A CMS with a Purpose: Perch



by Samantha Tran in Business

Following a recent discussion with our team, we decided to take a deep dive into the content management system, Perch, and break down why it is our CMS of choice.

There are certainly so many content management systems out there that it can be hard to choose which one to go for. This includes obvious market players, such as WordPress, Drupal or ExpressionEngine, as well as many others not to be overlooked.

Some platforms are clearly better for large scale or e-commerce websites or blogs, but for small to medium-sized businesses, you will have numerous options to choose from. It's important, in this case, to pick a CMS that will assist you to end up with a website that is secure, fast and scalable, and which offers a friendly experience and supports a strong SEO strategy.

For each new project, we consider the future of the website carefully, and when we select to go forward with Perch, we know we won't be disappointed.

"I personally like working with Perch, it is a lot less frustrating than other CMS's I have tried in the past." – Nathan, lead developer at Mo Works.

Major Benefits

  • – Websites made on Perch are really fast because the control panel is fast.
  • – Perch gives you the flexibility to use the frameworks and front-end techniques you've always enjoyed.
  • – Yes, it is very secure. Perch does not rely on third-party plugins or frameworks to retain tight control over the codebase.
  • – It has a responsive, intuitive and straightforward control panel—acquiring the ability to edit work on Perch for clients is very simple can be picked up in one training session or two.
  • – It can be completely customised—all front-end code is written by us or our client and this means the website can be made to fit very specific preferences.
  • – Perch is SEO friendly. Perch tries to make it as easy as possible to complete all manner of SEO tasks without complicating with the marketing side of things.
  • – Signing up for the Perch shop is a perfect option for businesses with digital products and grants you access to licensed content. The Perch shop has a clean inventory and billing system with a flexible checkout flow; plus, it can integrate well with your preferred accounting system such as Xero.
  • – Perch is a real CMS not a blog used for a CMS (differentiating it from Wordpress).
  • – Making an update to Perch or an upgrade won't break your custom-made website. This means you have total freedom to develop and improve your site whenever you want.
  • – The Perch team is continuously updating their platform with new features and strives to be available to offer any required support or to manage your requests. Also, did I mention that the support comes as part of the conditions for your purchase? Another benefit!
  • – The Perch community is supportive, super active and they are betting on Perch to stay as a hidden gem in the CMS world.

Sticky Points

  • – Being PHP based makes it difficult to use new technologies such as React on Perch, which we regularly use for other projects.
  • – The fact that it has a small number of existing plugins and integrations means you will have to create most of your required work yourself.
  • – Perch websites invariably take a little more time to build compared to those constructed with a 'ready' template.
  • – A Perch website will cost more to build than a Wordpress website; nevertheless, we believe the results make it worthwhile.
  • – There are some limits to the complexity it allows—a good way to write code is so that everything is modular so you can break the site up into reusable bits that you can then piece together. Perch has limits as to how deep you can nest these 'pieces', which means you need to put extra effort into thinking about how to make your site modular within these limitations.
  • – There is no built-in version control or Git functionality. So If you're working on a large project with multiple developers, it may be a hassle to sync your changes together.
  • – You are required to make a $69 one-off payment for every website you want to build; however, this is absolutely reasonable for what you get.

"I found Perch to be a very interesting CMS. It's designed to be very simple and lightweight compared to other CMS's out there. Its defining purpose is just simply to help store and manage content such as text, images, and videos etc. Perch doesn't have themes or plugins to install, you just have your content and design to work with, which is why I think Perch is unique." – Ken, front-end developer at Mo Works.

Every platform has its own pros and cons, so your choice will really be up to your situation, preference and budget. There are various aspects that should be considered when choosing the right content management system for you. Filter for the right one by understanding your expectations, aims, the purpose of the website and the future goals. Picking the 'best' CMS, or the only one you are aware of therefore isn't our recommended course of action.

Please note, this article is not sponsored by or affiliated with Perch.


If you have any further questions about Perch or how we can help you build a website, please get in touch with Samantha at samantha@moworks.com.au —she is ready to answer any of your questions about it.
Saturday 21/10/2017
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