Why Choose Perch Runway?

Both Perch and Perch Runway have the same template engine, they both have structured content at their heart. Both solutions leave the markup and site design up to you.

Many Perchers use both products, choosing the version of Perch that best suits the project they are working on at the time. Due to the template engine being the same, everything you know about building sites with Perch is still useful when building with Runway making hopping between projects easy. What are the key reasons to choose Runway over Perch?

A different philosophy

Perch is for adding content management to a website. Perch Runway is for creating a content-driven site.

Our aim with Perch is the same as it was at the beginning. To develop a simple, easy to use CMS with structured content at the core. A “drop in” CMS that doesn’t require a site rebuild to use it.

Our internal decision as to whether a feature is Perch or Perch Runway only tends to fall on the complexity issue. Larger and more complex sites tend to have more complex needs, we don’t want to bundle all of that functionality into Perch where the vast majority of users are building relatively simple sites.

As we progress with the two products we’ll be adding more features to Perch Runway that suit larger, content driven websites, while choosing things for Perch that simplify the experience of building and editing smaller sites. We want two really great products, tailored to the types of sites that use them.

Technical reasons to choose Runway

The simplicity of Perch relies on certain technical decisions, some of which make it less ideal for sites with a lot of content or complex requirements. This is where Runway comes in.

Routing vs. Rewrite Rules

Perch works anywhere – even on those servers that have no facility for rewriting URLs (and yes, they are out there!) however that means if you want to do “friendly URLs” for pages and blog posts you have to add your own rewrite rules to your .htaccess. Runway requires rewrite functionality. Once you have installed Runway all of your routing can be done via the Control Panel, via an easy to use syntax.

Collections vs. Regions

Collections initially look a lot like Regions set to allow multiple items, however there is a big technical difference. A Perch Region is treated as a single item. It is versioned as one thing, if you put it into draft you put the whole Region into draft. An item in a Collection is versioned separately from all of the other items, it behaves more like a post in the Blog App. This has a performance implication and means you could have thousands of items stored in a collection with no admin slowdown, this would not be the case for a Region. If you have Perch Regions with 100s of items in them, you would do well to upgrade to Runway with the simple import tool to turn a Region into a Collection. Your content editors will thank you.

Relationships between pieces of content

Perch Runway allows the creation of sophisticated relationships between content, this is vital for any site dealing with large amounts of content to prevent duplication of content entry.

Admin Search

If you have a lot of content it can be helpful for content administrators to simply search for the content they want. In Runway we have admin search functionality, it will even search blog posts if you are using the official Blog App.

Cloud Storage and CDN Support

For larger sites storing assets in the Cloud and serving them from a CDN can be very helpful. It can make your site faster and is also helpful if multiple people are developing the site, you don’t need to pull down all of the images as well as the data in order to run a local version. In Runway you can specify a remote “bucket” for your asset uploads, and files will be transferred there seamlessly.

Automatic Backup to the Cloud and to Dropbox

In Perch we have a backup App, because of the basic requirements of Perch it is very simple. If your hosting allows you can generate and download a backup of the database and site files. In Runway you can link your site to a Cloud server or to Dropbox and backup automatically to that bucket. Just set it up and forget about it – until disaster happens and you are able to restore your entire site quickly and easily!

Trying Perch Runway

Our Runway Developer license can be used for personal sites, or for a Work in Progress. It’s an ideal way to see if Runway better suits the type of projects you are working on. You can crossgrade a regular Perch license for a Runway Developer license as long as your use fits the license terms. If your project better fits Runway it is likely that the time you will save over trying to get Perch to meet the requirements, will far outstrip the higher license cost.