Transparent Overlay

You want to do everything you can to protect your work online and keep a visitor from downloading it, especially when it’s a photography client that may just download the image instead of paying you for prints.

Unfortunately, the only 100% sure way to keep your images from being downloaded is to not put them online. What you can do though is make it more difficult, and that’s what this plugin does.

The transparent overlay plugin puts a transparent image on top of your thumbnail and fullsized images inside of ProofBuddy. Since it’s transparent, visually there’s no difference. But if someone tries to right-click save, copy, or drag and drop the image out of their browser all they will get is a small transparent image; not the actual image.

How does it work?

Take a look at the image to the right. It’s displayed the same way that this plugin works.

The image itself is on a layer behind the transparent image. Go ahead and right click save that image. The file that you will save is called trans.gif and is a small, 1 pixel by 1 pixel transparent GIF file.

With this plugin your images inside ProofBuddy will have the same transparent overlay placed on them.

Not that this only affects images that are part of a ProofBuddy album. Nothing else on your site is affected.


This is probably one of the easiest installations of a plugin possible. You upload and activate the plugin and don’t have to do anything else. The plugin takes care of it.

And, if you want to turn it off you just deactivate the plugin and everything is back the way it was.

If you need a bit of help with uploading and activating a plugin, we’ve got a page for that.

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5 thoughts on “Transparent Overlay

    • No. We actually did something where image requests were run through a script in a previous version of ProofBuddy and it caused speed issues having to check sessions on every single image load so we left that out of the current version.

      Or, are you asking about right click, copy URL on the image itself? In that case, with this plugin it’ll copy the URL to the transparent image.

      • Hi Ryan, I really have to ask you how you justify charging $19 for this? Without having some kind of URL obfuscation incorporated, it’s next to useless. It literally took me less than 20 seconds to locate the URL for the image (×300.jpg) – an issue that I see was raised back in 2013. Sure, I know that anyone determined enough with a bit of know-how will find a work-around eventually but this wasn’t even tricky.
        Don’t get me wrong, there’s lots to love about ProofBuddy and I do but stuff like this makes me wonder how solid the rest of the code is.

        • The same way that a photographer can justify charging $10 and more for a 4×6 print that costs 19 cents in physical paper. The core ProofBuddy plugin is free. Thousands and thousands of lines of code and thousands of hours of time given away for free. Any income that we make comes from plugins.

          As far as getting the link to the image, yes, it’s possible. Several years ago I wrote a blog post on here that goes through several ways that visitors can get access to your images. The conclusion was that the only way to be 100% sure that no one can download your images is to not put them online at all. This plugin, along with the right click block and watermark plugins, solves a specific method that users can use to get an image. But, once the image is in the users browser, nothing can stop them from getting the image if they really want it.

          Same idea as pebbling prints or putting a big “PROOF” mark across them. Somebody dedicated enough can just scan the images and put them on Facebook.

          • I for one understand why people charge prices that they do and as soon as I am able to I will be purchasing the watermark plugin or this plugin (I am just beginning my business). When I first came to your site I couldnt believe that the main plugin was free. Thank you for that.

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