Cloud Computing & The Web Designer

Between dealing with difficult clients, technology blunders and re-working designs more times than can be counted, web designers have enough on their plates.

While nothing can be done about ridiculous client requests, cloud computing could be the next big breakthrough to make the web designer’s job easier and more flexible.

Let the Cloud do the Work?

Imagine this: instead of your computer running Photoshop or other Adobe programs, they’re all run through the cloud.

Computer crashes, technical malfunctions, out-of-date software and computing time would no longer be an issue. Even if your computer isn’t the latest and greatest model, you would still be able to run Adobe, since the computing would all take place in the cloud. Though not perfectly thought out yet, an idea like this in the future could mean fewer headaches for web designers.

This concept is already in use by smaller tools and applications. Aviary offers photo and image editing through a browser and powered completely in the cloud.

Access Your Work and Files From Anywhere

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One the biggest advantages of cloud computing is that it allows you to access your files from anywhere. Everyone is already in the habit of staying connected via smartphone, but being able to work remotely all the time, especially on large projects like web design, would make for greater flexibility and quicker results. Viewing your files without having your desktop computer or external hard drive would mean the ability to work from anywhere in the world.

We’ve already gotten a taste of what this could be like with Google Docs. With successful storage of documents and files already in the bag, we now know the convenience of services like cloud computing. You can use any computer, but still have access to all of your files and information.

More Storage

Storage is always an issue. Luckily, the cost of an extra terabyte or two is nowhere near what it used to be, but external hard drives and multiple back-ups are still a huge issue for designers. Cloud computing could address the issue of space. By storing information in the cloud, more space is freed up on personal computers. The cloud could also serve an extra back-up in the event of a computer or external hard drive crash. As more and more data is produced, more storage is required and cloud computing could offer a solution to the space shortage and for a cheaper price than a designer would have to spend on terabytes of excess storage.

Reduced Cost?

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With the ability to work from anywhere, the cost of design could go down on both ends, that is, for both clients and designers.

If Adobe applications are hosted in the cloud, the cost to access and use these services would most likely be cheaper than buying them outright. Software designers could just charge a licensing fee, or charge by the use. Designers could save money as well on less frequent computer updates, as the computer itself wouldn’t have to be cutting edge since the computing would happen in the cloud. Additionally, the software would be more up-to-date and with less effort and money spent.

 Comments, Concerns, Crises?

Are there any possible drawbacks to cloud computing for designers? Cloud computing in general offers certain pros and cons for businesses in any industry.

For web designers working through the cloud, security could be a big risk. The risk of hacking is considerably higher with all of a designer’s files, information and work being stored anywhere besides his/her own private computer or external hard drive.  Web designers could also be concerned with the reliability of the cloud hosting service. If the server is down, the designer may not be able to work at all. That could cost both time and money.

Lastly, any dew development or design will have kinks to iron out. The potential for cloud computing use in web design is boundless, but only time will tell if the benefits outweigh the risks or vice versa.

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 Guest Post by Henry

Southern transplant in seattle. altruist interested in technology, sailing, sports, business. can cook a mean risotto, tie 17 types of knots, & do your taxes.

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  • nicole says:

    Nice post!..I really like it..Its very useful and inspiring..Keep up the good work!

  • Mike says:

    I’ve had some mixed experiences with the cloud. Theoretically, it should be much more effective and powerful and reliable than using a personal computer, but I think there’s a long way to go before cloud computing becomes a reality. Specifically, I was hosting about two dozen websites on a VPS cloud hosting platform and the downtime was tremendous. I know this isn’t exactly the kind of cloud computing you refer to in this article, but I think the technology, security, reliability, and redundancy follow the same idea.

    Anyhow, I hope this does become more accessible because I’m a web designer and I think you make some valid points about the validity of cloud computing.