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Use an online image sharing library to publish your pictures online

Categories: Publish Pictures    Tags:   7 Comments

webIn my first article in the series about publishing pictures on line, I have written about asking and answering two fundamental questions before publishing your pictures online. But what do you do next, what do you do after you answer these questions? This article will analyze the pros and cons of using an online sharing library for publishing your pictures online.

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1. What is an online sharing image library?

An online sharing library is an online software application that provides an easy way to upload your digital pictures, categorize them and then share them with…well whomever you want. These days, the choices are many and to try to review each service would be useless since there are so many reviews available already for the different services. My intention is to provide a quick list of pros and cons that would help you decide if this is the way you want to go when it comes to publishing your pictures online.

Do you know how to share your pictures online?

2. What’s to like and … not to like

2.1 PRO:

  • This is the simplest option. You don’t have to do any programming…you just upload your pictures, title and tag them and you’re done.
  • You can start sharing your pictures with your intended audience immediately. Once you create your account you can start sharing the internet address of your photo albums.
  • Your pictures become part of a very large collection of pictures and many people can find, see and comment on your pictures. Depending on your purpose, this might be a good thing.
  • Many online sharing companies offer photo printing services at better quality than regular stores like Costco, Walmart and Target. However Costco and Target have improved their photo printing quality and their price is really unbeatable.
  • Lots of programming power already available on the sharing platform. So many widgets are available immediately: comments, picture rating, community building, etc.
  • Lots of free choices available: iCloud, Google Photos, Facebook, Flickr, Shutterfly. Also Smug Mug is a great choice at a reasonable price.

2.2 CON:

  • Limited control over the content around your pictures. You have to use the templates provided by the online library software.
  • Limited control of the size and resolution requirements used by the online software. Yes, some providers are more or less flexible but nobody allows you to upload at whatever resolution you want.
  • Limited control over the space offered. Most online libraries will ask a fee for extra space for your pictures.
  • No control over the folder structure where your pictures reside.
  • Some free services like Flickr and Shutterfly have lots of adds on the photo pages.

3. Are online image sharing libraries for you?

Well…it depends on your purpose. If you’re just interested in sharing pictures and/or printing then this is the way to go. If you’re looking to print your pictures this method is also great because most sharing services offer printing services. However, if you’re looking to sell advertising on your site, or you want complete control over content and categories this is not for you. Selling pictures is a little different since there are a few online libraries that make it very easy to do.

4. What library do you use?

I am really interested in what library you’re using. How has it worked out for you so far? Does everyone use Facebook? Does anyone still use Flickr? Why…or why not? I appreciate any comments on this article.

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Updated: December 12, 2016  Categories: Publish Pictures
Tags:    Comments: 7 Comments
Read related articles:
Tutorial 9 – Share your pictures online
3 reasons why I stopped printing pictures on my home photo printer
How to setup Google Photos and use it efficiently

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Midusian March 14, 2008 at 3:58 pm

Hey, I use flickr, it has a great intuitive interface and with a pro account you can do a lot of things=))
Also the pro acc isnt that expensive…


vlad March 14, 2008 at 4:38 pm

It seems like most people are using Flickr. I personally use Fotki primarily because of their cheap printing services. I use them to print all my family pictures…great quality for the price. I think they’re the lowest on the market (9c per print).


Pedro G. Prata June 2, 2010 at 10:27 pm

Hi guys!

I use Smugmug. I tried a lot of Online Galleries, and I must say that for my purpose, Smugmug beats them all.

Cheap account, no limits space limits, you have control on your pictures and galleries (hidden, password protected, max size allowed per gallery, create galleries by keywords, integrated geotagging, great interface, easy sharing, great stats, etc).

Anyway, I realize that most people use flicker. I just prefer Smugmug…


Vlad July 31, 2014 at 6:57 pm

Pedro…SmugMug is a great online sharing library…especially for photographers with clients. It is not expensive I agree but it is not free either.


Evelyn December 12, 2016 at 12:53 pm

I’ll add my vote for SmugMug. The basic $40 a yr. account offers more than I need. Love the many display options. The simple use interface. How easy it is to download an entire gallery if needed. REAL PERSON help desk – they are called support heroes, and they are for any help question you might have. Excellent security. I could go on and on – so happy I transitioned from the free photo sharing/storage sites. I no longer have a need to print photos. Flickr free account – I don’t like ads, and Yahoo is in terrible financial shape, nor do I like Flickr’s display of photos.
PS – Thanks very much for all the tips/ideas on photo management. I’ve learned a lot.


Vlad December 12, 2016 at 3:44 pm

I like SmugMug too Evelyn even though I do not use it myself. I use Google Photos for my own sharing. You can also read my interview with Smug Mug here:


Evelyn December 15, 2016 at 12:32 pm

Good interview with SmugMug.
I also like that they are a family run business with only 33 employees.
I was huge fan of Picasa Web Albums for several years – the moment I saw Google Photos I was put off. There was so much I didn’t like that I had to find an alternative. Too bad because I use and enjoy any number of Google services. Have to wonder if the big Yahoo data breach impacted Flickr.

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