Monday, June 3, 2013

Overcoming Link Challenges in E-Books and Other Documents

It wasn't long after I began publishing online that I stumbled upon what is a very common problem ... when link sources change, links in your documents don't work.

While I identified the problem easily enough, I had difficulty dreaming up a solution. Fortunately, one of the many Internet marketing guru e-reports I had downloaded covered the problem in detail and I have never looked back.

You know those times when you have what seems like a really difficult challenge and you think there couldn't possibly be an easy solution? You look everywhere, ask friends and eventually find the solution is so simple, you can't believe you never thought of it yourself. Inwardly you are a tad embarrassed and feel a bit stupid. Not that you would ever admit it.

Well, the easy solution to the broken link challenge is this. Set up a folder/directory on your Internet site where you can store sub-folders for redirect links. Say it's called something like "Redirect Links" (Duh!).

Now, when you have a link called say, Artists to source B (the-other-url), what you do is create a folder in your directory called "Artists" and place in it a redirect HTML file called index.html.

So, the directory would look like this in the root (first level) directory on your Internet site: name-of-your-root-directory/Artists. Artists is a sub-directory.

Your code in the HTML document (index.html) would look like this:

HTML Redirect Source Code

seconds : the number of seconds the page is displayed, before performing the redirection.
the-other-url : any absolute or relative URL that will be displayed after the delay has expired.

This means that when someone clicks the link "Artists" in your e-document, it references the file http://name-of-your-root-directory/Artists and loads index.html which redirects it to the-other-url. You have total control of where this link goes.

When you find that the destination link has been changed, you simply get into your directory .../Artists and change the redirection link inside the index.html file.

Your problem is solved locally as you are not able to get to every copy of the document being circulated and rewrite the link inside the document.

Hope that makes sense.


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