is Hotlinking & What Can I Do?
Hotlinking is when someone
uses your images on his or her own site, but without saving them first.
Instead, they link to the image on YOUR server. For example, their site
is www.example.com, but the images are actually used as www.yourdomain.com/image.gif
instead of www.example.com/image.gif.
Hotlinking can have negative
consequences. First and foremost, they are stealing from you - first for
stealing your images and then by using the bandwidth that you pay your
hosting company for. If the copier's site has enough traffic, this can
result in a hefty bandwidth bill through no fault of your own, and you
will still be responsible for paying for it.
When you find someone hotlinking,
you can rename images on your own site, then use the former image name
to place advertisements for your own site.
To do this:
- If you have an image named
hotdeals.gif that the thief is using on her own site, rename the image
- Change all your webpage
files to reflect that you have changed the name of the image, being
sure you haven't missed any.
- Upload your new changes,
including your new hotdeals2.gif images, and all pages that used this
- Make a new image which you
will save as hotdeals.gif - you can make it an advertisement for your
own site, or you can substitute one picture for another less flattering
- Upload the new hotdeals.gif
file to your server.
- If done correctly, this
would result in your ads showing up on THEIR site, until that person
happens to notice you changed the image.
If you would like to prevent
everyone from using your images on other sites, please read our article
to Prevent Hotlinking.