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A Photo Tip From Me To You (regarding Hot Linking)

I thought you guys might be able to use this also - 



To me.  To anyone.  I know the people who actually are reading this post aren’t the ones doing it. that’s where the tip comes in.

Upload your photos somewhere else.  I need to do this consistently.

My site was almost shut down in December because a company, who should have known better, was hotlinking to a scrap page of mine.  Now mind you, I wrote the post for them.  BUT they should have uploaded the image to somewhere else.  Their site was high traffic and it was just pulling my bandwidth left and right.  Almost all of it until I figured out what was going on. Reupped the file to imageshack and renamed a very small file the same as the one that being used that said image removed, please see site. (Thank you so much to my host (Host Duplex) for giving me that idea!)  That stopped the massive wave of bandwidth theft right there.

I just got another notice from my host that I am having major bandwidth usage going on and that they were going to have to block some of the flow because I was using a HUGE percentage of the traffic to the server I am on.  I cannot blame them.  If I am causing some of the other sites to malfunction because of traffic going to my site, I don’t blame them.  I’d shut it down to a trickle too until it was stabilized so the other sites weren’t affected.

I am upgrading to a VPS this month so that should help.  My actual traffic to my blog has gone up a bit, but the majority of this is from other sites hotlinking to my images.  I just found one site hotlinking to the image of a product in a review.  You couldn’t have gone to Amazon and found your own image?

(I have to say thank you again to Host Duplex for not just shutting things down like some webhosting companies would do.  They email and let me know that I am hogging up the server and it’s affecting other sites on the server.  That gives me a chance to get in and look at my stats and figure out where all the bandwidth usage is coming from.)

Here’s a tip if your new to blogging.  Do not right click, copy image URL, and add that URL as an image to your site.  Your stealing bandwidth from the other site and the site owner is paying for it.  I do not have unlimited hosting.  I’ve had bad experiences with a company who offered that when I was naive and a new website owner.  Almost every website owner will tell you to stay away from cheap unlimited hosting.  I chose to pay a little more to have a reliable host (who I feel is very reasonably priced for the services they provide, not to mention they are on all the time whenever I have a question.  IE: Had one today – sent a tweet – 30 seconds later – had a response. They rock!)

If it’s an image that you have permission to use or is in the public domain, right click it and save it.  Host it on your own server or use one of the many many image storing sites out there:  Imageshack,photobucketflickr.

I’ve mentioned this before but I really want to put a line of code in so that when someone hotlinks to my site it comes up with an image that says the picture was stolen from my site, but until I can figure out how to do that and not affect the buttons that are out there, I cannot do that.  Wait, you know what.  I could change the code and instead of using an image that says it was stolen, I could use my button!!!  I am so doing that.

Here is a tutorial on how to do that via the .htaccess file – that I now have to find.

I’m off to figure that out!

ETA – it worked!  And I uploaded the .htaccess file to a different folder than my button is in, so that means that it shouldn’t accuse someone of stealing my bandwidth if they are just using my button.  I’m testing it before I replace my button that I have it reading in the .htaccess file with another one.

Ok, it works!  If your adding a .htaccess file for your self-hosted wordpress blog and your blog pictures are uploaded in the blog/wp-content/uploads directory.  Add the .htaccess file to that folder.  It will block your pictures from being hotlinked to.  I had my button stored in a completely different folder outside my blog and it’s not affected.  Here’s the image people see now when hotlinking to my site –

That should get the point across, you think?

I found this site which will write the code for you.

Woot woot!  Have a great night!

Originally posted on my blog - Not Everyone's Mama


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