Downloads

  1. Introduction to Downloads

    Downloads within the IPS Community Suite, provides for a great way to hold and categorise downloadable files on your site. These can be submitted by you and/or your members based on permissions, and will also integrate with commerce to allow for paid files. The best example of downloads can be seen on our own site here, in the marketplace. Thoughout the following guides in this section, you will be shown how to use the various features that are available within the downloads product.
  2. Creating Your Categories

    The first thing you will need to set up within downloads are your categories. You can set these up from the following location in your admin control panel. Community>Downloads>Categories Once you are here, you will see a screen similar to the below image. To create a new category, simply select the "Create new" button. You can also create sub categories to existing categories if you wish by selecting the + icon next to any existing category.   Once selected, you can give the new category a name, and you will see various settings that can be altered to your liking depending on what you are trying to achieve on your site.     On the submissions tab, you can limit what is allowed to be submitted to the category by filetype and size, along with allow for versioning of uploads. You will note that we actually use versioning on our own Marketplace using downloads ourselves.  Tip It can be useful to limit allowed extensions on categories. For example if you have a category for ebooks, you know that an ebook is not likely to be an exe file, and you will likely have a predefined list of file extensions they use, such as epub, pdf etc. This then helps with moderation of the sections by ensuring incorrect files are not submitted in an incorrect location in the first place.   In the same section, you can set up whether files must be approved, whether screenshots are needed or allowed, and various other limits on people submissions.   Within the error messages tab, you can customise what a user will see if they have no permissions to download or view the files within a category.  Tip Adding custom error messages can be useful if you require a subscription of download certain items. You can then tell them about your subscriptions within the message itself, and inform your members how to gain access.     In addition to other settings, you can have the system automatically create a topic in a forum of your choosing upon submission. This is used in our marketplace to create support topics for individual files.   Permissions Once you have created the categories that you wish to have on your downloads system, you will want to set up permissions for these. If you select the dropdown at the side of any category, you will see a permissions button which will take you to the permissions screen for that category. This will then allow you to select the permissions required on each of your user groups.
  3. Adding Extra Fields

    Within the download area on your site, you may find that there is additional information you wish for people to be able to enter on their downloadable items. For example, you may have an area where people produce their own applications and need to add co-authors or version numbers. The downloads application allows to to achieve this by adding extra fields. These can then be used per category. To add some extra fields, you will need to visit the following area in your admin CP. Community>Downloads>Extra Fields Once you are in this area, you will see a list of any existing extra fields. You can create a new on by selecting "Create New"   You can then fill in the details for your new field, including the field type. As an example below I have added one of field type "Member" which will allow the user to select a members name for the co-author of their application.    As another example, I have now also added a checkbox set which will allow the user to select the checkboxes which apply to their download such as whether it is free, or currently in beta   Within any category, you will see that these can be selected to be used on that particular category. So below you will see I have selected for the Co-Author field to be available within my "Files" Category.
  4. Paid Files & Other Settings

    Within downloads there are various other global settings that can be applied to your downloads area, and also setting regarding paid files which you can set. Warning Paid files will be unavailable if you do not have the commerce application installed, as these is a tight integration between the two applications.   Basic Settings You can get to the basic settings of downloads from Community>Downloads>Settings>Basic Settings within  your admin CP. From her eyou can set up whether or not watermarks are applied to any uploaded screenshots, and other global settings such as allowing direct linking to files on other sites.   Paid Settings If you have the commerce application installed, you can also allow paid files to be added to the downloads are by your users. You can find these settings within Community>Downloads>Settings>Paid Files Settings. You will notice within here, you can set commission for the site to earn on whatever is sold by the user within your downloads area. This can be a good source of revenue for your site.
  5. Files from URLs and the file system

    Within the downloads system, you can allow using URLs for download submission, and also link things directly from your file system. If you edit any of your groups, and select the downloads tab, you will see a series of options which can select on a group by group basis.  Charging for files If you have a license for the commerce application, you can allow users to charge for files. This is similar to how it is used within the marketplace on our own site. You can see more information on this in the following guide Can submit multiple files at once? People without this setting, will only be able to upload single files at a time.   Can submit URLs? This option will allow for people to use a URL to a file, rather than uploading a file. Note that people can only link to an external URL, if that setting is allowed within the main Downloads settings.   Can import files from the filesystem? This will allow linking to files which are already uploaded somewhere onto the server, using your servers internal filesystem. Note that you should only ever enable this for trusted groups such as staff groups.   When additional ways of submitting files, such as URL and filesystem, are allowed. The user will see further options above the upload window that can be selected to use these options, as shown in the screenshot below.