File uploads are an important part of many websites and web apps. Users often want to upload images, videos, job application documents, blog articles, PDF files, and other kinds of files to a website for storage or for sharing with others. Uploading and accepting files from end-users can be challenging, especially when it comes to ensuring security and preventing malicious code and other issues. This article provides quick tips on how to handle uploading files on a website effectively and efficiently.
In computing, uploading refers to transmitting a local file to a remote system following the client-server model. This is typically done via a web browser or an FTP client, although it may also be done using other methods, such as through peer-to-peer file-sharing protocols. Uploading is the opposite of downloading, which is transmitting a file from a remote server to a local computer.
For example, suppose you have some older paper contracts that you want to digitize so that they’re easier to store and access. Using a scanner and some basic software, you can convert the hard copies into digital files that are ready for uploading to a cloud repository or a document management system like Blackboard Ally. In this case, the file is already in digital form and thus ready to be uploaded (the process of converting to a different format is called transcoding).
However, many files don’t exist in digital form or aren’t easy to convert into digital forms that can be easily uploaded. For instance, a paper-based book chapter or journal article might be too large to easily upload in its original form and might need to be converted first into a PDF or other format that can be easily uploaded.
Another problem is that some file types aren’t safe to accept or upload, for example, executable files, which are programs capable of executing commands and can contain malicious code. For these reasons, it’s essential to ensure that any system that allows user-submitted files has a whitelist of accepted file formats and rejects all other ones.
For websites and web apps that allow file uploads, it’s also important to ensure that the file is named appropriately. For example, an image file should be titled with a description that clearly indicates what the file is about. This helps to avoid mishaps like accidental uploads of offensive or copyrighted material. Adding a wikilink to an article in which the file will be used is a good idea, too, since it will make it easy for other editors to find and use the file in an appropriate context. Also, a clear name makes it easier for the file to be found in searches and helps to keep track of which article the file is meant for. This is particularly important for Wikipedia, where many files are used in multiple articles. Upload Files