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Image Web Hosting – Part 2

July 30th, 2009 · No Comments · Uncategorized

In part 1 of Image Web Hosting we discussed what image hosts are and what they do. As mentioned in the previous post, this post will include what to look for in an image web hosting company.

One of the first things to consider before signing up with an image host is their terms of service. Any legitimate and trustworthy hosting company will provide you will provide you with a clear understanding of their terms of service. They will also have you view the terms and indicate you agree by checking a box, or signing before granting you access. Watch out for companies that allow themselves the right to take down your site without warning. You should also check the terms to make sure the company is not allowed to use, or modify, your site without written permission.

The next thing to look for is what kind of web hosting customer service you may be able to expect. Some of the free or cheap services do not offer much in the way of support. Some offer 24/7 phone support, while others may only offer email or forum support. If you are going to rely on forum support take a look at their forums and see if there are a lot of old or unanswered questions in the forum, this will give you an indicator of reliability.

You will want to know the capacity allowances for your account. There are two types of capacity you should consider, online web space and bandwidth (sometimes referred to as web transfer). Both are measured in megabytes (MB) or gigabytes (GB). These things may limit how much you store on your site and how much you or others are able to upload or download from your site. With image hosting you may also want to consider whether or not they have file size limits as some images can be rather large files. Any reputable site should give you this information up front.

Consider the extensibility of your image host, meaning do you have options to upgrade your account as your site continues to grow. You don’t want to spend a lot of time designing your site only to find out you cannot increase it if need, and have to start all over. Check the availability of paid upgrades and the limitations of storage, bandwidth, and file size for your current needs as well as potential for future needs.

Some of the features to look for in an image or file hosting package 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

Not every person using an image host has the same needs or will use all of these features, but a good image hosting company will offer you these features, and more.

And last, but not least, you should consider the cost of good web hosting. If you do not need a lot from your image company you may be able to use a free service. These are good for people just looking to share photos and videos with friends and family. However, for a professional website with copyrighted materials, photos, and videos, or that anticipate a lot of traffic you will want to look into whatever is the most affordable, secure, trustworthy host that allows you larger capacities in the 3 things mentioned above. One time of going over your allowed bandwidth can be costly or your host may automatically upgrade your account to another level increasing your monthly cost. Some companies offer discounts for customers willing to pay for a full year upfront or are willing to agree to a longer term contract.

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