Perch: A really little content management system

Got a new project on at the moment that requires some of the content to be updatable by your client? Then read on. This is a quick post about a neat little CMS I use for sites that require basic content management. You’ve probably all had a new inquiry come in whereby the client wants the content managed on their site, but perhaps doesn’t have the budget for a custom CMS, or where even using WordPress could take a little too much time. For me, this is where Perch comes in.

Set-up

Perch is a fantastic little CMS that takes no time to set up and with the addition of a few tags in your HTML files, you can cms’ify areas of your website in literally minutes. So here’s the ‘skinny’..

  • You pay £35 + VAT (can’t grumble at that) for a single license
  • Download your copy of Perch from their site (beautiful might I add)
  • Create a new MySQL database.
  • Navigate to the appropriate address on your server and follow a really simple set-up process.

That’s it, Perch is up and running! All you do now is add some editable regions (more on that below), login and start adding your content.

Making content areas editable couldn’t be easier

All you need to do to be able to edit the content on a specific page of your site is add the following code at the very top of your HTML. <?php include('perch/runtime.php'); ?> Follow that with this little code snippet in place of the content you want to make editable and you’re done. ‘Main heading’ should be edited to best describe the type of content that will go here; <?php perch_content('Main heading'); ?> Once you’ve uploaded that and refreshed the Perch admin area you’ll see that region is now visible. Click it, assign it a template (anything from a simple content block to repeating news items) and you’re away.

Documentation & Support

The people behind Perch have recently updated their documentation, which takes no time at all to skim over. Take a look for yourself at how simple and easy Perch is to set up and use and maybe consider it for the next simply CMS project that comes your way. I’ve now used Perch on several client sites and would highly recommend it.

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