Five Best Web Sites For Image Hosting And Photo Sharing

When you want a service that will organise your uploaded photos, tag them with the date and location, and then share them out to friends, you have plenty of web services to choose from. Many offer editing tools, and others have huge communities. Here's a look at five of the most popular web sites for robust image hosting.

Photo by Andrew Magill.

SmugMug

A number of you noted that SmugMug was the ideal photo hosting service for pros – people who really care about their shots. It might have something to do with the unlimited storage for paid users, live customer support, and the elegant and attractive themes and galleries that SmugMug offers. Additionally, SmugMug allows you to quickly share your photos with friends on Facebook and Twitter, mobile apps for iOS and Android, and support for direct uploads from multiple image editing apps.

Picasa

Google's Picasa started off as a small service, but with age and features it grew into a photo hosting and image sharing powerhouse that's free for everyone to use, gives you editing features and gallery management tools, and both a desktop app to keep track of your photos locally and a web app to help you build galleries to share with the web. Picasa integrates with your Google account for sharing, and while it doesn't have mobile apps, you will see your Picasa Web Albums photos on your Android phone.

Photobucket

Photobucket does an amazing job of walking the line between social network and photo hosting service. Photobucket's pride is in its users and the way they can connect to one another, share photos with each other or with the world via Twitter, Facebook, or even on their own sites by embedding their photos directly. Photobucket also has mobile apps for iOS and Android, and now the previously mentioned Snapbucket mobile app that makes snapping photos on your phone a bit more fun.

Facebook

Close to 700 million users couldn't be wrong, could they? Uploading your photos directly to Facebook is easy, and since its photo hosting and gallery management tools are easy to use, they're a great way to get your images in front of the people you want to see them. Plus, you can tag your friends and let them know you uploaded a photo of them, for good or ill. Facebook has mobile apps for virtually every platform, and all of them allow you to post photos. There are no image editing tools, but what it lacks in pro features it makes up for as a social network.

Flickr

Mention image sharing on the web and Flickr will probably be the first site to jump to mind. With a pro account, you can upload as many photos you want and organize them into as many galleries and collections as you choose. It's cheap and almost every photo sharing app supports Flickr uploads. Flickr's competition may have it beat on themes and customisations or mobile apps (Flickr only has official mobile apps for iPhone and Windows Phone 7,) but what it loses it makes up for with an open API and huge community of developers, professional photographers, and photo enthusiasts of all experience levels.

This week's honorable mention goes to Windows Live Skydrive, which a few of you mentioned gives users a lot of space for free photo and video sharing. It also connects directly with Microsoft Office and Windows Live Photo Gallery for editing and management, and even with Windows Live Movie Maker for video production and uploads.

Did we miss your favorite? Have something to say about the contenders? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

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Comments

    I have recently joined 500px.com. The site has a great following in the photographic community it would seem. Most users seem to adhere to the "upload only your best". Some quite amazing shots there. It is certainly not the place for sharing photos on nannas 80th party, but IMO, worth a mention.

    Hi,

    This topic comes very close to a problem I am having. I currently am building a site for a professional photographer and have been looking for a Photo Printing service that has API access. Any suggestions?

      Shaun, I use Gallery on my site and it works very well, you can add various photo printing providers in (if that's what you mean) and the support forum seems to be full of people willing to help for even obscure (to me at least) requests. Have a look at http://gallery.menalto.com

    I'd love to hear about a site that would allow to upload photos, sort them in albums and allow me to apply user level restrictions, so I can share albums to certain groups of people, such as family, friends and social groups.

    Not everybody needs to see everything

      Picasa will do it.

        Picasa limits though to friends who have gmail. Think this is biggest downside of Picasa and has to disqualify them from even being mentioned in this list of top 5. This is something that am already for while considering to take my business elsewhere. Really annoying!!

    Does anyone know of a website which supports tile based zooming and panning (works like google maps)?

    I use Gigapan and 360cities, however they have some limitations.
    Gigapan only accepts images over 200,000,000 pixels (200 megapixels)in size. I have a few but not many images this big.
    360 cities only accepts spherical panoramas (360x180 degrees). I have about 10 of those.
    I also have plenty of photos that fall into these categories in between:
    180x180 degree panoramas
    360x90 degree cylindrical panoramas.
    50 and 100 megapixel stitched photos.
    An upload to a classic picture sharing site such as Picasa, Flickr, or Photobucket doesn't do them justice as the zooming/panning is basic.
    For cylindrical panoramas, a special viewer is needed to get the most out of them.

      The lower limit at GigaPan is actually 50 megapixels.

    The photo sharing site I use is http://shootproof.com ... they have great galleries and simple yet powerful studio control panel for photographers who want to proof and sell event photography etc.

    I simply love Mejuba the best. From what I know Mejuba (mejuba.com) is THE only site that offers free and unrestricted uploads of videos and pictures without ANY restrictions on file size, video length or monthly traffic. And uploads your originals. No monthly limits or quotas. You can upload 1GB per upload. Pictures and videos are stored in their original formats and are kept unmodified for backup. I also like that you can geo-tag your stuff so it shows up on a map. And you can search for stuff on the map – that’s cool! Even Google Street View is now implemented - eat that Youtube, Vimeo etc!!! As the only site I know of it uses a Windows Explorer like navigation with folders – super easy to use – even has drag and drop! It’s free, fast, nice design as SO much better than the other video sites. Still missing a few features - but I am sure they will be added later.

      Can a mejuba.com "account" be accessed from different workstations? That is the ONLY issue I'm having with Picasa. Quite aggravating actually.

    I use pikture.net

    snapsbox.com is simple & easy to use

    feel free to use deffe.com , fast uploading speed , and user friendly

    http://linkspedia.tk/computer_&_internet/photo_sharing/1.html

    IRACKIT http://irackit.com is a good

    I use http://imagessharedstorage.com/ free uploading, sharing and downloading images

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