Our aim with Perch has always been to keep the basic product as clean and simple as possible. Perch is “a really little CMS” and, for many of our users, having too many features cluttering that basic interface would make Perch far less useful.
That said, we know that even in a very simple website you sometimes need just one or two extra features to complete the job. That might be a simple blog or news module, an events calendar, image gallery or the ability for new pages to be created in one section or site-wide. To accommodate this we developed the concept of Apps. The Perch apps are additional functionality that you can drop into your site to add the extra elements you need. We have started to launch some Perch official apps with Blog, Events, Pages, Twitter and Backup and there is also a developer API for those who want to get started building their own.
With the launch of the developer API we have started to be asked about our policy on third party Apps. In particular, whether we are happy with developers creating and selling add-ons for Perch. So this post is really an answer to that question.
We feel that the cost of using Perch should be absolutely transparent to a person buying a license. This is why the apps that we develop are free for anyone with a Perch license to download and use in their installation. We don’t want to find ourselves in a situation where our users had to buy a Perch license and then buy additional applications to get basic functionality of their site working – either from us or from a third party. Therefore, while we won’t prevent third parties creating and selling apps, if those apps essentially become something that a large number of our customers want, we would want to add that functionality either to the Perch core or to a free app of our own. This is to protect our customers from finding that a low cost product starts to cost them far more than the price they saw on our site.
If a third party is intending to develop something very specific, likely to only be of use to a minority then that may well be a app that could become a chargeable third party add-on. What we would say however, is before writing an app that you hope to charge for, you have a chat with us. We’ll be very honest if that functionality is likely to be something we would develop ourselves in time. We don’t want to annoy app developers – but we’ll always put the interests of our customers first.