Information for new users of Perch 🙂

  • Some facts to help you choose for Perch.

    1. Perch was a wonderful CMS with great features and support. The way it is build makes it very easy to use and implement. Also making alterations is not complicated generally. It’s mainly PHP and JavaScript.
    2. If you want to chat directly to experienced Perch users, there is a Perchology slack and twitter.
    3. Perch has not been updated for a while
    4. The support forum at this moment is not used by the builders/owners of Perch to give support
    5. Current users of Perch are worried that Perch and mayor addon are not updated to support current available versions of PHP
    6. Current users have been asked to not give negative criticism on this forum about the state of Perch, the long wait for the next :burd1: version and the lack of presence on the forum.

    please feel free to correct any mistakes in the above

  • I am now officially not a perch user, having disposed of some 30 odd licenses over the last few weeks. I agree with Rene Banus's post above, while Perch was a perfect CMS for those needing a PHP/MySQL based small CMS which did not impose a particular structure on your design, it has long since fallen by the wayside in respect of modern CMS "norms" and I see no chance of this being rectified in any meaningful way by the current owners.


    No 1Click updating, outdated Control Panel UI, limited plugins, and much more importantly a shrinking community brought on by the lack of forward momentum.


    To the joy of I am sure a few ( nascent mainly) I am now out of here although I will miss some good people I have "met" on the forum and Slack channel.


    To paraphrase Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy, so long Perch and thanks for all the fish!

  • I am a Perch fan, and so I will say the templating language is very easy to use and understand.


    If you want to create a website that you can update months (or even years) down the track, without forgetting what you had written previously, code wise, then Perch is a good choice.


    My personal view of much of the negative commentary on this forum, is that a lot of people seem to have misunderstood Perch' purpose (I am not familiar with Runway); in that the notion of being a 'tiny' CMS is actually a strength since for me, it is for designers (read coders) and not so much e-commerce buffs or else integrators of existing sites that rely on some other CMS.


    In other words, if you want to start a website from scratch, while being in complete of your semantic HTML code, as well as CSS and client-side script, then again Perch is an awesome choice simply because you can use it to inject information from a MySQL database or otherwise from PHP directly.

  • Perch is an awesome choice simply because you can use it to inject information from a MySQL database or otherwise from PHP directly

    Agree, it's still an awesome choice because it's simple to get a quick website going, and more than enough for many use cases. Dirt cheap one time payment. For the money, you get software that can be installed on a web server and runs well on cheap hosting because it's an efficient application. This alone should be enough to tempt new users.


    I only use Perch Runway, the big brother of Perch basic. New users should know that Perch Runway is very powerful, scales well and performs well even on limited hosting plans. And with just a bit of dabbling in basic PHP and a few Perch functions, a huge amount of stuff can be achieved for a flexible, dynamic site. You don't need to be a full-stack engineer, you can have basic frontend skills and achieve many things. Runway is the CMS that Drew the original developer said he "always wanted to make". So 10 years in the making, still very good software.


    All software has quirks or outdated bits. Fortunately in my case, Perch Runway keeps ticking along fine and I can work around any lacking aspects. I've asked a lot of it... the amount of queries I have thrown at Runway, and the enormous custom templates and conditions piled on top of each other... Perch Runway takes whatever I throw at it. No updates for awhile means rock solid stability and predictable behaviour!

  • Yea this is a dead project they even let the ssl on their domain expire. The only significant update in the past two years? patches php8 support something that a decent developer should be able to do in a week or less.


    The two man band before them where able to maintain perch and release new features while still keeping up their day job. The new much larger team cant seem to get a roadmap on paper.


    I have been reading some of their "responses" in the forum, they say nothing but try to put blame on their customers for expecting them to work on the project. The Perch v4 thread is full of people asking for changes / updates and the response from the team is that "I accept that change is not always welcomed" in a thread where users are literally crying out for change this is huge red flag for me.


    Farewell perch it was great while it lasted, and a big thank you to Drew, Rachel and of course Clive for all the work you have done on this project.

  • Yea this is a dead project they even let the ssl on their domain expire.


    The two man band before them where able to maintain perch and release new features while still keeping up their day job.


    It's not dead, you're posting on the perch forum right now aren't you? There's a few different domains, docs.grabaperch.com, perchrunway.com, account.perchcms.com. These are still running.


    For quite awhile there was nothing but radio silence from the "two man band" core developer because he was busy looking for a buyer to take Perch off his hands, and also apparently busy uploading cat photos to Twitter and looking for a new job.


    Lack of updates and communication was already a problem before new owners took over. But for some reason you have missed that, and are thanking Drew anyway! Okay.. but know that he dropped the ball and made promises that didn't eventuate. Blame game isn't fun though, it's better to talk about website projects and how to make interesting things!

  • I'm sure they are working on an updated version, and yes the company that now manages Perch might be bigger, but that doesn't mean Perch is their only project. From what I gather it's actually a very small company with remote workers - like many software companies are these days. I suspect they might have 1 or 2 developers at the most working on Perch, and I doubt full-time. So in reality no more work is being done than before it was sold, but now the developers aren't the ones who built the software so progress is going to be a lot slower.


    I've been using Craft CMS for my recent projects and it's very good. Expensive, but if that means it's not going to be forgotten about then that's fine. I still have sites on Perch and I'm not going to replatform them unless they break down completely. But for now I won't be using Perch for any new sites, not until the future of the project becomes a little clearer.

