I have hosted my own photo gallery for around 7 years now and have been perfectly happy with my arrangement. I first started with a homegrown php photo album and used that for a year or two before moving to Gallery, which I have used since. In addition to using Gallery to display and share my photos, I used it as my archive of sorts – every photo was stored and backed up from there.
That changed last year when I purchased Lightroom and my Canon 30D. It quickly became the home of all of my photos and I’ve since only uploaded select ones to Gallery. Backups are all handled directly on the Lightroom catalog and managed directories, and Gallery has pretty much turned into a mess. Disk space has also become annoying as I’ve moved my Apache web server into a virtual machine.
These things, in combination with my recent purchase (rental? lease?) of a MotionBox account for videos has gotten me thinking more and more about how I want to handle pictures. Primarily I want more bandwidth, to ignore disk space concerns, prettier photo galleries, room to expand (customization, maybe even selling photos?, I don’t know yet), and a stable provider with a good history.
So I’m trying out SmugMug.com. They seem to fit the bill for all of the above, at a reasonable price. It’s a 14 day free trial, so be looking for an announcement about my Gallery being shut down and some things moved to my SmugMug account.