The advent of smartphones with ubiquitous cloud computing and great connectivity and compact-beating cameras has turned us into trigger-happy snappers and eager picture uploaders.
However, the market for image hosting services also caters to professionals—from photographers to artists and media makers—whose livelihoods depend on how good image hosting providers are, and what features they bring to the table.
In this article, we identify how these services differ from traditional web hosting and show you our favorite image hosting websites, so you’ll find something to suit you, whether you’re a budding hobbyist looking to splurge on your summer snacks. Whether looking for a safe haven, or a seasoned pro looking to showcase a growing portfolio.
You can also check out our list of best photo cloud storage providers if you just want to keep your precious pictures and image collection safe.
These are the best photo cloud storage services in 2021
1. IDrive is the best cloud storage provider
Cloud storage giant, IDrive, delivers tons of storage online for an incredibly small outlay. 5TB for $3.98 Unmatched so far for the first year and support for unlimited devices and a comprehensive file versioning system available. View Deals
2. Get Free Unlimited Cloud Backup Now Included with ExpressVPN
Backblaze has partnered with ExpressVPN and now when you sign up for an annual VPN subscription, you also get unlimited cloud backup. Secure, business-grade cloud storage for everyone, no strings attached. View Deals
3. pCloud offers lifetime cloud storage subscription
The Swiss-based company is more expensive than the competition, but the one-time payment means you won’t have to worry about renewal fees that can be downright expensive. is less than $350 for 10 years $3 per month.
These are the best image hosting websites of 2021
Most of the web hosting companies bundle a good app store with their hosting package. Called Softaculous, it comes with several free applications and one of them is Pivigo, a popular self-hosted photo gallery solution that allows you to implement your own image hosting website. It offers an extensive feature set: albums, tags, privacy, themes and plugins, statistics and management tools, and more.
This fits in very well with InMotion Hosting’s power package which allows you to build up to six websites with unlimited disk space and bandwidth to meet future growth. InMotion also offers a unique $249 ‘Quickstarter’ package that allows you to have a WordPress-based website up and running in less than 48 hours, with the company designing the site for you based on responses to a questionnaire .
If you’re technically savvy, you can also take a look at other self-hosting photo gallery options such as Chevreto (as used by ImgBB), Cocaine, Lychee or Media Goblin.
- You can sign up for InMotion Hosting here, and download Piwigo here
If you take photography (and images) seriously and want to make a living from it, SmugMug — which acquired Flickr — is one of the better options out there.
Unlimited photo uploads come as standard with every SmugMug plan — which starts at $55 per year when billed annually or $7 per month when billed monthly — essential to building a beautiful photo site. with tools. SmugMug also makes it easy to share photos and sell personalized prints and gifts.
You get free storage, free bandwidth, but the e-commerce options are only available on the more expensive Portfolio/Pro packages, the latter offering many key features in terms of e-commerce, marketing and branding. Additionally, all plans have some great features like personalized painting, which as the name suggests turns your photos into paintings.
Our review of SmugMug pointed out that it is “quirky in places, but still capable of producing a high-quality photo gallery website”. The service, which has a community of over 75 million users, prides itself on offering 24/7 ‘heroic’ support with just one day off each year.
- You can sign up for SmugMug here
Google overhauled Picasa Web Albums to Photos, turning it into the most popular image hosting solution in the world as it’s bundled with more than a billion Android devices.
Unlike the other solutions here, Google Photos is a private image hosting service (as opposed to a public service), although sharing with others (but not openly) is deceptively simple. Just keep in mind that your images will be stored on Google’s servers and used to improve their machine learning capabilities.
Google Photos is smart enough to pull off all kinds of clever tricks like recognizing faces, or searching for text in an image, with its search capabilities extending to places as well. There are some additional features available here, for example Memories, which shows photos and videos from past years at the top of your gallery. Additionally, Canon users can back up photos from their devices to Google Photos using Wi-Fi only.
You can back up and sync photos from your Mac or PC as well as mobile devices. Plus, you can use Google’s Gallery Go, a photo gallery designed to work offline that uses machine learning to automatically organize and make your photos look their best. Is.
Google allows unlimited storage if you upload pictures in High Quality mode, which is up to 16 megapixels. Professionals would probably prefer to pay extra to have photos stored at their original resolution.
- You can sign up for Google Photos here
It’s hard not to mention free image hosting and not to bring Flickr into the conversation. The service targets a potential audience rather than casual happy GIFer users.
Flickr experienced a meteoric rise in ownership of Yahoo and Oath/Verizon since 2017, and has been part of SmugMug since 2018, although in recent times, it has struggled on the monetization front.
Despite this, Flickr’s base offering is free, and although it has a limit of 1,000 photos/videos, it offers powerful photo editing tools and smart photo management features. The paid-for Pro plan has advanced statistics, ad-free browsing, and a desktop auto-uploader. Plus, you can print your favorite photos directly from your Flickr account.
Flickr has managed to build one of the largest photo communities on the web and this is its unique selling point. Also note that if you’re in the market for an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription (or Blurb, SmugMug, or Prime), you can get a discount on a Flickr Pro account, which will undoubtedly make the service more appealing.
- You can sign up for Flickr Pro here
Imgur is by far the largest independent image hosting website in the world (and one of the top 50 online properties globally). You don’t need to register to use it and everything is pretty much unlimited, with three exceptions: you can only upload 50 images per IP address per hour, the maximum file size for non-animated images is 20MB. , and it’s 200 MB for GIF. You can also upload 1 minute videos.
Files are kept online forever, but be aware that the service applies lossy compression to non-animated images over 1MB (for anonymous uploads) and 5MB (for account holders). So don’t use it as an online backup service for your pictures.
There are also tons of tools available, either created by Imgur itself or members of a very active user community.
- You can sign up for Imgur here
Other free image hosting websites include:
This little-known image hosting website has a unique feature that makes it widely useful for people who want to create thumbnail galleries very quickly. You can upload compressed ZIP files (up to 250MB in size), ideal for archiving without indexing.
There is a 10MB download limit for pictures without any restriction on the number of uploads/downloads or how long a file is hosted; However only JPG, GIF and PNG are supported.
Unlike the others, Imagebeam’s focus is solely on hosting images rather than fostering a community and encouraging discovery. While registration is optional, doing so gives you photo management tools, and the ability to organize your images and galleries.
It is almost impossible to get a higher minimum than Imgbb and that is probably why it is one of the more popular image hosting websites around. Simply drag and drop your files on the homepage and you are ready to go.
There is a 32MB size limit (all major image file formats are supported), but there are no restrictions on the number of files you can upload or how long they can stay online. Imgbb doesn’t require a user to register – just be aware that all photos you upload will be reviewed by human editors.
Like ImageBam, Imagitan…