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Using Web Site's Excess Storage for Personal Files and Photos
Question about use of extra storage space on site

 8:09 pm on Jul 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have a question about a growing restaurant review Web site that I have. It's a pretty big site, with about 500 pages, and it gets up to 2000 hits per day; I make money through Google ads, so it is basically a site that is more of a business than a hobby at this point.

My Web host gives me 5,000 MB of space; I only use about 50MB of it. I was thinking of using some of the excess storage space for sharing photos of weddings, vacation trips, family pictures, etc., so that friends and family can go to the site and easily grab any photos they want.

If I do this I would definitely use the META robots noindex/nofollow tag on these pages so that they would not be indexed by search engines. If I do this, are there any other dangers or cautions to using a Web site for personal reasons like this?

Thanks for any info!



 8:32 pm on Jul 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

I don't see any problem with it but I wouldn't rely on the meta noindex, nofollow. To be a bit more sure those pages don't show up in any SERPs I'd slap a password on the folder.


 8:37 pm on Jul 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hi hiddenboston,
Welcome to Webmasterworld.

Using a robots.txt and a robot meta tag to keep from being crawled and indexed is not a guarantee it will be obeyed.
Also anyone with a SE's toolbar that visits exposes the pages to the SE.

There also will be a good chance someone will link to an image or the page.

That said, lots of us do that. You own it, why not.



 8:45 pm on Jul 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

So there is little chance that posting personal pictures or files on the site could result in page rank being downgraded? I actually have already done this, posting wedding photos for people to look at, but am a bit nervous about any problems that could develop from this.

I'd do this with Flickr, but in order to make the photo section private, everyone who wants to look at the photos would have to open a Flickr account. A lot of people don't want to do this, even though it's simple to open an account.


 8:51 pm on Jul 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

Why not use a simple .htaccess-style password protection? Something like your first name as username and last name as password. That will make it easy for you to share the files, but will keep the bots (and other occasional visitors) out.


 8:53 pm on Jul 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

It's safe enough. Don't worry about it.


 8:56 pm on Jul 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

I actually set up a little javascript password prompt (an OK/cancel style popup) when people go to the index file of the folder. I know this isn't the greatest protection as far as hackers, but as far as keeping the bots out, would this do the trick?


 8:57 pm on Jul 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

What happens with java turned off?


 9:00 pm on Jul 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

Uhhh, oops. :-D With javascript off, it goes right to the page without any password prompt coming up.

Oh well...


 9:59 pm on Jul 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

If your site is really now more of a business than a hobby why the heck would you mess around with putting personal files on the server. If it is a business, you shouldn't put extra load on the server why you transfer personal files. If you want to write off the hosting as a business expense, you shouldn't confuse the issue with personal matters.

There are plenty of free storage solutions such as Elephant Drive. It is based on Amazon's S3 which you could also make use for little money. External harddrives are cheap these days.

If your website is a business, you should treat it like one.


 3:29 pm on Jul 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

I think I'll use a simple PHP password protect to make sure the bots don't get in. Javascript definitely turned out to be a bad option as far as password protection!

This isn't something I'm going to make a habit of, but every now and then I'd like to get pictures to people and neither Flickr nor Photobucket seems to work out in a simple manner as far as making the photos private.

Thanks to everyone for their input!

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