On-Server Dev, Part 1

In part eight of our Quick Start guide, learn about on-server development on Pantheon.

Discuss in our Forum Discuss in Slack

In this lesson, we’re going to work directly on the server. We’ll make changes to our Dev site, review them on our Test site, then deploy them to Live.

Watch the video:

Try it yourself:

  1. Navigate to Code in the Dev tab of your Site Dashboard. Confirm your Connection Mode is set to SFTP.

  2. Now log in to your Dev site by clicking the Site Admin button.

  3. Install a new theme (i.e., do not activate/enable a theme that came pre-packaged with your site).

If you need help with this step, please reference the WordPress Codex or Drupal Documentation for installing a new theme.

  1. Activate/enable the new theme you just installed in Step 3. Now view your site to confirm the theme change.

  2. Return to the Dev tab of your Site Dashboard. The files you just added are highlighted.


    You may need to refresh your dashboard to see these files in your Dev environment.

  3. Add a commit message, then click Commit to add these files to your Dev environment.


    In the Dev environment, you can’t make a commit without first adding a commit message.

    Ok, now let’s review the new theme in your Test environment.

  4. Navigate to the Test tab and click Deploys . As you can see, 1 commit is ready to deploy from the Dev environment.

  5. Let’s review the new theme with the new content we added in the Live environment. Check the box for Pull files and the database from the Live environment.

  6. Again, consider creating a backup before proceeding:


    As intended, the following action will overwrite your Test database and files. If you skipped this backup task you will be unable to recover this data hereafter.

  7. Add a Deploy Log Message (optional), then click Deploy Code from Development to Test Environment.

  8. When the deployment finishes, click Site Admin to navigate to your Test site. Here you’ll notice that your theme is installed, but not active/enabled. You’ll also find that your content has been pulled “down” from Live.

  9. Activate/enable your theme. Again, if you need help with this step, please reference the WordPress Codex or Drupal Documentation.

  10. Review your Test site. Does everything look correct? If yes, navigate to Deploys on the Live tab of your Site Dashboard.

  11. Add a Deploy Log Message (optional), then click Deploy Code from Test to Live Environment.

  12. When this is finished, you’ll again need to activate/enable the new theme on your Live site.

Congratulations! You just performed on-server development. You made changes on your Dev site, reviewed them on your Test site, then deployed them to Live.