How to Host and Share your Images Safely
Images are used everywhere these days. In most cases, content-makers use them to illustrate the idea, which the textual part of the page presents.
11:41 30 September 2020
If you run a site, you know that images are more than just interesting content. You need to consider lots of stuff about pictures, including their safe storage and how much they slow down the loading of your site. Often, site administrators feel lost when it comes to optimizing visual content but, luckily, there is a solution.
You know that hosting images safely is crucial. Plus, if your site allows users to upload their pictures, you need to guarantee their safety. And if you do not know how to protect your website, how to speed up the loading of the page, and how to feel calm about your images, you should get to know what is image CDN.
What is CDN?
This is not a term you meet every day, so you might be confused. However, those who run an e-commerce store or any other website deal with it quite often. CDN stands for Content Delivery Network.
It plays an important role in making your site work smoothly. Since your server is located in one place while your users can view it from any other place in the world, it might be tricky to provide them with quick loadings. No one is ready to wait for hours or even minutes until the images or any other content appear. Therefore, it is better to distribute the content with the help of CDN. It allows users to get content from the closest server of the CDN instead of the main one, which may be located thousands of miles away. Thus, the pages load faster and users are satisfied.
What does it have to do with images?
Since pictures are content, everything described above applies to them. However, with images, things get more complicated as you need to consider image size, format, dimensions, and many other things. Image CDNs work the same, but also have some additional software solutions that improve image distribution.
Users can get images quickly due to the cashing technology, which means that there is no need to ask the server for the picture every single time it is needed. Also, image CDNs can detect the device that is used and optimize the image accordingly.
CDNs might offer you numerous customization features. For instance, image CDN by Uploadcare allows for making format converting, setting fit picture color, adjusting image size, and more. All these operations can be done automatically and in view of SEO-optimization. As a result, you get lightweight images of great quality, appreciated bu users, and recognized by search engines.
Plus, it is handy when it comes to sharing and hosting images. If you run a site with hundreds and thousands of images (this includes the majority of e-commerce stores), management and optimization of all the photos are challenging. On the other hand, with CDN your users will see the content quickly, and you will not lose them to competitors. Caching also improves security, and your images will still be shown to users even if something temporarily goes wrong with the server. CDNs also secure your content, providing better encryption and giving you a full control over your data.
Good CDNs will offer you convenient widgets that you and your clients can use for sharing and storing images. They create a media library, which can be accessed by the CDN. So, no matter what exact functions you need for your business and whether your users are supposed to add their images, image CDNs will be a good solution for various sites.
As we discussed the CDN technology, let’s focus on examples of the existing platforms to learn more about image hosting and sharing.
Imgur is a very famous site and community, where users share their images. The platform is full of memes, fan art, and many other pictures, added by users. It was founded in 2009 and became popular almost instantly.
The platform has a deep connection with Reddit. It was created as a gift to the Reddit community, so no wonder the initial popularity came from Reddit users. Now Imgur is a big platform that allows you to create posts, generate mems, and make GIFs out of videos.
You can use Imgur’s API (Application Programming Interface), which can be found directly on the platform’s website. Thus, the platform is offering the entire infrastructure for your application. If your app is not commercial, you can get it for free, but those who plan to earn money will need to pay.
Dropbox is a well-known platform that allows everyone to store and share images. It is easy to use and offers a couple of subscription plans that let you stay flexible. Here, you can store not only images but also videos, documents, or anything else you need to organize.
Since your files are stored in one place, it is easier for you to control them. Your data is put into a “vault” and protected by PIN code, so you are the one who controls your images and documents. You can also create backups and sync your gadgets with the service.
The platform also has plans for businesses. It facilitates working in groups, making it easy and quick to find all the necessary files, added by different users. Dropbox uses several layers of security, so your business data will be safe.
If you are new to image hosting, all this information may seem overwhelming. However, if you only need such services for personal use, there is no need to make it difficult – just pick the software you like the most.
Those who run a business should consider this matter more seriously. First of all, the service you pick should deal with many users viewing the images at the same time. Also, pricing for business and personal needs is not the same, so take your time to consider all the options. Do not pay more for features you will not use. Though choosing the best platform may be tough, we wish you good luck!