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When creating a website, occasionally there will be a need to hotlink to a file on the server. Hotlinking (or direct linking) is when a link uses the url to link, as apposed to linking to the directory relative to the file. An example of this is show in the following:

Link relative to the file location on the server:
<img src="/support/image.jpg" />

File Hotlinked or Directly linked to the server:
<img src="" />

This is especially useful when using the Premium Web Builder. The Web Builder has the File download link; however, the problem with the File download link is that the file is accessible by everyone on the web. Hotlinking to the file allows the folder to be password protected, preventing people from accessing the file. This is common for those selling books in PDF format that only want people who paid for the book to download it. Lets learn how to directly link a file to the website.

Directly linking to a file on the server

  1. Log into cPanel
  2. link-to-file-server-1-file-managerGo to the File manager and navigate to the folder where the file will be uploaded.

    In this tutorial, a .jpg image will be uploaded to the myimage directory. If there is no directory to upload the file to, create the directory and upload the file there. Upload the file to the folder.

    For information on how to upload files through the cpanel File Manager click here

  3. link-to-file-server-2-index-ofNow that the file is uploaded, the file directory can be accessed. If visiting the directory in the browser With indexing set to default On, the directory will list the file on the page. See snapshot to the right.

    Visit the file through the browser by going to:

    Where the "foldername" is replaced with the folder name on your server and the "filename.file" is replaced with the file that was uploaded to that directory.
  4. link-to-file-server-3-urlGet the url from the address bar of the browser. In this example the url will look like the following:

    The url can be used in anchors, images, and other HTML tags where files can be linked to. Below are some examples of code that can be used.

    A download link or hyper link will use the following:
    <a href="">hyper link</a>

    Hotlinking an image to your website uses the following:
    <img src="" />

If you missed the last article, please see the tutorial on Anchor Links and How to Create Them. For more information about articles with a similar topic, please visit Inserting Links into a Website.

Continued Education in Course 103: Inserting Links into a Website
You are viewing Section 5: Hotlink or Direct link to files on the server
Section 4: Anchor Links and How to Create Them

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Related Questions

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n/a Points
2015-02-16 10:07 am

How do i upload a newsletter? Its has a .html file and a folder containg the images

28,417 Points
2015-02-16 11:19 am
Hello Soham,

Thanks for the question. Since it appears that your newsletter is in HTML format, you will need to upload the HTML file and all of its image elements into your web hosting account. You will need to have a web page or an email that references the link to the HTML page. When you upload a file onto the webserver, you will need remember WHERE you placed it so that you can properly reference it. For example, if your domain name is and you are placing files in the default location (in an InMotion Hosting account), then the files would uploaded into the PUBLIC_HTML folder. If the HTML file was named newsletter.html, then the path would be

Here are some great reference guides on how to upload files:

Getting started with FTP
Using the File Manager in cPanel.

I hope this helps to answer your question, please let us know if you require any further assistance.

Arnel C.
n/a Points
2015-02-16 12:34 pm

Cpanel wont let me upload an entire folder,so do i need to use ftp instead? And can you explain how to do this using an email?

19,794 Points
2015-02-16 1:05 pm
Hello Soham,

Thank you for your question. You cannot connect to FTP using an email address, but you can connect with your cPanel username/password.

If you need additional FTP account, or do not want to share your cPanel credentials, you can create FTP accounts in cPanel.

Thank you,
n/a Points
2015-10-18 8:41 am

i uploaded html files on free webhosting site.. after uploading when i clicked on the html file then its shows the local adress like "file:///C:/Users/xvxvxv/Downloads/index.html"... instead of link... so what should i do to get the link of index file???

31,565 Points
2015-10-19 5:15 pm
Hello Nauman,

You would change that code in the link references of the html and possibly css files.

Kindest Regards,
Scott M
n/a Points
2015-10-21 1:05 am

Hey guys,

Awesome job on the query responses :)

So here's mine - Once i uploaded my file to the Cpanel (a pdf document) and visited the address on the browser, the file got downloaded directly. How do i make the document viewable on the browser, instead of downloading?



28,417 Points
2015-10-21 12:11 pm
Hello Alex,

Thanks for asking this question about embedding a PDF file into your website. There are a number of ways to make this happen. Google allows you embed the PDF directly into an iFrame. You could also use an embedder script such PDFObject. Hopefully, this will provide a few options for your website.

I hope this helps to answer your question, please let us know if you require any further assistance.

Arnel C.

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