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Resident Nice Guy
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
You've woken up to find that all the pictures in your threads on how to underwater basketweave and your collection of friends' belly button lint have been replaced with this:



ER MEHR GEHRD! THEY'VE DELETED MAH IMAGES OF BELLY BUTTON LINT! THOSE COMMUNISTS!

So let's put your mind at ease before we go any further. Your belly button lint pictures are still there. Photobucket is only keeping anyone from seeing them while on sites other than Photobucket.

CLICK ANY IMAGES FOR FULLSIZE

WHAT?
Think of Photobucket in terms of a photo developing place like the ones we used to go to the malls to hand in our rolls of film so we could have pictures of our thumbs developed and handed to us at which time we'd take them home and share them with friends. Now imagine that the photo development place told you you can't take them home, you can only bring people to look at them there. That's what PB did. Your pictures are still able to be seen if you look at them while on the PB site, you just can't have people look at them while they're on another site.

WHY?
Hosting images costs money. Photobucket exists to make money. Allowing you to show images on other sites sends the money flowing in the wrong direction. This was supposed to be offset by the incredible assault of ads that would be thrown at you while on the PB site to upload and manage your images. Unfortunately, PB decided that daddy needed a new pair of shoes so have now changed it so that only those members paying $500 a year would be able to display their images on other sites. I'ts nothing personal, mind you. It's not you, it's them. They want to be sure you know that.

Here's what every thread on the face of the internet looks like now that PB has made this change:



It's enough to make you laugh until you stop to think that all of the valuable information that requires these images to make sense are now rendered useless and many thread authors have moved on(figuratively as well as literally, if they happened to get hit by a bus or choked to death on a hot dog) so a large number of these threads are broken for good and will never be restored. This thread is to help you not fall into that group, both in helping you figure out how to fix your images and if necessary, how to eat a hot dog.

WHAT NOW?
Well, there's some good news and some bad news. The good news is that your images are still there. The bad news is that unless you choose to pay the PB fee, every image you've ever displayed on any site other will now show up as that really nifty image at the top of this post. Speculation is that this move will cost PB it's life so even if you do pay, many people are putting money on the fact that your images will go away again soon when PB declares bankruptcy and sells off it's water coolers and bean bag chairs to pay their debtors.

So what should you do? The very first thing you should do is download all your images that are being housed by PB. That way, no matter what happens, you will have them for future use, e.g.: fixing your threads at a later date. The reason it's important to do this now is because PB has already proven that it will change it's Terms of Service in very drastic ways, taking away what you thought was a given. There's no reason to trust that they won't try to stop the bleeding of users by taking away your ability to download your images in a convenient manner. So let's get those images.

UPDATE 10-26-17: Photobucket has done what I mentioned above and has removed the ability to download your albums. The post has been altered to reflect this and show you an unofficial way to still get all of your images in a gallery in a single zip file.

NOTE: All of us enjoy a particular level of comfort when dealing with computers and the web. This topic is geared toward those of us that fight the good fight every day to find their mouse pointer. Feel free to skip through to find the parts that apply to you if you know damned good and well how to turn your monitor on.

DOWNLOADING ALL IMAGES FROM PHOTOBUCKET

FIRST: If you find you'd rather not deal with the hassle of following these steps or if you find paying $2 to get your images to be a form of highway robbery, PM me your Photobucket login details and I will download your albums for you.

This method requires the use of the Chrome browser. If you don't use Chrome and you don't want to install it, see the line right above this one.

In Chrome, visit this page and purchase, then install the addon. First, you click the purchase button and once you've paid, that button will become and "install" button.



Once you've installed it, you should be able to use the extension right away. Log into your Photobucket account. Now, go to your library:



Once in your library, choose a gallery that you want to download from the left side of the page and click that download link that now shows up in the sharing panel:



It will show as fetching the images in the gallery and once the download button changes to "Finished", it will automatically begin downloading.



You should now see a zip file of your gallery name in the download folder on your computer. That zip file should have all of the full size images in it.

repeat this process for every album you have created in Photobucket. Just go back to the front page and click your album link on the left, then follow these steps again to download a zip containing the images.

Now quick, fast and in a hurry, upload those to another host before Photobucket starts hiring people to go door to door, deleting photos on your computer.

FIX YOUR B0RKED THREADS (FOR THE TIME BEING)

First off, it should be said that this will probably break in the future as I'm pretty sure it's an oversight on Photobucket's part and as soon as they are made aware of it, this will no longer work. That being said, however, this is still a great way to both get the threads working again in the interim and it also makes it easier to move the images to another host, which we will be discussing a tiny bit further down the page.

What we want to do is edit all the posts in your thread that have PB images in them so we can append a tiny bit of text behind the image URL. Let's look at a typical chunk of PB image code:

[URL=http://s754.photobucket.com/user/jimdog32526/media/IMAG1219.jpg.html][IMG]http://i754.photobucket.com/albums/xx181/jimdog32526/IMAG1219.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

The part in the URL tag can be ignored. We are only concerned with the part in between the IMG tags, which is:

[IMG]http://i754.photobucket.com/albums/xx181/jimdog32526/IMAG1219.jpg[/IMG]



That part currently is broken. If we, however, add ~original to the end of the image, right before the ending IMG tag, it will cause the full size, originally uploaded image to show.

[IMG]http://i754.photobucket.com/albums/xx181/jimdog32526/IMAG1219.jpg~original[/IMG]



HOLY SMOKES, IT'S MAGIC!

So, we need to add that to the end of every image URL in your thread. Don't worry, this takes less time than you might think. I can fix about 100 images in under 5 minutes.

The first thing you want to do is get that important addition added to your computer's clipboard.

