Tech Made Simple

Hot Topics: Heartbleed: What you Need to Know | Best iPhone 5 Battery Case | Best Bluetooth Headset | What's Draining Your Android Battery?

Choose It

author photo

Best Sites for Sharing Photos

posted by Katherine Gray on April 30, 2013 in , Cameras and Photography, Photo / Video Sharing, Guides & Reviews :: 11 comments

When it comes to sharing and storing your photos online, there are dozens of options. From well-known sites like Flickr to smaller sites like Fotki, it can be hard to wade through them all to find the perfect place to host your precious memories.

There are a handful of questions you should consider before making a decision; privacy controls, the ability to print or download photos, storage space, and usage fees are just a few things to think about. With those questions in mind, we've gathered the best photo sharing websites in this handy comparison post to help you make your decision.

The Big Photo Sharing Sites

Flickr

Flickr

The largest photo-focused website, Flickr is generally accepted to be one of the best options. It's free for casual users, though there are limitations, including only 300MB of uploads per month and the ability to display only the most recent 200 photos. Upgrading to a Pro account for $24.95 for one year, or $44.95 for two years, gets you unlimited storage and video uploads and now grants everyone 1 TB of data for storage which can hold more than 500,000 images at full resolution. Flickr lets users tag, caption, and set copyright permissions on photos, and organize them into collections and sets. Flickr also has a thriving community of photo enthusiasts, with groups and galleries galore to browse and enjoy, and easy-to-use apps for both iOS and Android devices.


Fees: none, premium account available: $50/year for no ads, $500/year for an extra 1TB of storage
Need account to view photos: no
Privacy controls: public and private
Download: smaller, resized images full resolution
Included storage: up to 300MB per month 1 terabyte (equivalent to over 1,000,000 megabytes)

Information updated 5/20/2013.

Shutterfly

Shutterfly

One of the big benefits of Shutterfly is that there is no cost for unlimited photo storage. Instead, they make their money from prints and other customizable gifts such as mugs, mouse pads, and calendars. Users can create Share sites, which are secure personal web pages where you can share photos, videos, and more with family and friends. You can also order prints for in-store pickup at Walgreens and Target. Shutterfly has apps for the iPhone, iPad, and Roku.

Fees: none
Need account to view photos: yes
Privacy controls: all photos are private
Download: smaller, resized images
Included storage: unlimited

Photobucket

Photobucket

A photo sharing site largely focused on social media integration, Photobucket makes it easy to share your photos with specific friends and social networks, including Facebook and Twitter. It also offers unlimited photo and video storage, though they do limit file sizes. There are also fun options like creating digital slideshows and adding effects to your images, as well as turning your photos into physical prints and customizable gifts.
Photobucket

Fees: none
Need account to view photos: no
Privacy controls: public, private and password protected
Download: original size
Included storage: 2GB

Snapfish

Snapfish

Snapfish is one of the easiest photo sharing websites, and thus is a big hit with the less tech-savvy crowd. It offers a lot of editing and sharing features, as well as prints and other photo products. Snapfish has unlimited free storage, but they do require that users buy at least one print (for a whopping $.09) per year to keep their account active. Prints can be shipped directly from the site or picked up at many different stores, including Walmart, Walgreens, and Meijer. Members can share photos or albums via email, but Snapfish doesn't offer integrated sharing via Facebook or Twitter.

Fees: One purchase per year ($0.09)
Need account to view photos: yes
Privacy controls: private, password protected
Download: original size
Included storage: unlimited

Boutique Photo Sharing Sites

Fotki

Fotoki

Out of the plethora of smaller photo hosting websites, three stand out as real contenders. Fotki is fun because it has a photocentric social network aspect, hosts photo contests, and allows users to sell prints (rather than just allowing users to buy prints but not make any money off of them).

Fees: none, premium account available
Need account to view photos: no
Privacy controls: public, private and password protected
Download: up to 1000 x 1000 pixels
Included storage: 5GB

SlickPic

SlicPic

SlickPic is a fairly standard photo sharing service, but it also has a number of interesting features. In addition to creating personal or professional photo galleries and albums, you can create photoblogs and actually have a professional designer enhance your favorite photographs (for a fee). It also offers plug-in integration with Adobe Lightroom, Windows Gallery, Apple Aperture, and Apple iPhoto.

Fees: none, premium account available
Need account to view photos: no
Privacy controls: public and private
Download: up to 1600 x 1200 pixels
Included storage: unlimited

Social Photo Sharing Sites

Facebook

Facebook Photos

Facebook is the largest social network in the world, and with millions of users, it's a pretty easy place to share your photographs. You can upload pictures straight from your phone or from your desktop, and organize them into folders. The biggest drawback to Facebook as a photo sharing site is that, depending on the privacy settings you use, your photos may only be visible to other Facebook users on your friends list.

