon for Trainers & Educators
Don’t waste time setting up development environments for your next class. Instead, focus on what you love: teaching. Learn about Pantheon for Trainers—it's all free and there's no obligation.

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Topics Drupal, Guides and Tutorials, WordPress

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