To get started with Perch you first need to buy a license and download the software.
To buy, create an account on the Perch website – we need you to have an account so that you can manage your licenses – then purchase your copy of Perch via the secure payment gateway or using PayPal. Your license should appear in your account pretty much immediately.
Click the download link next to your license and download the Perch files to your computer.
While in your account click on the name of your license which by default is prefilled to the date of purchase, and complete the domains you will be using for this site. You can add a test and live domain here.
In this tutorial I’ll be implementing Perch on a site I’ve already built in static html and css. It’s actually the site that you will have seen if you signed up for our demo. This is one of the really nice things about Perch if you are used to developing static sites. You don’t need to change the way you build sites to be able to make then editable by your client. You could even add Perch to a static site that is currently live.
You can download the files that I am starting with on the main page for this tutorial if you have a Perch license and want to follow along. I’m working on my local computer – a Mac running MAMP Pro – this is an easy way to get a webserver running PHP and MySQL onto your Mac. There are options for Windows too such as Xampp. Of course you could also install directly onto your server. As I’m working on my local server I have a folder here on my Mac which contains my HTML and CSS files.
Here is my homepage, just as an HTML document which I can open up in the browser. You can see I am viewing it through the webserver which is why the domain looks a bit strange.
Before I can start to make this site editable I need to get Perch installed.
On your computer open the zip file that you downloaded and you will see a perch folder, and an example.php page.
Copy the Perch folder from the downloaded zip into the site root. Like so.
We now need to visit the page perch/setup in my case I am running the file through my webserver at http://perchtutorial.deck/perch/setup depending on your local setup you may be at http://localhost/perch/setup or you might be at your live domain name if you uploaded the files there.
Here you will get a form to complete.
The license key is the one from your account – this one is a fake one for the purposes of the demo so make sure you add your real key not this one.
Now add your details – this will create the first admin account in Perch.
The install location is the location of perch in our site. We have copied the perch folder into the root of the site so the default is correct. However if you want to rename the Perch folder – for example changing it to admin you must also change it here.
The final section is database settings – I am assuming that you have already run the Server Compatibility Test Suite and so know the correct database details to enter here. If you have any problems connecting to the database, watch the video about using the Compatibility Test as I go into detail about settings there.
After completing this form, hit submit and Perch will display a block of configuration code on screen.
Copy this code to your clipboard, then open the perch directory that you copied into your site earlier, then open the config folder and the file config.php.
Paste the code into config.php using a plain text editor and save it.
Back in your browser click ‘I’ve done that’ and Perch will install.
There are a final couple of steps to complete. First – if you are installing this on a live server delete the setup folder inside Perch. If you are installing locally and later will upload and install live you can leave this for now.
Also, you need to make the resources folder writable as this is where images and files uploading via the CMS will go. The exact settings you need to change here depend on your hosting setup. So if you are not sure how to make a file writable check with your host, I’m showing here changing the permissions on my Mac and also via an FTP client.
You can now login to the admin area using the username and password that you set up during installation. The next video will demonstrate how to add Perch content regions to your site.
It is very unusual for us to find a user who has a successful pass with the test script to run into any problems in installation – so if you are installing Perch on a new server and the install fails. Upload and run the compatibility test suite as it is likely that will help you isolate the issue.
If the test suite doesn’t help then raise a support ticket in our support area – we’ll be happy to help get you up and running.