Thursday, 5 March 2009

Outgrowing Flickr

Well, the free version, anyway.

I've used Flickr on and off for a couple of years, but a variety of factors (new camera & new blog, for starters) mean that I've been uploading more pictures in the last couple of months.

So I've reached the stage where Flickr is telling me that if I upload new pictures, I won't be able to see my oldest ones any more unless I upgrade. Hmm.

This has got me thinking very seriously, because if I'm going to pay for a photo site, I want to get the best value that I can. I also want to get it right first time, because transferring photos across would be a pain. Other sites that have been recommended to me include and

The main advantage of using Flickr is that, because it's basically free to use, it does have an awfully large community of users (including several people I know), there are lots of active groups, and it integrates well with other applications like blogging & Facebook. I get quite a bit of blog traffic from my Flickr photos and am involved in a couple of good groups. So I think I'll keep my free Flickr account even if I decide that there's a better solution than paying for Flickr Pro.

Relative advantages/disadvantages seem to be:

PrivacyPrivate/public/friends/family on a per-photo basis, same as the free versionExtensive privacy settings, by photo or by gallery, including password protectionPublic or private, by photo or by gallery

So far, I'd say SmugMug is looking favourite despite the slightly bigger price tag, because it just has so many more options for managing images. It also has Power and Pro upgrades which may (or may not) be useful further down the line.

PBase looks a bit poor in comparison because of the limit on number of files - every photo I take these days is at least 4mb in JPG, so it would quickly become more expensive than SmugMug in practise. If I'm going to pay for photo hosting, I want somewhere I can upload all my photos for backup purposes, as well as pictures I want to share.

PBase and SmugMug both offer free trials, which seems to be the way to find out for sure - but not immediately because I'm away next week learning to coppice, and not sure whether I'll have access to the internet. (Don't worry, blog posts will continue, I'm way too organised in that respect!)

But I would be interested in the experiences of anyone who's used any of these sites, or others I may not have heard of.

P.S. I note that SmugMug has a referral scheme, and I would get $5 off if I'm referred, so the first person to leave me a referral code gets the $10 credit ;)


Chef E said...

I do use any, but am having trouble figuring out how to download pics on my real website through a program called adobe dreamweaver, but hubby did suggest we back up my blog stuff so as not to loose it if ever decided to issue rules like this one you discuss...

Kazzy said...

I am a flickr fan, but I am not such a photographer as you are, so it hasn't been difficult to keep to the free version. Good luck.

Domestic Executive said...

I'm with flickr which we get a pro account free with our broadband connection. I use it as a backup system and used to post my blog pictures there but recently decided to upload them into wordpress now they've upgraded the media library function. SmugMug looks really cool. I'd need to work out what I wanted to get from the system before taking the pay for plunge. Certainly it's functionality looks better than flickr but who knows how long any of these sites will remain.

Debbie said...

I can't help you with this conundrum. Sorry!

Pam said...

I use Smugmug. I've been very happy with the service. But it is nothing like Flickr - I don't think people get on it to browse it or anything like that.

Rob said...

A bit late maybe with this maybe; but I'm a flickr fan; and here's why:

Flickr Uploadr - Peasy way of uploading photos, titling and tagging them in a native app rather than something web-based.

A groovy API - The Flickr API has some nice libraries available, meaning you can do some nifty things with your photos; and they're not trapped in say, flickr.. you can just use that as a back-end and display them where you like.

It's big.. Biggest of the bunch? Lots of traffic driven to your pics...

Integration with .. stuff OOTB, like Facebook, ...

I can't say I'm overly familiar with the others, so they may offer this functionality too, but it's worth checking...

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