Direct-Linking And You

written by Lee

Direct linking is quite common around the internet. It is known as Direct Linking, Remote Linking or Hot Linking, but it is all the same.
Quoted from Clueless:

Direct linking is an act in which a person directly links to an image, a gallery, or any object from another person's site by simply using the URL of the object's current location. The result for direct linkers is, they do not have to upload the object onto their own space, but uses the other person's space as well as bandwidth. For the direct linkers, they benefit from space and bandwidth, but for the webmasters who've been victimized, this is a serious offense. Not only are they inconsiderate, they've taken away the bandwidth that the webmasters have worked hard to buy. Bandwidth is not a cheap thing, and a site will be shut down if the bandwidth exceeds the limit. As you can see, this offense is completely rude and highly disrespectful.

Example:
<img src="http://www.lj-smith.com/doodles/images/button.jpg">
That is the code for one of Doodles' linking buttons. Now if you go and copy the code of that image and then goes to your website and pastes the image's code into your page, then you are direct linking.

You are also taking up bandwidth on the LJ-Smith.com site by doing as such. What is Bandwidth? Bandwidth is how much information that can be transmitted along a channel in a specific amount of time. Bandwidth is generally measured monthly for domains and host providers, but for some free hosts like geocities, angelfire and tripod, bandwidth is measured daily.

You might ask why this is a bad thing. Well for starters, it costs money to host a person's domain and when bandwidth goes over it's monthly quota, then the domain owner must pay out money to increase the bandwidth especially if their site goes down at the beginning or in the middle of the month. By stealing the domain owners bandwidth you are hurting them as well as yourself in the long run. If you continue to steal bandwidth from other domains, you can find your site deleted off of geocities, etc. Website owners do not take kindly to bandwidth/direct linkers, they will find your site and contact your ISP and your website's host and more than likely if you are found to be in the wrong your site will be deleted without your consent. Bandwidth Stealing/Direct Linking is a crime.

Want to avoid having your site deleted because you stole bandwidth? Follow these steps:

  1. If you see an image you like, right click on it and save it to your computer. Make sure the image you are taking is not something that the image's owner has specified as off limits.
  2. Then upload it to your website's folder on the net.
  3. Credit where you found the image. This is just a part of Netiquette.

Don't have a website, but want to use an image in your forum signature or as your avatar? Follow these steps:

  1. If you see an image you like, right click on it and save it to your computer. Make sure the image you are taking is not something that the image's owner has specified as off limits.
  2. Does the forum have an uploads folder for avatars?
    - Yes. Then upload the image to that folder via your control panel. You are done.
    - No. Then you will have to create an image hosting account. Try Photobucket, ImageShack, TinyPic or VillagePhotos.
  3. Have an image you want to appear in your signature?
    - Yes. First make sure that the forum allows images in the signatures. Then use this code to link the image (this is done in BBcode)
    [img=http://img.photobucket.com/username/imgname.gif][/img]

Linking Images From Geocities/Angelfire/etc

You have your site hosted on Angelfire, Geocities or Tripod. Well that's all fine and dandy, until you try and link an image located on your site on a forum or another webpage that is not yours or not in your host domain (angel fire, geocities, etc), and you end up with that little red 'x' or a little image stating that 'We do not allow off-site linking of images', etc. Well that must be a downer for you, but there is a good reason for it. You are taking away from the domains bandwidth. To see what Bandwidth Stealing/Direct Linking are please refer to the first paragraph on this page.