It’s impossible to avoid the fact that we need to venture into the digital world to become relevant, regardless of whether you’re a business or an individual that wants to be noticed. We all need to use image hosting platforms at some point in time for this very reason. Whether it’s to store personal photos to share them with friends and family, or it’s for professional purposes. This is why we’ve put together the top 6 imaging hosting platforms in 2022 for you to choose from.
How Image Platforms Work
Image hosting platforms enable us to upload, store, and download images when we need to. However, finding a great platform to work with can be difficult. They all have different features that appeal to people based on what they need. You’ll find that every platforms uses an image upload API which takes care of editing, uploading, hosting and of course, displaying the images. An API will allow you to handle rigorous, bulk uploads and customize the process. It’s pretty much confined to being a platform that photographers use to show and sell their current work.
- Google Photos
Ever since Google transformed Picasa Web Albums into Photos, it has become one of the most famous and most used image hosting platforms worldwide. It’s a free private solution that allows anyone to upload and store large volumes of photos. That comes in real handy if you take a lot of pictures and don’t have enough space for them on your device.
Photos are stored on Google’s servers, which subjects them to the machine learning algorithm. The algorithm’s power can be leveraged for features such as face detection and searching for text in an image. The more you use the platform, the more it learns your photo habits.
Additionally, its machine learning algorithm makes organizing and sorting your photos a breeze. By analyzing the image itself and its associated metadata, Google Photos can organize your images by location, people, date, and even activity. This makes it easy to search for a specific photo that you might not remember fully but have bits and pieces of what it’s about.
Google Photos also has a decent editing tool that you can use to modify your images. Photos can be resized, transformed, and have filters applied to them. You can also create collages of your most memorable photos to share with those closest to you or on your social media.
It’s available as an app for your phone or you can use the website. From there you can upload, edit, and organize your photos. Also, if you are signed into other devices with the app, your photos will sync across them.
Google is a known powerhouse that makes incredible software. When they combined that with the features of Picasa Web Albums, they created a robust solution to host and edit images. You can stick with the free 15GB that’s shared with Google Drive and Gmail or you can upgrade your plan to get even more storage space.
Imgur is one of the simplest image hosting platforms to use and is quite popular in online communities like Reddit. It’s basically where photos go to become viral. Since it’s easy to share and rate photos on Imgur, anything you’ve uploaded and given access to the Imgur community can likely blow up.
Whatever you upload will be available for as long as you want them there, but the lossy compression doesn’t make it an ideal backup option. It’s a very liberal platform that doesn’t need you to register to upload photos. If you register though, you can upload a larger number of files and larger file sizes, too.
You’ll be able to share your photos privately by sharing the URL linked to it. You’ll also have access to tools created by the platform itself or enthusiastic users. One notable tool is the meme generator.
Their meme generator is praised for being very simple to use, something the company values overall. Making memes is very quick, taking less than ten seconds to set up. Meme lovers can easily make a meme from any photo they have in their library or find on the internet.
It’s unlikely that this tool alone shaped the perception of Imgur as a “funny photos” site, but it definitely spurred that narrative. Imgur is the go-to platform for anyone who wants to find amusing photos and GIFs they can share with friends and family. With over 250 million visitors per month, anything can go viral if the community loves it enough.
Even if you’re not in it to go viral, you can still use Imgur to get basic feedback on your photos. Viewers can upvote or downvote your photo and leave comments. Creators can use this for feedback to improve their craft and tailor their shots.
This platform caters to a very specific audience that can get the most out of its features: photographers. They use SmugMug to showcase their work and it allows potential clients to get an idea of their skill and style. Since this is used as a kind of storefront for each photographer, SmugMug is a membership site.
Plans cost between $75 to $360 per year so this is only for people who want to take photography very seriously. Since it’s quite specialized, you’ll be happy to know that there are options to try out before committing to a plan.
When you set up a SmugMug profile, you’re setting up a customizable photo site. You’ll have different designs and templates to choose from to best impress viewers. If you’re familiar with website builders, then you should have no problem with this part.
You’ll clearly be able to do more with your personal site based on the subscription you have. That’s why a SmugMug membership is a valuable investment. You can use their free trial to test it out for 14 days, but after that, you have to subscribe or abandon your site.
Once you’ve uploaded your content, you can organize them into galleries and collections. The site has a clean and organized interface that makes it easy to get to what you want. Further organization can be achieved by sorting photos by title, captions, and keywords.
