Just recently I was watching a TV program and decided to visit the website of the guest. I loved the images on there. Nicely done. I noticed as the site was loading… there was activity coming from Photobucket. Why did this stick out?
Over the past couple of months I’ve been contacted about images that have disappeared from websites. The first person said their logo and social media buttons were missing. The second issue was actually submitted to me by another developer. She asked me to take a look at a website that had come through their support area for attention. All of the background images and icons were gone from the entire website.
Tracking down the missing images
What was shown in place of their images was a background of this image. Why did this happen? Well, reviewing the linked URL (hovering over the image and looking at the bottom left corner of my screen), their images were actually connected to the developer’s Photobucket account and not stored inside their website or on their hosting account. When the developer deleted the file folder from their Photobucket account and along went all of the images. In both cases, the clients indicated that their former developer never informed them that they were deleting these images.
I reach out to the guest of the television show and pointed this out to her – that her custom images were linked to her developer’s account. I advised her that she should download, then upload them and rewrite the URLs. If not, she could be in the same boat as the two other ladies who lost their images. She wrote me back, thanked me and said she would do it immediately.
How to fix missing images on your website?
This doesn’t just happen with images linked on Photobucket. If your developer transferred your site from a staging area, there’s a possibility that your images could be stored and rendered from the staging area if they did not validate the URLs when they completed the job. Once the developer deletes the staging area, there’s a good chance all of the images will be deleted too.
It’s a pretty good practice to go and check all the URLs, your hosting account and even your Media Directory to see where all of your images are stored.
The first thing I would do is if a developer or graphics designer created custom images for me to request those images via email so you will have them. You’ve paid for them so you should have copies for yourself.
The second thing I would do is open up my themes style.css file. Look for any image URLs in there that point somewhere other than your domain name. If you do not see any in that file, they may have created a custom.css file for you. Check that. If you see images that do not have your domain name in the URL, that means they are pointed somewhere else and could be deleted by that person at some point. These would need to be replaced with your domain hosted images.
One more thing to note – when images are stored by a third party application – most backup systems will not be able to back up those images. Make it a point to have your images stored in your website so they will be included in the back up process.
I hope you found this tip helpful!