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What is Cloud???

I often get a lot of clients who ask me or misunderstand or misuse understanding of "Cloud Services". There are all types of cloud services, some of the most know ones are iCloud, Google, Dropbox, and even Facebook have been used by many as a "Cloud Service". Many of us have email accounts that we keep a Cloud Status too, whether it is your Shaw, Telus or Gmail account, when you leave all your messages on you server(mail provider), this is Cloud computing. So how do we define Cloud Services to make it make a little more sense, well basically it is a place to store electronic files that the files always reside. An example of a simple understanding of the difference of cloud and non cloud, would be your email account and how it reacts. If you can access all your email, past and present from any computer and any time with a simple login, then you probably are using a cloud service. If you have ever had email on your computer and then your computer stopped functioning and your old email was lost with your computer, then you wouldn't have been using a cloud service. 

Cloud Services are basically servers that store your data that the server administrators look after. A good quality Cloud Service will back up data, keep speed and accessibility to your data reliable. Where these servers are for the most part isn't that important, but keep in mind with privacy laws, there is a chance in some legal situations, these locations may need to be known. Lawyers in Canada cannot store their data outside of Canada because of fears of privacy violations by outside countries, in particular for Canada, the US government has free access to any data stored in their country for national security reasons. For most of us this is not an issue, but I would not risk storing Copyrighted material that you are not the legal owner of on your cloud services. 

So why do we like Cloud Services? Because it gives us assess to our data, email, pictures, files or anything else that is in a digital format, and from any location that has an internet connection. This also means you get a backup of your data too, in the event of a disaster you have another place to recover it from. So what are cons of Cloud Services? Well you need access to an internet connection. The speed of that connection could be detrimental to the the efficiency of your Cloud Services. But those are your two major pit falls of concern in terms of Cloud Services. Also to note, cloud services can be very economical and even free in many cases, depending on how much data you are storing.

I hope I was able to give some clarity to understanding cloud services.

 

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But it is my name…?

In the past I have always tried to protect the best interests of my clients, and one of the items that I put on the top of my list, is helping them register their own domain name. Many web designers and webmasters, feel it is easier to assist clients by taking ownership of a clients domain name, and in the process add a bit of service fee for that service. I have always been worried that for if some reason I was ever incapacitated indefinitely, anyone can be run over by a bus. So I have always made a practice to help clients setup a domain name with a registrar and they also will pay the renewal fees. Your name is yours, why would want to lose it because of a complication in your web designer/masters life? You maybe concerned about the technical part of owning your domain name, but any person with technical experiencing including a new web designer/master should be able to help you change your settings to push your domain to the appropriate servers. You also now are in a position to change web designers/masters at any time without any obligation, unlike if someone else owns your name.

So the question to a lot of people is how likely is this really to be a concern? Well years ago when I first got into assisting clients with domains, one of my first clients, had a couple who ran a web design company and they unfortunately had started into a messy divorce, and not only had stopped talking to each other, but all their clients as well. There was definitely some struggles and we were able to resolve and move the ownership. Now we jump forward almost a decade later, and some other clients of mine had a web designer/master who became very very sick and kept hoping he was going to recover, but unfortunately he never was able to and passed away. The family had no technical knowledge and his record keeping was not the easiest to follow, and to add to things, he used different registrars here and there with different credentials. Some of his clients I am still struggling to find their domains names to help them move over to their own registrar. So if you think it can't happen, that is like thinking, your computer will never crash and you do not need a backup. Make good backups of your computer and also make sure you are the owner of your domain name, there  is no need for your web designer/master to own your name.