Image Web Hosting
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Some web hosting services make it a point to focus specifically on a particular type of file, adapting and tweaking their services to fit people who, say, wish to store and display images. Whether these hosts are offered for free or at a charge, it's worth knowing something about the basics before making a choice.
Advantages of Image Web Hosting
If you own a valuable crystal vase, oil painting, or diamond tiara, you can insure it and hope for the best. Since there's only one of it, you have to do your best to protect the thing itself, and hope that the irreplaceable item stays intact. Online storage through a reliable image web hosting service helps to guarantee that you will never face this problem with precious images.
Other values of image web hosting are to create a collection of images designed for special audiences, such as clients, potential clients, colleagues, friends, and/or family. Both galleries and downloading capability are available.
A Data Repository
Whether arrayed in a gallery or stored for download, online storage can be very helpful, given the right features for your collection. When seeking an image web hosting service for backup, you should seek one that has redundant data centers for replacement or restoration of your images, as well as secure, encrypted data if you are offering downloads. The capability for hot linking (also called direct linking), through which someone can download from your website, an instant message, or an email without visiting a web page is another feature to look for.
When you want image web hosting for display and sharing of images, the first thing you need to check is the types of files the host allows. For example, whereas images are generated not only as photographs and videos, but also as images in proprietary programs such as Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Corel Drawing, etc. Image files of the latter three types might need to be stored on a web host that specialized in documents, rather than images, which mostly refers to photos and videos.
Image Web Hosting Features to Compare
Widely differing services and programs make the choice of an image web hosting service something to invest a bit of time in exploring before you choose. Checking the terms of service is important with any web service, and you should also consider the customer support, the capacity allowances, the extensibility, the functionality features, and the cost.
Image Web Hosting Terms of Service
First of all, make sure that terms of service are offered. If they're not, as is actually the case for one image hosting service, skip them and try something else. Any legitimate, trustworthy site will offer clear and pretty standardized terms of service and ask you to agree to them before embarking on any site-building or uploading. Another thing you want to be careful about is sites that ask you to download something in order to upload. Make sure it's a trustworthy site before you download anything.
If there are terms of service, one important item to check is the termination terms - can the provider terminate your account or take down your site without warning and/or cause? A second is the license. Web hosting can either explicitly reaffirm your copyright and sole right to your material or claim license to not only use it to promote your site or their business, but also to alter or modify it in any way they see fit.
Image Web hosting Customer Service
Not every website has 24/7 phone support, and especially if you're looking at free web hosting or economy services, you may not expect that, But, depending on your purposes, you may want to be sure that you have something other than a user's forum to rely on if you run into a problem. A lot of unanswered user queries on a forum, for example,
For website hosting, there are usually only two types of capacity you need to know about: the amount of online space you can use (usually measured in megabytes, abbreviated MB, or gigabytes, abbreviated GB) and the bandwidth (both for uploading and downloading - by yourself and others who may use your image files). Not only do these two measurements have heightened importance when you're considering an image web hosting service, but file size limits on the files you can upload are also really important. Again, any reputable site should give you this information up front. If it's really difficult to find or not listed, you might want to consider a different choice.
Extensibility of Image Web Hosting Services
When we're talking about the time and energy to upload, tag, and arrange a large number of documents, the knowledge that your service can grow with your need and not leave you with the choice of not posting some of your files or starting from scratch with a different service, the extensibility of the image web hosting service you choose is a key consideration. Check the availability of paid upgrades and the limitations and capacity of all three capacities (storage, bandwidth, and file size) when you're paying for service, to make sure there are options that are sensible for your current and potential usage needs.
Image Web Hosting Features
Features that you may wish to look for include:
- photo and/or video editing applications
- group albums
- sharing through IM, email, and mobile phone connections
- making slide shows and/or mashups
- links to blogs and social networking sites
- a variety of upload methods
- maps to show location of photo subjects
- app that uses your images to create a variety of products, including greeting cards, postage stamps, and credit cards
Image Web Hosting Cost
In the realm of image web hosting services, it's a good idea to both look at monthly or yearly fees, but also at how the provider deals with any unexpected overages in bandwidth in a particular month, because using a bit of extra bandwidth can earn you either a one-time charge or an overall change in your rates.
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