  • If I was choosing a new CMS I certainly wouldn't go for Perch as it stands. Most of us who are still using it are doing so because we have existing sites to maintain or haven't had time to learn a new CMS. Perch was a wonderful thing but unless there is a major change it looks like it's on the path to becoming abandonwear.

  • It's not dead, you're posting on the perch forum right now aren't you? There's a few different domains, docs.grabaperch.com, perchrunway.com, account.perchcms.com. These are still running.

    The main website for perch grabaperch.com still has an expired ssl, I notified them of the problem last week and they still haven't bothered to fix it, I have used perch for the past 5 years and always got a response from Drew or Rachel within a few hours.


    Its worth re reading my post as I didn't blame anyone just stated what has been done in the past year and an obvious problem that has a quick and simple fix, that hasn't been fixed.


    I understand the challenges of working on multiple projects, inheriting some one elses code and working remotely. As a developer I face these challenges myself its my job to overcome these challenges and deliver the results my clients expect as outlined in the project road map. Every developer faces the same problems, we have all had to adapt to working remotely over lockdown and yet we still deliver results and communicate with our clients, the same can no longer be said of perch.


    More than that its hard to see what their planed future is there doesn't seem to be a roadmap and the developers have broken off all communication with their customers. It leaves me asking the question did they buy perch with no roadmap or production capability to develop it? Its a red flag for me.


    My current perch sites im keeping I don't see the need to rebuild them perch is rock solid and easy to maintain, I doubt I will have any problems maintaining Drew and Rachels code. Im using craft for all my new projects and am finding it a great replacement for perch.

  • If I was choosing a new CMS I certainly wouldn't go for Perch as it stands. Most of us who are still using it are doing so because we have existing sites to maintain or haven't had time to learn a new CMS. Perch was a wonderful thing but unless there is a major change it looks like it's on the path to becoming abandonwear.

    I would dispute the 'abandonware' comment, while posing the question as to why would anyone want to purchase and develop the CMS if only to abandon.


    In addition, might I speculate that while the plug-in's are likely worth developing and upgrading to function with payment platforms; this is not a given and that the CMS itself could easily be rebranded but without the plug-in's, since the templates and PHP functions are absolutely sound in my view, as Drew left the CMS in an impeccable state.


    Also, the new developers did release a CMS update (notwithstanding a shop update) so I for one don't doubt their commitment to the platform and would recommend it to new users without a second thought.

  • All opinions aside, Perch at this stage is Abandonware.


    Oxford dictionary:

    noun: abandonware; noun: abandon-ware

    1. computer software that is no longer distributed or supported by the developer or copyright holder. "those who illegally distribute abandonware on the Web see themselves as archivists who are helping save old computer programs for posterity"

    as the distribution has become problematic with the ssl being dropped and support is no longer given there is no other conclusion than Perch at this point is abandonware.


    So maybe the next step is we should become archivists of Perch. Anyone interested?

  • All opinions aside, Perch at this stage is Abandonware.

    False. The product is still sold and distributed. You can download the software from a secure server, register and manage your account and licenses, and post right here on the SSL certified perch forum. The accounts domains and runway domains are still good.


    The SSL certificate expiry is just the grabaperch.com site, which has outdated info on it anyway, such as Drew's post from 2019 talking about version 4.


    You could always just allow the exception in your browser to load the non-SSL page. Remember, the entire internet was once "http", it's not the end of world that it's expired.


    Or just stick to Runyway, if you need non-expired SSL for the promo site. It's a better CMS. Drew stated that Runway was the CMS he always wanted to make. So it was 10 years in the making, and is still very good software. Basic Perch was a stepping stone to Runway. https://perchrunway.com/


    Quote

    there is no other conclusion


    I've just provided a different conclusion.

  • False. The product is still sold and distributed. You can download the software from a secure server, register and manage your account and licenses, and post right here on the SSL certified perch forum. The accounts domains and runway domains are still good.

    For how long though? There has been no response or action to renew the certificate on the Perch site. Can we be confident that they'll be renewed on the other sites when they expire?

  • Quote

    The SSL certificate expiry is just the grabaperch.com site, which has outdated info on it anyway, such as Drew's post from 2019 talking about version 4.

    This is a very good point not only have they let the certificate expire but they haven't even bothered to update the site after the purchase from the original creators, they are advertising version 4 as if its something being worked on when clearly its not.


    Quote

    Remember, the entire internet was once "http", it's not the end of world that it's expired.

    The internet was once static html so I guess its not the end of the world that perch is abandonware? I don't get your logic here.


    The point about the ssl certificate is not that I don't understand whats wrong, I understand the problem fine. The issue is that when I tell my customers we use perch for our CMS, the customer will then research it. They will search google for "Perch cms" and the first result takes them to a page that throws up a large security warning they won't understand, my customer gets scared off and goes to my competitor.


    The point is that getting a Let's Encrypt ssl certificate costs nothing and takes 5 minutes, where as them not fixing it costs me money. Of course I know the issue is that they don't realise its broken, thats why I emailed them over two weeks ago and its been radio silence, which is another red flag, they haven't checked their email in two weeks, no one is working on this project in any capacity.


    I suggest the same thing as ex-jedi archive everything you can so you can continue to support your customers regardless of what happens to perch. You can ignore the warning signs and take the risk if you want but don't be surprised if you wake up one day and find the domain has expired like the ssl certificate.