Pantheon for Agencies

When your website crashes on launch day it really sucks. It’s ridiculous to me that that still happens today as a regular course of business.

Every time a marketing team works with a web design firm, there is the usual painful and broken handoff between the outside agency and the technical operations of the client which culminate on launch day. So many things have to go right for your launch to be flawless: server configuration, load testing, and deployment. For our portfolio companies, this requires diverting senior DevOps engineers to ensure things go right, which of course comes at the expense of delivering and operating their product and even then there are no guarantees.

Our portfolio company Pantheon is fixing this. Today they are launching Pantheon for Agencies, which enables professional web designers and developers to standardize all DevOps for all of their clients and nail every launch every time. If you know anyone who designs or builds websites for a living they should know about it.

It includes Pantheon’s most developer loved features, their enterprise tools for managing teams and websites en masse, and lessons learned powering 85,000 Drupal and WordPress websites. It is available instantly to digital agencies and for free. Agencies that standardize their work on Pantheon are generating hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in additional profit by efficiency gains due to time saved by the Pantheon development and deployment tools.

Pantheon for Agencies gets everyone on the same page with a common set of management and testing tools for clients and their agencies. It makes handoffs seamless and it ensures everything just works the way you expect it to on launch day.

If I take a step back, it’s so clear to me how much the website market needs to change. Websites are a huge industry that is now bigger than digital advertising business, much of which is serviced by digital agencies (e.g. every web design, development, and digital marketing company on the planet.) Until now agencies have had to bear the responsibility of website DevOps for their customers by necessity. At the end of the day agency clients expect their website to work, even if it’s a server problem at 3AM on a client site that the agency last worked on six months ago.

Pantheon fixes this broken and frustrating dynamic. They enable digital agencies to walk into any customer at any scale and know they can nail the launch no matter how demanding the requirements.

Every digital agency should try Pantheon out – it’s free!

And yes – this site is on Pantheon and my friends at Young & Hungry who did the design and migration from my previous hosting hell are now experts at this.

  • Zach Rabin

    This is ingenious! From personal experience, one of the major issues here is that while there are a lot of very intelligent people working on getting a website up and running, the majority of them are not technically savvy on the operations/deployment aspects of the project.

    Pantheon for Agencies should solve that dilemma, but having not used it, I wonder if the settings are in layman’s terms so that someone on the marketing team understands them and can set things up correctly without having to pull in someone from DevOps, Hosting, etc.

    This may already exist, but in addition to helping on the deployment side, there should be a tool to help with debugging issues found by non-technical folk post-deployment. It feels like in many cases, the people finding the bugs do not have the ability to fix it and so people get pulled off product enhancements to fix website issues.

    • Jeff Pflueger

      Hi Zach,

      Well stated. Running a website these days is just too difficult – that is the problem we are addressing. It is 2015 and in our opinion a majority of websites are managed like it is 1995. WordPress and Drupal are collectively the most popular content management systems in the world. Their popularity is continuing to explode. Why? Because they make it far easier for the non-technical to manage their websites. Pantheon takes it a huge step forward and provides a modern platform to support WordPress and Drupal and removes even more complexity.

      That said, for complex sites there will always be the need for somebody technical – to fix bugs, etc. Our goal is to free those people up from the stuff that we don’t think anyone needs to do anymore – like managing complex workflows, putting out server fires, spending weekend nights putting out fires from the latest security vulnerability. With all of that handled, the modern agency can focus on the important stuff. And the important stuff is much safer and easier to accomplish on a modern managed platform instead of some custom something or other somebody built to run the website.

  • Rick

    Been kinda’ slow around here Brad. What’s up with that?



    • Sarah


  • Devops and workflow management around Drupal and WordPress sites is a huge problem and from my interactions with Pantheon they’re doing a great job tackling it.

    A lot of people are shocked that large enterprises still pay for closed source, “enterprise” CMS solutions when things like Drupal exist. But then you try to explain to an IT department how to setup an EC2, keep up with updates, and do the manage dev->stage->prod workflows and all of a sudden you understand.

    • Zachary Rosen

      Thanks Ashish. We obviously agree 🙂

      Before Pantheon my co-founders and I specialized in on-premise Drupal DevOps deployments as consultants. We built basically the exact same stack 15X for enterprises some times at the cost of up to $1M / 1 year of effort. That got really boring, and it became pretty obvious website management tech should “just work” — and that’s how we got started on Pantheon.

  • Sent this to a couple agencies I know. I see other startups like Trello getting traction as digital ways to collaborate more efficiently. Good to see. Feeds into the coworking trend.

    • Thanks!

    • Zachary Rosen

      Thank you so much!

  • benbuie

    This looks really cool. We’ve been using WP Engine for some of the benefits Pantheon provides, but their git integration is lacking. They also don’t have automatic scaling or launch check.

    I signed up for an account and just launched a WordPress site. It was really easy.

    Does anyone know if they thought through some of the issues of database differences from dev->staging->production that WordPress sites sometimes have.