Perch is a great lightweight CMS for web design companies to use in their projects, as well as a handy way for individuals to manage the sites they’re passionate about.
You can get started with Perch without creating any special templates or needing to change the way you build sites. Simply add a Perch include to any page where you want to manage the content and then add Perch content tags to places where you would like to make content editable. You add Perch to your pages rather than it taking over your entire site.
The default content templates included with Perch will be all you need to publish content on many sites – but these are fully editable with a basic knowledge of HTML if you want to publish other kinds of content.
Take a look at our editing basic content tutorial video to see this in action.
There are no on-going license costs to use Perch. Pay a one-off low cost per site that you wish to install Perch on and you then install the software on your server.
Any updates to the version you purchase are made available to you free of charge. So buying version 2 gets you updates to version 2 (2.1, 2.2 etc) at no cost.
There are no monthly fees, no extra fees for additional users (you can have as many users as you like) and no add-on charges for features such as adding your own colours or logo.
Just one simple price per site.
Although each license is for only one website, you can change that site at any time. This means that if you change your mind about using Perch for a particular site, you can just change the domain and use it for the next project that comes along.
There are no limitations on the number of times you can change the domain for a license.
The Perch admin interface can be customized with a logo and colours. This can help your client to feel the system is fully part of their site and gives a professional feel to the whole product you are selling them.
As part of the installation process, you can rename the folder that Perch lives in, so your client can log in at something of your choosing like /admin or /cms if you wish, rather than the default location of /perch.
There is also an option to turn off all Perch branding, which hides things like the credit link in the footer of the admin pages, and suppresses any software update messages.
Perhaps you already have sites that you would like to make editable. Perch doesn’t need any special templates created out of your pages and so you can simply go through an existing site replacing blocks of content with Perch tags to make that site content managed.
Just drop in the PHP tags, refresh the page in your browser, and the regions show up ready to be edited.
This process is illustrated in the editing basic content video.
Every Perch license comes with the ability to set three locations where your site might be run. This means that you can develop the site locally, deploy to a testing server, and then only put it to the final domain once you’re ready. You can see this in action in the installation video tutorial.
What’s more, you control these settings via your account on grabaperch.com and you can update them whenever you want.
Perch installs on your own web server so you always keep control of your data and the FTP details for your site. There is no reliance on a third party service being available when using Perch – you keep all the control.
Having introduced a client to a CMS, the last thing you want is for things to change unexpectedly. Perch runs on your own server, so you can choose when to upgrade. If there are any changes, you can make sure the whole team are expecting them before they happen.
As Perch is installed on the same server, you don’t have to worry about relying on third-party services which may be discontinued or change in a way that no longer fits your needs. Once Perch is installed, it’s right there and there’s no worry of it going away.
Perch uses PHP 5.2 or up and MySQL (4.1 or greater), so it’s easy to get up and running on a basic shared hosting account. We have tried to ensure Perch will work on standard hosting configurations and on your own local computer for testing – whether you run Windows, OS X or Linux.