Where Should You Host Blog Images Without Affecting Load Time?

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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:

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:

Blog image hosting
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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:

problem hosting image on server
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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:

When you migrate your BlogSpot blog to WordPress, you should also import all images to your personal web-hosting account.

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.

Bluehost and HostGator are my top recommendations.

But you can check out these articles for more ideas:

Image Loading

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

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!

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Authored By
A Blogger, Author and a speaker! Harsh Agrawal is recognized as a leader in digital marketing and FinTech space. Fountainhead of ShoutMeLoud, and a Speaker at ASW, Hero Mindmine, Inorbit, IBM, India blockchain summit. Also, an award-winning blogger.

60 thoughts on “Where Should You Host Blog Images Without Affecting Load Time?”

  1. Gurjyot Singh

    Yes images should not be hosted in third party services. MAXCDN provide some good features and hosting images there can definitely bring down loading time.

    But, where there are benefits of hosting images separately there are cons too. If you host images separately then it’s difficult to maintain their synchronisation with the posts and the meta data. It takes a lot of efforts to fix any problem when your images are stored separately.

    So one should know both the benefits and demerits of storing images separately before making a decision. Just adding some info I know about images πŸ™‚

  2. Jason

    I use Imagify and it is really good. However, my site is still slow. I use Wp rocket and Autoptimize and combine it together. Some times my page load speed is 1.5 seconds. Other times it is 4 seconds. For my hosting I go with site ground..please help me in my speed optimization for my whole site.

  3. Shyami goyal

    Just compress images and use alt txt for speed up blog site and enjoy seo benifits great post

  4. Gaurav Jain

    Hi Harsh,

    Hope you are doing good. My question is when we do a website speed test on https://tools.pingdom.com/, the result that we get is for the main landing page or the website as a whole.

    Thanks,
    Gaurav

    1. Harsh Agrawal

      @Gaurav
      Interesting question. That’s only for the homepage.

  5. Akshay S Manoj

    Harsh Sir,This is working now websites load faster by your articles.I love shoutmeloud

    1. Harsh Agrawal

      @Akshay
      Happy to help! πŸ™‚

  6. Vishwajeet Kumar

    Hey Harsh,

    Nice post. I am also very much worried about my image loading times. That’s why I am following all the steps you have mentioned here in this article. I am also using Cloudflare and image optimization plugin wp smush to optimize my image.

  7. Ovoko

    Harsh, great article you have there. There are actually pros and cons to either hosting images on one’s shared server or at a 3rd party site. I had one of my sites shut down because i had like over 10 images per page and my bandwidth finished just 3 days into the month. I had no choice but to move my images to dropbox. i also encountered a problem when i got a mail from them telling me that my bandwidth had elapsed. Apparently, the free image service from dropbox wasn’t really free afterall.

    So, i guess the best course of action is to take harsh’s advice and get an unlimited hosting service.

  8. Emenike Emmanuel

    Hello Harsh,

    Thanks for this detailed post. Personally, I host my images on my blog. I can’t be praying to get more traffic to my blog while I lose the ones that ought to come through images.

    No.

    Whether the bandwidth is reducing or not, I will continue to host my images on my blog.

    And like you suggested, I will start compressing my image size before uploading them.

    Emenike Emmanuel

  9. Jintu

    i think you should add images through blogger or other image hosting sites it will speed up your page speed

  10. Atul Mandal

    Hello Harsh, Thanks for this helpful guide. I am new in wordpress but your guide will absolutely work for me. Thanks.

  11. SANTOSH

    Harsh, what is perfect image resolution to use in regular blogposts?? & what resolution you use in your blogpost images??

    Thanks for the article btw.

  12. Thomas Paul

    I used Cloudflare CDN Service. It is great. Thanks for sharing

  13. Amit Jain

    Harsh ,
    Nice article , will try CDN Service , based on your recommendation.
    Thanks

  14. sanju

    Hi Harsh,

    It’s a really Informative article and your blog is always very helpful to new bloggers. Thank you.

  15. Gaurav Verma

    Hosting the image on 3rd party site and own hosting is very confusing for many blogger. Thanks for clear the confusion of blogger

  16. Sathish Arumugam

    I will mostly use host images in all my blogger. And I like this post very much it’s an informative post. And I agree with Shaikh comments. But from earlier, i have the same doubt that if I added the host images, then it would make my site load time slow. Any information regarding this issue. Though there are many online tools and sites available for image compressing but still, it has the impact in website load speed. But after reading this blog and its comments I got knowledge about many new tools. Thanks for that

  17. vikrant

    Images takes lots load time on any blog, optimizing the images and using a CDN is really good way to get it fix. Thanks for sharing

  18. nihal

    i too tried it but as i realised that i am losing image SEO advantage i came back to uploading on my server!! nice article man

  19. Sanjeev

    I am reducing image size through paint and photoshop, thanks for your information..

  20. umesh tarsariya

    Even for blogger, i used to host images on my own sub domain ( sub domain on custom domain of blogger).

    I really enjoyed this post thanks a lot.

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