The easy guide to enable Hotlink Protection for your files on cPanel – turn on Hotlink protection on cPanel based web hosting.
In today’s world of rapidly increasing blogs, Hotlink protection is a required measure to stop bandwidth theft. In this short guide, we’ll know how to enable Hotlink protection on cPanel, but before that, here’s a little bit of preface on what Hotlinking is.
The file hotlinking is said to occur when someone else (say Mr. X) on web directly embeds the files from your sites to his site. As accessing files on web costs bandwidth, Mr. X is stealing your bandwidth while doing so. Here comes the need of Hotlink protection for your files.
Setup Hotlink Protection on cPanel
cPanel based web hosting services like HostGator provide easy options to enable Hotlink protection in a few clicks. If your hosting provider is cPanel based, then check for the Hotlink Protection option there. Next, follow the below given steps:
- Input URLs to allow access to your files. Other than your website URL, it could be a sub-domain, feed services, search engines. You should allow feed services to make your images available to the feed readers. You should also allow major Search engines to access your images, as it will not block images files of your website to appear on searches.
- Next, enter the file extensions that are needed to be blocked to access directly (i.e. from hotlinking). Generally, people block direct access of image files extensions to disable image hotlinking, but some seek options to disable swf hotlinking as well. You may input other extensions also like .swf, .fla etc. to block their hotlinking.
- After that, enter an alternate file URL that is to be shown in place of your files, when hotlinked on other websites.
- Lastly, save the settings by clicking “Submit” or “Enable Hotlinking” or similar option in the cPanel of your hosting displays.
Finally, you have enabled the Hotlink protection through cPanel. Alternatively, you can do this manually also by setting up hotlink protection using .htaccess.