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Alternatives to Flickr  (Read 5380 times)
Na
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« on: April 09, 2014, 11:44:26 pm »

Does anyone have any suggestions? Apparently I've just been conned into paying more money to Flickr because of some hidden autorenewal stuff and I'm pretty censored mad at them. I'd like to take all of my photos of their site, but I can't think of anywhere else decent. Anyone have any experience with other photo hosting sites? Preferably one that has a good free account option.
aaronTV
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« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2014, 12:34:53 am »

Maybe look at 500px.com?
Na
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« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2014, 12:52:24 am »

Thanks. An initial look and it seems to be ok. I worry that on a free plan it won't allow me to make as many sets as I need, and it does limit me to uploading in one go - but then I don't need to have a deadline on transferring stuff. I will have a browse later when I have more time.

Hoping right now that I can get a refund from Flickr. I'll transfer photos later.
Andrew
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2014, 07:57:16 am »

I've never paid a dime for Flickr. I'm really sorry that you've had trouble with them. They won't let you downgrade your account?
Na
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« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2014, 08:13:47 am »

I've never paid a dime for Flickr. I'm really sorry that you've had trouble with them. They won't let you downgrade your account?

I had a pro account from ages ago, and had meant to let it lapse once the 'pro' accounts were removed last year. The information I read basically said if you don't pay for pro again, you'd simply end up as a free account. I usually pay manually, as I do with all of my billing; turns out Flickr surreptitiously changed their policy in 2013 (IIRC) by forcing all paying customers into a 'subscription' - automatic billing - which I didn't know about. I'm usually scrupulous about automatic billing since I'm basically living month-to-month and was sure I had removed automatic billing from my account. Either way, the funds were taken without so much as an email notification warning me that it was about to happen.

I have fortunately received my money back from Flickr thanks to submitting a Paypal dispute - Flickr staff barely acknowledging my request when I emailed direct - and have ensured my paypal account is entirely removed from Flickr's billing system, and that the account has been downgraded.

The problem wasn't so much the downgrade as I had assumed if I didn't pay it would simply 'lapse' and make me a free member; the problem was that they not only automatically billed me, but that I'd received no information about an upcoming invoice - which I wouldn't have paid and would have double checked to make sure that automatic billing was not selected for in my account settings.

I've had issues getting customer support before so this has definitely made me think about taking my photos elsewhere. Their idea of answering specific questions relating to your specific issue tends to be stock standard that doesn't apply to your actual issue. I'm glad I made a dispute via paypal because I highly doubt Flickr staff would have bothered to reply properly otherwise.
Na
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« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2014, 02:15:42 am »

Decided not to go with 500px. Their free version is ok size-wise (well assuming the 14 day trial of their paid version doesn't cause problems if you upload lots of photos and sets) but there was no way to do bulk deletions, nor to add sets within sets. Most of my pics require sets within sets for festival blogging, etc. so something else would work better for me. I did like that it had an import function, but even though it can import your photos from Flickr, it doesn't import the organisation so you have to redo all your sets and collections.

I really can't stand DeviantArt, partly because it freezes my browser every time I use it, but also because there is rife copyright-stealing going on there.

Some other alternatives were only via paid accounts, which I refuse to do. Some just looked crap or didn't have sets-within-sets. Photobucket was tempting until I learned it's owned by Murdoch.

In the end I've just decided I will set up a photoblog on my own website, and host the images directly. I worry mostly about copyright abuse, but perhaps I will have more control over that as I will be able to see who/when/how my images are being used in that regard; and then deal with the abuser by replacing the pic with a 'subtle' reminder that they stole the image. (Which I've done before and had success with)
John Arnold
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2014, 10:35:29 pm »

Hosting your own is so easy if you can afford the hosting. Gallery PHP was great but just entered hibernation, and Zenphoto seems good. Both have forms of image protection, watermarks, hotlink protection, etc. Gallery has a iPhoto Plugin, an iOS Client, and in browser bulk upload.
Na
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« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2014, 06:06:11 am »

Hosting your own is so easy if you can afford the hosting. Gallery PHP was great but just entered hibernation, and Zenphoto seems good. Both have forms of image protection, watermarks, hotlink protection, etc. Gallery has a iPhoto Plugin, an iOS Client, and in browser bulk upload.


