Best way to allow users to upload to my web site?

I have my own domain name and a Linux web hosting account. It supports PHP (but not Java). I would like to be able to allow a defined set of users to upload photos. I want the user interface to be as easy as sites like Facebook or Photobucket (well maybe not that easy, but it should be fairly browse-and-upload-ish).

I am collecting photos from 100 users to use in a yearbook. I considered just using Photobucket but it seems like it would be very tedious to download the photos back to my computer to work with them. One option is just using Photobucket and then ordering books from them. Not sure if the organization will go for that.

I have a software development background but am not a web developer as such. I’m pretty comfortable (but not expert) with HTML, PHP, and JavaScript.

Simple form and some PHP scripting will solve your problem.
If you password protect the directory and only give our the uname/pwd to specific users you can get away without a lot of security which makes the job easier.

Now you have a different problem :slight_smile:

There are some plugins for WordPress that will let you do this, for example the members plugin.

Why not just use a FTP server? Internet Explorer will open it just like a local folder.

I have done this kind of thing for giving users access to certain pages, but I don’t know how to do the actual file upload. Hint?

That’s a possibility but most of these folks have never heard of ftp (I know, with Explorer it looks like like moving files around), I would have to write out instructions for what to do, and it is subject to their errors. I would rather have “click on this link, then hit the Browse button to select your files!”, something idiot-proof and similar to things they’ve seen before.

Put a ftp link on your website (a href=ftp://…) and they won’t know. They’ll just be prompted for credentials and that’s it. Why complicate matters?

Google “php upload form” for oodles and oodles of examples.

Seconding this. Between user permissions, different browsers’ different FTP implementations and upload methods, port blocking, mobile browsers, institutional proxies, etc., etc., FTP is just unnecessary complicated in this day and age.

ETA: Only certain versions of IE in certain configurations will open it like a regular folder, and even then users might not understand how an FTP folder is different from any other folder on their computer, and they might be afraid of dragging and dropping things into some random folder-looking thing for fear of losing it.

If it ain’t gramma-proof, it ain’t worth implementing.

How about simply asking people to email the photos to you as attachments?

Most email accounts have max outgoing attachment sizes (25 megs or so is common).

@ CookingWithGas:

How about Google’s PicasaWeb instead? It allows collaborative albums (multiple people can upload to the same album) and downloading to your computer is a cinch; one click downloads all photos to your local Picasa software, from which you can make adjustments, order prints from various providers, or simply export/copy the files to any other folder.

What’s even neater is that any changes you make locally (captioning, tagging, photo adjustments) can be automatically synced back to the online album, so everyone can always see your latest changes and also order prints and such themselves directly form the website if they want to.

And these photos are going to be larger than that?

They may or may not be. A modern digital photo, unchanged from the camera, can be 1 to 3 megabytes each or more (rarely). That might mean a max of 8 to 25 photos per email, which may or may not be a big deal.

A bigger issue in the past is people editing their photos in Paint and then unknowingly saving them as BMPs or PSDs and then sending those; the filesizes are huge that way. But I haven’t seen that in quite a while.

Thanks for all the replies. Not implemented live yet, but I have found out to do this in PHP (thanks ZipperJJ) and have a working prototype locally. I also like the Picasa idea and will look into it.

Reply, 3M is a *minimum *size for modern digital photos. My Canon 20D usually produces files that are 3.5M in highest quality JPG mode, and double that in RAW. And that camera dates back to 2004.

I will be collecting little league photos from parents to compose a slide show. I do not want to have to deal with detaching 6 photos each from 106 emails. I guess not_alice is not around anymore to read that…

I don’t know that all that many people have digital SLRs compared to digital compacts, but maybe the megapixel count has increased similarly nonetheless.

Hope you find something suitable.

I wonder what happened to not_alice…?