Change a PDF

Hi Guys,

I don’t know well how to formulate my question.
I have a potential client who would like to be able to change the catalogue online (PDF) without disturbing me.
He’s not an IT guy and I don’t code :sweat_smile:
So, you can imagine the dream team.
Anyway, everything I shown is fine, but this point is one that is blocking him to sign with me for the moment.
So, if you have any idea how I can make it simple (avoiding asking him to use an FTP app for example) it would be great.

Thanks in advance,

I think you have little choice but to use an ftp app unless your client had direct access to the hosting company’s file manager. By having direct access, your client would simply upload the revised PDF from time to time, overwriting the previous one. As long as the pdf file has the same name, everything should work fine.

As an alternative, you could create an ftp account for your client, but one that limits access to just the directory where the PDF is stored. You could then set up a free ftp app on the client’s computer and configure it for him to access the account you’ve created. This could be saved as a default bookmark. All the client will then have to do is fire up the ftp app, select the bookmark connection and drag the PDF file into the upload window. It may take a few minutes of training, but the process is simplicity itself. If you set the account up correctly, your client will be unable to stray outside of the designated directory, thereby giving very good damage limitation if something doesn’t work.

Another option that I’ve used for clients who simply can’t handle FTP or file manager, is to create a hidden html form in a password protected subdirectory on the site. The form itself contains a file upload field and gets passed to a script on the server. The script I commonly use is the free Tectite Formmail script. This script can be configured to do a number of things, such as limit the size of uploaded files, rename uploaded files, and send the uploaded file to a specific file repository location on the server. All these features make a simple and foolproof file replacement option that clients can use easily. The simply enter the URL of the upload form, supply the designated password and add their file to the upload field. The script does everything else. You can find instructions on how to configure the script HERE.

In these circumstances I tell my clients that I charge a nominal sum for small updates. Depending on the frequency, you can come to some agreement. I had a client contact me a week or so ago saying they needed a link removed from their website. It took all of five minutes and I didn’t charge them. If it happened every week it might be different.

Hendon52 probably has the best viable solution for frequent updates.

Thanks, your last option seems to be the one I’m looking for, but I don’t really get how to do it.
In the example you gave me it seems that it’s for a website built with PHP, no?
Because it says “The setting is in the server’s php.ini file and is called upload_tmp_dir.”, but I don’t have a php.ini in my server :slight_smile:

If you don’t have php on your server it will be almost impossible to have any automated upload facility. Most facilities will require some form of scripted solution. My advise would be to upgrade your hosting to include PHP. This way, you will be able to use things like the Blocs form processing script, plus a host of other things that clients may need in the future. Most web hosts now include PHP as standard so it shouldn’t cost you any more than you are probably paying at present - unless or course it’s a free service.

Hum, I’m not sure we talk about the same thing, but I have phpAdmin options in my cpanel.
So, I can create a php/Mysql website if I want…but I don’t have the skills for it. So, my actual websites have nothing related to php.
I hope I answer well. Maybe I miss your point, which could be a possibility regarding my limited knowledge.
So, the server is not the problem, but my incapacity to code anything php :slight_smile:

The more I think about my problem and restrictions, the more I think I should create a page with a password with a button giving the FTP address as the brothers manage the ftp nowadays it should be the easiest option.
What do you think about it?
Now, I have to know how to make a page with a limited access (ID and password :-))

Just thinking outside the box here, but would it be possible linking to a location in Dropbox or Google drive, then have the client change the file there as needed, while retaining the same name?

Hum, I’m not a big fan of this option because it means that everybody would have to also access drop box or Google Drive to get the catalogue.
I’m not against this option if I would have to manage many docs, but in my case it looks more professional to avoid a google service or others. Sound like having a website, but having an email ending with :slight_smile:

The aim would simply be to make a single file public with a specific link, which I gather is their objective unless I have misunderstood their requirements. The client would alter the file on their own dropbox account themselves. According to this link you can actually edit existing PDF files on Dropbox using a smartphone or desktop computer

As I said, I’m not a big fan of having to use a third party application or service. I really think that creating a dedicated page with a password then a button with the ftp URL (and limitation on the server side) would sound more professional than having to use a dropbox or a google drive.
I’ll try something, just have to see how to make a nice page with password and see after if the third part option remains the best.
Thanks :slight_smile:

It’s your decision of course and I’m not a big fan of using external services either. This was just an option that should be easy to implement and your client may like it, so perhaps you can keep it as a backup plan.

Yes, sure. And I appreciate your suggestion.
I guess I’ll try the two options and see which looks the best.

My client has an ftp site for data. Instead of using Filezilla, etc., I just mapped it as a Windows drive on his PC and he just drops things into that drive when it needs to be updated - just using the same filename every time.

Can you describe exactly what you have done? I’m not sure I get it.

Hello @Muppet, I could tell you what I have done to a costumer.
As you have a cPanel, probably you have softaculous, if so, Install NEXTCLOUD (my choice) or OWNCLOUD. After you install NextCloud, create a folder for that costumer, then give him access to that folder (create a new user for that costumer and only give him access to that folder) and then you share that file by link. With that link you can create the link in the website.
You can then install the sync app for windows or Mac in costumer computer and it works like @HughN told, you will have a folder in your costumer computer that he can change (remember that for the link work he can’t remove the file and create a new one because nextcloud stop the sharing link. He have to create the new pdf file and save in the folder with the same name and it will ask if you want to rewrite the file, and you say yes.) Hope it help you…

By strange coincidence I’ve been asked to quote on a job and while going through the details I’ve discovered the potential client will have three PDF files that will presumably need to be changed on a semi-regular basis, which I imagine they will want to do themselves.

If I go to these apps are present, but not when searched inside cPanel on my own server with Kualo, which includes softaculous. The only thing that looks vaguely similar is an app called Monsta FTP.

Now we live in the wonderfully simplified world of GDPR (sarcasm) I do wonder if options like this may create problems. It seems like just about everything does…

I just followed up on this point with my web host and they don’t allow apps like this, claiming that users tend to upload huge amount of private data on the server. They suggested setting up an FTP account with access limited to a specific folder, but I don’t think that is very suitable for a clueless client.

Later on I’ll experiment to see if this could be done by exporting the page, so that those elements could be edited via October CMS. In another section of the website they’ll need to change a menu on a daily basis. I’ve been too busy lately to look at integration between Blocs and October CMS and see what it can do in practice, but I think it could potentially solve a lot of issues like this.

EDIT: If the client is using a Mac, something like Yummy FTP Alias might be a viable option if you can set this up for them

Thank you, but I have 2 questions regarding that (actually certainly more later, but these ones first).
The soft is free, but I see on the website that the service is not for free (or is it included in the package Softaculous?)
My second question is for the practical use.
I have a client who wants to be able to change some pdf (catalogues) regularly. And he wants that people will see it online on the website without my intervention.
I just have the feeling nextcloud is more to share docs between people working together on the same plateform, no?

Why does it have to be an actual .pdf? Can you not render the data and content differently which then might enable you to use one of the CMS options? With CSS you should be able to match styles fairly closely.