Image "Sharing" Web Sites - Also Great For Archiving

An InkjetBuzz article by Royce Bair for 2007 Apr 26

In a recent post to the Yahoo discussion group, Digital_Photography_Forum, "April" asked, "Can anyone recommend a GREAT site to upload photos to? I would like to have the ability to have some free viewing and others password protected. Anyone have any tried and true places?"

Although we interviewed many people to find their likes and dislikes, we cannot call this a "review", because there are other services we did not review, but this should get you started:

PBASE is popular with many photographers. The first 10 MB of storage is free. You can upgrade to $23 yearly for 500 MB of photo storage. They also offer password protection for some of your galleries. Additional storage can be added at any time in increments of 500 MB. (If your photos average 250 KB each, you could store 2000 photos in 500 megabytes.) There are other places with better interfaces, templates and better overall design, but if just displaying a lot of images as cheaply as possible is your main goal, PBase is a good choice.

SHUTTERPOINT is also popular with photographers, because they also offer online selling of your images as prints or as stock photo images (taking a 15% commission), and photo buyer traffic to the site is pretty good. Our main problem with Shutterpoint is that their storage fees are fairly high - $29 per year for 100MB, $49 per year for 200MB.

SMUGMUG seemed to have the best interface, online design tools, and pricing: $39.95 per year for unlimited storage. (As long as you're using your account for photo sharing, posting photos to forums & blogs and inviting visitors to view your galleries, your traffic is unlimited.) Each JPEG file can be as large as 8 MB. Professional accounts can upload up to 16 MB JPEGs. There is a 14-day free trial period. We were most impressed with the archive features of this service: SmugMug keeps 4 backup copies of each image in 3 states, allowing you to retrieve them anytime in case of a hard drive crash. Professional accounts are $149.95 per year, but allow you to sell prints of your images online or stock image downloads (they take a 15% commission).

PHOTOREFLECT is part of You may remember them from last month's newsletter. Their PhotoReflect division allows professionals to share and sell images online without any up front or monthly fees. Their layout and interface is very elegant, although it is a little more complicated and confusing than SmugMug's in some areas. Our only complaint is that the offline software is only available for Windows users, whereas all the other services use a totally online interface that is friendly to all systems (SmugMug's online interface is especially Macintosh friendly). ExpressDigital takes a maximum 15% e-commerce transaction fee from each online order, along with a 3% fee to cover the cost of payment processing. Unlike all the other services mentioned, YOU perform the printing services and make the delivery to your customers. Naturally, this is preferred if you want to do your own inkjet printing fulfillment!

POSTSCRIPT: All of these services, with the exception of Shutterpoint, require you to do your own promoting to drive customers to your Web pages on these services. None of these services allow you to upload and archive RAW camera files (only JPEGs), but if our hard drive crashed, most of us would be very happy even for a JPEG file! If you wish more flexible online archiving, you may want to look into services like Xdrive (, where you can get 5 GB of free online storage (never expires), or 50 GB for $9.95 per month.



NOTE: The above article may have links to web pages when referring to certain inkjet products. While is NOT associated with, many of the articles found in this section originated from news letters, which were written by Royce Bair, a private consultant.


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