July 21, 2017

Third Party Hosting & Photo Links

Isn't it just the best surprise when you check your website and huge error messages pop up?!

Can you just feel the sarcasm emanating from that statement? Imagine my surprise last week when I was writing some posts for this site in advance, and as I go to preview them, I get these huge error messages ALL OVER MY PAGE. I was not a happy camper.

A little bit of background info: I use the Blogger platform. I know that literally everyone says you shouldn't for one reason or another, but I just CANNOT take the plunge of paying to host a site on WordPress. 1) I'm cheap. 2) I am honestly just not that committed to this blog to invest that kind of money into it. I do spend a little bit, but a big cost like that is too much for me.

Another small piece of info you should know is that I purchased this blog template on Etsy a couple of years ago. I've made some small changes since, but it is simple enough that I've just decided to keep it.

So back to the original topic of this conversation, and that is that I was seeing these huge error messages wherever some page elements and photos should have been. If you saw my Instagram stories last week, I was suuuuper pissed about this and may have used some colorful language to describe how pissed I was.

Upon some further investigation, I realized that the photos that were having the error were primarily the images from the purchased blog template, which were being hosted on Photobucket. That means every social media button, the older/newer tabs, the welcome image on the sidebar.
This is the error message that was all freaking over my page.

Basically, Photobucket is not offering 3rd party hosting on its free plan anymore. So while these elements and images have been hosted there for YEARS, now we were having a problem. Photobucket wants you to upgrade your account ($$$) in order to continue using 3rd party hosting, which I was not about. 

So, as any pissed blogger would do, I searched for some different alternatives. I realized that I would have to host and link the photos somewhere else. Somewhere free. Here are a few of the options that I came up with:

I use Google all the time, so it made sense for me to use Google photos. I uploaded the photos to my account, and then got the direct links for them. You may need to use a tool to create an embed code for photos saved in Google. I used this website and it was super easy.

The main problem I ran into when going through this process was with my social buttons. I ended up starting from scratch and downloading some new ones. There are tons of free things like this online, but here are a few I've used in the past:

Also, my good friend Macy, from To Travel & Beyond, told me that she was having this same problem! She ended up creating her own social buttons on Canva, and then linking them herself! Just remember to use the correct pixel amount for these small buttons. (For reference, mine are 32x32 and Macy's are 50x50).

Depending on what platform you use to blog, you will insert your social icons in different places. BUT, in order to make them a photo link, you will need to include this HTML code:
<a href="YOUR SOCIAL LINK HERE" target="_blank"><img src="YOUR IMAGE LINK HERE"/></a>

I hope this may help if you are having similar issues on your blog site. If you have any questions, or need any guidance at all, feel free to contact me. I am not an expert on this by any means, but I have tinkered around with it a bit, and have learned a few things.

Best of luck to whoever else is working on updating their photos and website!

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