What is HotLinking?
Before we head on to enabling Hotlink Protection, let’s learn what Hotlinking means. Actually, what we mean by hotlinking is we use a url to view an image in the website code or the image url in the browser. When using the image url the server that host the image does not have to use any bandwidth or http request to serve the image. For example say we used a url to an image at Bing.com in my code. Bing’s server will only need to serve the image and not the server my site is hosted on. This is url of the image we used in our code:
This can be used in our code to display the image on our website. The code looks like the following:
<img src="http://deskpicture.com/DPs/Technology/SunFireServers.jpg" />
Why set up Hotlink Protection?
When people HotLink to a website, they are actually using the site’s server resources instead of their own. When your images are HotLinked by many different people on their sites, your site can start to slow down and go under a load.
Another good reason for this protection is to prevent people from using your images on their site as if it’s something of their own. To be precise, HotLink protection can be used to prevent images being used by others specially copyrighted images. Lets learn how to HotLink protect through cPanel HotLink protection feature. Also check out this great video tutorial: How to setup Hotlink protection in cPanel to summarize the detailed explanation.
- To start of be logged into cPanel
- Navigate to the Security section and click the HotLink Protection icon.
- You’ll first want to make sure your own sites are listed here, so you are able to hotlink to your images. Enter all the file types you want protected and if you want to allow people to be able to manually enter the url of a protected file, check this box.
- Then enter a url you want to redirect to, for anyone who tries to hotlink to your files or images.
- Click on Submit to successfully enable hotlink protection.
- To disable hotlink protection, click Disable button.
How to setup Hotlink protection in cPanel
You now know how to use hotlink protection to prevent hotlinking to your files. Learn more about other tools under the Security section of cPanel control panel