They're your images, all yours.
In that case, why bother publishing them? You can always enjoy them offline. Publishing your work is supposed to be (at least partially, in some way) a service to others. Publishing it on the Internet, doubly so.
You've received compliments on them, they're one of a kind, they're your pride and joy. Are you concerned about people stealing them from your website?
Personally, I am not. But there certainly are people that are concerned. But then, again, there are people who are concerned about alien invasion, too...
If you are, what do you do to try and prevent that from happening? I'm curious because I like photography and I anticipate building my first website using WP.
It's hard to accept (especially for an artist), but the fact is, the world is drowning in art. Every decent museum in the world (and most half-decent ones) has a collection that is between three and ten times bigger than what they have room to display (so most of the world's art today languishes in back rooms). With photography, it's even worse, as there are way more people that snap cameras than people that draw, paint, or sculpt. As a result, there is very little money in art, and what money there is is mostly earned by (or, more precisely, falls into the lap of) very few artists who happened to become fashionable in their lifetime. So while I do understand the annoyance factor, I also think that trying to protect images on a Web site is not worth the effort, as the effort seems to be more expensive than the assets being protected.
As to stealing bandwidth through hot-linking, is it really that big of a deal, especially if images are watermarked, so you get to display your credits no matter what? Not to mention the fact that you can always make it someone else's bandwidth by hosting your images on any photo sharing site...