CMS to retrofit into existing website

I’ve been using Perch CMS for a while now but as this is no longer available, I’m looking for an alternative with an interface that’s easy for clients to use and which can be retrofitted onto an existing site.
I don’t want to pay a monthly fee and want to host the CMS on my own servers.
I don’t mind paying a moderate one off fee (Perch was £60).

Can anyone suggest a good Perch alternative?

Well it is hard to recommend a good replacement as there are many decisions that go into selecting such a product. Do you need something which has a lot of support from the community for when you run into errors? Does your clients really like plugins? Are you ok with going for something that is free but have to pay for support? Do you mind going with a lesser known product that may have a security hole that you will have to patch yourself? Then of course you have to know what their minimum system requirements are and the programming language it might expect you to work with to enhance it.

Given all this, it is hard to recommend a perfect product. But some I have worked with that are decent include:

  1. WordPress - Most popular CMS so it has tons of support, plenty of plugins, works in PHP and is regularly updated
  2. ModX - Decent CMS, not that well known, PHP based, has a free version you have to dig for a bit in their website. But being small doesn’t have a lot of community support.
  3. Joomla! - I am not a fan of this product, but a lot of people out there are. You decide.

Then of course you can go to Wikipedia’s list of CMS systems which also highlight some of their requirements and links to their sites to learn more…

Hopefully that is enough to get you started. :slight_smile:

Wordpress, Joomla, and Modx are amazing software products. Anyone who desires low cost, low talencty, scalable solutions should be using these solutions.

OP is asking for a CMS that can be added to an existing site. None of the options given so far seem to offer that facility.


@Hlforr: I’m sure you were hoping for recommendations from somebody who has actually used an alternative, but as there have been none forthcoming, you might want to take a look at these suggestions:


What information needs to be shared between both sites that would require this.

Actually I was speaking from a place of being added to an existing site. All those solutions can be made to incorporate an existing site. The OP just has to explain how they expect to add it, what content they want to move over etc. For instance WP can be installed on a sub directory and a template brought in to mimic the rest of the site layout. I know ModX can also do something similar.

But fair point. Perhaps more info is needed to explain what exactly they mean by adding to their site and what they would like to put into the new CMS.

I think this video kind of illustrates the sort of thing the OP is after.

Perch can obviously do a lot more than that. It is nice to be able to go through your static content, cutting out sections of HTML, making templates from them and then use perch to populate those sections again dynamically from the database. A little less obtrusive I guess.

I have a license myself, and I am still to find a substitute. The one suggestion that does come up a few times on the forum is Kirby.

You can get a taste of it on their youtube channel


Thank you for your replies.I’ve been using Perch for around 15 sites and love the fact that it has such a user friendly control panel which reduces tutorial times with clients, and the fact that it can be ‘bolted on’ without compromising any design decisions.
I find clients generally don’t like Wordpress due to the learning curve, and personally I find it a bit clumsy and over engineered for what I need most of the time.
Kirby looks interesting, so will try that first.
Thank you all for your input.


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