Linking to Downloadable Files

Question: How can I create a link from my web page to a file that can be downloaded.
Anonymous

Answer: The easiest way to create links so that people can download files is to upload the files in a format that their web browser doesn't understand. Whenever your visitors click on a link and their browser doesn't understand how to handle the file format that the file is in it will offer them a chance to download the file instead.

No web browser regardless of which plug-ins are installed understands files in compressed format so that makes this a good format to use for files that you want to be downloadable plus, because the files are compressed, they will download faster.

The best compression format to use is .zip as most of your visitors will have either winzip (if they use windows) or stuff-it (if they use mac) and both of these programs use this format by default.

To compress a file from Windows if you have winzip installed just right click on the file, select the winzip entry from the menu, and then select the add to option that you want to use from the sub-menu. If your file is called abc.xyz then you might select Add to abc.zip. You then upload the zipped file to your web hosting service along with your web pages. The link to this file would be

 <a href="abc.zip">Download abc.zip</a>

After your visitor has downloaded the file they would then need to use their compression program in order to extract the original uncompressed file.

 

This article written by Stephen Chapman, Felgall Pty Ltd.

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