Image hosting is a service that allows individuals to have the ability to upload different types of images to the Internet. The image host will then store the image onto its server, and show the individual different types of code to allow others to view that image. Because many users do not have personal webspace, either as a paid service, or through an ISP offering, Image Hosting services have become massively popular as the demand for hosting services increases. With the explosion of the popularity of blogs, forums, and other interactive pages, image hosting services have become extremely popular among end users.

How it works

The image host will put a form in which you can browse through the files on your computer and select one. After selecting an image, the individual will press a "Submit" button to upload that file to the image host's server. A select few image hosts also allow you to upload multiple files at once, transfer from URL (to avoid bandwidth theft), and the ability to upload one ZIP file containing multiple images.

After this process, the image host will often show you a number of ways you can show this image to others. The most common ways are:

Linking with BBcode

Linking with HTML code

A clickable thumbnail that is linked to the full image

Usually, the image host will put restrictions on the maximum image size allowed, or the maximum space or bandwidth allowed per user. Due to bandwidth costs, free services usually offer relatively modest size limits per image when compared to paid services. Individuals needing to host large images should consider purchasing image hosting services or purchasing webhosting services, so that they may operate their own website.


Image hosts also allow tools such as the ability to create photoblogs/galleries with your images, or add them to a slideshow for easier viewing. Some offer more advanced tools such as the ability for an individual to add notes to an image they uploaded, transloaders, or browser sidebars. Other hosts have introduced novel features, such as the ability to automatically resize images down to a user-selected size.


Most image hosts are free. However, many have optional paid image hosting functions. Compared with the cost of purchasing webhosting to operate a website, even paid image hosting services can be inexpensive. Of the free image hosts, the vast majority are supported by advertisement. Showing advertisements to users has enabled image size and bandwidth limits to be increased as compared to image hosts operating purely from the owner's generosity.