My website assets have been hot linked by many other websites. I doubt whether these are responsible for the downtimes on my site.

  1. How should I deal with such links?
  2. Will deleting the links solve the issue?
  3. Also, will hotlinking use up the servers entry process?

1 Answer 1


To stop hotlinking you can add the following to your .htaccess file. Replace example.com on line 3 with your own domain name. Also add or remove any file extensions on line 4

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://(www\.)example.com/.*$ [NC]
RewriteRule \.(gif|jpg|jpeg|png|bmp|zip|rar|mp3)$ - [F]

Maybe you prefer some mischief and want to serve alternate content when hotlinking is detected.

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://(www\.)example.com/.*$ [NC]
RewriteRule \.(gif|jpg)$ http://www.example.com/backside.gif [R,L]
  • Mischief? I prefer outright havoc and chaos! ;-) I had a similar problem where a very popular commercial media site hot linked several images way back in the day. I changed the images to a porn image and wha la! Problem solved. Although, it took about a week for them to notice. Their customers noticed quickly. What cracks me up is people wrote articles (news - before the days of blogs) about the incident. It became sorta famous. I guess I shoulda felt flattered? Nah. Not me. I am a stinker! Cheers!!
    – closetnoc
    Commented Feb 28, 2017 at 1:30
  • @closetnoc I have also used a porn image with great, rapid and hilarious success. I considered that as an example in the answer, but was trying to keep the SE standard above mine. :o)
    – Steve
    Commented Feb 28, 2017 at 1:51
  • That cracks me up. Great minds think alike!
    – closetnoc
    Commented Feb 28, 2017 at 2:16
  • I like what you did there.
    – wogsland
    Commented Feb 28, 2017 at 18:27

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