The week of many launches

The end of November went a bit crazy at – however rather than external deadlines, these were entirely of our own making.

First out of the stable on Monday was the 1.6 release of our little Content Management System, Perch. Since releasing Perch a year and a half ago we have had loads of excellent feedback and suggestions from our users – many of who have now used Perch for a number of different sites and have experience of how their end clients feel about the product. This feedback is really helpful to us in prioritizing additions to the product. So for the 1.6 release we decided to address some of these end client concerns – rather than new bells and whistles for designers and developers. The main features being:

  • multi-level undo functionality to revert edits
  • Save As Draft functionality for preparing edits in advance
  • Ability to preview drafts before making them live

There are also lots of other small features and admin UI improvements – the full list can be found on the update page, and there is a more detailed blog post over on the Perch blog.

With a new version comes a new demo site. Rather than just update the existing demo, which had a distinctly “designed by programmer” look and feel, we asked local designer Andrew Appleton at Float Left to design a new Perch demo template for us. We are really happy with the end result and we hope it does a better job of showing how Perch works. To have a look sign up for a demo.

With the new version of Perch sorted we turned our attention to a redesign of our company website at I’ll save an explanation of our thinking behind this redesign for another post, but we have stripped the site down to a long homepage and blog, intending to make much more use of the blog in future. The design is again by Andrew Appleton, building on the original branding work from Jon Hicks of Hicksdesign. There are still things I want to change on the site – in particular to do something more than the current very basic mobile stylesheet, however we felt we needed to get this out there rather than endlessly tweak at it.

The new went live at around 9pm last night, and was closely followed at midnight GMT with Drew pushing the button (or more accurately restarting Apache to pick up the new config) to launch 24 Ways for 2010. We are so excited about 24 Ways this year. There is an amazing line-up of authors and it really is set to be a fantastic series of articles.

The 24 Ways website is not the only exciting 24 Ways news this year. We have teamed up with Five Simple Steps to offer The 24 Ways Annual 2010 which was announced this morning. Proceeds from the sale of this publication will go to UNICEF and their global charitable projects with children. I’m really excited to see the printed publication, which will ship towards the end of January, and love the fact that the annual geekfest that is 24 Ways will help improve the lives of children around the world via the proceeds from the Annual.

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