Hotlink Followup – Allowing Certain Sites To Use Your Images

image by MegaMortFan on

image by MegaMortFan on

Last month, I explained how hotlinking works and why it’s essentially stealing. I also explained webservers and configuring Nginx webservers to refuse hotlinking requests. It’s a wonderful, powerful little change! But sometimes for the sake of your readers or SEO purposes, you want to allow sites to use images straight from your server—like so:

Thankfully, this is an entirely simple fix. Remember the line where I told my webserver to allow requests from my own site? Sure you do. It’s the one that starts “valid_referers”.



To the end of that (before the semicolon), I tack the URLs that are allowed to request images:




Now, if you use an RSS feed reader to follow Aggro-Range, you’ve probably noticed that not all entries show images at all. That’s because WordPress doesn’t share featured images via RSS feed; by default, only images in the article show up in a feed reader. You can add that feature either via plugin or by adding a function to your theme. If you’d like to see how to make that change, let me know in the comments!

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