One question I am often asked by clients is what format they should use to add documents to their website.In many cases, these documents were created in Microsoft Word, but not everyone has that software.For this reason, and others (file size, files are editable, etc.), you would likely not want to add customer-facing documents to your website as a Word file. Adobe's PDF format, which stands for Portable Document Format, is a great way to add documents to a website.This is especially true if those documents need to be printed, or if they might be overly complex, making it challenging to lay the content out appropriate for a web page.A common example of this would be medical forms that would need to be completed prior to a new patient arriving for an office visit.Allowing a patient to visit the website to download and print that form prior to their visit is much more efficient than having the office mail a physical copy of the form to that patient - and using a PDF that is printed and filled out by hand is also often more desirable than collecting that information via a web form due to the possible sensitive nature of the information being collected (and the stringent security requirements your site would need to adhere to for collecting that data).Ultimately, adding a PDF to a website is incredibly easy to do.Let's take a look at just how easy it is to include a PDF file on your site.
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While you can purchase the professional version of Adobe Acrobat to create these documents, you can also do so from many other applications, like Microsoft Word, by using the "Print" functionality and selecting PDF as your option.If that is not available to you, there are a number of free PDF converter tools available online, including PDF Converter, Online2PDF, Cute PDF, and many more.While I do have a full version of Acrobat, I have also used Bullzip PDF for many years to create PDF documents as needed on other systems.Once you have your PDF file ready, you can move onto the next step.
You will need to add your PDF to your web hosting environment.
While some sites that use a CMS may have this functionality built in, in other instances you will simply use a standard FTP program to add those files to your web site's directories.