Fees: none
Need account to view photos: yes
Privacy controls: public and private
Download: original size (up to 2048px wide)
Included storage: unlimited

Tumblr

Tumblr

Tumblr isn't exactly a photo sharing website; it's a blogging platform that's geared towards showcasing photography, paintings, design, and other art. It's free and relatively easy to use, but also somewhat limited on design options. If you prefer to show off your photos one or two at a time, interspersed with text commentary, Tumblr might be perfect!

Fees: none
Need account to view photos: no
Privacy controls: public and private
Download: resized to max of 500 x 700px
Included storage: unlimited

Instagram

Pictacular

Instagram began life as an iPhone app (free on iTunes), but has recently expanded to Android phones as well (free at Google Play). The app lets you take photos on your phone, and tweak them by adding fun effects and filters, then share them with friends on social media. Pictacular, formarly known as Pinstagram, is a hybrid interface that allows you to view your Instagram photos on the web, in a lovely waterfall view.

Fees: none
Need account to view photos: yes
Privacy controls: public and private
Download: display size
Included storage: unlimited

Dropbox: A cloud storage option

Dropbox

A somewhat surprising option for photo sharing, not just online photo storage, is Dropbox. If all you want is a simple, slick way to share your photos with friends and family online, without cluttering it up with social media, ads, or a push to buy photo products, Dropbox offers an excellent alternative. You can create photo galleries and then share the link, and, unlike sharing files, the person at the other end doesn't actually download the files – they can just see them in an elegant slideshow view. While you can't order prints or edit photos in Dropbox, and it does require installing a desktop application, the simple and easy-to-use interface and clean slideshow view definitely offer an appealing option.

Fees: none
Need account to view photos: no
Privacy controls: private, password protected
Download: original size
Included storage: 2GB

Details, details, details

Many photo sharing websites seem like carbon copies of each other, but there are some that offer interesting and useful options. Do you want to share your photos on Facebook or Twitter, create hip filters, or start your own photo blog? Read the fine print, and decide what's important to you, and you'll be able to find the perfect photo-sharing match.

Subscribe to the Techlicious Daily Email!

Get the Techlicious Guide to Great Photography as your FREE gift!

Discussion loading

gravatar

Shutterfly+ThisLife

From Brittany on May 02, 2013 :: 1:50 pm

Some really exciting things coming to Shutterfly’s photo cloud storage since they acquired ThisLife!

Reply

gravatar

Linea

From Katy on May 02, 2013 :: 3:37 pm

Linea is a beautiful solution for sharing photos and photo cloud storage. You maintain complete control over who you share your photos with. And everyone who creates a free account gets 30GB free storage!

Reply

gravatar

for free photo I like

From Ankap on December 01, 2013 :: 7:26 am

for free photo I like this site http://www.barior.com

Reply

gravatar

take Pixi.me for a spin

From steve caturan on January 06, 2014 :: 12:56 am

Pixi.me is a free service based on the open-source software called Gallery 2 - we also use high-grade SSL security, and photo gallery sites we hosted can be mounted as a network drive via WebDAV.

Reply

gravatar

For news and publishing pictures

From Andrea on January 13, 2014 :: 7:00 am

For news and publishing pictures i like http://www.noidueimaging.com

Reply

gravatar

Professional vs Family Pictures

From Jordan on February 10, 2014 :: 11:08 pm

I completely agree with Flickr. I have been using it for past few years to show off the pictures that I take with my SLR camera, but to share my personal pictures privately with my family, I only use wikialbums (here is the link: http://www.wikialbums.com). I have a private group for my family and also have one for my class to share my kids pictures with their parents. Yup, I’m a teacher!

Reply

gravatar

Thanks!

From Omid on February 15, 2014 :: 3:00 am

It was useful for me!
Thank you!

Reply

gravatar

シチズン 腕時計

From シチズン 腕時計 on February 18, 2014 :: 7:51 am

There’s a chance You Also Make These Slipups With bag !

Reply

gravatar

One more option if privacy and control are important.

From Carrie Howard on March 01, 2014 :: 6:17 pm

Another good free site if you want to stop unintended sharing of “private” photos is Vulavu.com. As far as I know it’s the only site that was specifically designed for posting private photos between two people in a way that they don’t get saved on the receiver’s phone or computer and the Images are private and can NOT be seen by the public. It was designed specifically to stop unintended sharing of photos.  It also lets you choose how many times someone can view your photos and you can set the photo invitation to expire. The site gives you good control over your images so you can feel safe.  It’s one more option to consider.

Reply

gravatar

Thanks Carrie and Katherine

From Amanda Kelly on March 02, 2014 :: 10:37 pm

Thanks Carrie,
I originally was going to go for the one mentioned in this article called photobucket, as I’ve been looking around something that can make my images private. As you’ve mentioned Vulavu I’ll also look into that one too. As far as privacy is concerned you can never be too careful!

Reply

gravatar

More choices

From Roderick Coleman on April 02, 2014 :: 9:31 pm

Reply

© 2014 Techlicious LLC. :: Home | About | Meet the Team | Sponsorship Opportunities | Newsletter Archive | Contact Us :: Terms of Use | Privacy Policy

site design: Juxtaprose