Click anywhere in your URL bar at the top of the browser and click CTRL+A to select all and then hit the delete or back key to erase everything that's there. Once you have a blank URL bar, type ~original , being very careful not to have any blank spaces or misspellings(that squigly line, or tilde at the start of if can be found on the key to the left of your 1 above the letters. You'll need to use the shift key). Once that's typed, again hit CTRL+A to select all and then CTRL+C to copy it to your clipboard.



Now that you've got it copied, it's time to start editing the affected posts. You're going to click the edit icon, find all of the image links, put your cursor right between the last letter in the image extension and closing image tag and use CTRL+V to paste ~original in place. Once you've put it in place everywhere that post needs it, click Save to save the changes.

This:


Becomes this:


Now you get to do that for all images. If it seems too daunting of a task, feel free to PM me the topic links and I'd be happy to fix them up for you.

I WOULD LIKE TO REITERATE THAT THIS IS LIKELY A TEMPORARY FIX MOSTLY INTENDED TO MAKE IT EASIER FOR YOU TO MOVE THE IMAGES TO ANOTHER HOST (OUTLINED BELOW). Photobucket has already proven themselves to be righteous douche nozzles and you should expect them to double down and continue to break these types of things until they either run you off or get you to pay.

DOWNLOAD ONLY THE IMAGES YOU NEED, USING A FORUM THREAD AS A GUIDE

What if you don't want all your images but only want to fix your threads and leave the rest to wither away over time? Well, we can do that too. Open the thread in your browser and prepare yourselves for some magic to happen.

What we want to do is open every image in a new tab, so we can download them.

While scrolling down the page, either use the middle mouse button(the scroll wheel pushes down to act as a button) or hold Control while left clicking. These actions will open the linked image in a new tab while allowing you to stay on the topic that you're trying to fix. Just keep going until you've made it through the post. You'll end up with a bunch of tabs open in your browser. These represent each image you middle-clicked.



Now, that's a lot of tabs.

It's a good time to tell you that if you have a bunch of images and/or a computer that isn't necessarily of this decade, you may need to tame your tab opening party and do a small number of images at a time to keep your computer from slowing to a crawl.

Our plan is to save the images in a folder so we can upload them to another hosting service. Let's save some images.

Select that first image tab:



DON'T PANIC! You're probably looking at the same image you were seeing on the thread and it would be logical to think that meant the image got changed, losing your original photo forever. Let's talk a bit about browsers. This is an example of browser "caching". To keep the amount of stuff a browser has to download down and the speed at which it shows you a page up, it saves content for future use so you can view it more quickly the next time. If you see that warning image, you're seeing your browser's view of what it thinks that image is. There's a simple way to tell your browser to check again for a different version. Hold SHIFT while clicking the refresh button to force the browser to download all images on the page again. The next page load should show the actual image:



To streamline this process, go into each tab and force a refresh in the same manner. We'll wait right here for you. Got them? Good, now let's download those images.

Go to your first tab looking at that image. You should see a magnifying glass in the upper right of that image. Clicking that will get you to the largest version of the image and that's the one you want. Larger equals more detail and that equals easier viewing.



The new image that displays is the one we want. Right click that image and select "Save image as" or similar, depending on your browser. When the popup opens asking you to select the name and location, create a new directory that makes some sense regarding the topic you're working on and change the image name to reflect which position this image is in the topic. Since we're working with the first image, we're going to change the name to "1" and since the image extension in this case is ".jpg", you'll want to make sure you keep that extension although you want to lose the "-original". That means, we're saving our image as "1.jpg".



Now, you've got the largest version of that image. Close that tab and repeat it for each image you've opened a tab for. Keep the sequential naming convention so you'll know in which order they should get placed in the thread.

You should end up with a folder full of your images, numerically sorted to represent their place in the thread:



So you've got your images saved so that's reason to celebrate! Go grab a chocolate milk and pound it, you hard-charging monster, you! Our next post in the topic will be dealing with getting those images up somewhere else so people can see them again.

HIGHFIVE!
 

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Resident Nice Guy
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2,182 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Since we all know how to edit threads, I shouldn't need to tackle how to edit your topic to swap the image URLs to point to your new host of choice. Instead, we're going to deal with uploading these images to your new image host and how to get those URLs that you need. Teaching you everything the services can do is beyond the scope of this tutorial but if you have any particular questions or confusion, just let me know and we'll sort it out for you.

I'll post how-tos on any image hosting service people are interested in using. If you've got one in mind that I've not mentioned, let me know and I'll add it.

Image hosting options currently on the menu:

1) Imgur
2) Tinypic
3) Supermotors
4) Flickr
5) Roll your own

Let's get started:

Imgur

Imgur excels at being a super-simple way to quickly share photos on other sites. If you just want to post photos to threads and you don't want to do things like create albums to sort photos or do advanced things like share images with only certain people or apply filters and artify your stuff, then Imgur is a great place to do it.

Does it have a phone app? Yes, but not for automatically uploading or sharing photos. It's more geared toward the social aspect of photo sharing and not very useful for phone image backup or uploading for the purposes of sharing on a forum.

Does the site work well on mobile? Yes. It's responsive in design so the site works equally well in any modern browser.

Uploading images:
First thing you want to do is create an account on Imgur. You can upload photos without creating an account but we want the ability to manage these images so make sure you've created an account and logged in. While on any page, click the "New Post" link:



You should end up with the upload popup:



There are a few ways you can upload images here. First, you can upload a single image by clicking browse, selecting your image and uploading it. Secondly, if you want to upload a bunch at one time, you follow the same steps but when choosing the photos you want to upload, you can either click the first image in the line that you want to upoload, hold SHIFT down and select the last in the line that you want to upload, selecting all images in that row:



Or, you can use the CONTROL key while clicking images to select only certain images in the file select panel:



Finally, you can also "paste" an image or screenshot. By either right-clicking an image and choosing to "copy image" (not image location) or you can use your computer's "print screen" function to copy an image to your clipboard then while at this window, you can simply hold CONTROL while pressing V to paste the copied image into Imgur. No matter how you do it, once you've selected the images you want to upload, you will be greeted with the page where the upload occurs. It's important that you hang out on that page until the upload completes. You'll know because the green progress bar across the top will disappear and you'll see a box notifying you that the images were uploaded:



Once you've been notified, it's safe to move to another page. Hover over your username at the upper-right of the page and select "Images".



