When you are someone that specifically works with images, there are very few things more terrifying than the thought of losing hundreds of hours of work. Lost or stolen equipment, and a corrupted PC or broken laptop can mean the loss of all of your hard work and years of memories. Physical backups can help, but even these have a lifespan that could end at any time. Fortunately, there are ways to ensure that your images are kept safe. There are a variety of free hosting sites online which means you have a safe and secure way to save your images at little to no extra cost to you. External servers, such as the online hosting sites are far more reliable than other physical means you might be using or have used in the past.
The other upside is that you won’t have the image space clogging up your storage and slowing down your devices. This saves you space and means you can run bigger editing programs, faster. But the best thing is that these images are accessible anywhere, at any time, and from any device, making things easier to share with friends, family, and clients.
Upload.io is going to be one of the more technical and advanced options on this list, but it is by no means too complex. Described as a simple image hosting site, that offers scalable and cost-effective REST API for uploading images online, Upload gives you access to a variety of excellent tools that can help you with all sorts of things. You can easily append “URL slugs” and see your results reflected in just a few seconds.
It preserves the color spaces as well as other important information contained within an image, to ensure maximum quality in manageable file size. Something of particular notoriety is the wide variety of formats accepted by the platform. You can also convert formats such as RAW, HEIC, HEIF, JPEG, WEBP, and more using smart conversion and compression software. One of the biggest benefits of image hosting API is being able to upload images in a way that allows for fast image transformations and hosting. This means that you can distribute your content without long waits.
The best part is that you have access to all of the behind-the-scenes stuff, making this platform a really great way to monitor your storage and all sorts of nitty-gritty technical information you might want to know.
2. Google Photos
You might remember a little something called Picasa. Picasa Web Albums was transformed by Google into Photos and is one of the most popular image hosting platforms out there. Unlike other hosting sites online, Google Photos is private and cannot be accessed by the general public. You can, of course, share your images with whomever you choose, just like any of the other options on this list, but it is generally considered a more private image hosting service, as opposed to a public one. Keep in mind that you are subject to Google’s terms of service as it is a google product and they will use your images to improve their machine learning capabilities. This is, however, not nefarious in the slightest, so do not let it deter you.
It comes equipped with some fantastic features. It has facial recognition technology, making it easier for you to find specific photos of people. It also has the ability to search for text in an image as well as location. In recent years many sites have followed the “on this day” memories trend as popularised by Facebook. Google Photos shows you memories in the form of images and videos.
It is available to use on a variety of devices, including Mac and Windows PC, and a variety of different mobile devices. It even has offline usability features. Using Google’s Gallery Go means that you can work on images offline making it a great tool for when your signal is sketchy, or the Wi-Fi goes down.
When you use Google Photos, you have access to 15 GB of free storage, which isn’t exactly the most generous amount, but it is a great start. If you need more you can make use of the paid service where you can choose a package of your choice. When you pay, you have unlimited storage on images that are uploaded in high-quality.
3. Flickr Free (and Pro)
You’d be hard-pressed to find a list about free image hosting that doesn’t mention Flickr. Flickr is usually marketed towards a more “prosumer audience” – those who produce and consumer – rather than your casual user. It has slightly decreased in popularity in recent years but has been a very strong player in the online hosting world.
Flickr offers its free users their first 1,000 photos or videos free of charge, as well as access to its comparatively powerful photo editing software. It even has smart photo management facilities for its free users to access and enjoy. When it comes to the Pro plan, you’ll need to pay a subscription fee. It comes with all sorts of additional perks that might be worth it for you. You will have access to a desktop auto-uploader, and advanced stats. The best part is that you can print directly from your Flickr account. This is incredibly convenient as you do not have to wait for things to download, and slow down your PC.
Flickr boasts one of the biggest photo communities online, which makes for a rather interesting selling point as you will have access to tons of different artists and can use their work for inspiration. As an added sweetener, Adobe Creative Cloud and Flickr have an affiliation, so you’ll get a nice little discount if you have a Flickr Pro account.
