Photo Hosting: The Good Flickr Can Do

Use Photo Sharing Services to host photos for your website.

There’s a question every serious blogger will inevitably face: where to host photos. Many Web hosts and blog platforms provide a certain amount of space for hosting photos, but the space limits or upgrade costs can become restrictive. An alternative option is to use a photo sharing service like Flickr, Picasa or SmugMug to store the images you plan to use for your blog.

Benefits of Hosting on a Photo Sharing Service

Hosting photos on a photo sharing service is becoming an increasingly popular solution. Even large, established companies regularly use this approach–an example is the way Rackspace has used Flickr to host a huge collection of photos from their company-wide events. One of the obvious benefits is cost. Most photo sharing sites offer free accounts with fairly generous upload and hosting limits. With an inexpensive upgrade you can get large and cost-effective increases. On Flickr, for example, you can get unlimited photo hosting and uploads for under $2 per month.

Reliability is another benefit of hosting your pictures on a photo sharing site. These websites specialize in storing vast volumes of photos in a way that’s efficient, easy to access and consistently stable. They have a vested interest in making sure their hosting service stays excellent.

The Downside

Of course, there are drawbacks as well. The main one from most bloggers’ perspectives is that they’re depending on a third party to host their photos. More specifically, you are storing your photos on a service that is completely unrelated to where your blog is hosted. If the service goes down, your blog loses its pictures.

Using photo sharing services to host photos for a company blog may also be a gray area when it comes to the photo service’s terms of use. Some sites are ambiguous or provide conflicting messages about their policies regarding corporate use. One rule of thumb is that if you pay for an upgraded account, you’re probably less likely to run into trouble.

How to Set Up Flickr Hosting for a WordPress Blog

Let’s take a look at how to use Flickr to host photos on a WordPress blog. These are two of the big players in their respective fields, so the approach here is representative regardless of which blog platform and photo service you’re planning to use.

  1. Upload your photos to Flickr. This will save the photos onto Flickr’s Web servers.
  2. To find the Web address of the photo you plan to use, find that photo in your Flickr stream, then click the “Share” menu.
  3. Copy the photo’s URL to the clipboard.
  4. In WordPress, click the “Image” button to insert an image and choose the “From URL” tab in the dialog that opens.
  5. Paste the URL into the “Image URL” text box to indicate the address of the photo you’re inserting. Fill out the rest of the information as desired.

If you’d like more detail, here are a couple more useful tutorials.


If you’re creating an image-heavy blog, you can get a lot of mileage out of a third-party photo service. Advanced bloggers may balk at the loss of control. Many users–including those in the hosting business like Rackspace–find these services inexpensive, reliable and easy to use.

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Author: Lindsey Harper Mac

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 15th, 2012 at 12:56 am. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

Comments : 4

  1. Hi Lindsey.. I do as you have suggested, host my pictures on Flickr and link them to my blog. But now a days some of my friends have told me this is not good for SEO and after some time 404 error will come. I have not faced any issues in last 3 months I started doing this. Please give your opinion on this.

    desi Traveler

    1. If you host your images on your own flickr account, there is nothing to worry about. But if you hotlink to others’ images (licensed under CC) it can cause 404s when they delete their flickr accounts.

      Syam Kumar R

      1. Thanks, I only host my own images….that are on my own flickr account.

        desi Traveler

    2. You should be fine as far as I know but then again I researched this back in the beginning of 2012 so I would ask your friends to explain more specifically to you if they could.

      Good luck!