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Benefits and drawbacks of self-hosting photos vs remote hosting

Discussion in 'Forum Management' started by Joe Link, May 13, 2014.

  1. Joe Link

    Joe Link Well-Known Member

    I'm considering disabling the code allowing users to display remote images, forcing them to upload images to our server, and I'd like to discuss the benefits and the drawbacks. We currently have around 35k members on a dedicated server, with plenty of space to spare. If it provides the end user a better experience, I'll gladly pay more for the increased storage space (though at this time we have plenty).

    Anyone care to contribute their ideas, comments, suggestions, etc?

    • Ease Of Use - One option means it'd be easier train everyone to use our upload feature.
    • No Broken Links - When someone closes an image hosting account or loses hosting, our links remain intact.
    • Increased Expense - Hard drive space costs money.
    • Potential For Malware - I'm not sure this is even an issue, considering we're not choosing between the two options. Member uploads would remain enabled regardless.
  2. AndyB

    AndyB Well-Known Member

    I suggest using this add-on:

    Convert Image

    It allows members to continue to post images by hot linking the image, but as soon as they save the image, the add-on will convert it to an attachment. Also the image will be properly resized to fit your maximum with and height settings.

    Regarding attachment space, I have over 350K of attachments many large images and disk space is at 40GB at the moment. Point is disk space is not a very big concern at all.
  3. Joe Link

    Joe Link Well-Known Member

    Wow, that sounds like the best of both worlds. Users are still able to link their images, but all the benefits are there.

  4. Joe Link

    Joe Link Well-Known Member

    Does XenForo display images responsively?

    What would you recommend for max file size?
  5. AndyB

    AndyB Well-Known Member


    Maximum Attachment File Size (KB) = 2000
    Maximum Attachments per Message = 5
    Maximum Attachment Image Dimensions = 1600 x 1600
  6. OakleyForum

    OakleyForum Active Member

    Hmm, very interesting. We are weighing these options as well. Does it take a lot of server resources to serve the images? I.e Ram, Load etc? I am not as concerned about space/bandwidth as I am about page load times and server load.
  7. OakleyForum

    OakleyForum Active Member

    Is there anyway to get a count of how many images are hot linked on a forum? Or an estimation of how much space it would take?
  8. Falkor

    Falkor Member

    I am using Andy's add on for this and it is the way to go (y)
  9. OakleyForum

    OakleyForum Active Member

    What kind of server are you running all this on? Is there anyway to know how much it would take before hand? How much bandwidth do you use? And what kind of CPU/RAM do you need to serve those images?

    I am just trying to ballpark all this before deciding.
  10. AndyB

    AndyB Well-Known Member

    These are my server specifications.

    Server Type: Dedicated Server
    Processor: Dual Processor Quad Core Xeon 2.0GHz E5405
    Memory: 12GB RAM
    Primary Hard Drive: 250GB 7.2K SATA
    Secondary Hard Drive: 250GB 7.2K SATA
    Monthly Data Transfer: 2000GB/mo
    Internet Port Speed: 100Mbps
    Operating System: CentOS 5.5 64-bit
    Control Panel: Webmin

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