If you use Perch when and why should you consider building a project on Perch Runway?

There are several architecture decisions in Perch which make it quick and easy to use for simple sites. If you feel those constraints are holding you back - it’s time to take a look at Perch Runway. Runway maintains the simplicity of Perch but is designed for more complex content management needs.

Are you adding a CMS to your site, or managing content?

The basic premise of Perch is that you build a site, in the way you like best, and then add a CMS to it. This means that most pages in your site are represented by an actual file on disk. When you create pages in Perch, you generate a physical file. This makes adding a CMS as simple as dropping a Perch Region into an existing page and is fast and simple for straightforward sites.

Many projects however require the management of large amounts of content, much of which won’t make sense as being tied to a specific page. Your first step in building such a site would be to map out the structure of this content and the relationships between content. Your CMS should then be able to work with this structure, allowing editors to create content that can then be used to build a site. Perch Runway is ideally suited to this process.

Are physical files becoming hard to manage?

When you install Perch Runway we give you a set of rewrite rules to add to the .htaccess file or equivalent on your server. Page routing is then handled from within the Control Panel.

When creating a page no physical file is held on disk. This means that you don’t need to back up pages created by your content editors - all of the information is held in the database.

Stephan Meehan

Perch Runway is a breath of fresh air, it feels light, nimble and very powerful. My favourite feature is ‘Collections’. Creating templates for different Collections is super easy and reusing content is a breeze. For more complex websites Perch Runway is a must have.

Stephan Meehan - D3 Creative

Do you have content that isn’t logically a "page"?

In Perch content needs to be tied to a page, Perch Runway helps you to manage structured content that is used and reused around the site, without necessarily being output on a single page. You can create a Collection for any type of content you might want to store - products, testimonials, recipes etc. The templates are exactly the same as Perch Content you might use on a page.

An important difference between Collections and Regions is that Collections are versioned per item, a Region is versioned on the entire region (all of the items together). This means that you can roll back a collection item, but also that a Collection can easily scale to 1000s of items.

If you are converting a standard Perch site to Runway, or realise you have a multiple item region on a page that would be better as a Collection, you can convert any Region to a Collection without losing data.

Does your content need to relate to other content?

Perch Runway enables powerful relationships between content stored in Collections, so you can use data from a Collection all around your site.

For example, create a list of Testimonials and then include one wherever you want on pages, and in other Collections just by using a perch:related tag with the ID of the Collection. It’s amazing for content reuse!

Scott Gruber

Perch Runway is fast! Performance design is very important to our user’s experience. Our network response tests show Perch Runway is consistently 3.94 times faster than WordPress.

Scott Gruber - UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability

Is your site high traffic? Or are you just keen to make it as fast as possible?

Perch Runway ships with the kind of features you’d expect in a CMS capable of delivering the largest sites.

Varnish integration

Varnish integration means you can benefit from the extra speed of a reverse proxy, yet purge URLs after making content changes. Your client won’t be confused by changes that don’t seem to show up, as the new content will appear immediately.

Cloud Storage and CDN Support

Any resource bucket can be designated as a cloud storage bucket. This means that assets can be stored on a cloud service with CDN functionality and then served from the CDN. Another speed increase for your site, completely transparent to the content editor who continues to add images as normal.

A nice side benefit of those CDN-stored Assets is that when you are working on your site locally the database references to the Assets remains the same, meaning you don’t need to import all of your images to work on the site locally, or preview it on staging.

What is backup worth to you and your clients?

Backups are almost useless if they never leave your server. Perch Runway has integral, scheduled automatic backup that supports not only backing up to a selected cloud bucket but also to Dropbox. Relax knowing that your latest database and assets are all accessible from your Dropbox account.

That means if there’s a problem with your client’s web hosting, you’ve got an automatic backup with one-click restore to get their site online again as quickly as possible.

Brett Warne

With Runway backups are no longer an issue as you set it up once and it just works, I don’t have to worry that I am going to get a call from a customer that they have made mistakes and cannot fix them.

Brett Warne - Brand Bureau

Easy upgrade path from Perch

You’ll find that turning a Perch site into a Perch Runway site is a simple process. You can start to benefit from Runway features immediately, and move parts of the site over as you have time.

With the template language and most concepts being the same between the two products, working on Perch Runway will feel familiar to your team and your clients. This means you can pick the version of Perch that suits each project. Choose Perch when you just need to add a CMS to a site. Choose Perch Runway when you want to make a truly content managed site, still keeping control of your content and design.

Take your Perch sites to the next level with Perch Runway. Buy a license - if you are not completely happy and would rather stick with Perch we’ll refund you. You’ve got nothing to lose, and a lot to gain!