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Thread: Bandwidth Theft

  1. #1
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    Bandwidth Theft

    Is using photobucket.com to store web images (like a second server) classified as bandwidth theft?

    Would it even be a good idea to store half of my website's images on photobucket? I have an image heavy website which I want to speed up and think it might be interesting to give it a shot, but of course I don't want to be stealing.

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    I don't think it's a good idea just for the reason of reliability.
    Your site would now be reliant on photobucket's server to be
    running as well as your own website's server. It is also slower
    to be referencing files from another server.

    One might say it's good not to put all of your eggs into one basket,
    but in this case you should. You can always keep a backup of your
    website anyhow.

    As far as stealing ... photobucket is a storage system. They probably
    expect people to be linking to their files (isn't that the point of using it?).

  • #3
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    Yes, I guess that is the point in Photobucket.

    I just gathered that putting half my images on Photobucket might increase the speed of my website as it would be downloading from 2 servers at the same time.

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    The "knot" in the whole thing is the download to the user's browser.

    It would be fastest to access all photos from your own webhost's server, and
    access using relative paths, not absolute.

    Example:

    relative path ...
    <img src="photos/myphoto.jpg">

    absolute path ...
    <img src="http://www.mydomain.com/photos/myphoto.jpg">

    EDIT:
    I should add ...
    URL links like <a href= ...> should be absolute, although I use relative all the
    time for my internal links. I've read they should still be absolute to avoid any
    search engine interpretation errors, even if to pages on your own site.
    I've never experienced any problems with relative link paths (that I know of).


    .
    Last edited by mlseim; 05-08-2008 at 01:31 PM.

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    Yes, I always use relative links.

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    Random thought... it'd take a lot more space, but get the page itself to load faster. For each of your images, you could create a low-quality version, that's like... 30k or whatever. Have a message on the site saying to click on images to view them better quality, and yeah... have it link to the high-quality image. Or thumbnails of each image.

    In many cases, that wouldn't be feasable obviously, such as if the images are either part of the webpage design, or are already a link to something... but just thought I'd throw that idea out there.

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    I'm quite happy with the speed of my site now, but another random thought:

    It would be possible to simply div position a low quality image under a high quality one, letting the small file load in immediately to at least keep the user from getting bored of waiting for the large one.

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    Senior Coder gnomeontherun's Avatar
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    The idea is not to load more than necessary too though. I don't know what the purpose of this site is, but loading high quality images in the background to replace the low quality images is loading your server with too much bandwidth and the browser with a lot of content.

    Another thing to think about is resizing the images, because it reduces the size of the file exponentially. If you take an image that is 1000x1000 and make it 500x500, the filesize is reduced by 400&#37;. If this is just a site to show some photos or something, then making a thumbnail for a user to click on to see a full scale image is probably the most common approach.

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    Bodger, I've seen that done before and the effect was rather nice.
    With less and less dial-up users, I'm not sure if it's worth the effort though.
    Why not experiment and see what happens?


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