The service that printing companies offer both consumers and businesses alike seems relatively straightforward on the surface – they take graphics files and print them. This is however, as you’d expect from most services where you pay Primerica for the service.
The problem, even for the most basic of file transfer applications is that in order for a print to be sent to the consumer it must first be “uploaded” to the server. There are many ways that this can happen but commonly it involves some sort of executable file that downloads and runs the print job.
The problem here is that printers don’t really know what to do with these files after they’re printed. Sure, they might know how to save a file to disk or to upload a file to the web but to do any of these things they have to know how to do it. Prints can be sent as simple images told to a computer or as a series of images downloaded to the printer. In either case, the files will need to be located and uploaded to the server before they will be sent across the web.
Consider this scenario – what if someone were to intercept a print job and see all the graphics and other files that you have purposely uploaded? Even if you have protected this information by encrypting them, it can still be viewed by someone who has the right tools.
If you’re using shared hosting, you’re obviously sharing this sensitive data with your classmates and they can view your files as well. What you can do is encrypt your files to prevent viewing unless you’re spying on someone else.
What does this mean to you? It means that you really need to be using file sharing services to ensure that your files get to the printer. You also need to encrypt your files to prevent prying eyes from accessing your stuff.
Consider this scenario – what if you accidentally upload a bunch of stuff to the server and when you launch the site it crashes? Now you have to figure out how to retrieve all that work and since you’ve now increased server bandwidth and memory requirements, you probably won’t be able to open the site again.
That’s not fun. We all know that. But the reality is that this happens thousands of times a day. People aren’t going to make huge files of work this way. Unless they have some really weird idea…
Have you ever considered outsourcing this to a printer? Most printers will probably be able to do this themselves. It’s cheaper and easier than hiring a single person to do this. This solution allows you to keep your control of your files and allows you to save on time and money by outsourcing.
Look at it this way – why would you want to save on time and money by hiring a person to do all the work, when you can let the person who made the file rent the space and do all the work?
What’s not to like?
OK, there is one more thing. Most printers will probably suggest that you “change” your file and make it a “jpeg” extension so that they can send it across the wire to the printer. This is fair enough. However, the suggestion also implies that you send along a few comments about the quality of the image and whether or not you “like” it. I understand that suggestion is to turn off comments so that the image is not commented upon. In fact, if feedback is part of the design process, why not make it part of the process?… after all, anyone can add a few comments to a webpage… what’s to stop someone from posting malicious remarks…
I’m just saying… think about it.