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Protect your Blog Images against Hotlinking


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Protect your Blog Images against Hotlinking

Recently two of my friends, Ram from Teknobites and Kanak from Tecfre had problems with their posts getting copied by other blogs. The blog has copied the content word by word and also linked the images directly with the original blog. Stealing content and images is actually a very serious problem and there are many ways to tackle them.

I did a search on how to protect hotlinking of images from your blogs and found this plugin- HotLink Protection for WordPress blogs. Although its possible to set rules in .htaccess and enable hotlinking protection, for normal WordPress users these may be complicated.

This plugin is very simple to use. Upload the plugin and activate it in Plugins. In the options tab, you set the path of the file for which hotlink protection is required.

Hot Link protection

If anyone link your image directly, then it will show up a default image provided in the plugin. You can also add a custom image for protection. The best thing is that it does not block the images in the feeds.

NB: Although the author says that this plugin will not break feeds images, there are chances that it images may not show properly in some feed readers.

You can download this plugin from the here.

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Nirmal is a Technology Blogger and a Microsoft MVP in Windows. He can be contacted at nirmal@nirmaltv.com. You can find Nirmal on , and .

38 Comments

38 Comments

  1. Shankar Ganesh

    August 7, 2007 at 7:58 pm

    I was worrying about this for a while. I’ll use this plugin for sure. Thanks for the heads up!

  2. Ramkarthik

    August 7, 2007 at 8:01 pm

    Oh cool. I never knew about these plugins. But I’ll have to know because I have got a domain and will be with WordPress in few days. Thanks for the plugin. If you say stealing content, the site that comes to my mind is copyscape.com. It is good I think but have not tried.

  3. CristianR

    August 7, 2007 at 8:23 pm

    This can be done with the help of .htaccess as well 🙂
    I wrote 5 tips about how to master the .htaccess file , I didn’t think was so important to include it though .
    If someone is interested in how to be protected against hotlinking with the help of .htaccess , don’t hesitate to contact me via my contact form on my blog .

  4. nirmaltv

    August 7, 2007 at 8:35 pm

    @Ram,
    Copyscape is also a good way.

    @Cristian,
    It may be easier to change it through .htaccess, but a beginner in WP will not be comfortable in changing all those codes. 🙂
    You post was a good one on .htaccess.

  5. Shankar Ganesh

    August 7, 2007 at 8:36 pm

    Copyscape is a good one.. but you need a Pro account to detect more content stealers 🙁

  6. Kyle Eslick

    August 7, 2007 at 8:38 pm

    People copying content is a very serious problem and this plugin will definitely help combat that.

    Another two things I often recommend is to inter-link a lot in your posts to other stuff you’ve done and to add a copyright notice on your feed. Generally (not always) people still content via your RSS feed so this helps discourage you becoming a victim, as well as help you discover it if someone is doing it.

  7. nirmaltv

    August 7, 2007 at 8:51 pm

    @shankar,
    You are right, PRO account is needed for getting complete details.

    @Kyle,
    That was a great suggestion. Content stealing is indeed a very serious offense. Some do it knowingly and other are beginners in blogging, not aware of this.

  8. CristianR

    August 7, 2007 at 9:57 pm

    I actually wrote an article about the importance of copyright rules & regulations . This will let your future site scrappers know that you’re on the look and they’ve been warned .

  9. ram

    August 7, 2007 at 9:59 pm

    This plugin blocks all the external sites i guess, with .htaccess you can write the rule to block only a few sites.

  10. ram

    August 7, 2007 at 10:01 pm

    Thanks for the mention 😀

  11. nirmaltv

    August 7, 2007 at 10:06 pm

    @Cristian,
    I remember reading it, it was a good article.

    @Ram,
    I think it will block all external sites.

  12. Vaibhav

    August 7, 2007 at 10:09 pm

    saving your images from hotlinking is very important, and it is a good plugin. Hope it doesnot block images in google search, or in any other positive work as well.

  13. Rishi

    August 7, 2007 at 10:25 pm

    I dont think it will do any good with a plugin, instead I have seen my blog post images not coming in feed aggregation sites! better use cPanel’s hotlink protection which gives option to setup somethings which you need to forbid. 🙂

  14. nirmaltv

    August 7, 2007 at 10:30 pm

    @Vaibhav,
    Thats a good question, but it wont block images in Google search.

    @Rishi,
    This plugin will make sure that images are available in almost all feed readers, although not 100%. Protecting via cPanel is again a simple and easy option.

