Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Increased Download Rates

We made a change to our websites a couple weeks ago, that really seems to have increased the number of downloads!

Previously, the home page had a "Download" button that linked to a separate download page. Pretty ordinary, I made a copy here so you can see.

I could see from the logs that the number of viewers on the homepage, to the viewers of the download page, to the actual files downloads decreased each step. I thought to try some changes to remove some steps--but still keep the information on the old Download page.

Many sites do a Download button, then on the 2nd page use the Meta-Refresh tag to send the download. That works, but gives the Security Warning in Internet Explorer. And I didn't want that either, it's another step for people to download the file.

I started with GetRight Pro, and changed so the download button sent directly to the installer EXE, but also added some javascript, a timer set by the onclick, to refresh the page to a similar "Your download has started" page with the same information as before.

It was right the day after a new version, which spikes the downloads, but they were higher than before. After a week, we changed GetRight to do the same. And it showed a similar increase on the day of the switch--and it's nothing trivial, it's a 10 to 20% increase! Thanks to the nice graphs that FileKicker can do, it's pretty easy to see--this is a 3 month period of downloads, and easy to see the peaks for the new versions.

Here is the basic HTML...just calling a JavaScript timer function in the onclick

<script language="JavaScript">
function handleClick() {
setTimeout('window.location.href = ""', 3000);

<A href="" onclick="handleClick();">Download Now</a>

If you just download GetRight or GetRight Pro, you can see how it works!

1 comment:

Ricardo said...

Are you sure you don't just triggered more bots/crawlers (and increased the site's bandwidth consuming) with no real user increment?

IMO, people interested in downloading GetRight will follow the links...
Bots won't always.

If you have detailed logs from your server, you'll be able to check their user-agents.
However, I don't know if the FileKicker records this information.