How To Prevent Image Hotlinking In WordPress (3 Working Methods)

By WP Saviour •  Updated: 03/05/21 •  7 min read

Most individuals know that stealing is fallacious. However relating to stealing your internet server’s sources and bandwidth, lots of people both don’t care or just don’t notice that their actions can have an adversarial impact.

In fact, I’m speaking about picture hotlinking, not breaking into your host’s knowledge middle.

Hotlinking is the place one other web site embeds the photographs hosted in your server. There are just a few negatives from this strategy, which is why you may wish to disable picture hotlinking in WordPress.

On this submit, I’ll share three completely different strategies that you need to use to show off hotlinking in your WordPress web site. Whereas these strategies will assist you flip it off usually, you’ll nonetheless have the ability to let particular websites hotlink your photos if desired.

When different websites hotlink your photos, they drain your server’s sources and may even value you cash (if it’s a must to pay for bandwidth). Particularly if you’re utilizing a managed WordPress internet hosting, likelihood is excessive that you’ve got restricted bandwidth.

Despite the fact that the picture is showing on another person’s web site, your internet server nonetheless must course of that request and ship the picture to that web site. If that web site will get loads of visitors, that’s going to be loads of requests on your server to course of, which could decelerate your web site.

Past that, many hosts cost based mostly on the quantity of bandwidth that you just use. Hotlinking photos use your bandwidth as nicely, so that you may find yourself paying extra in order that another person can use your photos!

Some websites don’t thoughts – for instance, some webcomics really encourage individuals to hotlink photos.

However except you get some profit from letting individuals hotlink your photos, you’ll in all probability wish to disable hotlinking in your WordPress web site.

How To Inform If Folks Are Already Hotlinking Your Photographs

Wish to see if persons are already hotlinking your photos? All you’ll want to do is seek for this in Google Photographs:

Ensure to exchange “” together with your precise area title:


You’ll get some false positives – however it’s going to additionally discover areas the place individuals have hotlinked your photos.

How To Disable Picture Hotlinking In WordPress With .htaccess

Should you really feel comfy enhancing your WordPress web site’s .htaccess file, it’s fairly easy to disable hotlinking with out the necessity for a plugin. That is the tactic that I like to recommend for many bloggers, although I will even cowl another methods within the forthcoming sections.

To observe this technique, you’ll want to have the ability to both:

I’ll present you the way it works utilizing FTP and the free FileZilla FTP program, however the identical rules apply regardless of the way you entry your server.

Step 1: Join To Your Server Through FTP

To get began, use FileZilla to connect with your server through FTP. Should you’re undecided how to do that, your host’s assist workers ought to have the ability to assist. For instance, right here’s SiteGround’s article on FTP.

Once you’re linked, browse to the folder on your WordPress web site:


Step 2: Generate .htaccess Code Snippet

Subsequent, use the free hotlink safety device to generate the code snippet that you will want for the subsequent step.

This device helps you to exclude particular websites from being blocked. You must positively add your area there. Past that, I like to recommend including the favored search engines like google and yahoo and social networks to make sure they’ll haven’t any points working together with your photos.

You’ll be able to go away the remainder of the fields because the defaults:


When you’re completed, click on the Generate .htaccess file button on the backside to generate the related code snippet. It ought to look one thing like this:


Hold this window open as a result of you will have this code snippet within the subsequent step.

Step 3: Edit .htaccess File And Add Code Snippet

When you’ve efficiently linked to your web site, right-click on the .htaccess file in your web site’s root folder and edit it. Your root folder is similar folder that comprises the wp-admin folder and wp-config.php file:


Add the code snippet from the earlier step to your web site’s .htaccess file:


Then, make certain to save lots of your .htaccess file and, if vital, re-upload it to your server.

And that’s it! Folks will not have the ability to hotlink your photos.

If desired, you need to use the device from Step 2 to mechanically show a placeholder picture at any time when somebody tries to hotlink your photos. If you wish to do that, I’d suggest internet hosting that picture on Dropbox or Google Drive so that you just don’t waste your personal server’s sources:


How To Disable Picture Hotlinking In WordPress With Plugins

Should you don’t wish to use the .htaccess technique above, some WordPress safety plugins embody built-in performance that will help you block hotlinking.

Once more, I feel the .htaccess technique above is your best choice, however the free All In One WP Safety & Firewall plugin may also assist you do it.

As soon as you put in and activate the plugin, go to WP Safety → Firewall. Then, select the Stop Hotlinks tab and examine the field to Stop Picture Hotlinking:


How To Disable Picture Hotlinking utilizing Cloudflare

Should you’re utilizing the favored Cloudflare service as a content material supply community, it features a built-in dashboard setting that permits you to disable hotlinking. It’s referred to as Hotlink Safety.

To allow hotlink safety in Cloudflare, go to your Cloudflare dashboard and navigate to the ScrapeShield tab:


Then, scroll right down to the Hotlink Safety setting and switch it on:


If you wish to permit hotlinking for sure photos, you’ll be able to create a separate “hotlink-ok” folder and add photos that may be hotlinked there (this assist article explains it). One frequent use of this performance can be to let individuals hotlink your emblem or different advertising belongings.

Take into account Disabling Picture Hotlinking In WordPress At present

Whereas there are some conditions the place you may wish to let individuals hotlink your photos, most blogs don’t get any profit, and there are actual negatives since you’re losing your server sources powering the photographs for another person’s web site.

Fortunately, it’s simple to disable picture hotlinking in WordPress.

For many WordPress websites, I like to recommend utilizing the .htaccess technique as a result of it’s easy and it helps you to permit hotlinking for sure websites (like search engines like google and yahoo and social networks).

In any other case, you need to use a WordPress plugin, or reap the benefits of the built-in hotlink safety from providers like Cloudflare.

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WP Saviour

I am a WordPress specialist. My mission is to help you create beautiful websites with ease!