We capture an estimated 1.8 billion images each day on earth. Every image must be stored, and image hosting sites provide the solution to this enormous problem.
Image hosting sites offer safe, secure and easy to access servers for uploading and sharing images online. Take a look at the factors to consider as you compare hosting sites, and review the best options available on the market.
What are the Benefits of Using Image Hosting Sites?
Besides saving storage space, an image hosting site also keeps your images and sensitive information safe. Here are some major benefits of an image hosting site:
Saves storage space
Not all of the images we capture are needed every day. If we were to save such images on a device, we would soon run out of storage space that we could use for numerous purposes. An image hosting site allots a safe space for you to save such images so that you can get them when needed. This way, you can save your valuable storage space.
Increases site speed
If you run a website, image hosting sites will prove more useful to you. Accessing images from a generic hosting space can impact your website performance and, eventually, your SEO ranking.
But image hosting sites have designed service around performance and usability. Images stored and accessed from image hosting sites improve your website speed and performance, enhancing the visitor experience.
Beyond easy access and image sharing, the image hosting sites also regularly maintain backups and optimize site performance and security. You can also get statistical analysis of your images like loading speed, quality, failed attempts and views. All these insights can be valuable in measuring the effectiveness of your image safety.
What Factors Make a Good Image Hosting Site?
There are numerous popular image hosting sites offering standard features. However, there are many essential qualities that you must consider before making your choice.
Here is what you should look for:
A good image hosting site allows you to keep the image quality intact when storing and sharing them. It means your images won’t be tampered with and can be of the best quality.
Some sites also offer additional services for image manipulation like resizing and compressing. These services can come in handy when you want the images to load faster than ever. You might even add brilliant filters, stickers and annotations to add value to any ordinary image using their services.
There are 2 primary purposes of image hosting sites: storing images and allowing you to share them when needed. A good image hosting site will let you quickly access and share your images so that you won’t have to upload the same image over and over to different forums, blogs, websites or marketplaces. It will give you an easy to embed link so that you can copy and share your pictures on your preferred sites. Not only will it reduce your effort, but it also minimizes time consumption.
Security of your information has never been as important as it is today. Image hosting sites should at the least offer industry-standard security features, if not more than that.
Knowing that your images are safe and well protected can let you have peace of mind. On top of that, an excellent hosting site should also offer advanced privacy settings so that you can control who can see your images.
Cost vs. Storage
Every image hosting site has its limit of sharable space. Because storage space involves infrastructure and resource costs, the platform might charge you a sum for services. The best image hosting sites know how to minimize the cost hence letting you enjoy more storage space at a minimal cost.
Some of the best sites offer a basic storage plan that might come free of charge. Though such plans might be enough for basic purposes, you need advanced plans as you grow. The best image hosting sites offer plans to fit your needs and at an optimal cost.
File Format Support
Because every image capture device available in the market has its file format, you might not be able to export an image in the format you recognize. The best image hosting sites are not limited to a file format. They accept images in various formats and render them for you to see. When you need the image, they also let you download the image in your chosen format.
People seldom like to spend hours learning the functionality of an image hosting site. If you have to spend much time learning basic things like uploading or sharing images, that should be a red flag for image hosting sites.
The best image hosting sites are easy to use and require minimum steps to accomplish any task. They let you upload images swiftly and share them effortlessly.
The Best Image Hosting Sites
Going further, you will find a list of image hosting sites that meet all of the features mentioned above and take care of your varying needs.
Google Photos is among the best free image hosting sites offering super ease of use.
Google offers Google Photos as a service. You can easily notice unmatched performance and refreshing simplicity when using the service. It is incredibly user-friendly and has a low learning curve. It also offers unlimited space for storing images for free. However, Google has recently announced that you can only keep up to 15 GB of free images from next year.
Since it creates backups automatically, you don’t need to worry about image loss. With Google Photos, you can easily organize and edit your images easily. It also supports multiple file formats such as JPG, GIF and PNG.
So far, Google Photo is free. But starting next year, if you need more than 15 GB of storage space, you will have to pay $1.99 per month for 100GB of storage, $2.99 per month for 200GB or $99.99 per year for 2TB.
Dropbox is popular as a file and image hosting tool.
It stands out to be a standard solution for both the business and the individuals. Because it lets you store files as well, it goes beyond just a secured image hosting site.
They offer personal cloud, file synchronization, cloud storage, and client software, all from a single platform. Like Google, Dropbox also creates automatic backups for all the stored images without changing, tampering, resizing or editing the photos.
You can also collaborate with your contacts or set permissions so that only the people you want to share your images with can access them. Dropbox works across most of the major platforms like Windows, Linux, and macOS.
Dropbox’s basic plan comes at $11.99 per month. The same plan costs $9.99 per month if you go for yearly billing.
IceDrive is best known for its highly secured cloud storage.
Though IceDrive is relatively young in the image hosting market, it has one of the most advanced level cloud-service that lets you access, manage and update your image storage effortlessly. IceDrive is also the only solution to support Twofish Encryption. As they encrypt everything, you can rest assured of the security of your image.
It offers a drive mounting service. Using that service, you can use your cloud storage as a drive on your computer without taking any space. IceDrive also allows you to easily stream media from cloud storage while sharing it with the people you want.
IceDrive has a free 10 GB plan. If you want more space, you can go for the yearly subscription that starts for $1.67 per month. You can also get a monthly billing plan for $4.99 per month.
Imgur is best for sharing images.
Unlike any other image hosting site on the list, Imgur has a vast online community, making it the best place to share images. You can credit a part of its success to an impressive mobile app.
Imgur lets you host unlimited images (sized up to 20 MB) and GIFs (up to 200 MB) and easily organize your images using folders. You can also upload pictures in any format, such as PNG, JPEG, JPG, APNG, PDF, BMP, TIFF, CXF and more.
Imgur’s free plan comes loaded with ads. You will have to opt for their paid plans for an ad-free experience that start from $25 per month.
Flickr is best known for image publishing.
Flickr has one of the best image recognition systems that automatically categorizes the image. Despite being one of the oldest photo-sharing platforms, it has all the latest features to match your modern image-hosting needs. It has an excellent photo-editor, interface, collaboration feature and more.
Flickr has an auto-upload feature that lets you automatically send images from your device. This feature is also handy for backing up the images. Another great feature of Flickr is it preserves the original image quality and offers you the option to access resized images.
Flickr has a free plan that shows ads. The ad-free pro-plan starts from $6.99 per month. The yearly subscription for the same plan costs $4.99 per month.
Find Your Image Hosting Site
Whether a personal image or business-related, you want to have a safe place to store it. The right image hosting site can make a huge difference and relieve you from the horrors of an unauthorized person accessing your sensitive information.
Image hosting sites allow you to upload images and share them with different platforms and people. Though you can store images in generic hosting, image hosting sites offer an optimized solution that is well suited in handling the sensitive nature and load of an image.