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Attack of the Big Red Button

As you travel around the web, you may start noticing a big red image. One that looks really out of place, and really big. If you do, than that’s the work of me.

// Image lost. Sorry. Zooomr ate it. //

When the Chicklet Creator was first created, I hosted all the images and people just linked to them on my site. That made it easy for users as they didn’t have to download or upload anything. Just copy the code and go. It turns out, that wasn’t a bright idea.

The issue is that now there are thousands of these button requests coming to my site. So many that it’s draining my resources and causing hosing issues. I have tried a blinking graphic in the past and that helped, but didn’t cure the issue. My host recently let me know that it was time to move to a Virtual Private Server which is significantly more than I’m paying now. However, in discussions with my host, they came up with a good idea; create images so big site owners will have to update. Brilliant!

So, starting yesterday, big red buttons are appearing in place of some feed button images that are linking back to I hate to be mean, but it has to be done. The image yesterday was 200×200 pixes and today it’s 300×300. At this rate, it’ll be over 1000×1000 in just one week. That’s how big of an issue this is.

To show you I’m not just plain mean, I did come across a hacked jpeg that’s 1000000×1000000. So large, that it’ll crash most browsers. I don’t see it coming to that, but WOW. The power. 😀

So, if you see these big red buttons, alert the site owner and share this URL: Or feel free to let me know and I’ll see if I can’t contact them. If they don’t pay attention to the big red images, they’ll notice when their users and site monitization goes down as usability will be greatly decreased.

8 Responses

  1. Andy Beard says:

    Did you think about using a 301 redirect?

    I might hit this problem with my LinkedIn Fast button, but I love the backlinks so pay the price.

    I have seen some buttons use Flickr but I am sure that is against the Flickr rules if you have a blog with advertising.

  2. Thomas says:

    Andy, the 301 redirect doesn’t stop all the requests. They still come to the site then get redirected. Good idea, but it didn’t work well.

  3. Jamie says:

    Took us long enough to notice, but we’ve fixed it! Well done on your success, and I love your Turing test. Original solution to the problem too…! 🙂

  4. Thomas says:

    Thanks Jamie. Every one helps.

  5. Paul says:

    I’m just wondering why you don’t just use the .htaccess file to disallow hotlinking?

  6. Thomas says:

    Good question Paul. The reason is that even if I disallow hotlinking, there are still hundreds (or more) of requests a minute to the domain. What I want to do is try and stop those requests instead of just blocking them as I think it’d be better on the server.

  7. Paul says:

    Well I learn something every day, thanks Thomas, that’s good to know!

  8. Thomas says:

    That’s my theory Paul. 🙂

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