With all this talk of “the cloud” and how that technology is and will shape the web as we know it, it’s ignorant to assume that this emerging technology will not affect how the web is developed. Web designers are embracing new technology every day. Why? Because web design and development in the cloud makes life easier in lots of ways. This includes everything from file management to image editing to major website updates. New content management systems (CMS) are being built around this idea that the cloud is changing how we interact with the web. Let’s take a quick look at the cloud and how it impacts web designers today.
How the Cloud Works It will be difficult to observe how the cloud impacts web designers without taking a look at how cloud computing works. Both currently and historically, the world wide web runs on servers. Technically, these are massive physical hard drives located in data centers all over the world connected to a network. Major search engines, like Google, Yahoo! and Bing have dedicated data centers all over the world. Cloud computing entails that each of these physical computers are leveraging resources from each other to create cloud or virtual servers to collect data.
Using virtual servers allows for us to transcend physical disk space and servers. Cloud applications run on many physical servers simultaneously. This requires less processing power for web applications, which makes the web much, much faster. This also means that powerful cloud applications can be accessed and run from within web browsers like, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Safari. If you’ve ever used an extension application in your web browser, or an online-only web application then you’ve worked in the cloud.
Processing Website Updates Globally in Real-Time Traditional web design and develop involved the use of file transfer protocol (FTP) servers to upload files and data to a website. Now, with the majority of web pages relying on dynamic content, content is uploaded and managed through backend administrative CMS applications. While it isn’t likely that the cloud will completely revolutionize content management, but the trends in content management system design is telling as to where the web development industry is moving.
In-Browser Image Editing Most web designers rely on Adobe’s Photoshop for powerful image editing. In fact, for most designers Adobe is the industry standard. One of the problems with dedicated applications, like Photoshop is processing power. Most Adobe Creative Suite users must have powerful computing devices just to run the application. As cloud technology really takes off, we are likely to see more image editing software developed for web-only use. This means powerful image editing, design and rendering all within the confines of a web browser for quick, and on the go image editing. Imagine Photoshop in the cloud.
Right now this doesn’t seem likely, but with major software companies looking to cut costs, and with the rising problem of software piracy, it seems plausible that major software developers will move their applications to the cloud.
Biljana is a writer and a blogger, researching and publishing information on the subject of cloud computing, virtual private servers solutions and VPS hosting.