Image links - What you use for hosting (since Airtable no longer allows non-expiring links)

Since Airtable no longer allows non-expiring links, I need the image links for Ebay so I am looking at Cloudinary. It has pretty generous free tier.

What do you use for image hosting?

I prefer something I can upload using Integromat and generate those links and put it back to Airtable.

My guess is Dropbox and similar will not work well for EBay. I looked at Google Photos, but they don’t even provide links, the URLs that are exposed in Integromat are either behind login or thumbnail size, so no full resolution.

Anazon S3 is another option but it seems more complicated than Cloudinary and more expensive.

Like you mentioned, Amazon S3 is extremely complicated, so I would not recommend S3.

I’ve heard great things about Cloudinary, so that’s probably a good choice.

Lots of my clients use Google Drive as well.

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At scale, this is not an ideal choice. Sure, it works until it doesn’t, and that’s usually because you hit one of their many quotas associated with serving files. DropBox is an equally risky solution.

Yep - it’s a good one. It also gives you image transformations if that matters. It’s essentially a CDN on steroids (the good kind).

You’re turning off a light switch; S3 is a wrecking ball. It’s not a file system; it’s an object store; paying for that to be your CDN is a waste of money and significant added complexity.

I think CloudFlare is a good choice. Firebase hosting (free tier) is pretty generous too.

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I’ve implemented Google Cloud Storage (a regular storage bucket) to host our Airtable images since the expiring links change, combined with a Google Cloud Function which checks when the image in Airtable has been updated to re-upload it etcetera.

It of course took a fair bit of tinkering and scripting (although I guess that’s relative, I also wasn’t very experienced with this yet) to set it up, but it actually has been running smoothly and very, very cheaply.

The fact that @bfrench nudges Cloudinary though makes me think that I went for too complicated a setup though. Maybe I need to overthink it again. Always open to punch holes in the method I, however briefly, described above.

A fine approach as well and also affords more control and precise use of artefacts via scripting. Firebase (and cloud functions) is also a good approach.

Great. Yep, I should have said I tried Cloudinary for other stuff for simple image transformation already.

They have free extensions e.g. picture magic (or something like that) , it improves image colours, another for resizing and putting a text overlay etc, it’s all free like air with lots of storage.

I didn’t use their background removal through because the basic removal is no good for me and the AI removal is a premium extension ( so instead used the free API which is comparable if not better than Cloudinary AI removal and works great). I would probably use, they recently released their free API and I find them better than

So Cloudinary it is.

One more question if I may abuse your attention here, for a second opinion option perhaps. I am wondering if that may work.

The whole circus I am trying to do here with taking images to Cloudinary for hosting is for Ebay. Ebay requires for listings uploaded in bulk (CSV/API) to have images hosted on 3rd party server or on Ebay server prior to uploading the actual listings. It’s a bit weird but it’s the way it is with Ebay.

However they do provide an API specifically to upload images alone and get the links. So I am wondering if I could get that working instead and get the images from Airtable to Ebay Server through their API. I assume that is something that Integromat may handle?

I am willing to experiment. I just want to ask for opinion. Would the effort go nowhere?

Hi there,

If I am reading the documentation right, it looks like you could upload the images directly to Ebay and host it there. For that attachment links that Airtable API will generate will be fine since you will not be storing them. It looks like that would be a fine use case for Make/Integromat. I

In your case it would be just Airtable Search/Get Record and HTTP module to make request to Ebay with the upload URL and Update Airtable with URL you get back.

Holy duck! They use XML API! If they have REST version it might be bit more pleasant…

1999 called and they want their XML API back.

The best part (or step) in a solution is a part (or step) that needn’t exist. Lean into simple whenever possible.


There are risks in leaning on the simplest, most convenient way to achieve (x). Imagine this solution is working perfectly using eBay’s CDN. Then you realize this new service from (that has not yet been invented) opens up an entirely larger opportunity, and you need to use the same images. The catch - eBay’s CDN is for eBay use only, right?

Are you jumping to eBay’s CDN to face the same constraints Airtable’s CDN policy change caused?

Thank you. That helps.

@bfrench Good point. Ebay does not allow displaying Ebay hosted images on Etsy for instance. But I am not completely confident whether hosting images on 3rd party service wouldn’t impact the Google search rank of ebay listings. It’s not because Cloudinary CDN isn’t superior to that of Ebay but it is the issues of Ebay’s listing management. They have been in fixing mode for last 10 years and jumping from one fire to the next.

Anyhow, I will see what works and what makes me suffer the least :wink:

Any “SEO” expert who might say this is blowing smoke. Where images are hosted is likely to have zero impact of content indexing. Alt tags impact SEO, but they are bound to the page, not to the CDN. CDNs are used everywhere to cache and host images for ultra fast serving and no one’s rank scores are being dinged as a result. Enay might have a metric in its recommendation engine that dings you for not hosting locally, but I suspect this is unlikely.

I personally went for Cloudinary for a client, and AWS S3/CloudFront for my own needs.

Cloudinary has its advantages, but is owned by someone else.
Depending on what you want to store, Cloudinary can be a better solution than S3.
Specifically, the ability to tag any file uploaded to Cloudinary was quite powerful, if used well.