How to set up hotlink protection

2 min

How to set up hotlink protection
How to set up hotlink protection

How to set up hotlink protection

Hotlink protection is a security feature in cPanel designed to reduce bandwidth consumption. It works by preventing third-party websites from directly linking to your content (for example, pulling in images hosted on your server for display on their own web pages).

By enabling Hotlink protection you can reduce resources (bandwidth) of the hosting account where the website is hosted. And also it immediately speed up your website. Read also: How to Secure WordPress site, Best 3 WordPress Caching Plugins to Speed Up Your Website.

Hotlink protection and SEO

You may wonder if the hotlink protection influences the website’s ranking. It does not. Your website may even load faster because its bandwidth is not stressed by constant illegitimate requests from re-posted images. And that actually improves your ranking. The issues appear when the hotlink protection is not implemented properly and blocks access to the images for crawlers. This causes the images to not display in search results or even for the website to not being properly indexed. That is why we recommend using a hotlink protection rule or a plugin that allows specifying blank referrers and search engines as allowed fetchers for providing direct URLs to the images.

How to set up hotlink protection


You can do this using the Hotlink Protection tool in cPanel. The steps are as follows:

1. Log into your cPanel.

2. Select the Hotlink Protection option in the Security section.

Hotlink protection

3. Turn on Hotlink protection by clicking on Enable.

Click on enable Hotlink protection

URLs to allow access – indicate websites which you wish to allow access to your files. These may be your own websites or some other trusted online resources. By default, cPanel adds all domains hosted in the account to this box, however, this list can be edited if required.

Block direct access for these extensions – specify the file types you wish to block access to.

In the Redirect request to this URL text box, you can optionally type a URL everyone who tries to hotlink to your files will be redirected to.

configure hotlink protection

There are some disadvantages of having hotlink protection enabled. For instance, you may have trouble displaying your images in your RSS feeds or email newsletters (adding the domain of your RSS or newsletter provider to your list of allowed URLs may help). Be sure to weigh the pros and cons of this feature before enabling it.

Check your site speed – GTmetrix

Hotlink protection enabled

All done. If you have any questions we are here to help you. Click here to Ask Question.


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Danushka Sanjeewa
Danushka Sanjeewa is a Software engineer with more than 5 years of experience in Android App Development, Web Development, Marketing, Graphic design, Video editing, and WordPress. And also Writer/Founder of


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