FAQ

Frequently asked questions regarding traffic and overages.

Contributors: Jennifer Hoffman.

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Why doesn't Pantheon's traffic metrics match my other analytics?

Website traffic is an important indicator of a successful website. Analytics suites (e.g. Google Analytics, Similarweb, Mixpanel) each serve a different purpose from Pantheon’s Site Dashboard.

 Note

Google Analytics doesn’t count most bots and search engines because it's a metric of visitors and not data transfer. AJAX requests and other requests that aren't from a browser may not be counted because Google Analytics only counts actual pages loaded in a browser.

Pantheon tracks every single request to the platform. In contrast, analytics tools will typically only track complete "pageviews" on an HTML page containing a tracking snippet that can fire off a subsequent request to the analytics platform.

This table shows some of the reasons why traffic in the Dashboard may differ from your analytics suite:

Counts as TrafficCounts for Analytics
API RequestYesNo
Automated traffic from bots or load testingYesSometimes
Content pre-fetchingYesSometimes
Pages without a tracking assetYesNo
User closes browser before tracking loadsYesNo
User with adblocker enabledYesSometimes

Analytics implementations can be variable. It may be that your analytics solution isn't tracking all pages served for good reason. For example, you may exclude CMS administrators to give you a view of "visitors only."

Content pre-fetching increasingly plays a role in driving up traffic metrics without having the same impact on visitor-centric analytics. Speculatively loading pages in the background is a common tactic to improve the user experience on the web, which we support people using. However, this does generate more overall traffic from the perspective of the platform.

Will Pantheon warn me if my site has an overage?

Customers are responsible for monitoring their usage and overage risk using the Site Dashboard. Pantheon periodically reviews customer usage for overages across all plan levels and will contact you directly by email. If the change to traffic behavior exceeds your plan limit for any two months of traffic, your site will be moved to the next appropriate plan to help avoid further overages. These adjustments will be communicated via email.

Where can I manage my plan along with my site traffic?

Your Pantheon Site Dashboard includes site traffic, measured against your plan, and information on pages served and unique visits specifically. You can upgrade your plan from the Site Dashboard at any time.

How can I change my Performance plan if I need to scale up to handle more traffic?

You can upgrade your plan in the Site Dashboard at any time. Pantheon understands traffic levels may vary by season or event for some of our customers, but if you're experiencing sustained traffic that's higher than your plan limit, you can update your plan yourself.

We encourage all customers to take advantage of Traffic Limits and Overages, which prevents one-time traffic spikes from causing billing issues.

What about legitimate traffic spikes?

The internet can make any website famous overnight, and this may not be under your control. Pantheon's platform is designed to support such events, and it's one of the main reasons people choose us to run their sites. Luckily, traffic spikes are easily discernible and we take this into account when monitoring overages. Sustained traffic overages will continue to require an adjustment to your pricing plan as set out above.

What about load tests or penetration tests?

Load tests and other performance reviews of the Pantheon platform are generally prohibited by our AUP. Although it may result in significant traffic spikes, Pantheon fully supports customers choosing to load test their site (excluding the platform). Contact Pantheon Support prior to performing such tests to make them aware there will be an extraordinary event that should be considered.

If you identify an underlying issue that may affect the platform, please let us know. If an issue is identified with your codebase, Pantheon can recommend a Partner or connect you with our Professional Services team to help you with remediation.

What about Denial of Service and other attacks?

Malicious actors can create unplanned events in traffic, and this is not a fair measure of value a customer receives from our platform. We ask that customers help us identify and support the investigation of these issues. On a case by case basis, Pantheon may choose to waive overages in its judgment weighing factors such as how many clients are affected, to what degree could this have been addressed by customers, and how uniquely Pantheon is positioned to help our customers resolve these issues.

Malicious actors are different from unwanted traffic, which may be unique to a customer’s preferences for the targeted audience of their site. From a traffic measurement perspective, Pantheon is focused on omitting traffic that is objectively malicious.