As the experience was a total pleasure, I thought a blog post was not only on the cards, but also a compulsory duty.
“Everything you need while remaining the closest to a modern web designer’s workflow” is what I tweeted at Perch a couple of months ago. Still valid today, and for a good reason: the amount of markup needed to convert a static site to a CMS-supported format is minimal. Needless to say the time spent on that particular task becomes a breeze, so you can focus on what you’re (supposed to be) best at.
Perch is all custom fields
That’s right folks, Perch is entirely based around structured content and therefore every template is a collection of “custom fields”. To read more on the subject, check this oldish yet still valid blog post from Rachel.
I can only encourage you to take a look at the videos Rachel and Drew put up on their site. You will see by yourselves that adding the Perch layer on top of your newly-created site is THAT easy and simple.
The only advice I would give you is to really take the time to read the documentation. I made a bunch of mistakes in the early days of the project because of too much enthusiasm. I was too eager to get going with it I forgot to carefully plan my regions and ended up taking a good part of what I had done down, and replace it with what I was supposed to do in the first place.
A few things too valuable to miss:
Why not use WordPress
Don’t get me wrong, I love WordPress, it’s a fabulous tool. And getting a WP site up and running can be done quickly. This post is not intended to make you go off the open-source tool.
But let’s admit it. Custom theming a WP site from a static site is time consuming. And making the site perform as good as you’d like to see it is also resource consuming. Therefore having a simpler alternative to WordPress is a pleasure. And a massive option. That’s all.
Apps, plugins and more
Especially since Perch comes up with a ton of features. Apps, plugins, integration tools, the lot. Backup, Blog, Comments, Events, Forms, Gallery, Members, ecommerce (with Paypal or Foxycart), and translation into 9 languages are all being handled with/via Perch.
Think about it, how many of your latest projects would be needing more than that? Probably only a few would be necessitating the compulsory use of WordPress. More than likely for very specific reasons.
But it ain’t free, is it?
Perch isn’t free alright. The single license for one website (one license with staging and development instances) comes at the reasonable price of 50 quid (or €59). For your info, you’ll get 5 and 10-pack discounts. All pricing details here.
I can assure you: it is definitely worth the price. Include it in your quote, and give yourself (and your clients a favour). “Is that it?” is probably what your clients will tell you after having been shown around the perch admin interface.
Inexpensive, flexible and wickedly Simple.
A small CMS bound to get bigger, especially since announcing the future release of Perch Runway, the new edition of Perch allegedly designed for those bigger and more complex sites. Watch out for this.
So long folks.
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