  15. Rishi

    August 7, 2007 at 11:16 pm

    @Nirmal,
    Yeah, I tried it. I do it for feed readers but not feed aggregating sites like our Feedburner India Technology Bloggers network and TechMein.com .

  16. Ajay M

    August 8, 2007 at 12:55 am

    Nirmal, the error in Internet Explorer seems to be a client side error and mostly occuring in IE 7. I hope i will find the cause and will let u know bat the soilution.

  17. kanak

    August 8, 2007 at 1:19 am

    Thanks a ton nirmal, for sharing about this plugin, As you said for ppl new to wordpress and blogging wont know about .htaccess and the same happened with me. I didnt know about the .htaccess stuff until i read ram’s post. But this plugin will help.
    But as Djflush commented on my blog post, will this plugin put the forbidden pictures for ppl who subscribe to the feed of the content stealer also ?? we need to check this. And hey , thanks for the mention 🙂

  18. Darr

    August 8, 2007 at 4:12 am

    There’s also an option like that in cPanel if you use cpanel. 😛

  19. Shivaranjan

    August 8, 2007 at 7:27 am

    Never knew about this plugin. Currently I am using my webhosting companies hot link protection and will definitely give a try to this plugin.

  20. nirmaltv

    August 8, 2007 at 9:22 am

    @Kanak,
    Even I didnt have any idea about .htacess when I started this blog. So this plugin will be mostly useful for people who do no know or like to change the .htaccess file.

    @Darr,
    Thanks for the visit. You can activate protection via cPanel also.

    @Shivaranjan,
    Protecting via CPanel is also a good option other than .htaccess modification.

  21. Dj Flush

    August 8, 2007 at 11:25 am

    Nirmal I have a feeling this will block the images in Feed Reader?

    Because I have seen some blogs using this plugin and their images don’t show up in feed reader

    If thats the case with this plugin too then I think its useless for me 🙁

  22. Noorizam

    August 8, 2007 at 1:33 pm

    very very nice content.. i like this.. yeah!

  23. Nirmal

    August 8, 2007 at 2:05 pm

    @DJ,
    If the images are not showing up in Feeds, then this plugin is not much of use. Let me try contacting the author for more clarification.

  24. Lovedeep Wadhwa

    August 8, 2007 at 2:15 pm

    I will give this plugin a try.

    Thanks for sharing. 😛

  25. Madhur Kapoor

    August 8, 2007 at 2:53 pm

    There was a Hotlink protection present in my Website Control Panel . I will give it a try .

  26. Haris

    August 8, 2007 at 7:15 pm

    @Madhur: Madhur, that’s only to block websites whom you don’t like to hotlink your images.

    I’ll also try out this plugin. Such plugins are always worth trying.

  27. Ken Xu

    August 9, 2007 at 5:22 am

    Wah! This Plugin is Crucial! I have download it. Thanks for the information, Nirmal! 🙂

    But how about download link that point our address? Can we decline it too?
    I happen to stumbled on a blog that use your download link in their blog. I wonder if they have remove the links…

  28. praveen

    August 9, 2007 at 9:17 am

    By default Hot link protection to all types of images like jpg,jpeg,bmp,png would be enabled if you have a cpanel or plesk control panel in your hosting account.The Hot link Protection provided by these cpanel are done at O/S macro level.

  29. shashank

    August 10, 2007 at 12:00 pm

    This plugin will prove life-blog saver for many bloggers 😀

  30. Mani

    August 16, 2007 at 3:19 pm

    Good find Nirmal.

    I was wondering if storing images on flickr is a better idea or not. You save on your bandwidth that way isn’t it?

    But if you are keen on hosting images on your space – this is an easy way to get stop hotlinks – yeah!

    Cheers!
    Mani

  31. Ronald

    August 30, 2007 at 11:23 pm

    Hi Nirmal, how about if we have hosted an image at other site?

  32. nirmaltv

    August 31, 2007 at 9:26 am

    @Ronald,
    If we host images in other sites, then its ok, it wont consume bandwidth.

  33. Ronald

    August 31, 2007 at 2:36 pm

    Thank’s Nirmal about your clarify 🙂

  34. curiousity

    June 12, 2009 at 3:16 am

    How to protect content and images in blogger. Please help

  35. Steave

    October 22, 2009 at 1:28 am

    Interesting story as for me. I’d like to read a bit more concerning this matter.

  36. PagFaiffbar

    April 3, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    bless you, awesome content
    the simple way to make blog posts and smash in your readers:
    http://tinyurl.com/yly5jj5

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