How Photobucket Works

Photobucket Hosting
The Javascript-based user interface makes it easy to upload images and video to account pages.
The Javascript-based user interface makes it easy to upload images and video to account pages.
(HowStuffWorks screenshot, no credit)

Photobucket uses two different programming languages and a multimedia software suite to deliver services to members. They are:

  • The Java programming language, which is a popular, robust computing language humans can read. The Java language allows programmers to create complex Web applications using a comparatively simple language. After writing the application, the programmers must run their program through a compiler, which converts the code from the Java language into a machine-readable format. Primarily, programmers use the Java programming language to create applications designed for network computing. Photobucket encourages all members to enable Java on their respective Web browsers -- otherwise, the Web site might not work for those users. Java does the heavy lifting in the Photobucket infrastructure.
  • Photobucket also uses the JavaScript programming language. JavaScript and Java are not the same thing. The JavaScript language is a client-side scripting language (CSL). That means a JavaScript application consists of several lines of code embedded in a Web page. The application runs within Internet browsers, which have interpreters that detect and execute JavaScript applications (apps). JavaScript apps tend to be relatively simple compared to programs built in other computing languages. With most Internet browsers, the user can choose to enable or disable JavaScript -- so Photobucket users should check their settings if they experience problems with the service.
  • The third element Photobucket uses is Adobe Flash. Flash is a multimedia software suite designed to create animation and Web applications. Photobucket's interface uses Flash to make the user experience interactive and intuitive.
Photobucket uses a Flash-based video player for all the video stored on its site.
(HowStuffWorks screenshot, no credit)

You can think of Java as the platform upon which the Flash and JavaScript components stand. Paired with the HTML code for Photobucket's Web site, these three elements are what make Photobucket work.

Behind the scenes, Photobucket stores images and video on a network of servers and data storage devices housed in various facilities in Colorado. Photobucket partners with companies like Data393, and Switch and Data, which provide data center facilities. A data center is a specialized warehouse -- its design incorporates the cooling, bandwidth, networking and power capabilities necessary to keep a large network of physical machines running. Photobucket uses its own hardware and software in these data centers.

Next, we'll take a look at some things you can do with your Photobucket account.