“A picture speaks a thousand words.”
Images on your blog play a major role, and I have discussed this concept earlier.
Here’s a quick recap:
- Images make your post look more visually appealing.
- Posts with images get more social media shares than posts without an image.
- Images help in driving traffic from image search engines.
There are a few more reasons, but the above three are the most important.
Now, there’s one more important question:
Where should one host their blog images?
Today, I got an email from a reader who is hosting his images on Flickr and running a WordPress blog.
Here is the email thread:
Initially, I thought Jeffy was hosting his images on Flickr because he might be using some less-robust CMS for his website.
I was surprised when he mentioned WordPress, and when I asked why he was hosting his images on Flickr, his response was something that reminded me of my early blogging days:
Back in 2010, I used to think that it was a good idea to host images on another site. This way I would save hosting bandwidth & my blog would load faster. I also thought it would lower down the consecutive HTTP requests to my server.
Well, I was wrong.
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 another 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 on the major benefit of images & you are putting your blog’s future at risk.
- Have you thought about what will happen if the 3rd party site decides to shut down?
- What will happen if they delete your account or image(s) for any arbitrary reason?
When you are hosting images on your own hosting server, you are safe from the above risks. More importantly, you own the images, and you get to reap the SEO benefits of having 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 without issue.
But my one suggestion is:
- You can learn more about the process here.
Now, let me give you some solutions to all potential problems that you may have with regards to hosting images on your own server.
Bandwidth & Storage Issues
As Jeffy pointed out, having enough bandwidth is a real fear among many bloggers. If you are hosted on a server with limited bandwidth, you should move your site to a hosting company that offers unlimited bandwidth & storage.
But you can check out these articles for more ideas:
- Bluehost vs. HostGator vs. DreamHost [Web Hosting Comparison]
- SiteGround Hosting Review: A Thorough Look At Their Shared Hosting
- Best Managed WordPress Hosting Providers
If you have an image heavy site, chances are your loading time is high.
Instead of hosting images anywhere else to improve load time, take advantage of a CDN. You can use a free CDN service like CloudFlare, or pay a little bit of money and get a 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 practices that I suggest you follow:
- Resize the image before uploading: If your post requires a 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 about resizing images.
- Compress the image: You can use a free tool like ImageOptim (For Mac OS), or use the ShortPixel WordPress plugin. By compressing an image, you are removing unessential data without reducing the image’s quality.
- Check out this post: Best WordPress Image Compression Plugins
At times, it’s not a bad idea to host your images on a 3rd party site.
Let’s say you clicked about 100 high resolutions images from an event or a travel trip, then you can host those pictures on a 3rd party site like Flickr or Dropbox and embed such albums on your blog. In a case like this, hosting images on a 3rd party site is not a bad idea.
Otherwise, I recommend you always host your blog images on your hosting server.
Do let me know where you host images on your blog. Are you hosting your images on a 3rd party site? Let me know in the comments below!
And don’t forget to share this post!