This will bring you to the page containing all your images. This is where you'll get the important code you use in forum posts. Click the image you want the code from:



We're going to discuss each option here so you know what you're getting. First, at the bottom right of the popup, you can see all the various image sizes and shapes you can click to view that were created for this particular image. If you want the largest, stay with what you've got in the popup. If you want a different size or shape, you will click that title to view it's code. For use on forums, it's best to use the "large thumbnail" so it doesn't stretch pages too wide. Click that link. It may not look like anything happened, but the links in the boxes on the right changed a teeny tiny bit to reflect the different size you want. Now we need to select the appropriate code.

Here are your options:

Code:
Image Link
http://imgur.com/UoOcAm2

Direct Link
http://i.imgur.com/UoOcAm2.jpg

Markdown Link (reddit comments)
[Imgur](http://i.imgur.com/UoOcAm2.jpg)

HTML (website / blogs)
<a href="http://imgur.com/UoOcAm2"><img src="http://i.imgur.com/UoOcAm2.jpg" title="source: imgur.com" /></a>

BBCode (message boards & forums)
[img]http://i.imgur.com/UoOcAm2.jpg[ /img]

Linked BBCode (message boards)
[url=http://imgur.com/UoOcAm2][img]http://i.imgur.com/UoOcAm2.jpg [ /img][ /url]

First, you can ignore "Markdown" and "HTML" for use on forums. They don't apply to us.

Image Link: This is the URL to the page at Imgur that you can view your image on. This would never get wrapped in IMG tags but could be used as a link by using URL tags.

Direct Link: This is the actual image URL. You can either link to it with URL tags or display it in the post with IMG tags.

BBCode: This is the image you uploaded wrapped in IMG tags for display on the site so you don't have to create the code yourself.

Linked BBCode: This is the image prepped for display and wrapped in the code necessary to make it a link pointing to the image on Imgur itself. This is handy if you want to display smaller versions of the image on the forum but want them to be able to view the full sized image on the Imgur site for better detail.


This wraps up how to use Imgur as your image host. Feel free to make corrections, ask questions or clarify points in the tutorial. I'll edit the posts as the conversation warrants.

Tinypic

Tinypic is like Imgur, in that it tries to be simple and easy to use but differs to Imgur in that it is not as easy to use and hasn't been updated to work as well in your browser. This will become apparent as we discuss uploading multiple images.

Does it have a phone app? No.

Does the site work well on mobile? It works but not very well with text size that's too small and forms that aren't designed to work on the mobile browser.

Uploading images:
As always, create an account. It allows you the maximum capability of handling your uploaded images. Once you've created your account, you should see your upload page right away:



The upload process is a very simple process and most of the form options can be ignored. Click "Choose Files" to select your image and hit the upload button.

You will possibly now have to prove you're a human. If you're not running an ad blocker, you'll have to suffer through a crass advertisement before you get the words you are to type into the box at the bottom of the popup:



On the resulting page, you can see your uploaded image and related details, like links:



Again, this page won't be quite as handy as Imgur. You basically get a direct code and an image link wrapped in IMG tags. You can sneak a tiny thumbnail out of it by right-clicking the thumbnail they show you on that page but it's really too tiny to use for any purpose.

If you want to upload multiple images, it's another example of not being that handy. You need to find the "Upload more" link, resulting in a page that will allow you to select up to 5 images by separately selecting each image via the process mentioned above. Since it's the same process, I'll save you the extra images.

That's Tinypic in a nutshell. I personally would never use it, since Imgur does everything better, more quickly and while looking better in your browser. It may be just what you're looking for, however and who am I to deny you that option?

Opt away!
 

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Resident Nice Guy
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2,182 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Supermotors

Supermotors should be considered less of an image host and more of a community centered around vehicles that also allows you to share your images on other sites. A lot of development effort goes into the site's community features and compared to other sites that are image-host centric, the features relating to actually hosting and displaying images on other sites are a little light.

Does it have a phone app? No.

Does the site work well on mobile? If mobile usage is a concern of yours, I suggest you use another service to host your images. The number of steps required to get to where you can upload photos are too many to be streamlined.

Uploading images:
As always, create an account. Unlike the other services we've dealt with so far, this is a requirement, since it's community based and your photos are intended to represent you and your vehicle specifically on the Supermotors site. Once you've created an account, you'll want to click the "My Settings" link at the very top of most pages. You'll be looking at your user's control panel:



That single link in your control panel is your road to image uploading. Every other link on the page has to do with the community-related content on the site. We can ignore it for our current purposes. Click the link titled "Add Photos, Videos, & Sounds". You will end up on a page that has nothing to do with uploading photos. That because we first need to create a vehicle registry for you, then an album. Select your vehicle of choice:



Fill out your vehicle's details and hit "Add" button at the bottom.



At this point, you've added your vehicle to the system but you're still not ready to upload images yet. On this page, you want to select "Edit Album" so we can create a new album to store images in.



On the next page, you're going to create an album. Name the album and hit "Add". For our purposes, we just want a bucket to put all our images in so we're going to name it "General". Once you've done that, you can see your nifty new album and you're ready to upload some photos. Hit that upload media link.



NOTE: I'll only be dealing with the single file upload feature on this site for two reasons. First, I couldn't get the multiple image upload function to work on the page (on the upload page, it states that it's only available to subscribers although I have read from users of the site that it works for non-subscriber accounts as well). The second reason(and the reason I won't try harder to get it working) is that Supermotors' multi-upload function uses Flash to operate, which is blocked in all major browsers by default due to security concerns.

