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Prepare for Launch

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    Manage Drupal Sites with Pantheon Prepare for Launch Addison Berry
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    So now we need to prepare our site
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    for launch on Pantheon.
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    So let's take a look at what that's going to be involving.
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    In this lesson, we're going to start off by outlining the steps
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    that are required to launch your site, on Pantheon in particular.
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    You have a couple of steps you've got to go through here,
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    and then we'll move into some details on the first step,
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    which is just preparing your site, which is very much like preparing
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    your site normally, although there are a few extra tools
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    and things that Pantheon gives you which are really handy,
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    and you should make sure that you use those.
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    To actually get your site launched, you need to obviously prepare the site, and again,
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    this is very much just your normal testing and checking your performance things
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    and making sure that your site is actually ready for live action.
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    Once you have your site in the live environment
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    and you feel like you're ready to go,
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    then you're going to select the payment plan
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    for this particular site,
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    and that'll get you access to the additional settings
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    that you need to make it real, as it were.
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    So once you've selected the payment plan, you can then schedule your backups,
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    and you can actually add the domain name,
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    set up your DNS, set up SSL, those kinds of things.
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    Those are the final steps that actually will get your site out there
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    so that people can access it on the web.
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    So in this presentation, we're just going to walk through
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    the basics of preparing your site— this is a basic checklist,
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    and you'll see that there are links to much more detailed documentation
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    in these slides, so I'm just going to kind of cover
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    the main points to make sure that you have a basic checklist
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    available to you.
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    So first thing, you want to make sure that you update all of your code—
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    so core, your contrib modules, all those things should be up to date
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    and using the most stable versions that are available.
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    Update settings to redirect to a common domain.
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    This has to do with things like having www
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    and the not www both being available.
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    Often, what you want to do is redirect
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    one of those to the other, so kind of an SEO thing
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    and it also just makes things cleaner and simpler.
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    So you'll want to make sure that you check your DNS settings
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    with that to make sure that you've got—
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    normally, you would have www just redirect to the plain domain name.
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    And then you're going to pull your code up to the live site,
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    and then you need to start testing and optimizing it
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    before you actually launch it publicly.
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    So let's talk a little bit more about testing and optimizing,
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    because it's really important and there are a number of steps involved
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    with that one.
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    So some of the easy wins right off the top here to get started
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    and set the stage, as it were, you want to disable
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    any development modules you have, like, say Devel.
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    There's no reason for that to run on a live site
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    and it can just cause extra complications.
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    If you're doing things like Views, once the site's live,
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    you really probably don't want people using the Views UI
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    to change things, so you might want to disable Views UI
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    or other UI modules for different projects that are out there
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    so that people won't make changes on the live site.
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    So you can disable those. There's no reason to have them there.
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    And then you want to enable New Relic for performance monitoring,
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    and just keep in mind, New Relic,
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    like the basic, light level, is free,
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    and Pantheon just will set that up for you automatically.
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    You just need to enable it for the site, and boom,
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    it will set that up, and then you can start seeing
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    some of the stats that you're getting from the monitoring
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    that will help you figure out where you might be having performance problems.
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    Now with that stuff in place, let's actually start doing some optimizing.
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    First, you should optimize your Drupal site
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    before you get into anything on the server level.
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    So there are a number of performance settings
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    in your Drupal configuration.
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    So basically, you want to check your caching settings,
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    make sure you have caching on and what your expiration
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    and lifetime settings are at, and then also just make sure
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    you turn on Aggregate CSS and JavaScript.
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    These are often turned off during development,
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    because it's easier for development, but on the live site,
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    make sure you have those on.
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    Now, the next step is another handy tool that is provided
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    for free by Pantheon, which is Varnish.
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    So Varnish is an HTTP accelerator.
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    Basically it's going to cache stuff for you.
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    And so what it can do is serve up
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    static content or anonymous pages without having to necessarily hit
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    the server, and so that's going to greatly increase your performance.
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    And it's free, so you should enable Varnish
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    and then begin testing once you have those things in place.
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    You want to verify that Varnish is actually working.
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    So there's some, in the documentation noted here,
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    that URL, there are specific steps that will walk you through
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    how to do these things.
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    So you want to verify that Varnish is actually working,
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    and then you want to time your uncached pages.
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    So anything that's not getting taken care of by Varnish
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    or being cached by Drupal, what does that really look like?
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    And then you can also use a tool
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    called AB, which stands for Apache Benchmark.
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    There are other tools out there, too.
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    This is for load testing, so this is going to tell
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    if your site can scale. Can you take a whole bunch
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    of concurrent users hitting your site at the same time?
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    So there are a bunch of tools. Apache Benchmark
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    is a very simple tool from the Apache Foundation,
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    which is really great to use for this kind of thing.
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    So just to sort of summarize, we went through the steps
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    to launch your site on Pantheon. So the first step,
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    which we covered in this presentation,
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    is just preparing your site for launch and going through and checking off
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    all the boxes and making sure you're actually ready.
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    Then you're going to need to pick the payment plan
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    for this particular site, and then once you've done that
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    is when you can set up things like your domain name
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    and your backups and all of the things that are going to be required
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    for an actual live site that's out there.

Prepare for Launch


With everything on your site ready to go, the final step to a successful project is to launch it! In this presentation we'll outline the steps you'll need to take to get your site out in public, using your domain name. The Live environment has a public URL and technically your site is "out there" but it is using a subdomain of Pantheon. To set up your own domain and really launch the site, you'll need to make sure you're ready to launch and sign up for the right plan. In addition to reviewing the different plans, with guidance on how to pick the right one, we'll walk through a Drupal launch checklist to avoid common mistakes.

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