Hotlinking is an expression which represents the inclusion of images on a given website using direct links. If you have website A, for instance, and a person creates site B and wishes to include a few images from your Internet site, they can either save the images and then add them on their site or they can simply place links on their website to the images on yours. Subsequently, every time a visitor opens website B, site B will steal traffic from your own website A, as the images shall load from your web hosting account. This process is typically used for documents and other sorts of files too. If you wish to prevent third parties from stealing your content and from using your own hosting account’s resources, you could limit their ability to use direct links to your files on their sites.
Hotlinking Protection in Hosting
There's a simple way to avoid the hotlinking of your images through an .htaccess file within the website’s root directory, but if you are not very tech-savvy, we furthermore offer a very user-friendly tool that shall permit you to enable the protection with several mouse clicks and without inputting any code. The tool could be accessed from the Hepsia CP, included with all our Linux hosting plans and the only two things that you will need to select are a domain/subdomain from a drop-down menu and if the protection should be activated for the main site folder or for some subfolder. Our system will do the rest, so you shall not have to do anything else personally on your end. If you want to deactivate the hotlink protection option eventually, you'll only have to return to exactly the same section, to mark the checkbox at the side of it and to click on the Delete button.
Hotlinking Protection in Semi-dedicated Servers
If you have a semi-dedicated server account with us and you discover that someone has hotlinked any of your images, you should use the protection tool we have developed and included in our in-house built Hepsia hosting CP. When you switch on this option, a server-generated image will appear on the third-party site as a substitute for your actual images. You will only need to go to the Hotlink Protection section inside the Control Panel and choose the domain or subdomain that your site uses from a convenient drop-down menu - it's as basic as that. When necessary, you will also have the option to switch on the function just for a specific subfolder and not for the website in general. Deactivating the protection is as easy - get back to the exact same section, check the box beside the specific Internet site and then click on the Delete button.