What Does Hotlinking Mean?

Hotlinking refers to when a website uses a link to another website to generate images or other files, rather than saving a copy of these files and installing them locally. Hotlinking effectively outsources the energy used to dispaly images or to load other kinds of files.


Techopedia Explains Hotlinking

Hotlinking can be prevented by different methods such as using .HTaccess files. However, as more versatile display tools are built into social media platforms like Facebook, some types of hotlinking are becoming more common. The idea of hotlinking involves the channeling of a photo from its original Internet source, which is made more possible by emerging standards in Internet provider services, such as better broadband and more automated Web hosting technologies. For example, older users or those who do not use social media as much may be surprised to see a pasted link auto-generate a picture. Like hotlinking, this relies on taking the image from its original source, which is a relatively new feature in certain kinds of automated Web posting tools.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.