All SmugMug plans come with unlimited uploads and no additional fees for storage or bandwidth usage. SmugMug provides the opportunity to sell prints in eCommerce stores. However, eCommerce options are only available in the higher-tier packages.
Founded in 2004, Postimage was created for the purpose of being a simple and free photo uploader for message boards. Since then, it has continued to be free, quick, reliable, and easy to use. Sticking to these core principles has enabled Postimage to remain one of the top image hosting platforms.
Its reliability lies in the fact that Posimage prides itself on offering optimal performance and uptime. You can take advantage of this even if you don’t want to create a profile, since you don’t have to log in or register. This is another feature that makes Postimage so popular, all you need to do is upload your pictures.
PostImage’s user-friendliness and simple yet powerful tools make it a top choice as a free solution for users. You can upload multiple images at once, set your preferred size, and desired expiration date for each uploaded photo. It only takes one click to resize your photos in any way you desire and they have common preselections, making it easy for you.
As a free image hosting solution, Postimage brings a lot to the table. You can do bulk uploads of up to 1000 images at a time, which makes uploading multiple albums super easy. It has reasonable image size limits of 24Mb at 10k x 10k pixels which should work for the average upload.
If you’ll be posting larger sizes, then you can upgrade to the premium account and double the file size limit. Otherwise, you can post as many images as you want once your usage of the platform is in line with the terms and conditions. Postimage also has a windows app that makes uploading photos a lot more convenient.
This is another platform that photographers will love!
Flickr has been around for a long time and has served its community so well that almost everyone is familiar with the brand. It hosts billions of photographs that are shared with millions of people around the world. This gives photographers the exposure they need to grow and accrue a following.
Its sensational nature is due to the platform’s social media aspect that lies on top of its image hosting services. If you share your photo with the right group and it resonates with them, you might just become famous for that season. Flickr’s public groups and shareability really drive the platform and allow communities to thrive.
To take advantage of this, you’d have to make your account publicly visible so anyone can see what you upload. This gives more people the opportunity to appreciate your work. You can use it as a launchpad to direct people to other places where you can sell your work or complete commissions.
People also look to Flickr for inspiration for their own work. With so many beautiful and breathtaking photos at their fingertips, it spurs them to capture great shots of their own. It’s a great resource full of stunning photos that everyone can appreciate.
For those of you who want to use the site more casually, you can use the site as it was originally intended. Flickr allows you to upload your photos as part of a private collection that you can share with just family and friends. This gives the platform a more intimate purpose that many people can enjoy.
Flickr also has an app you can download to your phone for convenience. From there you can share photos, curate your favorite works, and leave feedback for others. There are many exciting communities you can join, and they all enable you to contribute and grow.
Dropbox is more than just an image hosting platform, and that works in its favor. Because of this, users get more features than they would with other sites, and this makes it possible for them to do a lot more. Dropbox is famous for being the “everything box” people can use to store their files.
In simple terms, Dropbox gives you small space (or large depending on your plan) on their cloud network to do whatever you want with it. You can go ahead and “drop” files of any kind and Dropbox will store them on their servers until you delete them. When you store anything on Dropbox, you’re able to use a shareable link to give others access to it.
This shareability allows a group of people to work with the same files. This platform is what most people use for collaboration. However, if you’re just looking for somewhere to store your images, it’s perfectly capable of that too.
Dropbox will automatically archive all your photos and keep them safe so that you can easily access them. You can also choose the folders it will sync from if you have the desktop app. They will be backed up in the cloud and synced across all your devices.
Sharing your photos in bulk is super easy. You just create a folder that’s organized however you want (season, subject, etc.) and then share that link. Whoever you give that link to has access to those files and can download those photos in a zip if you give them the permission to.
You can even invite friends, family, or clients to add files to a given folder. Dropbox is very versatile and is designed to be simple and useful. If you want to automatically backup photos on your phone, you can use the Dropbox app and link it to your gallery.
You can end up needing an image hosting platform for a variety of reasons, whether personal or business. Choosing the right one for your specific needs is crucial to getting the most out of it. Since each platform may cater to a different audience and provide different tools, take the time to research each thoroughly. Go through a checklist, if necessary, and use that to determine your platform of choice. While free platforms can provide equivalent features, paid solutions will always have that little extra to make things easier, simpler, or better. Refer to this guide to become more aware of the choices you have so you can determine which platform will be worth your investment.