I have been searching this for hours and every services I found have limitations or cost that do not work for me.

My quest is simple. I have hundreds of thousands of image files (time lapse jpg images < 5 MB) which are organised in folders and subfolders.

I originally hosted them with HostGator. Unfortunately, they see them as storage only because no file was displayed on a web page for 2 months. So HG is kicking me out.

I need to quickly find an alternative service which works like a web server so I can organise the files exactly the same way, upload them via FTP or PHP script, and rsync from HG to move all the first (initially) AND be able to display the image file in a normal image tag in a web page.

My local ISP in RSA is too expensive and also limit the hosting space to very little. You know the story for HostGator. SmugMug has unlimited storage but only allows upload via their web pages or LightRoom. Would cloud storage be a good option?

Can someone recommend a good and affordable service for this?

  • I just had a look at Amazone S3 cloud services, but I have absolutely no idea how to estimate the cost per month to host 100 Gb with very limited display of these images. Can you give me an idea? – Paul Godard Jan 12 '14 at 12:16

Actually, there is no real unlimited hosting. Hosting companies just say unlimited, but it's very limited in practice.

If it's about 100GB, I think getting a VPS would be cost effective for you. Look for a plan with HDD of above 100GB and the other resources like RAM and CPU could be very low.

You have full control over your server with root access so that you can add any desired upload method.


Amazon S3 is for sure one of the most widely adopted solutions in this case. It scales very well, you can upload as many objects you want. However it can become quite pricey especially if you have a large traffic. In fact, they charge you for storage but also for data transfer.

In your case it may be worth to consider Dropbox either Pro or Business. Dropbox Pro costs only $9 up to 100Gb with no data transfer.

In Dropbox you can share a file or folder and make it available publicly. You can use their API to upload a file and the initial upload can also happen using their client from your machine. The default URL for public files in Dropbox is


however you can easily remap the URL with a custom domain to get


or even (with a super simple proxy)


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