Learn About Photo Album Programs and Sites

The internet age brought with it a desire to share photographs with others via the web. With the advent of social media, this became even more important. In the early 1990s, printed photographs would be scanned onto disks and uploaded to web servers. Because space was limited however, so was the number of images that could be shared. It soon became apparent that people wanted to be able to share entire albums of photos with friends online and there was a niche for services that could aid in doing so.

The first true photo sharing sites developed from traditional photo print ordering websites in the mid-1990s. These sites would allow you to order prints from mailed-in film negatives and would also provide digital images in an online album that could be shared with family and friends. Slowly these album-hosting sites evolved into websites which could provide permanent storage for uploaded digital photos.

Today, most people take pictures using camera phones and small digital cameras.Since very few people use film, most pictures are never printed on paper. In order to store and share them with others, a photo hosting or online storage account is necessary. Many of these accounts are available for free, but with limited capabilities. Some offer more space or larger file sizes for a monthly fee. These sites may host video and photos or just image files. Some also host other media, such as audio files. Most photo album programs require registration in order to secure and group your images.

-Flickr is the largest photo sharing and image hosting community online. Registration is required, but it is available free of charge.
-Fotki is similar to Flickr, although it offers a few more options for sorting and storing your photos. The site hosts free unlimited images for websites and blogs.
-Smug Mug has a free 14 day trial then the site offers 4 levels of membership ranging from $5 per month to $35 per month.
- One True Media was designed with social media users in mind, although its photo hosting options are not as good as other sites.
-Photobucket stores both photos and videos, but free accounts are limited to 1GB storage space and 25GB of monthly bandwidth. The site is connected with social media such as Facebook and allows one-click sharing of pictures on these sites.
- Picasa is Google’s online photo album. It has 1 GB of free storage and also has photo editing capabilities.
-PicMe has several options for organizing online images, if you do not like simply arranging them into photo albums.
- Pix.ie is a free photo hosting and sharing site that offers 6GB of storage space per year.
-Webshots has both an online and desktop application for users. The free account allows 1,000 uploads, plus 100 each month. There are also premium accounts for those who need more storage space.
-Deviant Art offers free image hosting, but is primarily a social networking site geared toward artists and photographers. Registration is required, but you can upload an unlimited amount of photographs to your account.
-Lafango has free registration for unlimited image storage. It also has customizable galleries to help you sort your photos.
-Shutterfly is a large photo sharing site with more than 2 million users. It is free with unlimited storage.
-Snapfish has more than 90 million users and is one of the most popular photo album programs online. It has free, unlimited storage for registered users. You can also order prints from Snapfish through Costco.
-Web Shots is run by American Greetings, and hosts large, high-quality pictures and screensavers. Users can upload one 800×600 image each day.
-Photoshop.com is a Flash-based photo editing site that also offers 2GB of free storage.
-Memeo Share is a free photo and video sharing software. There is a 1GB limit on free sharing.
-Lockerz allows users to share images up to 5MB in size. There is no limit on uploads and pictures are easily shared with Twitter and other social networking sites.
-Image Shack allows 500 images 5MB per image for its free membership and unlimited storage for premium users.
-Imgbox does not require registration, setting it apart from most other photo album programs. Imgbox has unlimited storage and allows hotlinking to websites or blogs.
-Blue Melon is primarily a paid photo-hosting service, but its free accounts can host up to 1,000 images.

Additional Resources
-Ritz Camera is one of many traditional developers and camera stores to move online in order to allow users to upload photos and then pick up prints in-store.
-PC World offers reviews and comparisons of photo sharing sites.
-FotoFlexer is one of dozens of online photo editing websites.
-Top Ten Reviews hosts reviews and rankings of online picture hosting sites for bloggers and website owners.
-Kizoa can make slideshows and collages from pictures stored on other sites.