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  • CMS Hosting Platform

    The CMS Hosting Platform (CHP) service is a cloud-hosted CMS management platform for University of Texas at Austin developers. It offers the ability to develop and host WordPress and Drupal sites using custom distributions that include university-branded themes, and other custom functionality.

    CMS Hosting Platform is based on the Pantheon website management platform. Once authorized to access the service, developers can create sandbox sites using one of the available Wordpress or Drupal distributions. Please refer to the Site Owner Responsibilities, under Service Level Objectives section below, before making your request.

    To request a developer account, click the "Request" button. See the "How to request CMS Hosting Platform Service" article for more details.

    Once a developer is ready to launch a production site, they may contact the Web and Consulting Services team to create a hosting agreement. See the "How to convert a Pantheon sandbox to a live site" article for more details.

    Available to:Faculty and Staff
    • Dev, Test, and Live environments for each site, with web-based user interface for syncing content and files between environments
    • Automated deployment tools for managing releases
    • Built-in version control using Git
    • Automated and on-demand backups via site dashboard
    • New Relic Pro Application Performance Management (APM) tool integrated into site dashboard
    • "Multidev" option for creating ad-hoc environments to stage new features in development
    • Team management tools for developers
    • UT Drupal Kit distribution available, including a UT-branded, responsive theme
    • WordPress for Texas distribution available, including a UT-branded, responsive theme
    • EID authentication available (ONLY WORDPRESS FOR TEXAS AND UT DRUPAL KIT)

    There are fees associated with this service:

    • Site Setup Fee: A one time $150 charge used for the work to provision the site and its SSL certificate. UTLogin SAML integration is included in this fee (optional).
    • Site Migration Fee (optional): If a site needs to be migrated from an existing location to the CMS Hosting Platform, the hours for the Consulting Services team to perform the migration are billed using the current hourly rate of $110 per hour. A bid hours range is provided to the Business Owner and must be approved in writing by the Business Owner before work on this task commences.
    • Site Maintenance Fee: Can be provided in one of three ways (with ITS approval):
      • Automated$500 per year 
        • Automated process that regularly updates site upstream as well as plugins or modules. (Any work requested by the Authorized Signer / Site Owner that goes beyond these updates will be billed as site support hours. Hours booked against site support are billed monthly, as incurred, using FY19-20’s hourly rate of $110 per hour. )
      • Contract: Hours are billed monthly, as hours incurred, using the current hourly rate of $110 per hour.
      • Site Developer: No fee incurred.
        • The Site Owner designates a Site Developer. A Site Developer provides maintenance support and is responsible for keeping the site current and up to date. If the Site Developer does not keep the site current and up to date, the Consulting Services team may perform any required work and bill the Site Owner using the current hourly rate of $110 per hour.
    • Site Hosting Fee: Determined by the selection of a hosting plan and is based on estimated monthly site traffic: 

     FY 2019-2020 | September 1, 2019 - August 31, 2020

    Service PlanMonthly Traffic LimitsAnnual Fee

    25K visits 2

    125K pages served 3

    $ 300
    Performance Small

    25K visits 4

    125K pages served

    $ 1080
    Performance Medium

    50K visits

    250K pages served

    $ 1920
    Performance Large

    150K visits

    750K pages served

    $ 3900
    Performance Extra Large

    300K visits

    1.5M pages served

    $ 6480

    1. Sites exceeding their monthly limits may be subject to being upgraded to a higher level plan, but sites will NOT be automatically charged for overages without discussion from ITS and Pantheon

    2. Pantheon defines “Visits” as: “Total amount of unique traffic (IP and user agent) to your site in a 24 hour period, excluding known bots and crawlers.” 

    3. Pantheon defines “Pages Served” as: “Total number of responses generated by WordPress or Drupal that are served to a visitor. This includes cached

    responses and non-HTML responses such as JSON.”

