Wildfire Ideas is a multidisciplinary marketing agency helping clients achieve digital excellence since 2012. With a history of working on Cold Fusion, AWS and Liquid Web, the agency eventually adopted WordPress. 

When their number of client sites grew to 120, Wildfire Ideas turned to Pantheon in search of a partner that could help them gain business velocity with enterprise clients. 

“Having a managed code workflow changed everything. Originally, we didn’t have clients that demanded that kind of accountability, but once we found Pantheon, we discovered clients that were at that level,” said Matt Rowland, Chief Digital Officer at Wildfire Ideas.

Playing in the Big Leagues

Pantheon’s technology allowed the agency to finally focus on scaling its business footprint. One of the biggest wins arrived in the form of developer onboarding. Before Pantheon, training a new hire meant hours taken away from client projects. 

Now, a new developer can learn the full Pantheon workflow in about one hour – from safely experimenting in Multidev environments to making site changes in bulk via Pantheon’s system for governing site portfolios Custom Upstreams

Rowland added that Pantheon made it easier for a new developer to be added to a project. Previously, it could take hours of support tickets and manual searching just to understand how to access the code and get the local development environment up and running. Working with Pantheon has eliminated that manual process and paved the way for developers to start working on a site immediately, even if it’s something they haven’t touched before.

The combination of Multidev and the Dev, Test, Live workflow created a structure that allowed Wildfire Ideas to improve collaboration across their team while also having guardrails needed for more experimentation. As their discipline around projects grew, so did the size of their clients. 

We were used to doing things on the fly, still making quick fixes on the server live. We didn’t have a very mature WebOps discipline and taking the time to implement one felt like a lot of extra work. We found that all the things we were skeptical about Pantheon in the beginning turned out to be critical to our long-term success.”  

Matt Rowland, Chief Digital Officer, Wildfire Ideas

With over 120 websites to manage, maintenance and updates would take hours of precious developer time – the time everyone at Wildfire Ideas would rather spend on creative solutions for their clients. The web team was excited to offload the routine CMS updates to Pantheon’s Autopilot

“Autopilot has been huge. We are now able to focus on sites, not servers, and retain all the control that comes with owning our code,” shared Rowland.

Security for Enterprise WordPress

With big clients came big questions. Offered to move to WordPress, the agency’s customers had security concerns based on older perceptions of the open source platform.

Rowland’s developer team was quick to point out that most of the hearsay WordPress issues resulted from less-than-ideal hosting platforms.

“Security was a big pain point before Pantheon, but now we can just send people to Pantheon’s security page, and they immediately feel more confident about working with WordPress. In six years of working with Pantheon on over 100 sites, we only had one issue with downtime, and it was resolved within an hour.” 

Matt Rowland, Chief Digital Officer, Wildfire Ideas

Wildfire Ideas is a digital marketing agency with a passion for shattering every negative stereotype people have about working with a marketing agency. As a trusted Pantheon partner agency, Wildfire understands how to deploy high-quality, custom WordPress solutions at scale on the Pantheon platform. Please contact them today to discuss your next project.


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