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How to Protect Images on Your Website From Being Copied

How to Protect Images on Your Website From Being Copied

Once exotic and reserved for artists only, photography has come a long way to one of the most lucrative business fields. Due to the social media revolution, millions of photos are made and published daily. Plus, thanks to constant technology improvements, professional cameras are no longer reserved exclusively for photography experts. Now, everyone can create high-resolution images that can be used for both personal and commercial purposes. This is good news having in mind that more and more industries need professional images daily. From marketing agencies, fashion studios to beauty companies – the list of businesses that use photographs is endless. Thus, it’s not surprising that the number of free and premium photo stock websites also rises. If photography is more than a hobby for you, there is a great opportunity for growing your revenue in a digital age. All you need is a good online portfolio and high-quality content that can capture your attention. But before you upload your images and start selling them, make sure your works are protected. In this article, you will learn how to protect images on the website with a few simple tricks.

Upload Low-Resolution Images

Before you upload your images on a website, make sure their resolution is low. The smaller size of images is a smart choice if you don’t want to slow down the website’s loading speed. The large image sizes can negatively affect search engine optimization as well. Luckily, there are many plugins you can use to optimize images in WordPress. When you add low-resolution images to your portfolio, your website will both rank better and look good on every device. However, when people download and print these images, they look pixelated and blurry. This prevents illegal usage without your consent. So, before you upload your images, take a few moments to change their resolution in Photoshop.

Compress Photos Before Uploading

Compress photos before uploading

Another good way of protecting images is compressing. This simple, yet effective method is great if you have basic skills but still want to make sure your work is safe. Use online compressors such as Compresspng to change your photos with one click.

Mark Your Work as Copyrighted & Include the Copyright Owner and Source

Include the copyright owner and source

Leave nothing to chance and add a copyright notice before you share your images with the world. Our advice is to create insightful source information that includes the copyright owner. Add this info on the lower margin so people can learn about their author right away. When you add a copyright notice, you’re sending the message that your work is your intellectual property and that it can’t be used without your permission. Thus, if someone steals your work, you will be able to take adequate legal steps.

Add a Watermark or Personal Logo

Watermarks are a common tool for protecting images. Famous image platforms such as iStock and Getty images use watermarks as well. Semi-transparent watermarks are used most often. Use your logo, signature, or a random text to protect your images from illegal usage. Also, make sure that your watermarks are big enough and hard to remove.

Disable Right-Click Functionality

Disable right-click functionality

When we run into a photo we like, we instantly use the right-click option to download it. To block the right-click functionality, dive into HTML or JavaScript or try amazing, easy-to-use tools. For example, WP Content Copy Protection & No Right Click plugin allows you to disable right-click functionality on the whole website for free. In case you want to use it on images only, go with the PRO version of this tool or try other plugins such as No right-click images plugin.

Hide Image URLs

If you’re already implemented the steps we previously mentioned, you might think that you’re good to go. In most cases, you are. However, some people are very creative when it comes to inventing new ways to use your original work. For instance, some thieves will embed your images directly on their websites. Then the images will be loaded directly from your site which can put an extra toll on your server. Fortunately, you can prevent this with an amazing WP Hide & Security Enhancer plugin.

Add a Terms of Use Statement

Real professionals know their rights and industry rules. If you’re one of them, don’t forget to add terms of use to your photography website. Here, you should emphasize a few things. Firstly, highlight your total ownership over all images on your site. Secondly, offer the licensing options to brands and creators who want to use some of your images for their projects. This may include attribution or even pricing for your works.

Disable Hotlinking

Another method that you should consider if you want to know how to protect images on the website is disabling hotlinking. This can be easily done by editing your .htaccess file. By making small changes in this file, you will be able to block hotlinking for good. However, this won’t prevent your images from being viewed on your site.

Take the Legal Action

As an artist and professional photographer, you should take your work seriously. So, don’t be afraid to go the extra mile to protect your photographs. If your images are being used without your permission and consent, feel free to file a DMCA takedown notice. This will, furthermore, lead to the next legal steps with the aim to get justice.

Let’s Wrap It Up

Being a professional photographer is an amazing career choice. But, knowing how to protect images on website is essential for growing and scaling the career. Protect your works with watermark or copyright statements, or upload low-resolution images so they can’t be used when printed. Show the world your talents without the fear and try different options for protecting your photographs. Good luck!

We hope this article was helpful. If you liked it, feel free to check out some of these articles as well!


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