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I want to allow people to download files from my site, but I do not have something called an FTP server. What can I do?

FTP is one of the protocols that is used on the internet. It actually stands for File Transfer Protocol. Since it is not the same service as Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), it requires its own server. To be a bit more precise, it requires a special service running on the computer to support requests for file transfers.

Most likely, you want to provide what is known as anonymous FTP service. This is when a person can simply download a file by clicking a link without having to log on to a server. As with most things in life, more services mean more money. If you do not have access to an anonymous FTP server, there is a way to get a similar effect for free!

Normally, a link to a file available for download on an FTP server might look like this:

<A HREF="ftp://bignosebird.com/cardcgi.zip">
Download the Greeting Card Program</A>
To accomplish the same thing without using FTP, set up the link as follows:
Please Shift-Click then Save to
<A HREF="http://bignosebird.com/cardcgi.zip">
Download the Greeting Card Program</A>
At this point you must be scratching your head a bit. Okay, here is the big secret. We simply changed the ftp: to http: in the anchor tag. Since the browser does not know a file is about to be downloaded, you must instruct the reader to either Shift-Click or Right-Click on the link, then select either save link or save target depending on the browser.

That's all there is to it!



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