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Perch is commercially licensed software; you pay a one-time fee per website. To make it easy to judge if Perch is right for your project, you can download and try locally first. Perch will run on localhost, an IP address or a non-public domain without needing a full license. You just need to come back and buy your license once you’ve decided that Perch is a good fit.
Your web server needs to support the following minimum requirements to run Perch.
Those are minimums. For most sites, particularly new builds, we strongly recommend the following:
We also support MariaDB, which is compatible with MySQL. We do not support any other database servers such as Microsoft SQL Server or Postgres.
We have designed Perch so that it can be installed and used by someone who has no PHP experience, we have a video tutorial to help if you have never installed something like this before; we are happy to give advice in support.
As Perch is designed for web designers and developers we assume that you are able to build a site using HTML and CSS. As we don’t want you to buy a product that doesn’t meet your needs we would suggest that a base level of knowledge would be:
Being able to hand-code HTML and CSS (rather than being reliant on a WYSIWYG editor) as our documentation assumes familiarity with this.
Being able to upload a site to your server.
Knowing how to create a MySQL database on your server, (or being able to ask your host).
PHP 5 branch is now end-of-lifed by the PHP project meaning it no longer gets updates. Only the final 5.6 version still gets security updates, and that ends in a few months. If you are building a new site ask your hosting to upgrade you to at least PHP 7. This ensures the security of your site and will also make your site faster as newer PHP versions are faster. If the host cannot do this it is a strong indication that this is not a good company to entrust your site to.
Depending on your hosting you may need to configure PHP Sessions in your account before installing Perch.
The above are minimum requirements. All things being equal Linux hosting tends to be preferable to Windows hosting for PHP and if you have a choice we would suggest opting for Linux.
While Perch will happily run on almost any web hosting, if you are intending to upload and process large images then you need to ensure you have enough memory available on your server, and upload limits configured high enough to allow you to do this. As a rule of thumb very cheap hosting will have these limits set very low.