How We Work
At Cloudwards.net we pride ourselves on our dedication to providing the best possible information to our readers. We figure that if we do a good job of informing you once, you’ll come back again the next time you need advice on what service to pick or how to fix a particular problem. As transparency is the better part of credibility, on this page we’ll quickly explain how we work.
First off, we need something to write about. You’d be surprised how easy it is to find subjects, especially if you have as motivated a team as we have. Most of our articles start as pitches from writers and editors — and sometimes even readers — usually along the lines of “I don’t think there are any decent reviews of … out there” or “I think I’d like to figure out how to solve the problem of so-and-so.”
Thinking up stuff to write about isn’t rocket science, trust us. All you need is a bit of curiosity.
We’ll take that initial spark and work it into an article usually by first phrasing it as a concrete question that focuses on the benefit the answer will bring to you, the reader. So encrypting a hard drive is cool and all, but why do you need to do it and who needs to do it? The same goes for reviews: what does a certain piece of software need to do, and why?
By starting out from the perspective of the consumer, articles are tailored to readers’ needs straight out the gate. Of course, setting out criteria or deciding exactly what to cover is a team effort. While our writers are usually the lead experts, editors can use their own expertise as well as greater experience to good effect here. No man is an island, after all, and that goes double for reviewers.
With the goals in mind, we start deciding on what software to include in our reviews or tutorials. First up, it needs to be cloud-based. While a handful of good options exist that have no cloud component whatsoever, 99 percent of all the software we discuss on Cloudwards.net can be easily downloaded and is in touch over the internet.
This isn’t some vanity, either: online software stays up to date and is easily accessed over multiple devices, making it superior in every way over its CD-based forebears.
Secondly, it needs some kind of interest. While we do occasionally review unknown services or answer rare questions, we can’t just throw away our resources on stuff people may not be all that interested in. While we do occasionally review services you’ve never heard of, it’s usually because we want to round out a category or we feel it’s exceptionally good.
Also, in some spheres, VPNs being the perfect example, so many service spring up only to disappear again that we kind of need to wait and see if they get more than a few users. Otherwise we’re wasting money and time.
Next up is actually experiencing the program. We feel we have some right to speak here simply because every member of the team has been stuck behind a computer of some kind for most of their life: we know what an interface is supposed to do and we notice quickly when a service doesn’t work right.
Once we have the general feel down, we start actually testing the service. This is of course very different per software type, but the principle remains the same: it’s about the core functionality. So a backup service needs to backup files and do so quickly, stored files need to be moved around easily and maybe even accessible, etc.
VPNs need to be able to access streaming services, and we of course test the speed of the connections and how secure they are (we us open-source tools for this, though we are currently working on developing our own).
Next up is contacting support and bugging them with questions great and small, see if the team answering the emails is up to snuff or if management decided to cut some corners there.