Comparing my new build of Perch to my old WordPress site

By Kieran Hunter

In my previous post I wrote that I would be re-building my WordPress site with Perch. A new, more simple CMS (content managment system), and the reasons for it.

I went ahead with it and i'm now running my site with Perch! This is my Perch post debut. All my other posts where imported from WordPress.

Don't get me wrong I love WordPress, and will continue to use it for bigger client projects, but I felt there was a lot of it I wasn't using in my personal site. I heard about Perch and thought it would be a great little project, and a great chance to learn some new things.

My aim was to completely duplicate my old site, visually and interactivly in the admin area. It was way more simpler and much easier than I expected it to be. I even think my new site has a few improvements, aside from the fact its faster and more lightweight. 

The PHP code with Perch is really user friendly and straight foward. The admin UI is really nice too, I do really love it.

 Inside the Perch admin dashboard

Obviously there was somewhat of a learning curve, as I previously stated Im not that confident building from scratch with PHP. An expert developer would breeze through Perch. However I learnt a whole lot of new stuff and I'm happy I made the bold choice to move. I'm not now a Perch expert, I think there would be a few things I havn't come across or fully understood, things I could maybe improve, but for what I need, it all works really great.

The initial building of the site was very, very quick and simple. It felt asif all the functionalities that I was looking for, where already there and had in-depth guides and code you could simply copy and paste to get things working. Perch also have many really nice video tutorials, coupled with text information which is really straight foward.

Also not to mention the founders of Perch are always there to answer your questions on their forums, and they respond really quick. It's a steal for just £60.

A few things took me a while to configure and really held me back. Such as the SEO meta tags for all the posts, pages and portfolio items. I really had to get this right before converting my site. I wanted to make sure I had everyhitng included, so I was comparing it with my existing WordPress site, where it's a lot easier to implement SEO data.

Even with the struggles, I still had a lot less trouble than I thought, as I previously stated im not a strong developer. If I can make something out of it, it just shows how nice and simple it really is.

The people over at Perch have really refined their product, it's a really solid platform to work with.

My WordPress site was pretty fine tuned so there's only a small speed increase with my new Perch build. I havn't shown my Google page speed results because they penalise me heavily on having images that could be optimised better, reason being I have every image source twice the size it needs to be for retina displays.

Here are my two sites in comparison, using the Pingdom speed test (information from sites like this aren't rock solid, it's just nice to get a quick overview). I used a subdomain for my Perch site, keeping my original WordPress site so I could compare the two.


WordPress pingdom speed test


Perch CMS pingdom speed test

Without all the WordPress plugins I don't have as many http requests. I'v pretty much built everything I need directly into Perch. I also don't have any Javascript running.

With WordPress I found that a lot more things were built in. Things like pretty URL's, I had never had to manually do before. With a quick Google search however I found Perch always had the answers to most common practises in their docs. And as I stated previously, they are always there to help in their forums which is amazing.

If you have any quiries or if you wonder how I implemented some of the features on my site with Perch then don't hesitate to comment below or send me an email.

I love Perch banner


  • 14 May 2015 17:11:56

    Very good website

  • 31 Aug 2016 21:52:35

    Well done for moving over to Perch! Site looks great. I know a little bit of time has elapsed after your original post so you may have discovered these things already: If you are on a host that uses Image Magic I would recommend a couple of putting image sizes in the Perch Template img tag as the server will then optimise the image to that size and I cannot get smaller file sizes with ImageOptin etc. on the desktop!

    Also as you are currently using retina images you can set those up per image tag as well – there is a great post on it by Rachel here – . Perch is great at working out images – let it do its stuff!

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