Announcing Perch and Perch Runway 3

Perch – the original Really Little CMS – is now well over 7 years old as a product, and Perch 2 was launched in July of 2012. Perch Runway, designed as a developer-friendly version of Perch is now 2 years old. Today we’re announcing the news we’ve been keeping under our feathered hats, Perch and Perch Runway 3 are on the way.

What happened to 2.9?

Perch 2.9 quickly became an internal code name for Perch 3. We realised that the types of changes we were making really fit with this being a major version of the product. Anything we have mentioned as being “part of 2.9” is essentially in this Perch and Perch Runway 3 release.

What are the headline features?

For the launch of Perch and Perch Runway 3 we have concentrated on a few key areas.

Greater differentiation between products

Perch will be more clearly true to it’s roots as The Really Little CMS, future additions to Perch will be those that help to make that simple, clean experience better as opposed to adding lots of new features. If you want a quick “drop in” CMS for simple sites – that’s Perch.

Focus on new features and those features that help with larger content-based sites are landing in Perch Runway.

New User Interface

We’ve already shown some parts of the new Perch and Perch Runway UI. It’s still Perch-like but has been modernised and streamlined with a greater focus on editing from mobile devices. We think that you and your clients will love it.

Admin Menu Management

You will be able to customise admin menus within the Control Panel, exposing the most used functionality to your clients and making less prominent things they don’t often need to use. It’s just another way for you to tailor the CMS experience for them.

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’re also going to make our pattern library, used to develop the UI, public. So add-on developers can use the same code we use when creating their interfaces.

Content filtering and sorting – Perch Runway

More advanced abilities to filter and sort large amounts of content in the Control Panel will be shipping in Perch Runway.

JSON API and Headless CMS – Perch Runway

Perch Runway users will be able to run the CMS as a “headless CMS” to create content that can be consumed by any other application. Need to generate content for your mobile app, or to be consumed by some other website? Then you can use Perch Runway’s top-class content management features and output clean content in whatever format you choose to do that.

What will Perch 3 cost?

License fees for Perch 3 and Perch Runway 3 will remain the same as Perch 2 licenses.

What about upgrades?

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. Therefore if you are building a project right now on Perch 2, you’ll be able to update to Perch 3 as soon as it ships.

In terms of technically upgrading from Perch 2 to Perch 3 that should be as seamless as regular Perch 2 updates. There are no breaking changes to be aware of unless you have custom add-ons in which case you may have a few steps to go through, we’ll be documenting those however as we will need to do that with the official add-ons.

When can we have it?!

As you may already know, we don’t tend to announce dates. We take the stability of your sites and the experience of your clients and content editors seriously. We’d push back a release if we felt there was any risk to that.

As you can see from the video, the UI is shaping up nicely. We’re into a phase of testing and also updating the Add-ons to use the new interface to ensure that you can update any of your Perch 2 sites from day one. We are very excited to get this into your hands so you can be sure that as soon as we feel it is ready, we’ll ship it!

In terms of sites you are building now, there is no problem at all to start working using Perch 2, and then updating to Perch 3 once it is ready. It won’t cost you anything or require changes if you are using core Perch functionality.