SigGen and bandwidth

A signature and avatar generator addon

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SigGen and bandwidth

Postby Jaax » Tue Apr 17, 2007 11:16 am

I'm somewhat new to this, so bear with me please :oops:

I would like to make it so that my guild mates can create signatures and avatars using this addon, but I don't want it to use up all my bandwidth.

My concern is that if I allow images to be saved into my sig or ava directories, that people will begin linking their signature and avatar not only on my guild forums but everywhere else as well. I have limited bandwidth on my server and I don't want everyone taking it up by linking avatars and signature images all over the place.

For instance, using the signature and avatar on my guild forum, and then say the wowroster forums, and the World of Warcraft forums. Now, if they did this, every single person who got on the wow forums (a lot of people) who read that persons post, would link to my server in a sense to view the image. I know the images are small, but if you have that image being linked up all over the place by 100+ guildies - I'm assuming that can take up a lot of bandwidth from my server. Is this correct or no? I'm assuming this because I often see people who host clipart and such with big text saying 'do not link through us, save picture as! you're using up our bandwidth'

Is there a way to make it so people can right click and save picture as, so its saved on their own hard drive and they have to find their own place to host the photo (like photobucket.com). Or a way for people to use the avatars/signature for ONLY the guild roster and forum?

I've thought about getting like a geocities website and just creating sig and ava folders there, and hosting the images through that site.... but I don't know if this is possible or not, or how to go about setting up the links in my scripting.

Any recommendations, ideas, etc? Thanks =)
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SigGen and bandwidth

Postby MattM » Tue Apr 17, 2007 11:35 am

I think this is what the E-tag is for. Maybe the WIkI explains what the etag is
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Re: SigGen and bandwidth

Postby Jaax » Tue Apr 17, 2007 11:46 am

MattM wrote:I think this is what the E-tag is for. Maybe the WIkI explains what the etag is


I went to the Wiki to look that up, and only found etag mentioned in 2 spots.

Etag cacheing (lovin' the reduced server load!)

( etag=[ 1 | 0 ] ) Turns on/off "eTag" caching


Not quite sure what that means, what it does, or how to use it :scratch:
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SigGen and bandwidth

Postby zanix » Tue Apr 17, 2007 2:17 pm

It is on by default
What is does is tell the browser that the image can be cached when accessing the actual generator file (sig.php?member=NAME)

Here is a link to the best info I could find (it has to do with rss feeds, but the concept is the same) http://www.feedparser.org/docs/http-etag.html

etag in SigGen is based on the character's last update time (when they upload CP.lua) and the database version number

As for right clicking save as, nothing is stopping them from doing so (just make sure you save it right, the browser will try to save as sig.php, just rename to whatever.png)
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Re: SigGen and bandwidth

Postby Jaax » Sun Apr 22, 2007 10:30 pm

zanix wrote:It is on by default
What is does is tell the browser that the image can be cached when accessing the actual generator file (sig.php?member=NAME)

Here is a link to the best info I could find (it has to do with rss feeds, but the concept is the same) http://www.feedparser.org/docs/http-etag.html

etag in SigGen is based on the character's last update time (when they upload CP.lua) and the database version number

As for right clicking save as, nothing is stopping them from doing so (just make sure you save it right, the browser will try to save as sig.php, just rename to whatever.png)


I'm a noob, and didn't understand anything that was in that link.. I apologize :oops: I currently have my Etag set to yes, but I don't know if thats what I want or not.

I have opened up the website for guild members to use, and they are already finding the links to their signatures and avatars, and linking them to other sites through my server. (setting up using http://www.mysite.com/roster/addons/sig ... =CHARACTER )

What I would like is for them to see these images and right click - save, and figure out where they are gonna host this image themselves.

Is there a way to hide the links from everyone... or is this just a downside to having guildies that don't listen to the "don't link from my site".

Thank you again =)
Last edited by Jaax on Sun Apr 22, 2007 10:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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SigGen and bandwidth

Postby jkibbles » Sun Apr 22, 2007 11:13 pm

First things first, let's talk about why you want to stop people from linking to the images. You are worried (understandably) about the hotlinking using up your bandwidth. However, unless you are with a host that gives you an insanely (criminally?) low amount of transfer, you shouldn't have to worry about it.

If the images are saved in png format, they average right around 70kb per file. In order to use up even 1 gig of bandwidth, the pictures would have to be viewed somewhere around 15,000 times in total. If you are using even a decent free webhost, you should be getting a minimum of 5 gigs of transfer alloted to you per month. As long as you aren't hosting huge files for download, I'd say you are pretty safe.

The downside to having your guildies host the images themselves is that they won't automatically update along with the roster. Now, as long as your guildies are all end-gamers, this isn't a problem. But, if your guild is still moving up in ranks, this means that every time a guildie levels he/she will have to rehost the image from siggen. Not real convenient for the guildies.

There are ways to stop people from hotlinking the images to other sites, but 1) it shouldn't be necessary and 2) it would involve a bit of code editing. The basic forms of avoiding hotlinking probably wouldn't work correctly (could be wrong, haven't tested this yet), so you would have to edit the siggen and possibly roster files in order to take out the links and also to keep people from being able to view the page source and get the links that way.
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Re: SigGen and bandwidth

Postby Jaax » Mon Apr 23, 2007 8:09 am

jkibbles wrote:First things first, let's talk about why you want to stop people from linking to the images. You are worried (understandably) about the hotlinking using up your bandwidth. However, unless you are with a host that gives you an insanely (criminally?) low amount of transfer, you shouldn't have to worry about it.

If the images are saved in png format, they average right around 70kb per file. In order to use up even 1 gig of bandwidth, the pictures would have to be viewed somewhere around 15,000 times in total. If you are using even a decent free webhost, you should be getting a minimum of 5 gigs of transfer alloted to you per month. As long as you aren't hosting huge files for download, I'd say you are pretty safe.

The downside to having your guildies host the images themselves is that they won't automatically update along with the roster. Now, as long as your guildies are all end-gamers, this isn't a problem. But, if your guild is still moving up in ranks, this means that every time a guildie levels he/she will have to rehost the image from siggen. Not real convenient for the guildies.

There are ways to stop people from hotlinking the images to other sites, but 1) it shouldn't be necessary and 2) it would involve a bit of code editing. The basic forms of avoiding hotlinking probably wouldn't work correctly (could be wrong, haven't tested this yet), so you would have to edit the siggen and possibly roster files in order to take out the links and also to keep people from being able to view the page source and get the links that way.


Thank you for explaining that, it actually makes a lot more sense now. I actually kind of feel like an idiot now because my hosting server allows 1,000GB transfer bandwidth a month.... I just tend to get lost when it comes to kb, mb, gb, etc.

I have my personal website and the guild website hosted through this same server, and my personal website is mostly all graphics. But according to what your saying, the sigs and avatars shouldn't take up that much.

So my last question, which I don't think even matters anymore, do I want Etag on yes or no?

Thank you all again for your help, I really appreciate it :thumright:
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SigGen and bandwidth

Postby zanix » Mon Apr 23, 2007 10:17 am

e-tag does help with reducing the load on your server
If someone sees that sig image, it is stored in their browser cache and it is only ever re-downloaded if that player updates their data

So it helps, a little bit, but it helps
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