You should now be presented with the following page:



You simply select your file and hit "Send file". When the page reloads, scroll to the bottom and you should find the image you just uploaded:



In that box, you can see the sharing code that you need to post the image on the forum. Again, you can ignore the "tag" line, and only concern yourself with URL, Img and Thumb. Image will show you the full size image in the post and Thumb will show you an itty bitty thumbnail that can be clicked on to show the full size image at the SM site:

Code:
Url
http://www.supermotors.net/getfile/1112353/fullsize/26.jpg

Img
[img]http://www.supermotors.net/getfile/1112353/fullsize/26.jpg[ /img]

Thumb
[url=http://www.supermotors.net/registry/media/1112353][img]http://www.supermotors.net/getfile/1112353/thumbnail/26.jpg[ /img][ /url]
That code, when used on the forum results in these:

Url
http://www.supermotors.net/getfile/1112353/fullsize/26.jpg

Img


Thumb


You have now mastered the art of uploading to Supermotors. Now go get your Supermotor on!
 

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Resident Nice Guy
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2,182 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Flickr

Flickr most closely resembles Photobucket, both in it's features and it's structure or hierarchy of pages. You upload your photos and can categorize them into separate albums. That's the meat and potatoes of the system.

Does it have a phone app? Yes. The app acts both as a method of browsing and getting image code for your images and as an "auto upload" system for images stored on your phone, if you choose to have it enabled.

Does the site work well on mobile? It works very well on the mobile browser but if you're on your phone, you should be using the app, since it works so well.

Uploading images:

You know the drill so create an account. NOTE: Flickr is owned by Yahoo! so if you already have a Yahoo! ID, you're ready to log in, no need to create another account.

Once you're logged in, click that cloud with an ^ arrow at the top of every page:



On this page, you can choose photos to upload either by dragging the selected images into the page or by selecting "Choose photos and videos to upload" and choosing your photos in a more traditional manner. As is the case with Imgur, you can select more than one image to upload by either holding SHIFT while clicking the first and last imagename to upload or by holding CONTROL while selecting every image you want to upload, regardless of where it's positioned in the upload panel.



Hit the open/select button and you'll be looking at the page where on the left side, they allow you to add descriptions, tags, people, etc. For our purposes of just sharing on the web, we're only going to concern ourself with the button at the upper right titled "Upload X Photos". Hit it. HIT IT! The images will upload and you'll end up looking at your photostream. It's a good time to explain to you the different pages you can end up on.



When hovering over "You" in the navigation bar, you're presented with the different pages you can use to view your images and they serve different purposes. The ones we want to discuss are "Photostreams", "Albums" and "Camera Roll".

Camera Roll: If you have uploaded the photo, it can be found here, only by you, regardless of if you made the photo public or not. This means that it's the best way to find old photos you know you uploaded(or your phone did) but you never sorted it into an album or made it public.

Photostream: This will show every photo made public to anyone viewing the page. If you made it public, it can be found here, even without viewing albums separately.

Albums: This is where you can create albums or galleries and sort images by interests.

For the purposes of sharing photos as quickly as possible, we're going to deal with Photo Stream. Click that link. Once on the Photostream page, click the image that you want to share. It will bring it to the front of the page:



Notice that little arrow at the bottom right of the page? That's what gets us the important sharing code.



In the new popup, you're presented with a ton of options. The only one we're concerned with for our purposes is "BBCode". Click it.



Now you should see the code for sharing as well as a dropdown, allowing you to select what size and shape image you share. For forums, I use "Medium 640 x 480".



Once you select your desired size, the code automatically changes to represent the new choice. Since the code is already highlighted, just hold CONTROL and hit "C" to copy the code onto your clipboard. You are now ready to paste that code in a forum post with CONTROL + V.

Once you're done with that image, click anywhere outside the popup box to return to the page and click "Back to photostream" to return to your listing of images.



That wraps up the basic of Flickr and should get you Flickring with no drama.

Now go forth and Flick!
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Roll Your Own - Host Your Own Images - Stick It To The Man

Hey, man, what if, like, you know, we took what these guys did away from them and gave it to the people? We could grow our own free range image hosting, free of steroids and preservatives and fed only organic and humanely slaughtered?

Well, my good people, you can and although it's not plug-and-play, it's never been easier to do. In the ancient early days of the internet(1992ish), the web was an unknown terrain which nobody besides the developers really understood. We weren't sure if AOL was the internet, delivered you to the internet or was competing with it. Finding a site you actually wanted to see involved a mix of indexes, webrings, affiliate links and black magic. Free page hosts popped up allowing you to build fantastically seizure inducing pages like this one that I actually hand crafted in 1999(So if you thought I had any class or taste at all, now you know better) without ever having to actually run a website. Handling all the aspects of running your own website was not for the faint of heart. Servers, scripting languages and everything else weren't standardized. Setting up the most basic of environments was frustrating and just when you thought you had it figured out, server outages, OS updates or even the slightest change at the network level would bring everything down. And backups? Who the hell backed anything up?

But no longer. Now, most hosts are equally fantastic, buying a domain is as easy as ordering nipple clamps on Amazon and there are literally thousands of scripts for hosting your own images that are yours at no cost.

So let's quit allowing me to blather on and let's see what it actually takes to run your own image host. Basically, we're talking about three separate aspects:

1) Domain Name: You type them in all the time, almost every link you click on involves them and you can have your own for about $15 a year. fullsizebronco.com is the domain name in the URL. Everything else in that URL is dealing with something else. The domain name system uses something like a phone directory so they can direct your "call" to the proper hosting space. You type or click the URL, the request gets sent to a DNS server, they match an IP address(looks like a bunch of numbers and periods, e.g. 127.0.0.1) to that domain name and there is a physical machine sitting somewhere on the face of this earth assigned to that number. Just like when you dialed that 976 number as a kid and somehow got magically connected to that lady with the sultry voice that taught you everything you know about pleasing women.

