photo bucket.......bucked

Started by UK4X4, July 01, 2017, 01:58:19 PM

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well there goes my whole online presence, every thread, post pic I've posted over the last 17 years.........gone

pay me and I'll turn them back on....Photo bucket has become ransom ware !


Me too. I frequent a flaslight forum... Many folks there are using for forum images.

Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn't mean it is good design.


Am I understanding this right? PhotoBucket is now charging a $399 per year subscription fee to hotlink content? I think PhotoBucket just committed suicide, but that is little console for the amount of content lost. Truly a disaster.

Makes me feel a fool for putting stock in any 'free' online image storage. Guilty of using Facebook to store a lot. The same could be said about Google, Imgur, or any other free or near free commercial cloud storage.

Interesting read:


Five of the top nine threads in the General Forum are affected, as a sample.


Yuppers- all of the threads I've posted all over the net are now pictureless. Not gonna pay $400 ransom, so they can take their business elsewhere. Too bad; a lot of people enjoyed looking at build threads. I back up all my pics anyhow, so I'm not out anything.

I'm not poor- I'm financially underpowered.

Adam Roby

I think we've also become memory hogs to some point.  Many of our cameras now take images that are 3000 pixels wide, and when we post on a forum they are shown at 300 pixels for the display, but they still require the memory space of the original image.  A lot of forums allow (even encourage) users to upload the images to the site for this exact reason, but limit the image size so something much more reasonable. 

One example, I had posted some images of a roof rack I did.  The image is blurry, not even good quality.  Image size is 3264x2448 and is 2.78 MB in size.  Realistically I could have saved that image to a size around 600x450, and the final file size is only 61 kB.  That's already 20% of the original...  but its work and these sites are free so why bother.

This kind of "abuse" might have contributed to the demise of the free site. 
Has this site ever considered allowing users to upload with some limit on size? 
I know there are also tools out there that can do this for you, reduce quality to scale down size...


Adam, to date, our finances have not allowed direct forum image storage. Disk space and bandwidth are costly, and this forum is completely donated/ supported financially by one person, and is pretty maxed out as it is. 

It is a discussion we may be having again though.

Your point is a good one.  If we rely on externally hosted sites for imagery, this is the risk. Personally, I take on the problem by hosting my own images myself on a paid web server account elsewhere.  About $5-$15 a month for basic services.  It takes a bit of technical willingness to keep running.  Even that could go away should the company go under.

The best I can say at this point as a volunteer admin is the world would be appreciative if you review your older threads, and relink elsewhere if possible. Realistically, not many will have the patience for that.


This is basically my concern with the "cloud", you're at the mercy of some pencil pusher somewhere that needs to make a dime. I keep webspace for my stuff and the price is comparable to what Harlo is quoting... much cheaper than p-bucket and somewhat more secure, no ads to filter through, for me it is faster than dealing with those sites. I normally compress photos just cause there's too much there anyway.

Adam Roby

Understood...  money is a major factor.  I wonder how many regular's we have that would be willing to make a small donation, not sure it would be enough to for hosting though.

It looks like all of my posts still have the images linked... is that because they are mine and cached locally or is there some other reason for it?

I wanted to go through my bigger threads and replace the images... but thus far none are showing that "missing image" logo.
I think anyone that has a build thread, it would be great if they can replace the images with another site.  For random threads where you put just a quick images it might not be as urgent, but most people coming here want to see a complete build from start to finish.


It is a real shame how many threads are effectively defunct now... I hope that some people do take the time to go through and relink their images with another service. Many of the threads gave me the confidence to owner build. I may not have had the confidence to attempt such a project without seeing that others have successfully done it.

In my opinion a service like google drive would be just as safe a place as using a web hosting service. It comes with 17GB free, and you can expand it as needed. $20 a year would get you 100GB. Sharing images on forums is more complicated than a service like imgur, but I think it may be worth the extra work for reliability.

Adam Roby

I was on a forum for the Nighthawk motorcycle.  It was a great group of guys, was on there for probably 10 years.  The forum crashed on day, took them about a month to get it back up but they lost everything.  It was never the same...  I never got back on since I had sold the motorcycle years before, there wasn't much point.  I'd really hate to see something like that happen here... so I'll commit to fixing anything I can. 


Adam, inexplicably, you images are hotlinked to a Photobucket server.  They are not cached.  My expectation is that they will stop working at some point, but as of now, yours still are.

The idea of donations has been discussed several times. Several of us donate time to forum management, but there has been no mechanism to accept financial donations. Personally, I think that is a good idea, and it could be done with PayPal. I would certainly contribute. But to date, the owner has wanted to keep the board entirely free for users.  This too may be discussed again.

I am going to Pin this topic now.

John Raabe

To HP, the "Dons" and all...

As the owner of CountryPlans and the forum, it is time for me to give you an update on my situation and thoughts on the Photobucket and image hosting issues.

