Last week I spoke at ConfConf, a conference for conference organisers. I had been asked to speak about what speakers want, as a somewhat frequent speaker at technical conferences.

I wasn’t really comfortable in making it 40 minutes about what I and my friends thought. At this point I’m not representative, and neither are many of my friends who also speak. Many of us consider speaking and workshop leading as part of our businesses, part of our professional work. That makes us quite different to someone who perhaps speaks once or twice a year, at conferences that have grown from…


I’ve spent more than three years trekking around the globe talking about CSS Grid Layout. Invariably while I’m on stage, someone will tweet something like, “well it sounds great — but it’s only implemented in Internet Explorer”. Where they get this information from is the Can I Use website, which correctly lists IE as the only browser offering support.

As regular readers of my grid ramblings will be aware, the IE and Edge implementation is outdated. It is based upon the initial version of the specification. However, pretty much all of the examples I show on stage and those listed…


This is the second in a series of posts about the work I’m currently doing on the Perch CMS user Interface. You can read the first article introducing the issues we face here.

The existing Perch UI has developed organically over the last few years. Our reference has been the original and updated UI designs created for us by Nathan Pitman. Rebuilding the interface gave us the chance to think about the process of working on the UI and what we could do better in the future.

Our goals

In addition to creating a more usable, more responsive interface for Perch we…


We launched Perch CMS at the end of May 2009. Quite a lot has happened on the web since then, and Perch is still the choice of thousands of web designers building sites for their clients.

The web has changed a lot and so has Perch. We now have a companion product for larger sites in Perch Runway, and have just launched a full-scale e-commerce system for the products — Perch Shop. With the Shop launch out of the way we are turning our thoughts to what’s next, and part of that is our first full-scale UI rebuild.

There are…


I’ve seen a little bit of interest around Exclusions lately, and so am reposting the piece that was originally posted on my blog in 2016. I would love to see Exclusions have more interest. Take a look!

There is a tiny little specification that originally started life linked to the Shapes specification, the original Exclusions and Shapes draft defined both shape-inside and shape-outside along with properties wrap-flow and wrap-through. These properties were to create Exclusions.

The Exclusions and Shapes specification was split. The shape-outside property went into Level 1 of CSS Shapes and is now implemented in some browsers. The…


There’s epic amounts of stuff that I’ve not touched. People will say to me, “What do you think about this?” “I don’t really have an opinion. I’ll let you know once I have a chance to look at it.” I think coming from where I’ve come from, I’ve got the confidence to say that. If you’re in that place where you’re feeling terrified that the world is racing past you, if a client says, “Why aren’t you using this?” or “I’ve heard that you need to use that.” What do you say? You don’t come from a place of being…


On January 1st every year I like to do a “GTD Reset”. It’s a chance for me to make sure my GTD System is primed for another busy year, to assess how well the system is working for me, and drop some projects that didn’t get done last year.

Collecting

Even the most keen GTD-er can get a bit behind in collecting everything. My personal issue is the stuff that needs scanning. Despite the fact I have an excellent scanner, and a system for what to do with the scanned items, I stuff them into my to do folder and leave…


My productivity workflow

I work from home running my own business, I’ve been running a business since 2001 – we did have an office for a few years but once we stopped taking on client projects to focus on Perch full-time, the office made little sense. In addition to Perch, I write books and articles and speak at conferences. I’m also a mother, something of a fitness fanatic, a family historian and I try not to let my house fall into chaos while I’m doing everything else that needs to be done.

I get a lot done, and this post is about how…


When we launched Perch we were, in most cases gently, mocked for writing it in that language everyone loves to hate – PHP. We were quizzed as to why we were not using a trendy NoSQL database. Our technology decisions however, were entirely sensible. They were based on what we knew to be true – that our target customers would not have Python, Ruby on Rails or the latest database available on their cheap hosting. We couldn’t even rely on them to have up to date PHP.

We’ve always defended our decision to take a progressively enhanced approach to our…

Rachel Andrew

Web developer, writer, speaker, runner. One half of the company behind https://grabaperch.com. I write about business and tech at https://rachelandrew.co.uk.

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