Creating a website, like any other project, is a step-by-step project that requires careful execution in all stages. Web designers, those masterful “builders” of our digital virtual world, use a variety of software solutions as the tools of their craft.
Most commonly, tools like Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator are used as tools for the initial design of a website. Then come in developers to code the pages of the new site using programs like Dreamweaver or Microsoft .NET Visual Studio.
That completes the “skeleton” structure of the website, ready to receive the content, which is constantly uploaded and updated. In that phase a whole new array of tools are used, typically of the CMS variety, since they allow clients to add and edit content on their sites.
We all know that, in order to build a house, for example, one needs not only to acquire numerous skills from carpentry to electrical engineering and many more. But the skills alone would be useless if we don’t have all the tools needed to actually materialize our house. So, there is no other option but to go to the local hardware store and buy all the hammers, saws, paint, protective gear and so on.
Instead of exterior design (architecture) the main topic here is web-design, therefore the brief digression was just a useful analogy.
However, if we are building a website instead of a house (fortunately?) we also need a lot of tools. I hope that the initial description of the website building process illustrates that fact. Wouldn’t it be great if we had a kind of “Swiss army knife” at our disposal?
This is where SaaS (software as a service) options come in the game as they help reduce the number of applications needed to complete the process of website building and maintenance.
As Michael Georgiou points out on his blog:
“Squarespace is a fine example of how SaaS-based CMS with in-built web site builder tools, blogging platform and hosting service has made the job of web designers easier by making website design as easy as clicking buttons. What’s more, with the emergence of cloud based technologies, designers can get their hands on the best software/platforms easily and without digging deep into their pockets. In 2015, we will see an increase in adoption of SaaS based web design as more and more web designers will begin appreciating the benefits of designing via cloud.”
At the same time, these new cloud-based services open new possibilities for both web designers and website owners. Possibilities that they would not find using other software. This post will try to highlight some of them, in order to show how SaaS is transforming the web design industry.
- You can work on your website from anywhere
As long as you have access to an Internet connection and a decent web browser, you can use SaaS based platforms from anywhere and it gives a special appeal to your web design. You wouldn’t need to be in one specific office, using one specific computer that has all the necessary software installed. Without using SaaS you would, that is. But by using SaaS you can do your work on the beach, while visiting the Great China Wall or while riding camels in the desert for example. O.K., probably you wouldn’t be able to do anything useful in the latter, but hey, who am I to question your ability to balance? Camel or donkey, it’s all a matter of preference; real point being in flexibility. For the time being, though, “anywhere” refers only on the planet Earth and its orbit. But not for long…
- You will be up-to-date with all the latest features
No need to buy and wait for the installation of updates!
Cloud-based platforms keep their customer accounts updated with all updates as they become available. All the customers need to do is login to their accounts and they are ready to use all the features. This way you will have the state-of-the-art tools at hand anytime.
- New computer or multiple devices? No problem!
Same as with updates goes for transitioning to new hardware or, for instance, using a tool on different devices. All the clients need to do is to login to their accounts on any device that is supported. Do you recall the times when you had to switch to a new computer at your office? Yeah, having to deal with those IT guys whose lingo you can barely understand… well, by using SaaS you just need to open your browser, login to your account and that’s it – you are off to get that project done!
Web design is still in its infancy. Although more than two decades have passed since Tim Berners-Lee in CERN created all the tools that made Web possible, Flash only became popular in late 1990s. Web designers later adopted PHP and then switched to CSS, Java, XML and HTML. In other words, it’s clear that there was quite a bit of evolution and changes in software used for creating and managing web content. Which is not surprising at all since technology is very dynamic, it is constantly evolving. Nowadays we see these applications being replaced with a more unifying, cloud-based solutions – such as SaaS. SaaS will certainly change the face of web design industry and, undoubtedly, improve it in the process.