How: takes customer to download link


I have a website that I sell my crochet patterns on. How would I learn to code, or find someone to code the following:

I want when the person has paid through paypal, to be emailed a link protected by a password where they can download the pattern.

I am always emailing customers the pattern after I see they have paid… and to me it is sometimes hard and people can be impatient :stuck_out_tongue: And I also see this as being more professional.

Is this a difficult thing? Is it a difficult thing to learn how to do… or this is a grandscale thing where I have to hire someone… if I have to hire someone I am sure it will cost much more than I can afford, and if so… What other options do you think I have with this to make it more professional and efficient?

By the way, if you need to see my site it is at:


One way you could do it is to create a folder that is protected with an .htaccess file. You can go to the goodies > webdav section of the control panel, pick your domain, and then choose configure a new directory. That allows you to setup a username/password protected folder.

There are other, more elegant ways of doing this; however, you’ll probably have to get the help of a web developer.

Simon Jessey | Keystone Websites
Save $97 on yearly plans with promo code [color=#CC0000]SCJESSEY97[/color]


yes… that I do for when customer has problems receiving my email with pattern attached… I love having that here!

When they download from my directory- does it take up a lot of bandwidth- like how does that compare to sending them the file as an email attachment?

How much would one estimate (range) would it cost to have someone design it such that they would automatically be emailed the link and password to the correct file? I know this would be hard to figure since there is most likely a great difference in fees for designers… but ball park so I have an idea what to look at down the line… This is all so new to me… at least it is all something I can look at for down the road…


I don’t know what plan you are on, but unless you have absolutely thousands of customers downloading each month, I think the bandwidth consumption would be trivial.

As I think you already suspect, that’s a “how long is a piece of string?” question. All you really need is:

  1. A folder for the PDFs that is protected from the outside world by .htaccess
  2. A database file with 3 tables (users, files, and a join table of both)
  3. An admin panel that allows you to grant or deny password holders access to files
  4. A web page that displays links to all the files accessible by a particular user (which may be one or more patterns, presumably) - sort of like a digital locker

Something like that is 2 or 3 hours of work, I would imagine, unless someone has a pre-built package that does the job. Probably somewhere in the region of $100-300, maybe? I normally design whole websites (rather than little bits, as it were), so it’s a little hard to estimate. Someone here might be up for doing it for fun if you’re lucky!

Simon Jessey | Keystone Websites
Save $97 on yearly plans with promo code [color=#CC0000]SCJESSEY97[/color]


I’ve just had another idea. I don’t have a copy of Adobe Acrobat, so I cannot check, but I’m pretty sure that you can save PDF files so that cannot be opened without a password.

If you give each of your PDF files a unique password, you can safely leave the files “in the wild” because they can only be unlocked by your customers once they have been given the password. It should be relatively easy for you to automate issuing a password during the PayPal process, since you can easily store the PDF filename/password combination in an array (or a database, if the number of patterns gets unwieldy).

Simon Jessey | Keystone Websites
Save $97 on yearly plans with promo code [color=#CC0000]SCJESSEY97[/color]


Thank you for all the info… as per the tables… hmm unknown territory to me… I guess I better start learning! Or find someone maybe up for the job…

As for the Adobe… I am using a freeware form of it until I save up for the real bonefide thing so it does not have that nice password option… ><

One of these days I will get the site redone by a professional since I only know the basics of HTML… right now what is fun I am leanring about image maps and redoing my logo with photoshop making links and such that go along with my “theme”


I’ve been looking for a way to encrpty pdf on the fly… thank you so much for that link!

Joining Dreamhost? Save money with savemula


That’s a stroke of genius, Bob. The customers of the original poster already need to download the Adobe Reader to access the PDFs, so it is likely that they will be quite happy to download a Zip application that will open the protected zip file - many will already have that capability. As far as the encryption strength is concerned, with utilities like this (first Google hit of “zip password”), it isn’t up to much; however, we are talking about crochet patterns here, not plans for a bomb made with depleted uranium.

There was some guy asking about doing something similar with MP3 files, and this technique would work with those as well.

Simon Jessey | Keystone Websites
Save $97 on yearly plans with promo code [color=#CC0000]SCJESSEY97[/color]


I’ve been running this for a few years, as well as other BOINC stuff. I’m beginning to wonder if there is any such thing as idle CPU minutes though, what with all this downloading of perfectly legal torrents, etc.

Simon Jessey | Keystone Websites
Save $97 on yearly plans with promo code [color=#CC0000]SCJESSEY97[/color]


[quote] (4) pdftk

Get DH to install this, which should be easy since it’s available as Debian package.

For what it is worth, I asked DH about this once before, and after considerable discussion they politely, but emphatically, delclined to install tk on their shared server. They determined that it could introduce loading and stability problems to the environment; hard to argue with that.