March 30, 2013 - No Comments!

Reducing SaaS

Software as a Service is all the rage these days. For some things, it definitely makes sense. But when you're concerned about long-term data viability, budget, and the idea of "owning" your own stuff, sometimes it pays to take a second look at where you can trim the fat.
UPDATE: It looks like Sacha Greif already covered this in a two-part series. Make sure to check out the discussion on Hacker News, too. He really hits all the best parts of this argument, I'm just showing an area of my expenditures that could be replaced.

I have been hosting my portfolio online through Cargo Collective for just over a year. They have a wonderful product, and it was extremely easy to get my work up and out there with minimal hassle.

That said, the premium features were running me $10/mo. That doesn't sound like a ton, but when you think of all the services you're paying for these days, every little bit adds up! Right now, I'm paying for the following design-related services:

  • HostGator Web Hosting - $10/mo
  • BackBlaze computer backup - $5/mo
  • Spotify premium - $10/mo
  • Cargo Collective CMS - $10/mo
  • GoDaddy & Namecheap.com domains - $Varies yearly
  • Google Drive (I also use Dropbox, but freely) - $2.50/25GB/mo

Even Adobe and Microsoft are moving to SaaS! Creative Cloud and Office 365 are enticing, but it's difficult for me to transition my mentality from owning a product to merely paying for access to that product. Hard to deny the convenience of the entire Adobe Suite at your fingertips, even if it's largely mental; I mean, I only really use the Design Standard programs on a daily basis.

I'm already paying for hosting; why not leverage that? I went on the hunt for a decent WordPress theme to replace my Cargo portfolio. I ended up falling in love with Verb from OkayThemes, which is what I'm using right now. I wanted a slightly different, more focused look for my "blog" site, so I went with Writer2 from Authentic Themes.

Recent changes with WordPress have made me take another look.

For years, I've toyed with WordPress. Installing it, getting halfway through posting all my content, getting frustrated at how it's presented, and ragequitting. As a result, when Cargo's product came along, I was overjoyed. Recent changes with WordPress have made me take another look, though. Custom post types allow me to present content largely free from the cruft of WordPress (sidebars, post dates, comments, other crap). Child themes make changing certain parts of the CSS a lot easier, and make updating the theme painless. And custom styles in the post editor have made creating a memorable post much easier (looking at you, pull quote!)

Will I ever break totally free from SaaS? Probably not. Spotify actually saves me money, considering how much I used to spend on music in a year. BackBlaze is great for offsite backup. I'm not going to run my own web server stack, either. (Gotta pick your time sinks.) But moving to a self-hosted CMS? No-brainer. Now I just have to produce awesome content.

Published by: Alex in Notes

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