Payload is now completely free and open source

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Payload is now completely free and open source
Payload is now completely free and open source

Today is an extremely exciting day for Payload. Starting immediately, we're moving to a completely open source and totally free MIT licensing model. From this point on, Payload is now completely free for projects of any shape or size.

Since launching our public beta a little over a year ago, Payload has been met with intensely positive reception. Developers all over the world have contributed to its codebase and we've been humbled by the amazing feedback we've received. From feature ideas to code commits, contributions to Payload's core have come from outside of the Payload team itself.

That's a beautiful thing, and it's the core of what makes the concept of open-source software so powerful. The community should shape the software, and when this paradigm is embraced, the software will become more effective than it ever could have if kept behind closed doors. But the level of engagement and community partnership that we've seen has far outshined our expectations—and it didn't feel right that we were charging money for software that people were so openly contributing to and helping shape.

Apart from code contributions, our community has also been active in providing feedback to the Payload team, which helps us shape our trajectory and helps us understand the impressions of developers as they discover Payload for the first time. Our community has consistently reinforced the fact that open-source software is much more trusted by developers and business users alike, and proprietary licenses are often hurdles that need to be overcome when adopting new technology for any company.

Our mission is to build the most powerful developer-first headless CMS available. It's a tool that has an uncompromising focus on the developer experience—and for that reason, we want to make sure that we value developers' feedback over all else.

Give us a star on GitHub

If you haven't already, stop by GitHub and give us a star by clicking on the "Star" button in the top-right corner of our repo. With this move to open-source, we're looking to dramatically expand our community and we can't do it without you.

We hope that this move will drive adoption further across the internet and allow developers all over the world to see the value in what Payload offers. Over the next few months, we'll be developing documentation describing the inner-workings of Payload itself as well as expanding on our code contribution experience to lower the barrier of entry and add transparency to how Payload has achieved its level of functionality.

Our future business model

The Payload team will continue to exist and will be expanding over the next few months. We will continue to be the primary source of development for new features and roadmap items. There's a lot to come yet—including some extremely exciting secured funding announcements and our 1.0 release.

Long-term, we've identified a business model that is two-fold:

1. Enterprise licenses

Since launching our public beta, we've been asked for enterprise-level features like SSO, support packages where enterprises will have guaranteed response times from Payload core developers, dedicated chat channels for rapid and efficient co-working, dedicated customer success managers, and more. We will continue to offer enterprise agreements to Payload users who require an added level of functionality and support, and we'll continue to build on our enterprise offering over time. If you're interested in hearing more about our enterprise offering, shoot us an email.

2. Cloud hosting

Another piece of feedback that the core Payload team has received is in regards to how difficult it is to handle hosting and dev ops on your own. Great strides have been made elsewhere on the web in regards to hosting platforms, but as soon as you need a database, permanent file storage, and deliberate infrastructure for Node apps, hosting becomes much trickier and you often find yourself cobbling together three or four vendors to host a CMS.

As a result, our team has committed to building a cloud deployment platform for Payload, which will be the easiest, most cost-effective, and efficient way to deploy Payload CMS for production. It'll deliver you a database that you continue to own, API endpoints, permanent file storage, backups, branch-based auto deploys, and more. Just connect to your version control, configure environment variables, and benefit from auto-deploys on scalable and managed infrastructure - just like how it should be. Just like NextJS (<3), you'll be able to host Payload wherever you want on your own completely free of charge, but if you would rather have us handle hosting for you, we're going to build a beautiful platform that will make sure your CMS is hosted in the most effective and efficient way possible.

We're actively gathering feedback in regards to features and functionality for our new cloud deployment platform, so if you'd like to help shape where we go, please take part in the discussions on GitHub. Also, keep an eye out for a blog post that'll talk more about our cloud hosting plans.

More to come

We have many more announcements to come in the next few months. It's an extremely exciting time for the Payload team and our energy stems directly from the intensely positive feedback we receive from our community every day. Keep an eye out for more and we look forward to continuing to build Payload into the most powerful CMS it can possibly be.