I don't perform very much with html. I'm not a web designer but I like the flexibility of placing hyperlinked thumbnails in forums, placing images wrapped in text, images in a row, etc.

I used to simply use Photobucket's HTML thumb code select/copy right next to the image and it would reliably put a linked thumbnail in a forum or elsewhere. Photobucket's code and website is presently dysfunctional however so I'm trying to figure it out on my own. It's being surprisingly difficult for me.

I did a search here and there are many threads on thumbnails but nothing really addressed my very basic needs. here's a quote from one thread....
There's plenty of automated software that will take an entire directory of images and make thumbnails.
All of the software, perhaps a half dozen varieties so far, that I've tried enable me only to select and thumbnail images on my harddrive and appear to lack an option for downloading from the web. I'm confused about that. An image must have a web URL in order to be accessible in a forum or blog.... right? So where does one upload the thumbs and full sized images to the web once produced by photoshop or thumbmaker 2.3 (or the dozens of such generic tools I've seen)?

I've meticulously followed tutorials on HTML for clickable thumbnail HTML coding and keep having problems in that either the coding itself only shows up in the forum or the thumbnail does not link, or the full size image shows up in the post alongside of the thumbnail, or there are dual thumbnails (common problem).

Is part of the problem that I'm using URLs in the HTML code from images in Photobucket and Flickr and others? The block of code, once compiled, should always be directly inserted in the response field, right? It is never inserted via the "insert link" or "insert image" buttons?

So what is the absolute most straightforward, simplest, least error prone, method for a beginner to accomplish this task? Where to store the images on line to produce the best URL for the coding to handle without confusion? Or which of the
automated software that will take an entire directory of images and make thumbnails
will do what I'm asking with as little social media bells/whistles and confusing GUI rabbit-holes as possible for a beginner of my rank?

Thanks so much for staying with the diatribe this far.

Brad W