I built my new site using Perch

Alex Bennett 09 October 2017

In the past I have had the opportunity to work on a whole range of CMS, across different development environments. Some I like, (Umbraco) and some I have hated (sitecore). I have used Drupal, Wordpress and Magento in the past too. So how does perch hold up in my opinion?

Perch allows a front end developer to rapidly wire up a smart backend with extendable functionality, much like wordpress it has a vibrant community of developers and a large library of extensions and app’s. Perch also comes in two flavours depending on the site of the project, Perch Runway is the enterprise edition for larger projects, for my own site I went for the standard Perch, it offers all the functionality I need mostly out of the box! Anything I needed additionally was as effortless to install and setup as any plugin on Drupal or Wordpress.

Example of Perch's admin panel

To develop the site I firstly built the front end using the Epiphany Boilerplate - this allowed me to fully build and test the front end without the overhead of a new cms to learn during the built.

Afterwards I followed the perch documentation + video tutorials to get a feel for how the platform worked. Having built the front end first I was able to immediately load in my static templates and begin wiring up perch snippets, then the magic of the rendering engine takes over. On refresh the static templates with perch markup (similar to xml) your backend is populated with all your fields ready for content! It really was that simple, adding in some simple logic for rendering lists I found using the CMS very similar to a modern template javascript framework mental model.

It took me a little under a week to build the full front end for my site in my spare time, and a little under 2 days to fully wire the site up ready for launch. There were no “gotcha’s” and I found the process as a front end specialist very simple, it allowed me to focus on the bit of building sites I love the most yet not skimp of the quality of the CMS for future content editing.

Its only my first perch site but I’m now encouraging its use in Epiphany to turn around projects rapidly without any Backend Developer involvement. I think it has a place in our offering as a department, it certainly has a place in my repertoire!

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