People Love Perch: Martin Underhill

We love to hear how much People Love Perch. This interview is with Martin Underhill from tempertemper.

Tell us a bit about yourself:

I’m Martin Underhill and I run tempertemper, a small web design and development business in Newcastle, in the cold and windy North East of England.

The majority of what I do involves working on on websites for other small businesses, whether it’s a full build, gradual improvements over time or integrating Perch. I also freelance as a front-end developer (focussing on maintainable, web standards-based HTML and CSS) for larger web teams.

What sites have you used Perch for recently?:

I use my own website tempertemper as a test-bed for trying out new features. This helps me get to grips with how they work and allows me to price things properly ahead of doing work for clients.

My site is currently the only live website I’ve installed Runway on and I have to say I love it! There’s no longer a file for each page, which means updating my local site ready for some development means no more FTPing dynamically generated page files back down from the server – just import the live database.

Pete Wilkinson is a performance coach and speaker operating throughout the UK. The site contains a blog that Pete updates regularly, sometimes with video content via the Vimeo custom fieldtype.

Gusto are a market research company based in Leeds. As well as a blog, this site uses the Members app to create a secure, private file transfer system that they use to send their clients the results of their research.

I co-founded and co-organise a front-end meetup in the North East – Frontend NE. The site’s currently built with Jekyll and we’re in the middle of rebuilding it using Perch Runway, taking full advantage of collections and related content for speakers, talks and topics.

Why did you choose Perch?:

I’ve been using Perch since reading a ‘CMS rundown’ article in Net Magazine back in the summer of 2010. At the time I needed an easy way to make content editable and had found Wordpress overcomplicated and overbearing, so Perch was the perfect solution.

Web standards are important to me and I love that Perch keeps out the way of my markup. No extra <div>s are output and no special HTML comments or funky element attributes are needed.

Perch’s structured content approach to web pages makes it easy to control what clients can do, meaning there are no unexpected breakages and no HTML knowledge is needed.

How did you find working with Perch?:

Technically, Perch makes a lot of sense; from the initial installation to upgrading to a new version. The way it all fits together behind the scenes also feels very natural.

This common sense approach carries through to client training, which is usually a very easy process as the control panel is so intuitive. New features and apps/add-ons always feel well considered, so the overall experience is never compromised, and rolling these changes out to clients is as low friction as it’s possible to be.

There’s a really nice community around Perch. Not only has support been consistently great over the years, but the forums promote interaction between developers. The recent addition of a Slack team makes communicating with other Perchers even easier.

How do the content creators/site owners find working with Perch?:

Updating a site’s content using Perch is a piece of cake for my clients; this ease of use means they’re more likely make updates. They even, after a short training session, enjoy writing the longer bits of content in Markdown!

The fact that there’s so little time needed to show them the ropes speaks volumes for Perch’s awesome control panel.