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Using Perch as the CMS for a photography website

Perch branding image

One of the key considerations when putting this website together was for me to have the ability to edit and add images or text easily. Mark at Pixelsmiths strongly advocated using Perch as the Content Management System, or CMS. Having listened to the Relative Paths podcast I had a some idea what Perch was capable of so I acquiesced.

So how does Perch work?

Well, I can’t speak from a developer perspective but from an end user point-of-view it’s very straightforward. If you have used something like Blogger you’ll find Perch really easy to get the hang of.

  1. Want to blog? Click ‘blog’ in Perch, ‘add post’, type your words, add a picture and publish.
  2. Want to add some of your images to your gallery? They can just be dragged-and-dropped in to the Perch control panel. Then just click ‘gallery’ and you can either add your images to an existing gallery or create a whole new gallery with appropriate descriptive text. Want to change the order your images display in? Again, just drag and drop. Happy with it? Publish it and it’s live, as easy as that.
  3. Do you need to change text or images on the contact page or other section of the website? It’s as easy as using Microsoft Word or Google Docs (assuming you find using those easy!)

That's the basics: Perch is capable of a lot more, whether you take advantage of that depends on how much you want to get your hands dirty, and also how boggled you get by phrases like "blog page meta description"...

The learning curve for Perch is pretty shallow. All the various tools and controls are clearly available. On the odd occasion when I have got a bit bewildered, a quick email/Skype/Trello to Mark got me on the right track.

Would I recommend Perch for someone looking to develop a photography website?

Yes! It is very flexible, plenty powerful enough for what I need right now, with the option to expand the content on my website easily in the future. Speak to your favourite Web developer (by which I mean email mark@pixelsmiths.co.uk) and get them to tell you more!

In the interests of full disclosure, I am in no way affiliated with Perch!

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