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Author Topic: Hotlinking Images  (Read 16756 times)

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  • Egghead

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    Hotlinking Images
    « on: August 13, 2007, 07:31:01 PM »
    Problem: When posting an image to a forum, the image is replaced with another image, or is a "Do not hotlink" or a variant of such.

    Cause: Many websites do not allow what is called "hotlinking". Hotlinking refers to the act of taking an image and posting an image with that site's URL. For example, the banner at the top of this page uses this URL:


    To hotlink this file, a user would use the [ img ][ /img ] tags with this image's URL, like so:

    On this site, this is not a problem, because anyone viewing this page will be using the bandwith required to view the image anyway. However, if someone did this on another site, then anyone visiting the page with that image will actually be using ComputerHope's internet traffic.

    A website, if it has too much bandwith usage, may no longer work properly, as the servers become overloaded. Sporadically, the site and all images thereof will be unavailable. To guard against this threat, sites use code which will cause the above problem, in an effort to stay online. It's a defensive measure.

    Solution: Upload the image to a site such as Imageshack or Photobucket, which is designed to allow hotlinking. In fact, that's the whole purpose of the site. It's free and easy to use. Copy the image's URL into the box to upload from another website, or if the image is on your computer as well, upload from your hard disk. Then, use the img tags from Imageshack/Photobucket as you would hotlink from another site.

    Another reason to do this is because if a site changes what image is at a particular URL, any img tags on other sites will display the new image instead. For example, if the image http://www.computerhope.com/toptitle.jpg

    was replaced with this:

    If it was the same URL, then anyone using the img tag with this image would notice a sudden change in what image was displayed.
    « Last Edit: January 25, 2008, 10:59:10 PM by Dilbert »
    "The geek shall inherit the Earth."