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My top five reasons for using Perch as a CMS

Posted on by Clive Walker in Web Development Perch

In 2009, I described the (then) recently launched Perch content management system in this post. Since that time, I’ve used Perch on 6-7 sites so I thought I’d share why I like it.

  1. Perch allows you to build a site using the (X)HTML that you think is best. Then, you add the appropriate Perch PHP code that ‘allocates’ a section of HTML code and content to the Perch system. For me, this is great because it means that my workflow doesn’t change significantly and it also means I can ‘retrofit’ Perch to pretty much any HTML site. I have quite a few clients with small brochure-style sites so this last reason is more and more important.
  2. Perch can be installed very quickly. Perch is installed in less than an hour in its basic form.
  3. Add-on functionality. As well as the HTML/content allocation process in 1 which, in effect, is a modularisation of your HTML and content, Perch has a range of add-ons that extend the system (and that are also easy to install). This ‘functionality modularisation’ makes the system very powerful whilst retaining a simple and easy-to-use control panel/admin area.
  4. Editor choices. Perch gives you a choice of textarea editor in the admin (as well as providing simple text and other input fields for editing content) and this flexibility is a good approach to a sometimes problematic area. Yes, developers love Markitup and its Textile text-to-HTML conversion and Perch provides this by default. However, I’ve yet to find a client who likes or understand this. My choice is to use CK Editor which Perch provide as a plugin (together with TinyMCE). I configure CK Editor (one block of code) to provide a very simple editor interface with as few tools as possible for clients. And, in most cases with “Paste As Plain Text” as the only Paste option. It’s just easier for everybody that way.
  5. Add Help tips for clients in the admin area. Perch allows the developer to add a Help text block at the top of any editing region in the admin. This can be customised for each content area for the client. There are two other ways of providing Help for clients in the admin as well.

One more reason:

Great support. I’ve found the support section of the Perch website very easy to use, the documentation easy to read, and the forums a useful repository of information (from other Perch users). In addition, any of my questions on the forum have been answered very quickly.

Recent sites where I’ve used Perch include Horsham Pub Guide (news section/blog and other content areas), BHP Plastics (the whole site including lightbox-style gallery), Pointe Rocks (content areas), and Essex Independent Care Association (news items).

I’m planning to use Perch on more sites over the next few months!

Info Perch is built by UK web development agency Edge of My Seat. It costs £42 for a single domain license (includes a testing domain). All add-ons are free.

Comments

  • 07 Oct 2011 12:51:00

    I loved this post, more because it does not brag jargon, which are not understandable. It is simple, crisp and point specific. Additionally it was a DIY guide which is more cost effective than any other methods. Great Tips – Keep it Coming!

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