a guide to

Perch is a deceptively simple, yet powerful content management system. We focus our efforts on providing a great experience for designers building sites and for the clients and content editors who use them.

Perch does more than you might think

Your website might start out with just a few simple editable areas – but soon your client wants a blog, or a members-only area. With free Perch add-ons and the capability of the core product you won’t be left without a solution.

We aim to make the simple things simple – from a development point of view and for content editors. We don’t believe that making a few parts of your site editable should take more than a few minutes. However when the time comes to do something more complex, you’ll find that Perch has your back.

Perch speaks many languages

The entire Perch interface can be translated. Our community submit language packs for download but if your language isn’t already there, creating a new language pack involves editing a simple text file so you can create your own.

On the front-end of your site Perch is UTF-8 throughout and can handle RTL and non-Latin characters with ease.

Perch allows you to work your way

Designed from the ground up as a CMS for front-end developers we ship Perch without a WYSIWYG Editor as these editors invariably add some unwanted mark-up. Many Perchers enjoy being able to edit their sites using Markdown or Textile, knowing that no extra HTML will sneak in and break the design.

However we understand that sometimes you or your client needs such an editor and we’ve packaged up some popular ones for you to add to Perch.

Perch Support is here to help

When you are building a site for a client and something is stopping you making progress that is frustrating and could damage your relationship with that client. We are here to help with unlimited support included with your Perch license.

Ask a question in our forum if something is not working properly and we will help you as quickly as possible, getting you back to work.

Perch does not dictate your ...


You can design a site and then drop Perch in at the end of the process. You do not need to build your entire site using a framework to be able to use Perch – this makes it ideal for adding to existing sites. It also means you can continue to work in the way that you enjoy.


You have full control of your mark-up when using Perch by creating your own content templates. These can be as simple as a textarea or more complex such as contact information marked up using the hcard microformat or HTML5 microdata. The templates can use any mark-up that you like – you can even edit xml, json or other text files using Perch.

Simple Pricing

Perch costs £50 (+VAT where applicable) per site. There are no ongoing costs and support is free and inclusive. All official add-ons are free for license holders. The currently available add-ons include a blog, event calendar, shop plugin, image gallery, membership area and more.

£50 per website
excluding VAT
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Self hosted

Perch will run on any hosting that has PHP 5.3 or above and MySQL. Perch can be installed on Windows, OS X or Linux hosts and used locally on any operating system during development.

Develop in Xampp on Windows, MAMP on OS X, in a Vagrant VM … then deploy to the hosting you need to use. Just another way that Perch tries to help with the real world of running a design business.

Developer API

If you are a PHP developer then you can make use of our developer API. All of our first party add-ons are developed using the API and you can create your own bespoke functionality, taking advantage of the legwork we’ve already done.

About the Company

Perch is the flagship product of, a web development company located in Bristol, England. Company Directors Drew McLellan and Rachel Andrew are both industry experts and when not building web applications and adding new features to Perch they can be found writing and speaking on a variety of web development topics.

Our history

Perch will be 5 years old on 31st May 2014. The initial idea for Perch was to create something to use on our own projects at We had created a CMS framework for very large sites using the concept of content templates but sometimes needed to enable content editing on very small projects. We wanted to create something really quick and easy to deploy for those small, low budget sites.

The CMS market is very crowded however we felt we had something different. At the time the only real competitors were hosted products, and we knew that many people wanted to have control over the hosting of their CMS and not need to worry about the stability of the host or handover their FTP details to a third party. We entered the market promoting the core aims of the product – lightweight, quick to install, simple to use and enabling and promoting best practices in terms of output code.

Perch was bootstrapped and has received no investment funding. The product was profitable within 24 hours of launch and is now our main focus as a business. With no investors we can ensure that the decisions we make always have our customers at the centre.

With the launch of Perch 2 in July 2012 we have aimed to maintain the basic use case of a really little CMS but add features that enable sites to grow and continue to use Perch as their CMS.

Reviews & Feedback

Our Twitter favorites is a curated stream of lovely things our users have said about us.

Find out why People love Perch in our section detailing some of the ways people are delighting their clients using Perch.

Resources for Reviewers

If you want to review Perch then get in touch, we’ll be happy to provide you with anything that you need.

What are you waiting for?

Contact us at with any questions. You are welcome to try a demo by signing up here, demos expire after 72 hours but if you need longer we can extend the period of any active demo. Just email us with details.