Ordinary photo-sharing sites are no good as the file size is too low, they aim at making your art readily trawled by all (not always what I want) and I also worry that if I opt into a cute new site it'll go belly-up after I've gone through the hassle of moving everything.
What I want in an art storage site:
- Free - even if I upgrade my experience for now, say to have the interface ad-free, if I can't afford a fee in future I still want all the links to work indefinitely (ha, hubris. Well, until the zombie apocalypse, anyway).
- Easy to get a direct link for embedding in AO3 or DW etc. And it needs to provide a 'clean' direct link without a heap of site-GUI-crap and/or ads all around the edges, like tinypic and photobucket do. This is as I often post a smaller version of a pic and link to the full-size version, and I almost always do a link anyway even for smaller pics - this is for pads and mobiles, as otherwise the pic won't display fully.
- I don't create many ginormous files, but for the few I do, the site needs to be OK with that.
- Lots of free storage so I don't run out.
- Easy to organise my art - easy to make folders, name and rename them. Photobucket also allows on-site artworks to be named, which is nice, but it's not crucial to me as I only use the site for storage so as to embed works elsewhere.
- Ideally I need a site that doesn't care if I store some explicit images. I don't worry about that too much though, as mine are rarely super-explicit, and I figure I'll find another solution for the tiny few that are if LJ goes bust. Meanwhile I'll leave those ones on LJ.
In the end, and partly because of this discussion from Adam Savage's Tested, I'm going with Mediafire. It does all the above and focuses on storage so people aren't as likely to trawl through the site's images and accidentally hit my porny one of Remus and Sirius barebacking :) It's not hard to get a direct link to paste in for immediate display and also to link to - you do have to click on the thumbnail to call up the actual image, then R-click on it to get "copy image url", but that's no more work than with LJ.
- the top choice from the Adam Savage site above was actually Minus - but the article dates from 2012 and Minus doesn't seem to exist any more (cautionary tale there). Mediafire, on the other hand, has been around for ages.
- another good thing about Mediafire is that the link doesn't alter if you reorganise and move the art to another folder later on (I tested this). So no need to edit the AO3 or DW post. This is a big plus over LJ, where it would break the link.
(Test sample: Here's a sample of an M-rated dS post to AO3 using mediafire links. Let me know if you can't see the pic for any reason!)