What? Just Me?

2) Hosting space: This is the machine whose hard drive your website will reside on. There are many different types of hosting plans out there but I've got good news! The plan you need is the simplest and cheapest. It doesn't take much to do what you're asking it to do. You can get reliable shared hosting for as cheap as $5-7 a month.

3) Script: This is the group of files consisting of code that do the heavy lifting. You'll need a script to actually handle the uploading, link sharing and all the other stuff that is involved with hosting your images. This script is what automates most of the image sharing process, saving you from having to craft your own URLs after manually uploading images to the hosting space.

Those are the three parts to the whole shebang, but let's talk about whether it's right for you. That's right folks, Pro & Con Time!

First, the pro's, since I'm a glass-half-full type of guy.

Pro

1) You're slave to no man's Terms of Service. But Schwim, you handsome bastard! I can hear you saying, what if my host changes or removes something I need down the road? Well, my slightly less handsome friend, you simply grab your files and database and move them to another host. YOU ARE THE CAPTAIN OF YOUR SHIP!

2) It's ad-free(unless you decide to run ads) and you're data isn't being siphoned off to "affiliates". Since you're running it and you're pretty sure that you're not sketchy and can be trusted, you can rest easy that your stuff is in good hands.

3) You can customize your experience through script changes. If you always hated some feature or aspect of your old image host, you simply find something that works more the way you want it to work.

Con

1) It's not as easy as signing up at PhotoBucket. If you love the fact that you can simply sign up to a service and start uploading photos, then I feel confident in saying that you will be happier using a service. It takes some time, noggin' scratching(aka trail and error) and some attention to be paid over time. Forget to pay your domain or hosting? Shit's disappearing until you take care of it.

2) It's not free. You get images hosted for free by everyone else in exchange for ads being displayed and your user data being sold to others(don't worry, they say they "anonymize" the data before selling it). If you host it yourself, you're the one left paying the bills at the end of the day.

3) Things can happen. Sounds stupid to say but although it's a rarity today, you can wake up one morning to find that your site isn't working right because the host updated something on the machine and it's no longer compatible with your script. It can always be resolved but it takes a bit of digging to figure out what you need to do to fix the situation.

We could go on with this list but I think we've handled the very basics. If you've made it this far, I imagine you already know whether it's something you want to pursue further or not. If you do, we'll tackle each of the three parts separately and in greater detail. Stay tuned for Domain to be posted shortly.
 

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Resident Nice Guy
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2,182 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Domains

Alright, you already know what a domain is. Let's discuss how you get them, what you should get and why you can't have the one you want.

There's one big entity called ICANN controlling all of the world's domain names but you don't deal with them directly. You purchase domains through registrars or resellers. These companies are the go-betweens making purchases super easy. Like any other market, there are better and worse registrars. Basically, however, if you stick to one of the larger players, you're going to be in safe hands. I've worked with hundreds of of these companies on behalf of other people and that has proven to always be the case. I've seen a few small resellers do things like hold a domain hostage to keep it from being transferred, show gross incompetence in certain aspects of managing a domain and have never suffered this with one of the big players. As long as you give them the money, it seems you've got a "Set it and forget it" type deal.

Where Do I Buy It? Some registrars I've never had an issue with: 101 Domain, GoDaddy, Name.com, Register.com and InMotion Hosting but there are hundreds to choose from. You can also purchase the domain name from the company you set up your hosting with to make it a bit easier to handle your billing. I've always tended to keep my registration and hosting separate but there's no reason you can't go to GoDaddy or 1and1 and get your hosting and domain all in one spot.

What Domain Should I Buy? Well, that's kind of like asking which banana hammock you should wear today. I can make a suggestion but it's likely to be something that doesn't appeal to you. Instead, let's go over some guidelines.

First, TLDs: No, not STDs, we're talking about Top Level Domain extensions. That's the letters in the domain that come after the dot at the end like FullSizeBronco.com. that's a TLD. In the beginning, there weren't a lot to choose from and they all meant something. com was a commercial website, net was a network provider, org was a non-business organization, edu was an educational site.... you get the picture. Now, however, you have 882 extensions to choose from That's right folks, except for a few reserved extensions(.edu, for instance), you can get pretty far out in left field with your domain extension if you want. But schwim, you magnificently masculine but somehow approachable example of the perfect man, I can hear you saying; I was told to always buy a .com domain. Well, that's a good tactic if you're trying to sell something and want to be on the tips of every finger typing on the web but you can pick any one and your plans will still work just as well. When linking images or pointing people to your gallery from your signature, it doesn't matter if they're clicking on bobspicsofbroncos.com or bobspicsofbroncos.car. You can even have some fun with extensions. Take Schw.im, for instance. See what I did there? The .im TLD is country-based and stands for Isle of Man but I used it to spell my name, because I'm oh so witty. I should mention, however that not all TLDs are priced similarly. While the average .com domain might run you $10 or $15, a specialty TLD might be 3 times as much. A small price to pay, however, when you're spelling your online nickname, amirite?

What about the name? We're talking about the FullSizeBronco.com portion of the name now. Let's talk about what you want and why you can't have it. It is safe to say that most of us would like "Broncopics.com" or "Billswebsite.com" or just some variation of your name. When you pick the name you want, you visit any of the registrars on the web and you just enter it into the text box to check it's availability. The resulting page will tell you whether it's already purchased or not. If it's available, you can buy it and if it's not, you need to pick another name. The reason why the domain you picked is already registered is for one of two reasons:

1) Some person or company has already registered it for their own use.

2) A scalper or squatter picked it up and wants to resell it to you at a hugely inflated price.

Reason 1 is actually the rarity. Reason 2 is likely why you can't have the name you want. If you think about it a minute, there's only so many cool names you can come up with and over the last 30 years, the chances that someone else wanted that has grown. There were, however, good chances that you could come up with some variation of what you wanted and register it.

