Perch 3 has landed

We’re so excited to share with you the latest really little CMS

Perch 3 is here! We really are so excited to get the latest version of Perch and Runway into your hands. We’ve been working with our amazing Registered Developers over the last few months to get the beta ready for you, they really love it, and we hope you do too.

We will be writing posts over the coming week to share more detail on the many interesting features that are part of this release, however here are some headlines.

New user interface

We’ve tried to keep things Perch-like but the focus of the new UI has been to make mobile editing a far nicer experience. Enhancing that mobile experience has been the reason for many of the decisions made around the UI.

The new user interface is also key in terms of some of the things that will be rolling out in coming dot releases. Laying the groundwork for enhancements to Assts and much more.

Keeping Perch simple

For Perch we are aiming to really keep the Control Panel experience as clean and simple as possible, making small sites really quick and easy to deploy, and easy to edit.

Markdown and WYSIWYG editing

We’ve made a few changes in terms of how we ship plugins to Perch - there is a new default Markdown editor in SimpleMDE, Redactor is now bundled as the editor we suggest if you want to use an HTML WYSIWYG. Asset shortcodes have been implemented into our core editors so you can select and add images using the editors in addition to creating templates for them.

New Runway features

Runway users will find they have the ability to mange the menus - making it easier to prioritise the Control Panel navigation in larger sites with lots of Collections of content. Runway has also gained sorting of content - the start of a set of enhancements to help deal with large amounts of content in Collections.

The big Runway feature is the ability to use Perch Runway as a headless CMS. Perfect if you need to output content to be consumed by something else - such as a mobile app.

We also included a Collection Importer API to make it easy to get any sort of content into Runway.

New UI APIs for add-on developers

In addition to creating the new UI, we’ve developed new APIs to make it easier to make your custom add-ons fit right into Perch as if they were part of the core product. We’ll be sharing more details of that, including the pattern library used to develop the UI, in coming weeks.

How to upgrade

Upgrades from Perch 2 to Perch 3 will be free. We want everyone to be able to use Perch and Perch Runway 3 on their sites rather than needing to pay to make that transition. Perch 2 license keys will work in Perch 3 - no messing around.

In terms of technically upgrading from Perch 2 to Perch 3 there are a few small changes that need to be made. However it isn’t a lot more hassle than any regular update to Perch - just follow the instructions. If you have custom add-ons there will be a few more changes to make use of the new APIs, we’ll be happy to advise in support or pop into the Perch Slack and look for the Addon Developer room.

You’ll notice a few other changes around here

In terms of the Perch and Runway sites we are working to move common things that apply to both products - such as addons and your account to separate sites. This means that a lot of things have moved around on the Perch site. Please bear with us while we get the final few things into place. If you can’t find something or anything peculiar happens, please let us know and we’ll help you out. We’ll also be rolling out updated documentation and other things, however this isn’t a from the ground up rewrite, most things in terms of how you build for and use Perch remain exactly the same.

The demo is updated to Perch 3, and you can also see the UI in our all new video tutorial.

And, that one more thing …

For the first time in our almost eight year history there is a download button on the Perch website. You can now download and use Perch and Runway in Local Testing Mode and buy a license when you want to launch your site. We hope that will make your life easier in terms of developing with Perch, and also encourage people to try Perch for the first time.