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Setting Up a Web-based Image Hosting Service

Image hosting services are pretty popular in today’s overly animated and graphical World Wide Web. Almost on a day-to-day basis, we face situations where we need to host images in order to post them on a forum or share them with friends. In this article, we will discuss how to set up your own image hosting service on your web server, a la ImageShack. We will cover only freeware solutions.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:
  1. Setting Up a Web-based Image Hosting Service
  2. GM Photo Host
  3. Easy Image Hoster
  4. DXL dev' IHS
  5. Final Thoughts
By: Barzan "Tony" Antal
Rating: starstarstarstarstar / 3
May 13, 2008

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First, let's clarify something. We all know that currently there are hundreds, if not thousands, of reliable and robust free image hosting services with amazing offers and without bandwidth limitations and space restrictions. Just think of ImageShack, Flickr, PhotoBucket, ImageVenue, FreeImageHosting, TinyPic, Picamatic, and so forth. You've surely heard of these. So you think it's pointless to create your own, right?

From a closed-minded perspective, yes, it is. But we're neglecting that nowadays almost everybody has more web space than s/he ever needs and more than enough bandwidth. This means that it would actually be useful and fun to create a dedicated image hosting service that runs on your web space (or web server) for a limited group of people. Who knows? This article might even kick-start your next online business.

A lot of people prefer to run and administer their own galleries on their web server. This is especially important when you are creating family albums or even if you're just a passionate blogger. It also adds a level of professionalism when you are hot-linking images from your own server, which is neatly organized with thumbnails and all that fancy stuff. You may also prefer to host images on the go from work and such.

One thing is clear: if you have a web space with lots of free space then I'd suggest trying to set up one of the web-based image hosting service applications that are going to be presented in this article. You have nothing to lose and I bet you'll be fascinated. Over time, they may even replace your previously favorite public image hosting service. It's a different feeling when it's yours.

Throughout this article, we're going to cover the installation and set-up procedure of exactly three image hosting web-applications. We'll start with GM Photo Host; it's the one with the fanciest features and offers a gallery. Then we'll present two simpler solutions: Easy Image Hoster and DXL dev' Image Hosting Script.

In a nutshell, all of them do the most needed functions: offer a simple and intuitive page through which you can upload photos and give the pre-generated links in various styles (bbCode, direct link, HTML, etc.). Additionally, the file name is created randomly, so the possibility of hosting files with the same file name is eliminated. Supported file formats are always at least JPEG, jpg, and png.

Now that you know what to expect, let's begin.



 
 
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