Should I Put My Photos On My Website or On Flickr?


questions and answersThis post is part of the Friday Q&A section. If you want to ask a question, just write a comment below.

Mary H. asks:

I blog about animal training, and end up with quite a few good photos I’d like to share with my readers. I put a few photos in my posts every now and then, but would really like a place a reader could go to view a collection of my photos.

Here’s my question– is it better to self-host my photos on my site or use and outside site, such as Flickr?

I think both methods can be useful, depending on your goals and business model.

For a photographer who makes money selling his photos or doing freelance work, for example, it would be important to have both things. He would need to have a website with samples of his work and a portfolio, but he would also need to have a presence on social networks where people share images (Flickr is the main one, but Facebook could also help). This presence on social networks would help him to expose his work to more people, to network with other photographers, to meet potential clients and so on.

If your goal is to make money directly with your website (e.g., by selling advertising or related products), however, then hosting the photos yourself would be a better idea, because those might bring more traffic and increase your earnings.

This seems to be the case of the reader who asked the question, so I would put most of the photos on the blog itself.

She also mentions the idea of creating a gallery. I think this can be useful for the user, as it facilitates the browsing of the images, but I would make sure that each photo also appears inside an individual page focused on a specific topic. For example, if you have a picture about teaching a dog how to sit, place inside a place where you explain how the process work. The combination of a relevant title tag, a unique piece of text and relevant keywords will make the image rank better in search results.

Finally, here is a tip for those who are not playing with images yet: images can drive a lot of organic traffic, because Google is integrating image results on most search queries. In other words, creating a niche website or blog around a topic with plenty of images (e.g., celebrities or sports images) could work well.

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14 Responses to “Should I Put My Photos On My Website or On Flickr?”

  • The Corner Girl

    This is something I have been trying to decide about. I feel like having my photos hosted on Flikr is leaving me too ‘naked’, in a sense. Anyone can see and use these photos illegally if they wanted to, and since the internet is so vast, it is unlikely that their fault would ever come to surface. I do not think that I would have my own domain, because I am new to coding and do not want to have the extra hassle of maintaining a website on top of other priorities.
    I think the best thing I could do is to put a copyright watermark over all of my photos. I don’t know why I haven’t tried this before!

  • Stacey

    Any recommendations for the logistics of adding a gallery of photos to a website? I’m new to this and using Dreamweaver to build one site, and a WordPress theme for another. Any particular software or add-on recommendations?

  • Dinesh

    Hi Daniel,

    I don’t know whether I missed this information from your blog somewhere, my question is,

    Can I use the email addresses from user comments (extract from database) and send them weekly or monthly news letter? Is it advisable?

  • Mandy

    Hi, Do I have to get permission to put my photo’s on my website when they are of live bands? I have not been paid for these photo’s and wanting to create some business.

  • Sean Supplee

    I always added my pictures via my own server and never really thought about adding them to flicker. Going to have to change my habits I think thanks for the post

  • Marija

    My humble opinion is that you should definitely upload photos on both sites. On Flickr you will get more exposure as that is probably the No.1 place where people look for photos, while to add them on your website would increase its quality and your overall credibility.

  • Kris Beus

    Very good post. I think it would also depend on your ability to store the images. If you have unlimited storage then it would be good to have backups of all your images if you don’t then keep the storage for text content and store the images on flickr or facebook.

  • Rina

    I have a Flickr Pro account so I can upload as many pictures and videos as I want in a month (you are limited with the free accounts, which are still good to start with, I did!).

    My blog(s) have quite a bit of photography on them and here’s what I do:

    1. Edit & copyright pictures.
    2. Upload to Flickr, naming and tagging well so search traffic is garnered.
    3. Download the specific picture you want to post, in the size you prefer (I use medium) and when you upload it to your blog post, make the picture link to it’s page on your Flickr account.

    This way, if someone clicks over, they’ll be able to see your other pictures as well – you can also put a link somewhere in your blog sidebar linking to your general Flickr account!

  • Jamie Barclay

    I definitely agree. Why not just host your own if you are planning to make it like a photo blog. It will be a lot easier to remember since you will have your own domain name, based on your choice. I use also Picasa to store my pictures online.

  • Jens P. Berget

    I always put my photos directly on my blog, that’s because my blog is my income source and not my photos. Most of my photos suck, and I don’t see any reason why I would use Flickr.

    I use Flickr a lot, but that’s when I’m looking for photos to add to my blog, using creative commons.

  • gokul

    If we are looking for making money by your photos,better way is to put in our websites.We can also put our Flickr gallery into our websites as a widget.

  • Suzanne Delzio

    Useful post. In fact I find your blog much cleaner and less smarmy than many of the other ones. It’s straight-forward and focuses on the info people need. You don’t seem to have the chip on your should that others do. Good work.

  • Nabeel | Create Your First Website


    I like your advice. I especially like how you put the SEO perspective in the last paragraph. This is the second time today that I heard about images, alt-tag and seo.

    I guess alt-tags are gaining importance!


  • Josh Garcia

    Hey Daniel,

    That is a great question. I like how you mentioned that it makes sense to use both personal and other images. Now, of course this makes a lot of sense depending on the niche that you are part of. Sometimes you’ll have to use other images instead of your own.

    Have a great weekend…

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