Sharing about 4GB of photos (one-off, not regularly) - against the TOS?



I am using DreamHost’s standard Shared Hosting plan. I host my blog there with few more services and handy tools - nothing special.

Recently, I was acting as a photographer at one conference and took more or less 1000 photos that in total weight about 4GB (I think). I have obviously been asked to share the photos I have taken and I was thinking if I could use my DreamHost hosting to do that - zip groups of photos together (keynotes of various people), upload them to the server and link to them on a special page so everyone can download their photos.

Obviously I should invest in some professional service to do that, should I be doing this kind of photographing regularly but since it is really a one-off situation, I was wondering if it’s okay? Or perhaps it would be against DreamHost’s terms of service?

Thanks in advance for any information on this :slight_smile:


zenphoto used to be a one click install, it’s not anymore but is pretty easy to set up on shared hosting. I’d used that.

It allows you to organize photo in an album format, has either default everyone can view, or credentials to sign in to view certain albums (if you desire). There is also a function (but one that i have never used) where you can download entire albums as zip files.


I’d imagine that there are already photographers who use Dreamhost to distribute photos to their customers, and I can’t imagine what would be wrong with that. Isn’t the whole point of a webserver to distribute content? As far as I know it doesn’t say anywhere in the TOS that it has to be public.


I asked DH support about something a bit like this a few years ago and they said OK, adding “We basically don’t want our customers offering free file upload/download sites that put a heavy load on our servers. Your usage is specific to your business and won’t be a violation of our terms of service.”

The question is about the use of a web site to facilitate the transfer of information that is not itself part of what the browser sees or hears or plays - for example, high quality TIF files which are much larger than the JPG which would be shown on the web page. (UNSTATED but implicit in the question is, what about high quality video files which are much larger than the MP4 which would be shown on the web page.)

I think DH’s policy is essentially pragmatic, and my understanding of it as applied to this kind of issue is that (N.B. personal opinion coming up)

If all the content is uploaded by you, and downloaded by N of your customers (thus the load being 1*N which is linear in N), then that should be OK for the time being and as long as your usage does not cause any statistics to spike

If content is uploaded by any of your customers and downloaded by any of them, then it would probably be not OK (since the load is N*N which is quadratic in N and could easily cause statistics to spike).


Thanks for all of your replies :slight_smile: That perfectly answers my question and I have discovered a great piece of software that I did not know about :slight_smile:

Well, I don’t assume that my photos would cause huuge spike in server usage as I predict that maximum 10-15 people would be downloading some (not all of them) photos. And I doubt they all would do it simultaneously (only I will be ever uploading photos to Zenphoto).

So I guess I should be okay. Thanks again! :slight_smile:


ZenPhoto has a download-this-album-as-zip plugin (it’s called albumZipStream). It’s a little tetchy though, and may not work all the time.

I’d also suggest using the static HTML plugin, if you don’t make a lot of changes very often :smiley: It’s relly my favorite gallery app right now.