Then came the scalpers and squatters. A scalper registers domains that people accidentally or intentionally let lapse and then try to sell it back to the original owner or anyone else at thousands of percent increase in price. Lost your $15 domain? I'd be happy to sell it back to you for $2,000. Squatters, on the other hand, register thousands and thousands of domains in huge groups using automated scripts to combine any words, acronyms and phrases together and immediately put them up for sale at(you guessed it) an incredibly inflated price.

As you get away from the traditional extensions(like .com), the odds fall more in your favor. You can buy Billswebsite.com from a squatter for $3,100 or you can buy Billswebsite.me from any registrar for about $10. Since you're not trying to build a domain name that falls off the tongue easily for all your potential customers, it doesn't really matter which one you choose. They will both work equally well for you. One just costs you $3,000 more than the other.

In the end, it's completely up to you what you pick. You could bend over and place your right cheek on the right side of your keyboard then gently roll your face across the keyboard and register the result for your domain name(I came up with oiujhygtkhjioes, which you can have if you want). As long as you're happy with it, that's pretty much all that matters. You can register a name at any time to protect the name you want and you don't have to do anything with it. Tons of people have registered names they like on the chance that they may choose to do something with them later so if you find one you like, feel free to register it now on the slight chance that you'll actually use it. At the end of the year, it's only cost you around $10 so there's really not much investment lost if you change your mind down the road.

That's probably all we need to know about domain names. We're going to save the part about how to make that domain name point to your hosting space for the hosting section of the discussion. I'll get to that next.

Have a question, comment or correction? Be sure to let me know!

Hosting

What is hosting? If the domain is your phone number, hosting is your house. Basically, when you get hosting, you are leasing a small part of a machine, a virtual machine or the whole damned machine. For our purposes, we will only need a very small part of a machine. If this sounds confusing, think of it in terms of homes again. You can rent an apartment which occupies a small part of a larger structure and because you're so damned cheap, you share a public laundry room. Shared hosting is the most popular type of hosting for people in your exact position. You pay a very small amount of money(relatively speaking) to use part of the available resources on a machine and you share those resources with other people in other apartments on that same machine. This allows the host to house a lot of accounts on machines so they never sit idle, wasting their resources. To keep you from being in an apartment that can't provide resources for everyone when they need them, if anyone in your apartment building ever uses too much of the resources, they are asked to either keep it in check or to move to their own house. This is something you should never encounter with what you're aiming to do as long as you've picked a host with realistic allocations. This monitoring will, however, protect you from someone doing something on your shared hosting machine that they should be paying for a machine of their own to do.

Who should you pin your hopes and dreams on? This is another situation in which I can't tell you who to set up your hosting with but I can tell you who I have had good experiences with and how you can best set yourself up for success.

I have dealt with a lot of hosts, both for myself and for people that I have managed sites for. I can tell you that for the most part, the big guys have all got their shit together. I have very few nightmarish tales about catastrophes and lost data and the few I do have all involved dedicated machines, meaning the issue was with something you'll never be dealing with when using shared hosting.

There are tons of hosts out there but instead of listing every host I've had good experience with, I'll list the top two that I deal with most often. Feel free to venture out and explore your options.

GoDaddy is a hugely popular host due to both it's vast offerings as well as it's ease of use when managing your account. Customer support has always been great when it was needed.

InMotion Hosting is the company that I actually host all but one of my machines with. Fantastic reliability, support and pricing is competitive.

Once you've found your dream host, the rest is choosing a plan that's right for you. Just so we can discuss this portion, let's look at the basic shared hosting plans available at GoDaddy:



First, let's talk about that big line at the top, Linux Plans. Linux is an operating system and it runs the web. Rest assured that you don't have to know a thing about it to use and you want it. I don't want to cloud the tutorial here with too much of the why but to put it simply, scripts are written for things that are native to linux stuff and sometimes don't work as well as it should in a Windows environment. In my very humble opinion, you should stick with the linux plans.

Now, let's talk about which plan you need. I'm going to keep it very simple. You want either the Economy($3.49 monthly first billing cycle, $7.99 monthly after) or the Deluxe ($4.99 monthly first billing cycle, $10.99 monthly after). If you plan on storing a LOT of images, choose the Deluxe and if you think you'll never hit the 100GB cap, pick the Economy. Everything else is the same between the two. The Ultimate package does not offer any extras that you will be needing.

It's a good time to talk about the "Backup" options that hosts offer. In this example, they offer the option for about $2 a month. It's a rarity but bad things sometimes happen. Sites get hacked, hardware fails, people like yourself accidentally hit buttons that delete things. It's just the way it goes. You need to decide if your stuff is important enough to warrant the extra cost. I've lost sites and I now ALWAYS create a backup and restoration plan. For clients' sites, it's mandatory that I protect them and for my sites, it's great peace of mind.

The last thing I want to talk about as you purchase your hosting is that almost all hosts love to pad their contracts. Let's look at the Godaddy total page.



Holy Christ, how did our total for cheap hosting get to almost $300?

Well, first, look at the length of contract for what's in the cart. They've got your hosting set at 3 years and the domain at 5 years. You get discounted rates for doing that but if you're afraid of commitment, knock those down to a year(the hosting can even be done monthly, if you don't mind paying the highest price for it).

Also, look at that Office 365 mail entry. "Free for the first year". It's something you don't need and they're going to hit you up for it at renewal time. Take that out completely. After adjusting to a single year and nixing the mail option, we're under $100 for a year. Not the best monthly price you could have gotten but it's a good price for a year of hosting with an included domain.

We're going to wrap up the hosting portion of our journey now. Because there's so many options out there, I can't possibly cover all of the things you might run into. Feel free to contact me in any way that strikes your fancy and ask questions or for help.

