Launch Checks

Part seven of our Launch Essentials guide covers launch checks to perform before going live.

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Enable and Schedule Weekly Backups

  1. Click Backups on the Dev tab of your Site Dashboard then click Backup Schedule.

  2. Toggle to Enable if needed, then pick the day you want to create weekly backups on and click Update Weekly Backup Schedule.

  3. Repeat these steps for the Test and Live environments.

For more information on this feature, see Backups Tool.

Enable and Test Email Plugin/Module (Optional)

If your site will be sending outgoing email, we strongly recommend using a third-party email service provider. See Email on Pantheon for more information.

 Note

Some email solution providers (like Sendgrid) may implement a waiting period before upgrading to a paid plan, to combat malicious email. If you're switching email providers as part of your launch, make sure to research plan for this if applicable.

Review Status Reports

Launch with confidence by taking advantage of Pantheon's static site analysis service for Drupal and WordPress.

  1. Access the Live environment in your Pantheon Site Dashboard.

  2. Navigate to the Status page.

  3. The automated report will check for exploited patterns in code, shows database stats, reveals PHP errors, and much more.

For more information on what is included in these checks and how they work, see Drupal Launch Check and WordPress Launch Check.

Shoot for all green, but at the very least be sure and fix all errors and review every notice.

Level Up: Maximize Performance by Configuring Cache (Optional)

Ready to launch like the pros?

Since you're in fixin' mode, take some time to optimize performance using Object Cache (formerly Redis) and Pantheon's global CDN.

Enable Object Cache

Pantheon's Object Cache (formerly Redis) provides an alternative, drop-in caching backend for your website, taking that work off the database, which is vital for scaling to a larger number of logged-in users. It also provides a number of other nice features for developers looking to use it to manage queues, or do custom caching of their own.

All plans except for a Basic plan can use Redis. Redis is available to Sandbox plans for developmental purposes, but Redis will not be available going live on a Basic plan.

Configure Caching

Maximize performance on Pantheon by configuring your site's performance settings.

Serving anonymous traffic from virtual memory allows a cached response to be returned to the browser without needing to access the application container, which in turns frees up resources to build more dynamic requests.

Test Cache

Follow the steps below to test whether or not a page is being served from Pantheon's Global CDN by examining the HTTP headers from a response using curl.

  1. Examine the headers through the command line:

    curl --head https://pantheon.io/docs
    HTTP/2 301
    content-type: text/html
    location: https://pantheon.io/docs/
    server: nginx
    strict-transport-security: max-age=31622400
    x-pantheon-styx-hostname: styx-fe2-a-5d96768699-vcdvh
    x-styx-req-id: b7b8d4d2-04d9-11ec-a467-9a05fab906d1
    cache-control: public, max-age=86400
    date: Tue, 24 Aug 2021 15:30:21 GMT
    x-served-by: cache-mdw17379-MDW, cache-ewr18124-EWR
    x-cache: HIT, HIT
    x-cache-hits: 1, 1
    x-timer: S1629819022.932985,VS0,VE1
    pantheon-trace-id: be58e6a03a904fbfa64515ee136ffd34
    vary: Cookie, Cookie
    age: 9654
    accept-ranges: bytes
    via: 1.1 varnish, 1.1 varnish
    content-length: 162

    Note the result for age or max-age.

  2. Navigate to the site's Dev environment and set the site to Maintenance Mode.

  3. Clear the cache from either the Advanced Page Cache module or from the Dashboard.

  4. In a terminal, cURL the site headers filtered for stale cache:

    curl --head https://pantheon.io/docs | grep PContext-Resp-Is-Stale

    If the response headers include PContext-Resp-Is-Stale, the page has been successfully served from stale cache.

  1. Navigate to the page using Firefox or Chrome, and in the browser's developer tools open the Network tab.

    Find the response headers for the page or asset.

  2. Go to the site's Dev environment and set the site to Maintenance Mode.

  3. Clear the cache from either the Advanced Page Cache module or from the Dashboard.

  4. Go back to the page and Developer Tools, then refresh the page for the newest header responses.

    If the result includes PContext-Resp-Is-Stale, the page has been successfully served from stale cache.