How to Publish Pictures to the Web

by David Wayne

The easiest way to publish pictures online is to upload them to an image-sharing website that hosts your photos and displays them in an attractive image viewer. However, if you want your pictures to bring traffic to your website, you must make the necessary image-hosting arrangements and insert the image links into your site.

Uploading to Photo-Sharing Websites

Sites such as Flickr, Photobucket and Picasa offer free photo hosting, privacy settings and search results in all the major image search engines. These photo-sharing services offer free and paid subscriptions, depending on the size and number of photos you want to upload. When you publish pictures to one of these sites, the photo upload page gives you a choice of usage rights, so you can prevent others from redistributing your photos or allow them to use your photos with or without attribution. You can also add captions and image tags to your pictures to influence when they appear in search results. If you choose to make your photos private, only users to whom you send a direct link can view them, while public images turn up in internal and external search results.

Hosting Image Files

File hosting is a service that gives you online storage space and links to your files so you can use them on other websites. Photo-sharing sites provide file hosting and image publishing in one package, but some Web hosts specialize only in hosting image files and don't offer a publishing service. Sites such as ImageShack, TinyPic and Postimage store your images at no cost and provide direct links and HTML code you can insert in blogs, Web forums, auction sites and other places. Some photo-sharing sites, such as Photobucket, also provide links for external sites, but others restrict where you can post photos or don't provide links.

Publishing Pictures on Your Website

Like photo-sharing sites, blogging sites host and display images, offering a simple upload tool on the main publishing form. If you registered a domain name and manage your website through a content management system, such as WordPress, Joomla or Drupal, adding pictures through the main publishing form uploads them to your Web host, which is separate from your blogging platform, although they often come packaged together. On the main publishing form -- usually called “Post” or “Publish” -- click “Add Media,” “Upload Image” or a similarly worded option, then choose a photo from the file browser. Alternatively, if you're using a separate image-hosting service, choose the “Direct Link” option and enter the URL provided by the Web host.

Specifying Usage Rights

When it comes to usage rights, you can choose either a full copyright or one of several Creative Commons licenses, which make your pictures available for others to use in commercial or noncommercial projects, with or without attribution, depending on the license. Include a message with your picture specifying its license or choose a license from a photo-sharing site's upload page to tell viewers whether they can or cannot reuse the image. Other people can legally reuse your image only if you publish it with a CC license. To prevent reuse, choose a copyright restriction instead. Your images automatically receive full copyright protection when your publish them, but you must register the copyright to take legal action against anyone who uses your pictures without permission.

About the Author

David Wayne has been writing since 2010, with technology columns appearing in several regional newspapers in Texas. Wayne graduated from the University of Houston in 2005, earning a Bachelor of Arts in communications.

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