Sometimes words don’t cut it. Maybe you need to share images, data or other file types that you cannot easily share on vanilla Joomla! Don’t let that stop you. The Dropfiles file manager for Joomla! lets you do just that: share any file on your blog. Only in version 5.6 of the Joomla! extension you can do much more with files than just share them.
With Dropfiles, you can get more control over your files by keeping track of how many times users downloaded them. In addition, you can give more control to your Joomla! users, with the possibility to download one of several files, or to download a batch of files as a ZIP file.
The Dropfiles file manager is slightly different than the one you use on your desktop. Apart from browsing files, you can use Dropfiles to share files with users on Joomla! That means you lose some control over who is accessing which files. However, the latest version of the plugin makes it easier to keep track of user downloads.
To get started, head to the configuration from the file manager. Under the main settings choose the advanced tab and switch on the option labelled track user download. The file manager automatically does all the work for you under the hood, allowing you to focus on sharing files.
After saving changes, you can view the download statistics as usual. You will notice a new option: download per users, which shows you a breakdown of file downloads and that you can filter by specifying user groups in the next field.
This new feature is useful if you need to see which types of files are most popular with which user groups. You can use this information as analytics to help you cater your offering, find out where to focus your efforts, or understand what different types of users look for on your website.
As a file manager, Dropfiles lets you organize your files into folders and sub-folders, or categories and sub-categories. That organization is also what allows you to share entire file categories with your Dropfiles users. However, there was one shortcoming in the past: users could only download a single file at a time. The latest version lets your Joomla! users download entire categories or a selection of files more easily.
To enable this functionality, head to the main settings of the Dropfiles plugin, and this time load the frontend tab. From here, make sure that the download category switch is toggled on and save changes.
You can share categories by creating an article as usual and inserting the category. Your users can choose to download all of the files in the folder using a new button in the top right. Dropfiles automatically zips the files before sending them. Alternatively, they can still choose to download files individually by clicking on them.
Sometimes, users may need to download a few files, but not all of them. To save bandwidth and to make it easier to download only the files they need, they can select which files they want to download and click on the button from before, which now reads download selected. Once again, Dropfiles automatically zips the selected files.
A good file manager gives you and your readers more control over files. Dropfiles is working towards that ideal. With user-based download statistics and the ability to download files in bulk, the file manager is one step closer to giving you and your readers complete control!