The new world of digital media has opened the doors for amateur and professionals alike to share their images online. With a few clicks, your work can be seen by hundreds, thousands, even millions of people. Image searches by all of the major search engines widens your audience and social networking like Facebook and Twitter give all of your network instant notification of your work. Here are a few ways you can get your images hosted online.
Note: This is not a review of each of these sites, but rather an introduction to some of your options. We’d love to hear your opinions and experiences with each of these sites.
Photobucket is one of the most popular video and photo hosting sites. With a free account, users get a monthly bandwidth of 25GB and 1GB space. However, free accounts come with ads. If you would like unlimited monthly bandwidth, the Pro account is what you should sign up for. Some of the features of this account include premium support, support for FTP uploads, 5GB storage space, enhanced widgets, no ads, ability to upload images of up to 2240Ãƒâ€”1680 image size, 10% discounts on prints and you can also upload videos running up to 10 minutes.
The giant on the playing field is Flickr, which is owned by Yahoo and is one of the largest photo sharing sites. Users can opt for a free or Pro account. With a free account, you will get up to 100MB monthly upload. This is calculated based on the bandwidth and not the size of the images. If you wish for unlimited bandwidth, you can opt for a Pro account which comes at an annual cost of $24.95. Also, with Flickr, you can easily make your photos available on your blog or website by using their custom widget.
ImageShack is one of the easiest image hosting websites to use. To host your images, you do not have to create an account with them. You simply upload the images and save the generated links for viewing or future reference. However, if you want to arrange your images according to albums, you will have to register an account. The uploading procedure is very easy and most of the major types of images are supported.
Picasa Web Albums is owned by Google and thus supports many of Google services. If you already have a Google account, you do not have to sign up for a Picasa account. Simply use your Google account to log in. Free users are allowed 1GB free space. If you would like more space and other advanced options, there are a variety of plans you can go for, starting at $25 per year.
Picasa makes it easy to edit, organize and view photos and is available in 18 different languages.
Don’t let the below average aesthetics fool you! ImageVenue is one of the steadily rising image hosting websites. With the website, you can share your photos to friends, blogs, forums, message boards and others. You can change the settings to have the images viewable either publicly or privately and can upload unlimited number of photos for free. However, you are not allowed to hotlink the images and the maximum file size you can upload is 1.5MB.
Of course there’s always the option of hosting your own images on your own websites. If you find cheap hosting like Bluehost, you won’t have to worry too much about storage capacity or reduction of image quality. However, there is a learning curve, as you might have to learn how to use FTP software and upload your images directly to the server or use content management systems like WordPress.