If the name Pixabay sounds familiar that’s because it is one of the most popular copyright-free, free image hosting sites online. Users can upload images as well as videos. They are known for their rather stringent image quality guidelines, which some argue makes them quite an exclusive club, but this should not be the case. Yes, there are guidelines, but this is to ensure that the site only hosts high-quality and appealing images. Photos are vetted by humans to ensure that your images meet these guidelines before you can upload an image. You can upload up to 100 images a day. They need to be at least 3000 pixels and can be up to 40MB in file size. They, unfortunately, do not have a mobile app, but this is for people who are serious about their image quality and want their high-quality images to be seen.
5. Free Image Hosting.Net
If you are a Linux user this option will really excite you. Free Image Hosting.net is best used on Linux web servers and has a lovely bandwidth that does not require any monthly fees. This makes it a really desirable and cost-effective photo hosting site option.
Free Image Hosting.net offers its users several options to make using it that much easier. You can enjoy sharing pictures with family, creating a range of different galleries, a place for hosting your pictures for a blog, the option to add images to your social media posts, and you could even host an auction for your images. You have the option to upload files in a variety of different image files including jpg, png, gif, etc. You are limited to 3000KB per image, which is quite fair. You can also upload these files in a variety of different ways. You can upload them using photo browsing, a URL, directly from a gallery, and a few others.
You have access to free cloud storage and a free photo gallery maker, which are both incredibly useful features. The best part is that you don’t even need to create an account. It is recommended because it makes keeping track of things easier, but you absolutely do not have to if you don’t want to.
Here we have another incredibly well-known hosting site. It is often referred to as one of the most desirable image hosting sites and is home to the work of plenty of artists and photographers. This hosting site hosts everything from digital artwork to hand-drawn masterpieces, as well as acts as a safe space for filmmakers, photographers, traditional artists, stock photographers, and many, many more to showcase their work.
The platform boasts about 61 million members who are registered and come from a variety of countries across the globe. Something that sets this hosting site aside from others is its desire to have fellow artists interact with each other. The “Today’s Page” tab contains images and conversations as well as daily news to keep you up-to-date on trends. It has a very social media-esque feel to how it operates but is a great place to keep your images as well as share them with others.
You’ve no doubt heard about Wix. If you haven’t, Wix is a hosting service, as well as a site-building provider that has gained notoriety and stardom in recent years. It has a plethora of features that center around beautiful photography available, which makes it arguably one of the best platforms to host your images. You can create a gallery that is visible for all to see, that you can actually use as your portfolio online, or you can create an online store where your work can be licensed and sold as you see fit.
One of the reasons so many enjoy this platform is because you can easily create a gorgeous-looking webpage of your own. You have access to a variety of pre-made layouts that let you put a site of your own together in minutes. You have the ability to make changes to your site at any time so that you can keep up with trends – enabling you to host your images your way. You won’t be restricted by the rules or limitations other sites might put in place.
As we mentioned, you can license and sell your own images through this platform. Wix allows you to add a watermark to your images so that people can’t steal them. The Wix Pro Gallery feature lets you showcase your images in the best way possible and is often said to be unrivaled by the competition – not to mention also completely customizable. This is a great way to showcase your service, dazzle potential clients, and grow your business. Or not. That’s up to you. You can make your albums private to limit the sharing of your work.
Just like a few other hosting services on this list, Wix allows users to upload their images from their choice of several different file types. This ensures that your file quality is preserved as you likely won’t have to convert files into a different format. Plus, you can look at you’re your site will look like on a variety of different devices. You can switch between desktop and mobile view to make sure that your site looks just the way you want it to.
Like all of the other platforms mentioned on this list, Wix has several different membership options for you to choose from. The amount you pay is based on your needs and you can use it for free until you figure out just what those needs are.
As you can see, there are so many different options out there for you to choose from when it comes to image hosting sites. When you make use of an image or photo hosting site it enables you to store and/or upload a variety of image formats to your chosen hosting site online. While not every hosting site is free, many have a free trial, where you can test things out and see if you like the software. Free versions do typically mean that certain features are restricted, or limited, especially when it comes to picture size and quality. You can use these sites to upload an image to another site, or simply use them to be where you develop your gallery. We hope that something on this list sparks your interest and that you try at least a few.