So back when the horrid surprise of Photobucket’s greedapalooza was still fresh, a lot of people were looking for third party hosting alternatives. Someone out there had a really helpful list of potentials, but for various reasons, none of them suited me. I wondered whether I could make use of Google Photos as a third party platform.
As it happened, I couldn’t. Google had very recently ended its image hosting capabilities — unfortunate timing, that — but I did some poking about and found that there’s a work-around that lets you still use Google Drive as a third party platform. At least one person (hi, azriona !) was interested, so this is my attempt to tell people how to use this process.
I’m including a link to the YouTube video that taught me how to do this, which you might prefer to following my step-by-step. Here 'tis: https://youtu.be/zhwYRPImH9E.
Before we get into the step-by-step, here are two things you need to do: First, if you don’t have a Google account, get one. You get 15GB for free, which should give you enough space to try this out. I pay $1.99 a month for 100 gigs. I still haven’t used 8 percent of it, and my Google account takes in GMail, Google Docs, Google Photo, Google Drive … the whole shebang.
NOTE: you’ll be using Google Drive, NOT Google Photo for this process. Confusing, of course. (Mind you, you could probably store pictures in Google Photo, and transfer them to Drive for this purpose, but since I have most of my pictures on my hard drive, it hasn’t come up much. Aaaaand I’m digressing, so I’ll stop.)
Next: You need to go to this site: gdURL, at http://gdurl.com/. Put that in your bookmarks, or on your main bookmark bar. You’ll be using it a lot. Also, make a document where you can save the permalinks that this site will help you make, along with a description to go with each link.
Here’s a sub-lesson: If you have pictures you want to use that are still on Photobucket, you probably can’t download them. Depending on your browser, you can still retrieve them from the site. How? Relatively simple. Open up the picture, then right click on the image and “save image as” to a file on your computer. Photobucket won’t let you download, but the dipshits can’t stop you from “saving image as”. With any luck, however, you still have your pictures somewhere on a hard drive, and won’t have to retrieve them from Photobucket. I had most of the original photos in my photo files, but did have to retrieve a few that I’d edited on Photobucket, pics where I wanted the edited version.
Finally — yeah, I promise we’re getting to the step-by-step — this may seem like a lot of steps, but ultimately it won’t be.
So you have your Google account and you’re ready to start.
- Choose an image to upload, possibly from your own newly-created “Fuck Photobucket” file on your hard drive. Upload it to Google Drive. If you’re using Chrome, you’ll do it thusly (and if you’re using Firefox, Safari, or whatever, it will probably be fairly similar.) Click on Google Drive. Once you’re in drive, click on New, which is near the top left. You should get a drop down menu that includes “File Upload.” Hit it, and pretty soon your picture will appear in your drive. I put all my uploaded pics in one Drive folder for ease of access, along with my Permalinks record, so everything’s in the same place.
- Now you want to adjust the picture’s “share” settings, so that it’s “Public on the Web.” How to do that? Your trusty right click button. Don’t open the picture; just right click on the thumbnail/description in the Drive list. When you do, you’ll see a bunch of options.
- Open the “Share” option. A window should open up. Pay attention only to “Advanced.” Click “Advanced.”
- You’ll get a different window. Look for “Who Has Access.” It will probably be set at “Private — Only You Can Access.” You’ll want to change that, so hit “Change.”
- You’ll get three options. The one you want is “On — Public on the Web.” Make sure that button is the one you hit, then hit “Save.”
- You’ll then have a “Link to Share.” Copy that sucker, and head on over to gdurl.com.
- The very first thing you’ll see once you go to that site is a spot that says “Paste a Public Google Drive URL etc.” Put your URL there, and hit “Create Permalink.” Go down a little farther on the page, and there, under “Standard URL” you will have your shiny new permalink. Copy that permalink, along with a description of what the pic/image is, to whatever document you’ll be using to keep the information.
- Voila! You now have the code you need to embed your photo wherever you want to embed it! (If we’re talking LJ or Dreamwidth, you’ll have be able to insert it via the "insert/edit image" or "insert photo" icons. I do it in the rich text format.) And, because you’ve saved the permalink and a description in a file somewhere, you can use the same code again and again!
- EDIT as of 22 April, 2019: It appears as if gdurl.com no longer provides the http://gdurl.com/ section of the code when it creates your permalink. Don't despair. Take the admittedly confusing very short piece of code you get when you hit "create permalink" - it'll be something like RbKx - and simply put in the http://gdurl.com/ in front. I'm not sure why gdurl is only providing the latter half of the URL,, nor can I guess whether this change will disappear and things will go back to what they were, but this is how to deal with it
(NOTE: if you want to include a picture or gif in a comment you’re making, rather than in an actual post where you can hit "insert/edit image" to insert the code — or for that matter, if you want to insert your image anywhere there's no ready-to-use image insertion tool as there is on Dreamwidth and LJ — you need to use the following code: img src="http://gdurl.com/CPl1" alt="" / placed within the < and > brackets. I keep that at the top of my permalink file, and just substitute whichever permalink I need between the first two quote marks.)
A few more things: If the picture you want to upload needs to be adjusted for size, or edited, do that on your computer first, with whatever program you have for that purpose — Photoshop, AC/DC, what-have-you. You don’t want to do what I did more than once: uploading an image multiple times in different sizes until I got it right.
Another thing to remember: when you’re on the gdURL site, you’ll notice a box that you can check, up near the top, that says “Allow this file to be listed on gdURL for the general public.” You can do that if you want, or you can unclick it. Either way will still allow you to create the permalink.
So there you have my extremely wordy how-to. I hope it might be of help to someone.
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