Next up, the script!

Script

At this point, you have a home and a way to get to it. The final piece to this magnificent puzzle is something to do once you're there. The options are practically endless but our goal is to host our own images and to do that we need an image hosting script.

What do I need? You need an image hosting script that will run on your server. You are looking for a script that was written in the scripting language PHP and uses MySQL as it's database type. Sounds confusing but you can pretty much make this simple by searching "PHP image hosting script" or "PHP image gallery script". Your results will almost always be compatible with your hosting environment.

Which one should I use? Without exaggeration, there are thousands upon thousands of scripts out there. They range from professional and feature rich to cobbled together by a 10 year old learning how to write code. Some are actively supported while others haven't seen an update in a decade. You want to make sure that you use one that is supported, updated and well written. If that sounds daunting, it's a bit like looking at someone's welding. You don't need to know how to weld to know when someone screwed it up. If you play with the demo and it's hard to use, has errors or is missing most features, you move on to the next candidate.

I've done a bit of digging and have picked out a hosting script that we'll use to walk ourselves through the install, setup and use. If you visit Chevereto.com, you'll get to read about and play with the script. I do not have anything to do with this script and I've never touched it until my test install for this tutorial. You don't have to use it but we're going to in this post and I'll tell you why;

1) It's very well written

2) It's actively supported

3) It has everything we need

4) There's a free version

5) They will install it for you

Before I go any further, I'll mention that you can purchase the paid version of this script for about $70, which gives you support and some added features in the paid script that are not needed for what we're wanting to do.

If you'd like to read more about the free version, check out these two URLs: https://chevereto.com/free | https://github.com/Chevereto/Chevereto-Free/blob/master/README.md

If you go the free route, this will provide an example of how an install would occur. Keep in mind that my hosting environment may not look or act like yours, so you may have to click different buttons and links to get the same end result. If you purchased one of the plans from GoDaddy, you'll be using cPanel to manage your hosting space which I use as well, so it will look and behave in a very similar manner.

If you're installing it yourself, you'll want the script:

Visit https://github.com/Chevereto/Chevereto-Free

Click the "Clone or Download" button and download the zip:



Unzip the file and pay attention to where it unzipped the zip.

Zippity.

Now you need to upload that to your web hosting space. For that, we want to use an FTP(file transfer) program. Go grab Filezilla and install it to your computer. Once it's installed, open it up. We're going to need to create a connection for your web host. In either the emails or in your web hosting control panel, you will find ftp connection information for host, username and password. We need that to enter into the FTP program. Once you have that, create a new site profile.



In the new window, click the "New Site" button at the bottom, change logon type to "Normal" and enter the information required to connect(host, username and pass):



Once done, click connect. It will save the site profile so you never have to do this again and will connect you to your server.

Now you're looking at two file systems. On the left, side, it's the machine you're sitting in front of(local). On the right side is your hosting space's filesystem(remote).



On the left side, you want to get to your unzipped image hosting script. On the right side, you want to get to your webroot. That's the folder that the files reside in if you go to your domain name. It's almost always called "public_html" so double-click that folder and you'll be where you need to be. You're going to highlight all the files on the left side, right click them and choose to upload them.



On the right, you should see the files showing up and at the bottom, you will see the progress of the files as they upload. Once that bottom window is empty, your upload process is finished.

You've now got the files sitting on your webspace. Next, we need to create a database for the script to use.

Database is just a fancy name for a special type of file that stores information that the script needs. When you use this forum, a database stores all of the info, like your username and personal information, forum, blog, news posts, etc. The script inserts new information into the database as it's created and retrieves what it needs when it's time to display something.

We need a bit more information from your host, this type we're going to need the database host, name, user and password. It should be included in your hosting information but if not, can be gotten by submitting a support ticket.

Once you have that information, use your web browser to visit your domain where you uploaded the files. http://yourdomain.com should get you to the script and since it's not been installed yet, it's going to present you the installation page. Enter your database information:



And click "Continue". Once you've done that, you should be presented with a success notification and a new form to enter your details and hosting type. Enter your desired username, password and email address into all the boxes and unless you want to become the next big hosting website, allowing everyone to upload images, be sure to choose "Personal" for website mode:



Hit the install button and enjoy the successful install. Once the afterglow has worn off, click the "admin dashboard" and login to continue.

You have successfully installed your image hosting system and it's ready for use. There are many settings you can tweak to change how the script looks and acts but you now have the ability to host and share your images easily without doing anything else. Let's give it a shot.

Click the upload icon at the upper right of the screen. Choose your files to upload and once you've done that click upload. Without any more link clicking, you can get your bbcode for sharing the images. Click the selection that suits you(large, medium or thumbnail) and the text box will update to provide the proper code:



Paste that code into your forum post and enjoy a job well done! All future image uploading will be a simple process just like the big guys provide and won't have any of the negatives associated with using a service, like watermarks(unless you choose to have the script add them, it can!), ads, changing terms of service, etc. You just visit your web space, upload your photos and copy your sharing code to paste at the forum.

This particular script does tons more so feel free to click around and explore your new digs. Add photos, put them in albums, customize your page through the settings to reflect your descriptions, background images, titles and overall look. Basically, go nuts and make it your own.

And that concludes today's program. I hope you've enjoyed the trip as much as I have. There's a level of gratification to knowing you control something that in the past was considered a black magic of sorts and beyond your capabilities. It's definitely not for everyone or even most but there's some out there that might want to give it a shot.

Assistance and guidance as always, are free. Hit me up if you need any.
 

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You've been peeking at my pics, haven't you! Thanks for putting this together, I'll give it a go at my first opportunity. Another hosting site I've seen mentioned elsewhere is tinypic, but the problem is I don't know anything about any of them. ??

Mods, how 'bout a Sticky!
 

