The Basics Of Setting Up Downloadable Files On Your Website
Setting up files that are downloadable from your website is a very simple process. However, there are a couple of issues you will need to consider before choosing to do so. Security File size Since security is obviously the most important of these two issues, we will be discussing it first. Before we get into how to secure the files on your server, I would like to say, if it is a file you intend on selling, you should seriously consider using one of the many paid file delivery services out there. The main reason for using a service like this is they can ensure the security of your file via encryption methods you can’t duplicate on your server. If you choose to house your own downloads.
There are a few techniques you can utilize to ensure the security of your downloadable files, on your server. Create a new directory under your home or public HTML directory. Then upload your downloadable files to the directory you created. Also upload a blank HTML page to the directory you created and name it index.html.
Using this technique will not interfere with your download. However, it will stop unauthorized people, ie, hackers, from viewing or copying the contents of your download directory. Password protect your downloadable file. This technique would require the use of an auto responder to deliver the password for the file upon an event taking place at your website, ie, signing up for your mailing list or the purchase of a product. This technique offers more security then the first one I mentioned. Even if someone did manage to steal your file, it would be of no use to them because they wouldn’t have the password to open it. Download protection software. There are many software programs on the market you can purchase and run on your server to protect your downloads. But using one of the file delivery services I mentioned earlier is much cheaper and easier on you as the site owner. If you choose to use a download protection script you will need to install it on your server and maintain it yourself.
After you have chosen the method of security that best suits your needs, the next thing you will need to consider is the size of the file you want to make available to your users. If it is a single file it really isn’t that big of a problem. However, if you’re selling or giving away an e-book with resale rights, the file would likely include a sales page, order page, thank you page and an images file that would take up a lot of space on your server. You can compress your files to make them smaller, using file compression software like Win zip. Win zip compresses your files and puts them into a self extracting file. When your user clicks on the file, it will extract itself to whatever directory your user chooses on their PC. It is also a very good idea to scan your files for viruses, before making them available to your users. Don’t risk spreading a virus to your customers through one of your downloads. Now that you have prepared you downloadable files you are ready to upload them to your server. You can accomplish this task by using an FTP program or by using the file upload function in your web hosting control panel.
If the file is small, then the file upload function of your web hosting control panel should work fine. But if your file is very large or you’re uploading multiple files, you should use an FTP program to get the job done faster. Now that you have prepared and uploaded your files, you are ready to make them available to your users, Place links to the downloadable files on the appropriate Pages, ie. Thank you or Download. If you are giving away a free gift as an incentive to sign up for your newsletter, include your download link on your “thank you for signing up page.” If your downloadable file is a product you’re selling, include the download link on a download page your payment processor redirects your customer to, upon completion of the transaction. Examples Of What The Links Should Look Like http:// your web site/download directory you created/file name Once your customer clicks on the link, the download process will begin automatically. Your customer’s browser will open a “save as window,’’ which will allow your customer to save your file onto their computer. The last thing you will need to do is test your link to ensure it is working properly. If you click on the link and nothing happens, verify you have written your link properly.
Also check to ensure you have placed the files in the proper directory. Sometimes spelling can also be a problem, so check to ensure you have spelled everything properly. If after checking everything it is as it should be, contact your web hosting company for support.
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