Why Hotlinking is not such
a good idea

Do you know me well?

Would you trust me to take care of your website for you?

Did you save the graphics to your own webspace?

If you answered no to any of these questions, then why did you allow me to be in charge of your website by linking directly to my graphics? Now you have given me permission to do anything I like with your website. I can change those graphics at any time I please, to any thing I like and you have no say in the matter. I can make your once beautiful website become a complete joke, and all I have to do is change a few of my graphics. If you hotlink the image from my site, you will get an unpleasant pic in it's place

How can I do this?

If you had done as I asked and saved those graphics to your own webspace, then I couldn't touch them. But if you are linking directly to the actual graphics on my server (remote-linking or hot-linking), then I have every right to do whatever I please with them. I can delete them, I can change their colour, and I can even make them say nasty things about you! I could go one step further and change them to some really gross pictures that you would be ashamed of having on your website, but I'm not that nasty... or am I ?

How much do you trust me?
~ wicked evil grin ~

Why am I writing this page in the first place?

This website costs me money, it's not one of those free sites like geocities or tripod. I had to pay for the domain name (and reregister it each year), I have to pay to keep this site on someone's server each month and I also have to pay each time I go "over" on my regulated monthly transfer limit. Which means, it is fine for me to have my work on the site, and it is fine for people to come along and see it, but when someone "pulls" the images from my site to theirs, each time that image is viewed it will push me closer to my monthly limit. If I go over that limit, then it costs me extra money, and that is something that I don't really have to spare. I provide a free service to you, all I ask is that you respect it..

The Domino Effect..

You see an image that you like, and you hotlink to it. Great, it's now displaying on your page and you feel great. You're getting heaps of visitors too, and everyone likes the pic, so they hotlink to it from your site! Ooops, what you didn't think of is that they aren't hotlinking it FROM your site, they are hotlinking it from the original site because they are just using your image link.

Feel like doing some maths?

→ You hotlink a 50kb image: 1 x image = (50k) not so bad (for EACH time someone views it on your page)
→ 10 people hotlinking it from you: 1 x image x 10 + your original hotlink = um.. (550k EACH TIME, EACH page view)
→ It's a really nice pic, so 10 people hotlink it from each of the 10 who hotlink it from you:
→ 1 x image x 10 x 10 + your original hotlink = shit, I've lost count.. but now you're starting to understand.., and multiply it per page view. If you get a HEAP of visitors to your site each day, multiply the 50k by each visitor.

All that bandwidth, coming from someone elses' website. Did you stop to say thankyou?

One day I was feeling snarky, so.....

I had noticed that someone was linking to my site stylesheet, and when I asked them to remove it, I got a nasty reply. As I was in a kinda bad mood and not happy with their nasty reply, I came back to my site, copied my stylesheet, and changed the name and link on my pages, then went to work changing my original stylesheet which was displaying on that other website.

I made the background a lovely shade of Lime Green, and the text a very pretty Hot Pink. Each image was given a Bright Yellow border of 1 million pixels, and each link was made to disappear on mouseover. The hotlinker wasn't happy with what I had done, and demanded that I fix her website. I simply asked that she stop hotlinking to my stylesheet. It took a while for her to realise that all she had to do was remove the link, and eventually she did. Problem solved for both of us. By hotlinking to a file on my website, she had given me permission to do whatever I liked to her website. My file, my prerogative to mess with it.

So, how do I link the image from my webspace?

First, you find the image you like, check first that the site you are grabbing it from allows you to use the image in the firstplace, most ask for a link back to their site, some don't care and some will state that images are not to be taken (Please abide by this).

OK, so you have found the perfect image for your website. You right click on the image then choose Save/As and save it to your computer. Most people will have a special folder for saving things like this. Make sure you remember where you got it, so you can give credit to the artist.

I'm assuming that you have a webpage on one of the free servers, geocities, tripod, etc. If you are making your page, it will ask you to upload the image from your computer. Just find it in your special folder and click upload. Simple...
It's now in your web directory and I can't do strange things to it.

Now you have to link it on your webpage.. In this example, the graphic is called picture.jpg.
Type in this code

<img src="picture.jpg">

and there you have it, your lovely picture displaying on your webpage. If you want to link it so that you can click on it and go to another page, type it in like this

<a href="webpage.html"><img src="picture.jpg"></a>

Easy isn't it!!

So now you understand a little better about linking directly to someone's graphics. You now know that it's the wrong thing to do and you will never do it again, right? Very good! At least now, you will have total control over your website and there will never be a day that you will check your pages to find them covered with pictures of toilets, or worse!

It can also happen to you, no matter where you have yourwebpages, people will always link to your images. To find out if anyone is linking to your images, go to and type into the search box,
You might be surprised to see the results.

Feel free to use this little button for your webpages, to link to this page, but please, save it to your own webspace first.

Hotlinking.. Not such a good idea

You can use this code:

<a href="">
<img src="charge.gif" width="125" height="60" alt="Did you know that I am in charge of your website?" border="0"></a>

Don't forget to right click and Save/As, then upload to your own webspace.

Take a look at these sites as well. Most are to do with copyright issues, but they are well worth the look.

Web TV Users, take a look at this!!!

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