Perch is a really little content management system for when you (or your clients) need to edit content without the hassle of setting up a big CMS.
However there is more to Perch than just basic editing…
Perch costs $79 (+VAT where applicable) per site. All official add-ons are free for license holders. The currently available add-ons include a blog, event calendar, FoxyCart shop plugin and image gallery.
Perch has a developer API. The official add-ons are all built using the developer API and PHP developers can make use of the API to extend Perch and add their own custom functionality.
Perch will run on any hosting that has PHP 5.2 or above and MySQL. Perch can be installed on Windows, OS X or Linux hosts and used locally on any operating system during development.
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. See a video showing how to add Perch to an existing page.
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.
Small doesn't mean limited. Take a look at Perch Forms. A full HTML5 forms implementation backed up by serverside validation. Form responses can be sent by email or stored in the database and downloaded as a CSV ready for import into Excel or similar.
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.
We believe that WYSIWYG editors are a flawed concept and think that using structured content templates enables editors to concentrate on the content and not how it looks. Perch ships with the MarkItUp editor on the default templates to give basic text formatting ability. However, many users do want WYSIWYG and so the plugin architecture allows easy installation of your favourite editor - we even have prepackaged versions of some common ones.
When you pay for a product you should expect that entitles you to support when you need it. Many of our users have never installed a CMS before and we're here to help them get started with our documentation, forum and support ticket system.
Perch is a product developed by edgeofmyseat.com, a web development company located in Maidenhead, 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.
Perch was 3 years old on 31st May 2012. The initial idea for Perch was to create something to use on our own projects at edgeofmyseat.com. 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 a sizable and growing part of our 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.
Perch is used by design agencies, freelance web designers and also by developers integrated into larger applications for page content editing. Well known sites using Perch include Get Firebug and the Carsonified conference websites.
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