Think Creative Collective

The Easiest Way to Send Files and Create a Click to Download Link

Tech Tutorials, Marketing MadnessAllie WalkerComment

Guest Post by Jessica Stansberry, Hey Jessica, LLC

I’m so excited to be here on the TCC blog - again - and, it won’t be the last of me either (insert evil laugh here).

I want to give you a REALLY simple tip to help make things in your life easier, especially if you’re sending files a lot (like providing a “download here” link in emails).

Did you know that you can use free and low-cost file hosting sites like Dropbox and Google Drive to host any files you need to send AND you can make the link be a “forced download” so that when someone clicks it, the files will automatically download the file for them and NOT take them to the place where your file is hosted?

Did you know that you can use free and low-cost file hosting sites like Dropbox and Google Drive to host any files you need to send AND you can make the link be a “forced download” so that when someone clicks it, the files will automatically download the file for them and NOT take them to the place where your file is hosted? | Think Creative Collective

 

So, let’s talk about Dropbox first (because it’s easiest and my favorite).

Did you know that when you send someone a Dropbox link to a file that you want them to download that it takes them to Dropbox online and they have to take a few more steps to download it?

Well...it does.

So, when you provide a link like this:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/72go9jvokudsidb/gmailextensions.pdf?dl=0

(which is the link you get when you ask to "copy dropbox link" within your dropbox account), it takes them to a screen that looks like this (obviously YOUR file will be in the place of where mine is right now).

They then have to click the link at the top to download it. So it's more work for them, which can be super annoying.

Another reason this is not so great is because there are some people who don't have a Dropbox account or just hate it - so they'll get a notification that Dropbox wants them to create an account and they're not going to like that much (not that they HAVE to but it could be annoying).

So, there's a solution.

All you have to do is change the "0" at the VERY END of your Dropbox link to a "1".

Yes, that's it.

So instead of this

https://www.dropbox.com/s/khq6f4ju732la2p/Screenshot%202016-03-30%2014.22.39.png?dl=0

You'd have something like this

https://www.dropbox.com/s/khq6f4ju732la2p/Screenshot%202016-03-30%2014.22.39.png?dl=1

"Then what happens?", you ask.

Well, their computer will AUTO-download the file straight to their downloads folder (or wherever they have it set to go to when they download things from the internet) and they will never even see Dropbox.

Alright, now, what if you use Google Drive?

Well, it’s a LITTLE more complicated but still doable and you can totally keep the code I’m going to give you in Trello to keep it accessible.

Follow these steps:

  • Copy your shareable link either from the desktop version or on the drive.google.com version.

So, in this example, my sharing link is

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1AUt3lcnOpDAqMpBoq4k7bMOAH7negz6PWLc_MKgIqvI/edit?usp=sharing

  • Take note of the "file ID" that directly follows the part of the link that reads "file/d/". In this example it is: 1AUt3lcnOpDAqMpBoq4k7bMOAH7negz6PWLc_MKgIqvI

  • Determine what type of file you’re sharing (is it a doc, PDF, JPG, spreadsheet, presentation?) and use the chart below to determine which link you need to use as a template:

Doc (.docx, etc)
https://docs.google.com/document/d/FILE_ID/export?format=doc

PDF (You can also use this link to turn a DOC file into a PDF on download)
https://docs.google.com/document/d/FILE_ID/export?format=pdf

Spreadsheet (Will download as a spreadsheet)
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/FILE_ID/export?format=xlsx

Spreadsheet (That will download as a PDF)
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/FILE_ID/export?format=pdf

Presentation (Will download as a presentation)
https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/FILE_ID/export/pptx

Presentation (Will download as a PDF)
https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/FILE_ID/export/pdf

  • Replace the very end piece of the link above that reads "FILE_ID" with the FILE ID you copied in step #2. Your link will now look like (using the doc example link):  

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1AUt3lcnOpDAqMpBoq4k7bMOAH7negz6PWLc_MKgIqvI/export?format=doc

    YOU'RE DONE!

    Whoever clicks that link will have the file it links to auto-download to their computer.

When will this come in handy? When delivering files to your audience or clients! One way that I use this ALL THE TIME is to use this (well, the Dropbox version) to deliver freebies to the people who opt-in to my list.

If you’d like a video version of this post, it can be found below:

Thanks for having me today, Abagail & Emylee, and I hope you guys are sitting there with smoke flowing from your ears because your mind.is.blown.


About the Author

Jessica Stansberry is THE Jessica behind Hey Jessica, LLC, an online content machine designed to help you figure out the moving parts of the technical systems needed to run your business.

Jessica Stansberry, Hey Jessica, LLC


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