Image Web Hosting: How to protect your work

No image web host can protect your images completely - face it, if your photos are online, and someone wants to copy them bad enough, they will find a way. But there are a number of things you can do to make it more difficult! Some of these hints rely on a top image website hosting company; others are squarely up to you.

Watermarks. Image web hosts will offer you specific gallery tools, which offer a number of protective features you should avail of. Putting a watermark on your photo is one of these. A watermark can be anything - your domain name, a copyright statement, even an image. This means that any time someone goes to the image web host and tries to download your pic, that watermark will be on it. This does slightly distort your image for others' enjoyment, but it may also prevent them from taking your marked photograph and adding it to their site.

Low resolution. By putting a low-resolution version of your photo up online, you ensure that the only way it can be used is online. If an image thief steals your picture, at least it'll be too small to enlarge without distortion. It'll also be next to impossible to use in any printed media, such as a newspaper or magazine. Save your images as 72 dpi for Internet use; you'll want to keep larger versions on hand for printing or publication.

Use Flash to display your slideshow or gallery. By using Flash to display your images, you do make it more difficult to simply "right-click and copy." This may not work for everyone or every page layout, but you may want to make sure your image website hosting provider offers Flash support before you sign on.

Use tables. You can embed your images as the background of a table; this will make it more difficult to copy and paste. As more advanced and time-consuming method is to cut your image into several images, and then paste them back together using an HTML table. Any image thief trying to get the better of your image web host will have his work cut out for him!



Use Javascript. If your image web host supports Java - and it should - you can use JavaScript to disable the right click function. Of course this disables the right click for all other functions as well, so think carefully about the functionality of your website before doing this.

Look for security features. You want your web host to be reliable and offer the top security features - you may want to back up your images, install anti-virus software, or look for an anti-spam tool. See our list of Top 10 Secure Hosting Companies for more information.

Protecting your images and your image web host does take some time and diligence. But with some patience, and a good image website hosting service, you'll be on your way.

Check out our list of Top 10 Shared Web Hosting Companies for some solid image website hosting choices.

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