@Ren I’d say that a good next step for you is to get a little more familiar with the development side. This is a step that I really had to push myself to evolve. Depending on the types of clients you get, you never know what will get thrown at you. If a client comes in with some off CMS, or something you may not be familiar with like Modx or like Textpattern (known but more obscure).
Perch SHOULD be a breeze – if you had trouble with it, you would definitely have trouble with Squarespace doing anything beyond the prebuilt solutions with no real customizations. LightCMS is in the same boat IMO. I really like the functionality, but after downloading a few themes and messing with it, I found it to be very clunky to work with. Perch seems on par with solutions like PageLime (which I’m not a fan of because of the remote management).
Great info guys – thanks for the suggestions. I’ve lined up a project that I think Perch will work out on, and luckily the client is someone I know which’ll be nice to go into it really seeing how well it works.
@Ren I’d personally say that Perch should be super easy for a competent front end developer. I am not by any means a backend developer and PHP is not my strong suit. The template system for content areas, pages etc are all HTML based and you don’t need to know PHP code inside out to develop with it. I’d posit that it’s about 10x as easy as WordPress.
The only thing you may run into that may prove complicated are PHP arrays which you sometimes need to get Perch to output exactly what you want, but they have an extensive docs library at docs.grabaperch.com that usually have example arrays to help.
They also have videos and support there. Also, with their support they’re always really hot on it, whenever I post a ticket Drew or Rachel come back within a half hour with information or request more details and do really try to help.
@JoshWhite definitely give it a bash and let me know how you get on, if you run into any trouble with it feel free to ask any questions, you can grab my deets at http://lkd.to/andyunleash
If all you want to do is create simple editable zones than yes Perch is easy but as soon as you start to use any of their applications, such as galleries, events or calendars it can become very complicated. I’m glad you have a lot of support from Drew and Rachel Andy because I have found them incredibly unhelpful. I feel like every time I ask for help they just brush me off or say something incredibly obvious and unhelpful.
I ended up having to pay a developer to finish the project and there are still glitches, which funnily enough Rachel just palmed me off to this forum because she says it’s a CSS problem, which I don’t think it is.
Personally I don’t think developers should be recommending perch as a ‘easy’ CMS to designers, many designers just simply don’t have the skills to use it and the support provided is inadequate! I used it after being recommended by a developer on a similar forum and it is one of my few regrets in life. Perch wasted a lot of my time, caused me a lot of stress and cost me money. So Ben_boomer, unless your confident with PHP code I would stay well clear of Perch and stick with something like word press that seems to work for many people.
I’m sorry but I completely disagree, Perch is not complicated for front end designer/developer, or at least it really shouldn’t be if they know the standard amount required to create straightforward well coded sites.
It’s all HTML based, creating templates is easy and all of the required PHP is included in their documentation (if you read it) so I fail to see the complexity for a front end developer, especially compared to other CMS systems like Joomla, Drupal & WordPress et al. It’s the simplest of all of them.
Can you mention the issue you had? I’m sure we can confirm if it was a CSS or Perch issue.