Dropbox: the ideal web image management tool

Dropbox logoIf you’re a web designer or a blogger you probably have a lot of hassles with uploading, locating and managing your online images. Worry no more.

Dropbox to the rescue

Dropbox and Evernote have changed my digital life. If you use more than one computer, if you need to access files from any web-connected computer in the known universe, or if you just need no-brainer burglar-proof, tsunami-and-fire-proof file backup they’re invaluable and they’re free for commendable amounts of data. If you don’t have it just click on the Dropbox logo above and you’ll get 2.5GB of free storage (you get an extra 500MB from my referral). I’ve written more about Dropbox here.

Your Dropbox contains a Public folder. All you need do is save images destined for your website into that folder or a subfolder within it. When you wish to insert the image into your website here’s what to do (it’s far easier to do than to explain):

  • In Windows Explorer or Mac OS X Finder navigate to your Dropbox Public folder,
  • right click on the relevant file,
  • from the pop-up menu click on Dropbox,
  • from the new pop-up menu choose “Copy public link”,
  • paste the link into your HTML <a> tag or or your Dreamweaver image link or, in my case in the second image below, into the WordPress “Add an image” window.

Copy a Dropbox public link
It’s a no-brainer

Insert Dropbox image into WordPressBut wait, there’s more!

The beauty of this is not just that it’s easy to do. It also means that if you wish to change the image, update it, edit it, or whatever, you don’t need to mess with Filezilla or your host’s control panel. You don’t even need to open your browser. Just edit the file in your Dropbox local folder and it automatically updates on your website. Just don’t change the filename or size, if you do you’ll need to edit the HTML tag on your website to suit.

If you have limited storage, for instance on a WordPress hosted blog, you don’t use any of it for your images. Which basically means that you can have a blog the size of a small country because most of your storage is no longer gobbled up by image files. Your only limit is your Dropbox allowance. With a basic free account that’s 2GB, you can increase that to 16GB with referrals (an extra 500MB per referral for you and for the new customer) or to 50 or 100GB by upgrading to a $10 or $20/month account.

Dropbox is Windows, Mac and Linux compatible. You’re a mug if you’re not using it. 🙂