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Looks as good as a Tech Write Up!! 5 Stars here!
@schwim I'm so glad they made you a Mod. Very knowledgeable and helpful too.. An asset to the FSB community indeed! :beer
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Alright folks, Imgur has been added to the second post in the thread.

You've been peeking at my pics, haven't you! Thanks for putting this together, I'll give it a go at my first opportunity. Another hosting site I've seen mentioned elsewhere is tinypic, but the problem is I don't know anything about any of them. ??

Mods, how 'bout a Sticky!
We shall visit Tinypic! High on ease of use, so not a bad choice at all. Added to the list.

Looks as good as a Tech Write Up!! 5 Stars here!

@schwim I'm so glad they made you a Mod. Very knowledgeable and helpful too.. An asset to the FSB community indeed! :beer
Every once in a while, the planets align and I'm of some limited use in very particular instances. I can also tell you how to polish boots to a mirror shine on Thursdays and to lift with your legs while underwater.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Tiny pic has been added. You can find it right below Imgur :)

Flickr has been added. We'll see if there's any interest in "Roll your own" before I waste everyone's scroll wheel with it. Pipe up if owning your own private image host appeals to you.
 

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Eric
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*jaw-on-floor*

Holy crap... you did all this in a couple of days??!!! Dude..... impressive.

You're awesome. You saved something I put a decent amount of effort into. That means a lot. Seriously. :thumbup

Thanks for having my back,
Eric
 

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Imgur may not be such a great idea as a place to migrate to. They change their Terms Of Service agreement regularly and a few revisions back this crept in:

Stuff not to do
If someone else might own the copyright to it, don't upload it. Don't upload gore, "hate speech" (i.e. demeaning race, gender, age, religious or sexual orientation, etc.), or material that is threatening, harassing, defamatory, or that encourages violence or crime. Don't upload illegal content such as child porn or nonconsensual ("revenge") porn. Don't hotlink to adult content or to file-sharing, gambling, torrent, warez, or Imgur rip-off sites. Don't impersonate someone else. Also, don't use Imgur to host image libraries you link to from elsewhere, content for your website, advertising, avatars, or anything else that turns us into your content delivery network. If you do – and we will be the judge – or if you do anything illegal, in addition to any other legal rights we may have, we will ban you along with the site you're hotlinking from, delete all your images, report you to the authorities if necessary, and prevent you from viewing any images hosted on Imgur.com. We mean it.
I know I'm looking to move elsewhere from imgur for this reason - better to do it now before they seriously start enforcing this.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Imgur may not be such a great idea as a place to migrate to. They change their Terms Of Service agreement regularly and a few revisions back this crept in:



I know I'm looking to move elsewhere from imgur for this reason - better to do it now before they seriously start enforcing this.

If you truly want to protect yourself from this eventuality, you will want to look into hosting your own images. Even a paid account at any service provider is at risk of changes like this. Every image host you utilize is going to protect themselves in some manner from abuse and all are able to change their TOS at any time without your approval. Imgur's TOS is clearly trying to protect themselves from being used as a CDN. They even use the terminology in the TOS itself. That protection has actually been there for ages. The image upload function contains the links to share on html pages, reddit, forums and other. It's no different than Verizon kicking people out of their unlimited plan for using too much data. No service provider on the face of the earth wants to continue providing that service to you if you're using enough of their resources to make the money flow in the wrong direction.

My point isn't to stay with Imgur if you don't feel comfortable but rather that you should feel equally uncomfortable with any other image host.
 

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Pipe up if owning your own private image host appeals to you.
More details please. I guess I should consider this before moving my pics, but know nothing about what is involved. Thanks for your help @schwim.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
More details please. I guess I should consider this before moving my pics, but know nothing about what is involved. Thanks for your help @schwim.
You've got it. I'll write up a synopsis tonight and will detail the steps over the coming day or so.
 

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just wanted to add to the notes of appreciation here Mr. Schwim. since you stumbled into FSB, the site has been a better place. this was an outstanding effort with many, many hours of your time to sign up and document processes that you had no need or desire to use, other than to help out your fellow FSB'ers. your efforts never go unnoticed or unappreciated. keep up the great work and know that you are considered by many to be such an incredible asset to our little community! thank you! :beer :thumbup
 

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To add to Schwim's detailed instructions:

You can choose what you would like to do in terms of switching over to another hosting site - just be cautious and mindful that it may only be a matter of time til they follow suit (to what Photobucket did). The instructions provided here (http://www.fullsizebronco.com/forum/19-suggestions-feedback-site-help/468138-announcement-photobucket-images-no-longer-working.html) is a temporary fix that we can offer at the moment to help restore your images until we have a more concrete solution soon.

Moving forward, we highly recommend that you use the Attachments tool within your User CP and Gallery to host your images on our site here. We can always increase the storage space to better accommodate your pictures.

Furthermore, for Chrome users we came across an extension that will enable you to see the broken images hosted from PB. Another temp fix for now (who knows how long it'll hold up) but here it is - https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/photobucket-hotlink-fix/kegnjbncdcliihbemealioapbifiaedg?hl=enm <- click on that link and do the following:

Add Ext > open the added ext at the top right corner of your browser "P" > select Manage Ext > tick off the box for both Allow in Cognito and Allow access to file URLs > refresh link of affected images to see they're visible again!

Lastly, the latest helpful tip we've encountered is for all users looks like another loophole was found: if you place the string ~original after .jpg in the Photobucket URL the image appears. Give this a try.


If you have further questions or concerns about any of this, please let us know - we're here to help you. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Cheers,
Natalie
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Lastly, the latest helpful tip we've encountered is for all users looks like another loophole was found: if you place the string ~original after .jpg in the Photobucket URL the image appears. Give this a try.
All good stuff but if you're going to edit your posts, move the images somewhere else. The above is an oversight on PB's part and will be fixed in due time. Since you have to edit to make the change, you might as well be editing to point to a URL that won't get the axe some time down the line.
 
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