MrQwest

Moving to Perch

For almost 6 years now, I’ve been using Textpattern to power my personal blog and website. It’s been great to use and I still have a fondness for Textpattern as it’s an excellent CMS, however after many updates and tweaks which I’ve made over the years, I’ve somehow broken things and it doesn’t work as well as it should.

That said, I’ve been building more WordPress sites recently and I’m starting to enjoy it so I had thought about rebuilding my site in WordPress. It made sense really. I see my own personal site as a bit of a playground (as I’m sure most devs and designers do!) so I could see the logic in porting my site to WordPress and then experimenting and taking that knowledge over to my client sites in the future.

I had no time frame on it though and thought I’d get round to it when I had some time.

However, a few weeks ago it was decided that I would move hosting providers. No big thing but instead of transferring a broken Textpattern install and hoping it’d work, I thought I’d use that that rebuild in WordPress…

… except I didn’t. A lot of folk on twitter suggested I try Perch as a CMS. A lot of my friends use it for their own sites and client sites and whilst it would be fun to experiment with WordPress, it’s also fun to experiment with other options.

So I bought a Perch license and got to it!

I should probably point out that I’ve only been using Perch for less than a week so I’m still learning it but from what I’ve seen, and played with, it’s an incredibly fast and powerful system.

I thought it would be a hassle to set up the templates for the new build as it works slightly differently to other CMS’ but it was a doddle.

Most CMS’s that I’ve worked with are template based, so you build your design into the CMS. Textpattern was slightly different where you’d put your chunks of PHP into your HTML pages and it’d work that way but everything was stored in a MySQL database and that was my only gripe.

Perch is even simpler. You create your static HTML + CSS pages, drop in the link to the Perch runtime file and then drop in the Perch code where you want the editable content to go and you’re done.

A proper doddle.

It’s been fun moving to a new CMS and I’m looking forward to playing and experimenting even further. It’s made me realise just how clogged up my old Textpattern install had become and even more so, how bulky and redundant my CSS files had become.

I must use this opportunity to give the site a spring clean!


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