“A picture speaks a thousand words.”
Images on your blog play a major role, and I have discussed them earlier here. For quick recap:
- Images make your post look more visually appealing.
- Posts with images get more social media share than a post without an image.
- Images help in driving traffic from Image search engine.
There are few more reasons, but above three are most important. Now, one of the basic question which I never covered before, and that is: Where one should host their blog images? Today, I got an email from one of the readers who is hosting his images on Flickr and running a WordPress blog. Here is the email thread:
Initially, I thought Jeffy is hosting images on Flickr, as he might be using some other CMS for his website. I was surprised when he mentioned WordPress, and when I asked why he was hosting images on Flickr, his response was something that I also felt in my initial days of blogging.
Back in 2010, even I used to think it’s a good idea to host images on other sites. That ways, I will save hosting bandwidth & my blog will load faster. None the less, it will also lower down the consecutive HTTP request to my server. Well, I was wrong and in this guide I will share everything that I have learned about hosting images for a blog.
If you are one of those bloggers who is hosting their images on other image hosting site like Imgur, Flickr, Dropbox, Photobucket or any other, read this guide carefully.
Why You should not host Images on 3rd party sites:
When you are running a blog on your server (Self-hosted WordPress or any other platform), hosting images on another site is a bad idea. You are missing out the major benefit of images & you are putting your blog future in risk.
- Have you thought what will happen if the 3rd party site decides to shut down?
- What will happen when they delete your account or image for any reason?
When you are hosting images on your hosting server, you are safe from above risks. More important, you own the images, and you get SEO benefits because of the images.
For BlogSpot bloggers:
BlogSpot bloggers have to worry less about hosting images, as your images are hosted on your linked Picasa account. You can continue doing the same. My one suggestion is: When you migrate your BlogSpot blog to WordPress, you should also import all images to your Web-hosting. You can learn more about it here.
Now, let me give you the solution to all the problems that you may have with regards to hosting images on your server.
Bandwidth & Storage issue:
As Jeffy pointed out about the Bandwidth issue, which is a real fear among many bloggers who are on limited bandwidth hosting. If you are hosted on one such server, you should move your site to hosting companies that offer unlimited bandwidth & storage. Bluehost, Hostgator is one of those shared hosting.
If you have an image heavy site, chances are your load-time is high. Instead of hosting images anywhere else to improve load time, take advantage of CDN. You can use free CDN service like CloudFlare or pay a little amount & get premium CDN service such as MAXCDN.
Bonus tip: Image Optimization
When you are publishing an image on the web, it’s important for you to optimize it for faster loading. Here are two practice that I suggest you to follow:
- Resize the image before uploading: If your post requires 750Px width image, it’s a good idea to resize the image before uploading. This way you don’t scale down a bigger image, and your image size remains small. You can watch this video learn resizing images on the desktop with zero technical skills.
- Compress image: You can use free tool like ImageOptim ( For Mac OS), or use ShortPixel WordPress plugin. By compressing image, you are removing unessential data from images, without reducing the quality of image.
At times, it’s not bad to host your images on a 3rd party site. Let’s say, you have clicked about 100 high resolutions images from an event or your travel trip, you can host it on sites like Flickr or Dropbox. You can use 3rd party sites to embed such album on your blog. In few cases, you should make an exception. Otherwise, I recommend you always to host blog images on your hosting server.
Do let me know where do you host images on your blog? If you can add more points from experience, I would love to hear that in the comment section. Don’t forget to share this guide with other bloggers.