Perch Runway is landing

Today we are announcing a new edition of Perch designed as a solution for developers building larger and more complex sites.

Perch is a great solution for a lot of the sites that you develop. However, as the product has matured, we field a lot of feature requests from people who are building more complex sites. Some of those feature requests, if implemented, would make Perch more difficult and slower to use for smaller sites. Some of them would also add a layer of complexity to developing with Perch, requiring far more PHP knowledge for example, or demanding more fully-featured hosting.

We are committed to keeping Perch simple, easy to use and fast to build sites with. To ensure that this is the case, we are announcing Perch Runway. Runway will essentially be a superset of Perch functionality, with a more developer friendly approach to building sites.

Is this Perch 3?

No, Perch Runway will exist as a product developed in parallel with Perch. In fact we intend to keep the version numbers the same. So if Perch is at 2.6 when we launch Perch Runway, Perch Runway will also be version 2.6.

What are the major features of Perch Runway over Perch?

A feature will be considered for Runway when it is something that makes most sense for larger sites and adding it would create complexity for everyone in the core product. The main differences at launch will be that Perch Runway will move away from being based on physical files to doing URL routing via a front controller. Perch Runway will also, via a feature we’re calling Collections, more easily enable the creation of content that is not tied to pages, and give you control over how that is presented to the client.

What does this mean for Perch?

We expect Perch Runway and Perch to co-exist happily. Developing Perch Runway means we won’t have a constant tension of trying to bring ever more complex features into a product that is designed to be deliberately simple.

For Perchers, Runway means that you have somewhere to take a site that grows. If your client is happily using Perch but then has a more complex requirement the upgrade to Runway will ensure that they still have a familiar looking editing experience, but can add the features that they need.

What will Perch Runway Cost?

We are expecting Perch Runway to be $299 per license, or the equivalent in GBP or Euro. We’ll be licensing it in exactly the same way as Perch – a one-off cost per website including support and first party add-ons.

What about upgrades from Perch to Perch Runway?

We don’t think you should incur a financial penalty if you start developing a site with Perch then realise you need Perch Runway, so we’ll offer an upgrade path for licenses, that you can take at any time where you will just pay the difference between a regular Perch license and a Perch Runway license.

As Perch Runway is essentially a superset of Perch functionality, upgrading a site should be a relatively straightforward process. As with all things Perch we’ll be trying to make it as easy a transition as possible.

When will it be ready?

We are expecting to run a Beta during the summer, with a launch in the last quarter of 2014. We decided to announce early in order that we can develop Perch Runway in the open, showing you our progress and making sure that it really does meet the needs we want it to.

You can sign up for a Perch Runway specific list on the landing page. We’ll be sending out progress emails and asking for feedback via that list. If you would be interested in being part of the Beta group, and especially if you have sites that you think would be good candidates for Perch Runway, drop us a line.

We discuss Perch Runway in the Perch Podcast Episode 39 if you want to hear us chat about the thinking behind the product.