Yeah, originally photo hosting was because I couldn't afford the extra file space on my own web hosting account. Now that I have enough space the only issue is with protecting copyrights, making sure I can have categories and sub-cats, and wasting the time to re-upload and re-link all the files.

Oddly enough I didn't even think about installing something like Gallery PHP. I just went with my instinct was to install another copy of my blog platform into a subdomain and then use their photoblog template, with a few hacks for hotlink protection and a copy of a watermark plugin. This is only going to be used for my old blog so I don't care about making it fancy or getting it to work on mobiles.

After looking at those gallery installations, which is more time consuming: teaching myself the layout of a new piece of software and worrying about the security of it, or hacking a template I'm already familiar with and confident of the software's security? - Especially since I already installed the blog platform yesterday and have the bare bones of it up and running. ... But I had a look and it would take me forever to copy over the photos as a lot of them are no longer on my computer but on backup storage; so a gallery program is faster.

I really found the gallery options (Gallery 2, Gallery PHP, Zenphoto, etc) difficult to grasp immediately. I liked Piwigo as it has a much more streamlined backend, plus a plugin for importing from Flickr.

There were a couple of issues getting the import function to work on Piwigo though, most of which have to do with the large number of photos I'm trying to import at once. Just required a little extra time to load fewer at one go. It's also not that intuitive in terms of sorting photos and reordering them, but once you figure it out it's ok. In fact, Piwigo has a lot of obvious features not installed in the core program - things like replacing a photo without losing the info related to it, a way to customise the templates, etc. I don't mind since I can work these things out fairly easily but I'm not sure I would recommend the program for anyone not comfortable with having to learn it all.

Hotlink protection I did manually, since I already know how to code that in the files; Piwigo doesn't provide for a .htaccess file or robots.txt, which are important to keeping people/hackers away from sensitive areas and I didn't want Google keeping my images in their image search so I had to code that in as well. They don't have any info on the site for knowing what to lock down for security purposes so I'm hoping that Piwigo is good in that department.

Didn't need watermarking really since all the photos have that embedded already, but I added my own reminders on the page and some plugins - lightbox function/right-click prevention - will help prevent people from using the pics.

Considering the backend looks so easy to use, it's somewhat of a let-down compared to the confusing interfaces of the others. There were a lot of things that I had to hunt around for which should have been obvious basic functions. Still, it works and that's all I care about.

Anyway, the benefit is now all my photos are were they need to be without worrying about paying (extra) hosting fees, I have hotlink-protected them so they can only be used on my site (or whatever sites I choose), I can easily hunt plagiarists if I need to, and I don't have to worry about constantly shifting photo-hosting policies. The only real tedious part was in re-editing 6 years' worth of blog posts.

Half of my photos are now here:
http://photos.puppetsinmelbourne.com.au/

I'll still have to transfer my other Flickr account, but that can wait for another time.
John Arnold
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2014, 11:14:06 pm »

Looks good, and if it meets your needs so much the better.
Na
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« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2014, 03:10:33 am »

Thanks - it's not all that pretty, but then I'm not planning on using it in the future, as it's for my old brand name. I wish I'd thought of self-hosting sooner as it would have saved me from constantly replacing old Flickr links.
Na
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« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2014, 11:03:44 am »

I got bored and decided to move the other half of my photos - now here, http://photos.schoolofpuppetry.com.au/ - and now it's all done! I no longer have any Flickr accounts and thank goodness for that! From now on I'll self-host any photos I plan to post online, and that way I can save the trouble of not having to move and re-edit things. Even if I move web hosts the photo URLs will stay the same. Saves a lot of work in the long run.

Smiley  Thanks for the suggestion of those programs John. If you hadn't have mentioned it, it would have taken me weeks to move everything.
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