In addition to my paid Hotmail account (which will very soon be unpaid) I also have a paid Flickr account for my photos.
In an effort to save a few bucks each year I've been looking for ways to get my photos off of Flickr and use a self-hosted solution.
This is what I've discovered:
It is, by design, the easiest thing in the world to upload photos to Flickr.
But it's hardest thing to get your photos off of Flickr. Whether that's done by design or not I don't know, but I wouldn't be surprised if it were.
To note: Picasa at least has an app where you can easily download all your stuff. Flickr has no such thing as far as I know - and trust me I looked.
After some research I did in fact find a way to get my full-resolution photos downloaded locally. It wasn't easy but I was able to batch-download all 1000+ photos I have up there.
That was one hurdle crossed but then I encountered three more.
The first is the fact that very few web host providers (including mine) allow for photo gallery programs that allow file upload sizes over 2MB. I have several photos that go well over that mark.
The second is the oh-so simple thing of having generated thumbnails with embed codes of photos to post in a WordPress blog. That's proven to be a challenge to get working right no matter what gallery software I use.
The third is that all the gallery programs I tried don't "understand" anything over 2000 pixels wide.
I will eventually find a solution but wow, you'd think there would be easier ways of having a self-hosted photo gallery with the same functions as the cloud apps do.
-- edit --
Fuggit, I'm staying with Flickr. I love photos and it's worth the $25 a year for the pro account.
But I'm happy I did find a way to backup all my stuff from there so it was time well spent. 🙂