A hotlink is when a 3rd party website uses your bandwidth to display content from your website on theirs. A common example of this is when someone copies the source URL of an image that is hosted on your website and uses that URL to display the image on their website. Even though the image is being displayed on their website, your bandwidth is being used in order to display that image.
cPanel offers an easy way to add hotlink protection, which will prevent your bandwidth from being used in situations like the one described above.
IMPORTANT NOTE: It is only recommended to do this if you are familiar with this tool and how it will impact your website's .HTACCESS file and only once your site is on its final live domain. If you follow these steps and then change the domain of your website, the display of all images on your website may be blocked, causing the website to appear as broken.
Also, enabling hotlink protection will prevent all other websites from displaying your images directly. While most social media and other websites that make frequent use of content sourced from other websites have automated methods of displaying the content you want them to without using your bandwidth, websites that do not have these systems in place will not be able to display images or other content you designate to be blocked.
Please only enable this if you are absolutely sure you want this level of bandwidth protection.
To enable hotlink protection, please follow these steps:
- Login to your cPanel account through the Admin area of your website
- Search for "hotlink protection" and click on it:
- The "URLs to allow access" field should already have several URLs added that are related to your domain. Add the following URLs to this textarea in addition to the URLs already present there to make sure that the Brilliant Directories software will continue accessing the files on your website correctly:
If you would like any additional websites to be able to display content from your website, add all of the URLs of those sites here as well, including all combinations of both the http:// and https:// version of the URL and the www and non-www version of the URL.
- Check the "Allow direct requests" checkbox:
Click on the "Submit" button to enable the hotlink protection.