I'm a leader in a small community about pet ownership for owners in my area. We partnered with a couple pet oriented businesses to get them publicity and in turn we received some as well. Anyway, my question is regarding content storage. We host a forum that is relatively small in terms of disk space. The problem we are encountering is that our members love to share pictures of their pets (honestly, who doesn't? :) ). These pictures take of space. In fact, it's taken up so much space that we've had to purge old topics that contained pictures because we couldn't load more.
We have encouraged members to load their pictures onto an external site such as Pintrest or Imgur. Some do, some do not. They complain that it is cumbersome compared to the ability to upload directly to the forum. Others have complained that pictures hosted externally are slower to load. I, personally, don't notice this, but there have been enough complaints that I believe that there is some kind of issue.
From my point of view, though, these external hosted images are a godsend because it keeps my disk utilization down. It also means I have less to back up (saving more disk space). I'd like to recommend we move to this type of model exclusively, but I can't find enough information that supports my point of view on why this would be a positive.
Does any one have experience moving from locally stored content to externally stored content (specifically for images, but I could see video being just as important). If so, what kind of improvements (or pitfalls) did you expereince?
Thanks for your responses!