We love to hear how much people love Perch. This interview is with Anthony Elleray, a Freelance Web Designer.

Tell us a bit about yourself

Hi, I’m Anthony and I’m a based in Swanage, Dorset. I work with small to medium sized businesses and charities to make an impact online with a bespoke website tailored to their needs.

I first started designing websites after receiving the news that I was to become a dad, when I decided I needed to change my career as a watersports instructor to something more stable and closer to home.

I found a local job advertisement for a web designer / developer no experience required so I decided to apply. I have now been designing and developing websites for over five years, Creating custom themes and plugins in WordPress. I recently discovered Perch with help from a friend and have never looked back

You can view my site and portfolio at designthebox.co.uk. I am also on Facebook.

What sites have you used Perch for recently?:

My latest Perch project was for Swanage Lifeboat Station. A charity that has been close to my heart for many years with family members on the crew serving for many years.

The project was a rebuild and re-design of their .net website that was handwritten by one of the crew over 15 years ago. This site is one of the more involved projects I have completed with Perch, it uses Perch Blog, Forms, Events and Gallery apps.

The website was to be built in time for the launch of their new Shannon class lifeboat and development of their new boathouse. The crew use the website to display the latest launches which are automatically shared to the public via the newsletter, this is achieved by combining perch_content_custom and the built in SMTP functionality.

The launches from the previous website were imported via a script into the new perch database allowing us to keep a full 15 year archive, you can see the archive in Launches. The data is also displayed using in a Google Map. this is where perch_content_custom was very useful allowing me to create filters and extract the information to display in an interactive google map that allows you to click on the location and view the details, the same functionality was then used for the statistics.

Swanage Lifeboats Statistics page

Another useful Perch feature is filterable forms this has been used on almost all the pages to allow users to navigate through the archive of launches.

Future development plans include using Perch Shop and Perch Runway.

How do you find working with Perch?

From a developer’s perspective using Perch as a platform to create websites is a far more enjoyable experience than trying to make things work in WordPress. Perch gives me the freedom to build a website the way I want using the tools that I am familiar with.

Perch is perfect for any size website with the option to upgrade to Perch Runway when it becomes more complex.

How do your clients and content editors find using Perch to update their sites?

I have had nothing but positive feedback from my clients with the simplicity of editing their website in perch as the admin area is not cluttered with settings and editors they do not need.

What tools do you use alongside Perch to develop your sites?

When designing websites for clients I use Adobe Photoshop for creating and editing design ideas.

For the development I use a combination of WAMP Server, Dreamweaver, Geany and FileZilla.

I also prefer to test my websites on the devices themselves as opposed to using services like browserstack although this can be useful in some scenarios, I have a collection of phones and tablets both iOS and Android Devices for mobile testing and a multi screened Windows PC and Apple Mac for desktop testing.