Chapter
5

Linkage Knowledge:
Text Links

How do I create a download link for the ebook after I've uploaded it to my web site? And how do I turn a graphic image into a download link?

We know you're not knocking yourself out to learn HTML. And you shouldn't have to. In fact, the premise of this ebook is that you don't have to learn HTML, and you don't have know anything more than "just enough" to get by. In fact, you may even decide you don't want to bother with any of this, and are just curious about the way it works.

So here's the very least you need to know about this stuff.

Linkage strategy

For a download to work, your browser has to run into a link that triggers its download mechanism. You click a hyperlink that leads to a new page, and your browser opens the page, right? So, you click a hyperlink that leads to an executable file, or a zip file, and the browser's download mechanism is tripped. And the download begins.

If you didn't know anything about how this works, and we were tell you to copy and paste the following HTML snippet into your web site, could you do it? Sure. Of course we're assuming you're a bit more advanced than a total greenhorn, so we'll assume you know where to put the code snippet in relation the rest of the stuff on your page. You could put it right at the end of sentence, such as, "... to download, click here." Or, "... get your ebook now. Click to Download."

Here's your code snippet:

<a href="http://domain.com/ebooks/myfile.exe">Click to Download</a>

That line will show up on your web page like this: Click to Download. The fact that the link has an "exe" in it is enough to trigger the browser to start the download routine. And by the way, all linking is done just like this example. The only thing that changes is the domain name, or the page name after the domain name, or the filename after the domain name. The "<a href="http://" part is always the same.

You'll also notice that we've left off the "www" part of the domain. I wouldn't suggest you do that unless you know your server will resolve domain names without the "www" part in them. UNIX servers do this just fine. But I'm not going to venture out and say they all will. So if in doubt, don't go without. Keep those flying "dubyas" in there.

What does "resolve" mean? It means your server can turn the domain name without the www parts in it into the IP address (the number of your domain, such as 66.33.27.185).

Let's assume for the sake of show and tell that our domain is named domain.com and our directory (folder) that we've created is named ebooks and the name of our ebook file is myebook.exe. Here's the way your download link would look, leaving out the "www":

<a href="http://domain.com/ebooks/myebook.exe>Click Me</a>

Change "Click Me" to whatever makes sense in context with your site, of course. The "Click Me" part will be the hyperlink.

This answers the question: "How do I create download links to my ebooks? Remember, each link must be unique. You can't duplicate file names. So if you have a whole series of ebooks, just append an increasing digit on the end of each filename if needed: xrayvision1.exe, xrayvision2.exe, and so forth.

Note these rules:

1. No spaces allowed between words! If want to use an underscore character to join words, that's fine. For an example of that: "my_home_page.htm" is fine. But my "home page.htm" just doesn't make it.

2. Try to use all lowercase if you can. Resist the urge to capitalize! UNIX servers are picky about this, seeing a capital D as different from a lower case d.

3. Page names can end in .htm or .html.

4. A page name is case sensitive. A domain name is not. You can use MYDOMAIN.COM or mydomain.com or MyDomain.com. It's all the same to the server, since it will resolve the domain name into an IP address anyway. Then it "calls" the page that was asked for by the browser, and sends it off to be viewed. And it'll see Page.htm differently than it sees page.htm.

Now let's look at how to create graphical links.


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