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Last Reviewed: March 23, 2023

Requirements and Considerations

Components needed to get started with a Front-End Site.

Review this section carefully to ensure your system has the correct components to deploy a Pantheon Front-End Site.

General Requirements

  • You have the Front-End Sites tab enabled in your dashboard.
  • You are using Visual Studio Code (VS Code)
    • Other IDEs can be used, but our project ships with suggested plugins and example settings for VSCode.
Not what you're looking for?

Check out the Front-End Sites landing page to access all documentation for Front-End Sites.

Backend Requirements

The following components are required for your backend, especially if using the starter kits for Pantheon Front-End Sites:

  • Lando: An open source, cross-platform, local development environment, and DevOps tool built on Docker container technology.

    • Install the latest release of Lando. Lando ships with a recommended version of Docker Desktop if you do not already have it installed.
  • The following tools are included in the Lando VM, but can be useful to have installed for use without Lando:

    • PHP - An open-source, server-side programming language that can be used to create websites, applications, and more. It is a widely-used language that can be embedded in HTML. Install using Homebrew on Mac to not conflict with the PHP version that comes with your operating system.
    • Composer - Composer is a tool for dependency management in PHP. It allows you to declare libraries for your project and manages them for you.
    • Terminus - The command-line interface which provides advanced interaction with Pantheon. Terminus is needed to update build tools for a Front-End Site.

Front-End Requirements

As of the release of our V1 build pipeline, Front-End Sites runs can run v16, v18, or v20 of Node.js as specified in your package.json file.

Pantheon Front-End Sites Early Access (EA) program currently supports Gatsby and Next.js as frameworks. Additional frameworks will be added to our official support list over the coming months.

You can use frontend frameworks other than Gatsby and Next.js, however the process requires manual configuration. Refer to Use a Non-official Framework for specific instructions.

Known Issues and Limitations

  • Forks are not currently supported

  • A repo cannot be empty or site creation will fail

  • A repo cannot be connected to more than one Front-End Site

  • There are known issues around disconnecting and reconnecting a repo

  • There are known issues around the GitHub app and org level permissions

  • The caching recommendations outlined for use with our Next.js starter kits are currently only compatible with the Next.js Pages Router, not the App Router.

  • Incremental Static Regeneration (ISR) is not supported on the Pantheon platform. Like SSR, ISR renders individual pages on demand. However, ISR stores the results in an internal cache. This is a less efficient solution than using a CDN. Pantheon provides Global CDN to all Pantheon sites. The combination of SSR and a CDN solves the same problem as ISR in a more robust way.

  • Agency Partner Workspaces: you cannot currently share limited access with an agency partner. As a workaround, a shared workspace can be created. Agency team members can then be added directly to the owning organization that has Front-End Sites enabled.

  • The repository must have a package.json file

  • The repository can have only one lock file


    You cannot have a package-lock.json and yarn.lock file. You will receive an error message if you try to import a repository with both files.

Refer to the Known Issues and Troubleshooting section for more information.

Environment Variable Naming Restrictions

Variable names can include:

  • Uppercase letters
  • Numbers
  • Underscores

Variable names cannot include:

  • Special characters (other than underscores)

  • Lowercase letters

  • Commas

  • Reserved words. Reserved words include:

    • PORT
    • PANTHEON_*

Pantheon can use environment variables as the mechanism to opt-in to new enhancements like:

Site Naming Restrictions

Site names cannot include:

  • Periods
  • Underscores

Pantheon Product and Features Considerations

Pantheon Front-End Sites are not compatible with the following Pantheon products:

The following features are currently not supported with Pantheon Front-End Sites:

  • New Relic
  • Object Cache
  • Pantheon Search (Solr)
  • Automated, one-click core updates
  • Role-based access (RBAC)
  • Automated backup and retention
  • Anti-malware
  • Deployed patches and updates
  • SOC-2 Type 2 Audit
  • Network security/intrusion prevention
  • Self-service domain management
  • Active purging
  • Supporting Workspaces
  • Multizone failover
  • Multiregion failover
  • Log forwarding

Stable URLs

You can establish FQDN domains in Front-End Site environments using stable URLs.

An environment relates to every code change made against the Git repository that triggers a build. This build generates an internet-ready site.

Code change events that trigger a build include:

  • Push to branches
  • Opened pull requests

Pull requests from a Multidev branch that are made against the upstream will trigger double builds.

Types of Environments

  • Production environment

    • The production environment is the default branch of the repository
    • This environment corresponds to the following stable URL pattern: live-[site-name]
  • Multidev environment (based on integration branches)

    • Multidev environments are based on branches belonging to the upstream repository. This branch will have the prefix multi- in the branch name.
    • This environment has the following stable URL pattern: [branch-name]-[site-name]
  • Multidev environment (based on pull requests)

    • This Multidev environment is built from all opened pull requests against the upstream repository.
    • This environment has the following stable URL pattern: pr-[pr-number]-[site-name]

Stable URLs Template

Productionlive live-[site-name]
Multidev (based on branches)branch-name[branch-name]-[site-name]
Multidev (based on pull requests)pr-*pr-[pr-number]-[site-name]

Static Site Indexing

We recommend that you use proxy search requests to Solr instances on their backends. We also recommend that you use statically compiled search engines.

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