First, I want to say that I want to do all I can to preserve the information and images we now have and will have on the forum in the future. If there were a way we could spend $50 a year or less for secure forum and image storage, then CountryPlans LLC could cover it. We are now paying $205/mo for VPN web hosting at and we may not need another host. There is pretty good bandwidth and storage there. The forum site has never gone dark since switching to this more expensive service.

The reason that I have not chosen thus far to accept donations to the forum is that I don't want to have to set up another non-profit business. The LLC is a family for-profit business made up of myself, my wife, and my older son. They have been especially helpful since my diagnosis of Parkinson's disease about 3 years ago. PD is also the reason I am not as active on the forum as I used to be and the reason I haven't produced any new plans recently. Plan sale income is down somewhat but it more than covers basic expenses and pays the taxes. For now, I would prefer to not change the business structure.

Do any of the Admins see how we might find some other space - either outside of or within the Site5 VPN - for hosting the forum as well as project images? If so, there are likely to be many users who will need assistance in reposting their images.   

Thank you in advance for any other ideas and thoughts.

John Raabe

None of us are as smart as all of us.


Words do not do justice, I was deeply saddened to hear of your diagnosis, my wife's Dad had Parkinson's.
We are sort of at a decision time for you. The site just took a big hit and you need to think about what is best for you and yours. The admins do a good job and the site has value, this recent "crisis" has brought more folks out to comment than I thought and people are finding work arounds. There have been new posters with photos since, so the world has not stopped.

IMO we should try to find a way to host photos together, for this forum, if at all possible. My feeling is that if we don't own the photo content, it will disappear again in the future. Keeping it financially separate is not something I had considered but it is worth looking into. The specifics of how to do it are above my pay grade. I haven't read the legalese on my websites to know if this type of hosting is permissible, if so the price is quite reasonable and I think we forumites could set that up and maintain a photo upload/hosting site for the forum if that is something that would work for everyone.


Thanks John and Don_P.

There are most definitely much less expensive options for hosting that would also allow greater transfer and storage of images  - Linode, Digital Ocean, Vultr are three - what they don't provide at the ultra low price is the managed technical support and backup/ restore that John is paying for at Site5, and that has been rather essential during a few near disasters.  If we were to move to one of those commodity hosting services the trade off is that significant skills are needed (to manage an unsupported Linux server) which not many can afford to donate for any sustained effort - though we do what we can. Backup would also not be of the quality we have now - though it is available - but the higher the quality backup service the higher the cost.

I.e if we move to one of these cheap commodity hosting options, due to the volunteer nature of technical support and the nature of a forum (a hacking and spam target) - chances of loosing everything become much higher.

Would like to hear others ideas on the pluses and minuses of such a move.


I have used a few different hosts for our preschool over the years. From bare bones and cheap to more support and  costly. Our present host has great service, but may very likely be more costly. I like not having to do the maintenance. If I think of more comment will post later in week; boondocks camping at present.
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn't mean it is good design.

Gary O

On a personal note;

I'm not good with change
Today's 'the only constant is change' society has me at a loss.
If I were to try to keep up, well, I'd be at my keyboard day and night.
A year or more ago I dumped PB, but only due to its cumbersomeness.

Imgur (so far) has treated me well
This too shall pass
The mass lot of photos I've taken are still stored in various forms of hardware, but, hehh, I'm sure those will also one day go the way of the floppy disc
My plan?
Capture what I cherish
Print them out
If I care to publish any of them, I'll hook up with whatever media is in vogue at that fleeting moment
I'm leery of the cloud
'Course I'm leery of most everthing beyond my gate
I mean, who got rid of all the freight train cabooses?
There's just no end to it....

You forum guys are remarkable
I'm enjoying all that I own, the moment.

"Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air." Emerson

Adam Roby

Photobucket seems to have had a change of management, they've released all my blocked images and are offering a pretty decent price to share on forums.  Anybody else get this email?

$1.99 per month, or $19.99 per year.


It takes a lot or work to repair a burned bridge.


On the surface, and without having looked into this, it seems a reasonable price for a service that has costs associated with providing.

They have caused lots of ill will and damage which some will find difficult to forgive.

My questions are:

a) they are claiming lost images would be restored, and with no change in URI path reference?  Is this the case? and;

b) What does limited time mean? What pricing can we expect down the road in terms of subscription pricing?

Anyone who lost image links willing to be a guinea pig?


I have not received any such email, however, at least one person on the flashlight forum has. But there has not been anybody else over there stating that they received it.

Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn't mean it is good design.


Seems for real. Being reported from multiple sources.



I just signed up. It looks like all the pics in my build thread are back [cool]

Adam Roby

I've checked a few of my early posts and all the images appear to be working again.
I have not signed up for anything yet, I am waiting to see what the "catch" is.  They will probably block then shortly if I do not subscribe to the plan.
Had they come out with this plan and told us something like "in the next 3 months we will block all links unless you subscribe" then I would have probably just signed up then and there.  Now, like some others, I question the integrity of such a site.  I may still sign up just to restore some previous threads and see what was important to keep or not.  Slowly transition..  not sure yet.