    4. While the “Basic” and “Performance Small” plans appear the same in terms of monthly traffic limits, the Performance Small plan includes technical features intended for sites with higher performance needs, such as a higher number of PHP workers, the New Relic application performance monitoring tool, and Redis caching. For a full technical comparison of all site plans, please refer to


    Site Hosting Fees are prorated for the current fiscal year, and are charged via an Internal Direct Transfer (IDT) transaction at the time a Pantheon sandbox is converted to a live site. Sites will be automatically renewed into the same service plan at the beginning of each fiscal year unless ITS is otherwise notified.

    The selected service plan will remain in effect until either:

    • Business owner changes the plan or
    • Pantheon determines that the website is exceeding the monthly page view limit for the selected plan.

    In the case that the service plan is changed to a higher-level service plan, there will be an additional IDT to recover the balance of the higher cost for the remainder of the fiscal year. No reimbursements will be made and monthly charges will not be prorated.


    Service Level Objectives

    Key Metrics

    • Content delivery availability: 99.9% according to Pantheon's elite SLA
    • Content editing availability: 98.9%

    Please note this SLA is dependent on other campus SLAs and is adjusted as those change.

    Intended Users

    • External users for CMS Hosting Platform are students, faculty, staff, parents, the press, and the public at large. External users are able to view publicly accessible content at all times.
    • Internal users for CMS Hosting Platform are staff, faculty, and personnel from university colleges, schools, and departments who act as web developers for the university.

    Technical Support

    Both Tier 1 and Tier 2 technical support is available during normal business hours, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., to handle routine requests. Urgent after-hours support is available to internal users for website outages or other issues that require immediate attention.

    All requests for technical support will be logged using the ITS centralized ticketing system or issue-tracking tool. External users should start with Tier 1 technical support. Internal users should start with Tier 2.

    • Tier 1: Any user can call the UT Service Desk at 512-475-9400. External users should send an email message to the UT Service Desk at, which will create a support ticket. Routine requests are typically addressed within one business day. The UT Service Desk may escalate issues to Tier 2 staff.
    • Tier 2: Any user can call the UT Service Desk at 512-475-9400. Internal users may send an email message to to reach Tier 2 support directly for service requests that do not require immediate attention.

    Urgent Support for Internal Users

    For website outages and other issues requiring immediate attention (less than 4 hours), internal users should send an email message to and follow up with a phone call to the UT Service Desk at 512-475-9400 to ensure proper escalation of the ticket.


    ITS will notify customers about both scheduled and unscheduled maintenance using the Alerts and Outages page or internal-user distribution lists. Services may not be available during maintenance periods. ITS will notify external users using a maintenance notification on the ITS website.

    • Scheduled Maintenance: There is no regularly scheduled maintenance window for this service.
    • Unscheduled Maintenance: Tasks that require service downtime will be announced as soon as possible on the Alerts and Outages page and to internal users via internal-user distribution lists.
    • Change Notification: ITS will notify the university community of service availability and service delivery issues via the Alerts and Outages page.

    Site Owner Responsibilities

    All users agree to be aware of and adhere to the university's Acceptable Use Policy.

    Site owner responsibilities:

    1. Assign and maintain an on-site departmental technical contact (liaison) for ITS. This contact is the person to which questions and issues will be raised about technical and functional requirements. This person is also responsible for ongoing maintenance and support for the website, including (but not limited to) updates to Drupal or Wordpress and modules/plugins. Note that this responsibility may be delegated to ITS Contract Services under the scope of a separate agreement, or an external vendor.
    2. Develop websites using the Drupal or WordPress CMS on Pantheon's website management platform.
    3. Build site content (text, images, etc.) using the CMS administrative interface.
    4. CMS Hosting Platform is approved for hosting Controlled data and Confidential (FERPA) data by the University Information Security Office. See the University ISO Policies on Cloud Services for details.  For more information on University Data Classifications, see
    5. Communicate with UTNIC as needed to request Domain Name Service (DNS) changes for the website.
    6. At least once per quarter, review authorized users for the site and de-authorize or remove accounts for users who no longer require access to the site.
    7. Agree to comply with the following UT Austin standards and policies: