The majority of you reading this post will know what Flickr is, and of those of you that do, a large proportion of you will even have an account for it. I myself have been an account holder of Flickr since 2010, and for a period I was even a pro user, paying a yearly subscription to allow an unlimited amount of uploads and increased data storage.
I covered Flickr in a post back in 2011 describing it as the best social network for your photographs, as its terms and conditions are photographer friendly by explicitly stating that you get to keep all the rights to you photographs.
When I doing my website way back in 2009/10 there were only a few images which I uploaded to my site, which was all well and good as I shared the hosting with my mothers site. Subsequently I uploaded my images to Flickr and integrated the photos into the site using one of Joe Workman’s fantastic RapidWeaver stacks. It was great, my photos were looked after by Flickr, but they appeared in my site.
However when I flew the nest for university, I also became responsible for my own hosting. For a year or so I continued to pay for the hosting and Flickr, with the two living side by side quite happy integrated together in a RapidWeaver built site. One day earlier this year, I decided to redo my website and build it using WordPress, so everything was a change.
Transferring the images across from Flickr was not an issue as there are hundreds of Flickr plugins out there, all it took was for me to find the appropriate plugin, install it, and place the galleries in the respective pages, and for a few months things were happy, until I realised that I was paying for both hosting AND Flickr, when I didn’t really need to pay for the latter.
And for a few weeks, everything was all well and good. I had applied for a refund for my Flickr account, it had been processed, my images were on my server, and I was only paying once for image storage. That was until Yahoo announced Flickr accounts would now get 1TB of data storage FOR FREE!
This put me in a bit of a pickle, having your images on Flickr is not only good for storage, but it’s where all the really cool photographs are. There is also a great community of photographers who offer constructive criticism and praise on your images, so it would be nice to have my photos there.
On the other hand, I wanted them on my site, as this is where I direct people to. I had put in a lot of effort building my site up, and spend a lot of time writing the blog posts, so it would be nice to keep everything together.
Yesterday I decided to bite the bullet. After I had finished editing my Waddington Airshow 2013 pictures I uploaded them to Flickr, exported my images from my site and uploaded them as well. Everything was now back on Flickr, and I crawled through review site after review site looking for the best Flickr plugin for WordPress that would (once again) allow me to integrate the two together.
One plugin kept coming to the top of the pile, and that was Awesome Flickr Gallery. It takes a little bit of configuring, and requires you to create an API key in your Flickr Account, but thankfully that is an easy process if you follow the Flickr process step by step. There was a little hick-up in the installation process, as when I kept trying to ‘Grant Access’ between my Flickr account and my Awesome Flickr Gallery. After much Googling I found out that the cause was due to me not setting the callback URL correctly.
To change the URL callback follow this simple step by step guide.
Now I have the best of all three worlds, and I am (currently happy). I am only paying once for photo storage, my images appear on my site, and they are on Flickr allowing people to comment on them etc etc.
For anyone setting up a new website, or blog I suggest you follow a similar workflow to that I used. With your photos stored in the cloud it is yet another form of backup for your precious images should anything happen to your own computer. Flickr is a great solution as it gives 1TB of storage free, and lets face it by the time you have managed to fill that, storage will be so cheap that they will have increased it.
Once you have your images on Flickr, you are free to share them on your blog/Facebook without having to worry about people having trouble accessing them, as Yahoo’s servers are quite speedy when it comes to placing the images inside your site.