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Thread: Need Web File Downloading Method

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    4

    Need Web File Downloading Method

    Hi Everybody,

    I've been searching for an easy way to allow a client to download a file from my web site. Haven't found anything that helps. I'd like to code a download button in my html (using form post code perhaps) and then let the magic happen. I assume I need to code something that resides on my Microsoft hosted site that somehow pushes the file back to my client.

    My hosting service does not allow more than 1 ftp client at this time, so I can't just make an ftp account/folder to make it all simple.

    Any help understanding the process would be much appreciated. At this point, I don't even know where to begin, including the type of code (language) I need to use at the server end. I use CoffeeCup as my html editor.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    177
    Why not just put a link to it - then the user can click on the link and save the file.

    <a href="filefordownload.pdf">Download my awesome PDF!</a>

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    American, living in Toronto, ON. CANADA
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    6,746
    Something like this: http://www.ossweb.com/article-16.html

    but this:
    Quote Originally Posted by imagecoder
    ....My hosting service does not allow more than 1 ftp client at this time, so I can't just make an ftp account/folder to make it all simple...
    would make it difficult I suppose. Can't you make a "public folder" that doesn't require username/password (I guess it is also called "anonymous login"??). In this "public folder", you place whatever 'downloadable file' you wish to referance via URL in your HTML document.
    This should let anyone that wants to 'download my awesome *PDF file here' download the file... (no login required, as it is "public")..
    I build for: Firefox and tweak for IE

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    4
    Thanks eCat.
    I tried that and it didn't work for me. My files are images that I'm selling to a client. When I try using your <a> method, the browser tries to display the image. I did see in a Client Side thread that referring to a zipped file works. I tested that and was able download an image. The down side is that my client has to know how to unzip the file after or during the download. Anyway, that's what I'm going with for this client so I can get the images delivered.

    I still prefer a simpler solution for my clients. I think that means having a server side program of some sorts.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    4
    Hi WebJoel,

    I wrote a reply to you and clicked on the post button. While I was writing the reply, I was automatically logged off. My reply was rejected. Extemely irritating!!!

    Anyway, like I indicated in my reply to eCat, I used the zipped file method mentioned in the article you provided a link to. Thanks for the link. It validated that method.

    The files I'm trying to download are images that a client has purchased. Thus, I don't want anybody else to get to them. Right now, I've created a directory on my website that is not linked to from anywhere. I put an exclusion for it in my robots.txt file and included a meta exclusion for it in the index.html file in that directory. I'm hoping that those 2 things will keep the bots from listing it. I'll provide my client with a link to the index file so he can download his images. Later, I'll delete the directory from my website so nobody else can get the files.

    I don't like this method and would like something better and more secure. I can't count on having computer-savy clients and need something simple for them to use. I figure that means I need to write some kind of server side program that will push the requested file down to my client. Although I know and understand html, I'm not yet savy about client/server type operations and don't even know where to start looking.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    177
    +1 to imagecoder!! I too hate getting kicked off this forum on a regular basis... just happened to me again!

    Anyway - you're right... if the file you want the user to download is an image file, the link method won't work. So I agree with your zip solution. I think that zip technology has been around long enough that the majority of users will know what to do with it. You can also put instructions on your download page (or in your email that has the link) for the end user.

    In some cases you may also be able to email them the exact url of the image so they can grab it right off your site.

    eCat

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    4
    I think the zip method is working for me with this client at least. I haven't heard back since I sent directions on how to get the files.

    I've been surprised in the past how many people on the web don't understand it at all and are afraid to experiment. I'd like to keep things simple for my clients, but maybe this is as good as it gets right now.

    Thanks - imagecoder

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