Self-hosting photos?
January 16, 2015 1:05 PM   Subscribe

Today I found out that the service that I've been using for at least a year now is closing down. I was on Flickr for a long time (starting 2006?), but I just don't trust Yahoo either. So I guess that means I should do something self-hosted...what are my options these days?

I use Trovebox to post pictures that are a bit more permanent than what I throw up on Twitter, to catalog big events, and to some extent to file pictures that I need for my own reference. I have probably thousands of photos over almost a decade organized & described, and I use my organizational system pretty frequently.

* Tags, albums, and descriptions are absolutely necessary, comments less so.
* Not fugly is really important.
* Something that I can send to from Android would be nice.
* A community or really committed developer is also critical.
* I am willing to pay some but not tons.
* I would like something with minimal maintenance requirements, which was why I went with an external service in the first place.

I have lots of web dev experience, mostly PHP on the back end. I have a WordPress blog and use Drupal at work. My personal site(s) are hosted on Dreamweaver.

Alternatively, is there a service you trust with those features that actually promises to have some longevity? (Should I just suck it up & go back to Flickr?)
posted by epersonae to Technology (10 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
For the most part I trust SmugMug, because I pay them and I think they charge enough to actually be profitable. And they've been around for quite a while. However, I'm curious to hear other answers to this, because there have been cases where I've wanted a good self-hosted solution for some projects, and the stuff I used 10+ years ago sucked then and is probably worse now.
posted by primethyme at 1:34 PM on January 16, 2015

I'm interested in this because last year Gallery 3 was end-of-lifed. Looks like PiWiGo is the most promising open-source self-hosted alternative at the moment.
posted by tomierna at 1:53 PM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]

I use Flickr and dislike it. They have the same issue as many other large social websites: they keep fixing problems no one's having, and their new versions are usually so counterintuitive and unpleasant that there's a huge user outcry, which they ignore. Entering metadata is an enormous pain in the rear, even with their Organizr. Plus, the bugs that they do fix are fixed in such a way as to create entirely new and interesting bugs...

... But I have not found anything else that allows me to host 12,000 images, easily upload in batches of 300+, easily embed images anywhere, organize in flexible albums and collections, generates code for HTML/BBCode, allows comments and "likes" (favourites, really), or offers me unlimited storage and bandwidth (I have a Pro account, which has been discontinued). Many services offer some of these features but not all of them together; plus, Flickr has a community feature which has helped me get my work out there. As well, because it's backed by Yahoo, downtime is minimal, which can't sometimes be said for self-hosted options.

Picasa is the only other option I know of, and I don't use it.

I really want someone to start up Flickr by Google - a powerful image-hosting website that offers the option of tons of metadata and batch work, with an attractive, simple design that can tie into a storefront... you get the idea.
posted by Nyx at 2:22 PM on January 16, 2015 [4 favorites]

500px is where most photographers who used to be on flickr went.
posted by drjimmy11 at 2:26 PM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]

If you have Amazon Prime, I believe they recently announced unlimited photo storage. I keep meaning to take advantage of that!
posted by TwoWordReview at 2:26 PM on January 16, 2015

Response by poster: ::shakes tiny fist at Flickr for continuing to limp along::

I guess I oughtn't've let my Pro membership lapse.

I hadn't thought of SmugMug, but it looks promising.
posted by epersonae at 3:00 PM on January 16, 2015

Not opensource but works well and is attractive.
posted by chr at 12:29 AM on January 17, 2015

I just export to an HTML web album from gThumb on Linux, then upload to my web server. Example album. The templates are easy to edit so if you have web dev experience customizing a template to your standards should not be a huge issue. . I sync my phone to OwnCloud, which then syncs back to my desktop, where I process photos. The same workflow would work with Dropbox.

It's hard to beat HTML ands CSS for maintenance free web hosting.
posted by COD at 7:46 AM on January 17, 2015

P.S. 500px is intended to be a sort of niche or boutique where photographers post the best of their portfolio and blah blah elitecakes, as well as licensing those pictures for sale on 500px Prime (stock photography).

It is absolutely not intended to do what Flickr/Picasa does and host all your images.
posted by Nyx at 8:16 AM on January 17, 2015

We're looking into options for this right now at work, due to the impending demise of Gallery 3. IT has asked us to look into using Google Drive...and I have to admit, I don't hate it. The interface is pretty slick, much better than I remember. Meets all of your requirements, I think. There are apps for smart phones & tablets, and a desktop version. Also integrates with the rest of the Google office suite products. It's nowhere near the feature depth of Gallery, but truth be told, we didn't use most of them anyway. We also used Galley to store logo files in .eps / .ai formats, and it really wasn't great at that. Drive might have its own issues with those formats, but it's no worse than Gallery.

No idea how Drive compares to / works with Picassa.
posted by Bron at 6:18 PM on January 17, 2015

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