There are several places to host images for websites. For example, you can host them simply on your server, or on your cloud storage. But which is the best option for the best speed and security of your images as well as the website? Well, we are going to discuss that in this article.
Why Should you Host your Images Outside your Server?
There are several reasons to avoid hosting your images on the same server where you keep all the website files and databases. We listed some of the best reasons for hosting your images outside your primary server.
- Hosting images on a different server improves the performance of the website: As per several pagespeed experts, hosting images on other servers such as a CDN will significantly improve the load time of the web pages. The time taken to load all the resources and images from the same server will be significantly larger than loading the resources and images from different servers. Addition to this, several CDN services provide the features like serving scaled images which can also impact the performance positively.
- You get more control over your images: Several CDN providers help you to protect your images from Hotlinking and unauthorized usages using several techniques. In addition to that, you can control your image permissions and several other factors which will expand your control over the hosted images.
Places for Hosting Website Images
Here are the best methods to store your website’s images. You can try any one of the following methods in order to store the images on your websites. This will allow you to save some space on your main server and higher speeds for the web pages.
Host in a CDN Service
A CDN service is what acts like an intermediator between your website and the user. It hosts your images on the distributed server networks placed all over the world. Hosting your website’s images on a CDN will result in a reduced server load, fast response rate, and finally an overall performance boost. Check out our article on the best CDN providers to find a good CDN service for storing your website’s images. CDNs are not only meant for images, you can store any of your website content on different CDN servers to boost your website speed.
On a Cloud Storage
Cloud storage services are also an option to host images for websites. While the CDN services will not allow you to organize, rename, and edit your files, a cloud storage service is much more convenient. You can upload your images to the cloud storage directly from your computer and use the link on your website. Cloud services also let you set certain permissions on files and folders which makes it even more user-friendly. However, it is better to go with CDN services if your main goal is to improve the website performance.
On a Different Server
If you don’t like both of the above solutions, the next thing you can try is using an extra server to store images only. Purchase a new server and upload all your images to it. Then use that image URL on your posts and other website parts. But it is always recommended to go with a CDN service instead of this. While this method also provides a little performance boost, it completely depends on the server performance. To get a high-performance server, you will have to pay big amounts. It is not a wise decision while some good CDN services are available as low as $5/month.
On Free Image Hosting Sites
Free image hosting sites allows users to upload and store images for free of cost. This method is not recommended at all unless you do not have any budget to spend on a CDN, Cloud service, or a new server. Yes, this provides good performance if you choose some good image hosting sites like Imgur or Flickr, however, there are certain demerits for this method. One of them is, the images can get removed any time especially if you are using copyrighted material. There are several such problems in using the images hosted on a free image sharing platform. However, performance-wise, this is a good method.
When Should you Host Images in a Different Place?
The simple answer is, when you really think so. In most of the cases, choosing a perfect web hosting server is enough to get good speeds for serving all your content. However, in some cases, especially for big websites with thousands of traffic, even a high-performance server may not be able to handle the bandwidth. In such cases, you can think about choosing a different server to place your images.
Like the same, if you are running an image-rich website where most of the articles include tens of images (especially the tutorial and how-to kind of sites have a lot of images), choosing a different place for your images may help. Like we already discussed, in all of these scenarios, using a content delivery network is the best choice you can make. It gives the maximum speed possible by distributing your images throughout their servers. While the Cloud storage, new server, and an image hosting website will still server the images from the same location, the CDN servers will be the best choice.