Arguments For and Against PDF Downloads

PDF downloads are a universally commonplace form of file downloading popular on websites. Here we take a look at arguments for and against their continued use.

The humble PDF file has many uses and will continue to do so in the future. But newer and trendier content types are snapping at its heels today. Here we outlay some points for and against the use of downloadable PDF files on your website and about PDF files in general.

For
1. Universal
PDF files have been in use for years as a popular file type to download from websites. Due to this ubiquity, they have arguably become the standard file type that website users are used to dealing with. Instructions, vouchers, whitepapers and more all favour and thrive with the PDF format.


2. Simple
Due to this popularity as mentioned above, PDF files have gained an ease of use as people are used to dealing with them. This simplicity also brings with it a sense of security in that they are a familiar file type. In tandem with this, most devices can read PDF files without the need to download any software or plug-ins etc.


3. Difficult to Alter
While PDF readers are a common commodity, the software and skillset to edit and alter them are not. Therefore a PDF file that is downloaded from your website and contains your logo and business information etc. is difficult to duplicate and to be reused without blatant and obvious plagiarism.

 


Against
1. Sharing Options
PDF files are unlike image or video files and as such it is that bit more difficult to share them. This is glaringly obvious when it comes to social media as links to webpages, images and videos are frequently shared but PDF files are much less so.


2. Rusting Popularity
When something is around for so long, it inevitably loses its shine and initial appeal. This is becoming true of PDF files as in some circles they are being called the rust of the internet. It cannot be denied that nowadays there is a noticeable shift to delivering curated content via Google Ads and e-newsletters/autoresponders as opposed to downloadable files.


3. Difficult to Alter
While mentioned as a pro above, the difficulty to alter PDF files can also be looked upon as a con too. For those looking to use them for their own personal or professional use, it is difficult to add notes or isolate the sections that apply best to them.


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