Why I haven't joined Adobe Creative Cloud
I wrote this post a while back. The content can still be relevant but the information I've linked to may not be available.
Adobe have moved from a boxed product model for their Creative Suite software to a cloud-based service called Creative Cloud and, over the last few months or so, I’ve been thinking whether I should join. On the face of it, Creative Cloud looks pretty good. You get access to the full suite of Adobe products including, for example, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Illustrator and InDesign, which is a lot of software for the monthly price of £46.88 (in the UK). And you get software updates as soon as they are published. However, for my specific requirements, it doesn’t feel right for me. So, at the moment, I’ve decided not to join and here’s why.
I’m a Windows-based freelance web designer/developer in the UK. My work covers a range of activities from back end database work to front end development to design. However, if I had to choose, I’d probably say that my main role is front end developer. At the moment, I have the boxed product Creative Suite 6 (CS6) and I use Dreamweaver a lot (sorry guys, I like its all-in-one development environment), Fireworks a lot, and Photoshop sometimes, but not extensively. Very, very occasionally, I need InDesign or Illustrator to open a file.
So, my usage equates to 2.5 Adobe applications. However, Fireworks is not being developed further so, although it’s part of Creative Cloud, it seems a dead application in Adobe’s eyes. This means my usage of Creative Cloud, assuming no change in usage, would be 1.5 applications. Somehow, £47/month seems more difficult to justify. Of course, I could sign-up for a single application license for £17.58/month (mainly for my Dreamweaver usage) and stick with Photoshop and Fireworks CS6. However, that doesn’t seem great either, especially when the Dreamweaver-related tools like Edge Reflow aren’t included in the single application license (as far as I know, please correct me if I have this wrong).
Costs and the monthly thing
Of course, I can afford the monthly costs if I choose to but it’s an additional business cost of £562/year and my usage makes it less effective for me. Don’t get me wrong, I used to upgrade Creative Suite every 18 months but, and here’s the thing, that was my choice. I could do it when I wanted. I’m struggling to feel totally comfortable with a monthly commitment. There’s a change of mindset required and I haven’t got my head around it yet.
NB: The equivalent price of Creative Cloud in the USA is $49.99/month. Seems cheaper than the UK price to me but different taxes (VAT) will be reflected in the UK price (I assume).
How will I cope without Creative Cloud?
Well, eventually, my CS6 products may have problems and I will have to re-evaluate my options at that time. In the meantime, I am losing out on new Dreamweaver features like the improved CSS editing tools. So…. I’ve been assessing alternative software like Sublime Text (which I already use) and Brackets editor (open source), both of which I like, and various preprocessing tools, for example PrePros. It’s been great to try these and I’m using them more and more.
Looking ahead, I’m looking forward to trying out Underdog as a Fireworks replacement and UI design tool and Macaw as a web design/prototyping tool. So, I think the future of smaller independent software tools is looking good.
I haven’t ruled out joining Creative Cloud if it becomes more attractive, either in terms of my usage or features or price. However, at present, it’s a No for me.
I’d love to get other feedback on this, why you have or haven’t joined Creative Cloud. Leave a comment below if you want to tell me.