As most internet users know, web sites are mainly made up of ‘coded’ documents- mainly HTML, but also PHP, ASP, or Cold Fusion scripted web pages. Of course, to have a web site, you must have one or more pages created in one of these formats. However, there are times and places where posting a PDF file formatted document on your web site makes better sense. Here are five situations you may find are good reasons to create PDF files to be uploaded to your website.

  1. You have content that will need to be printed. Let’s face it. Web pages are optimized to be viewed on a screen. Screens aren’t made to the same dimension as paper, so web pages hardly ever print properly unless you have specific ‘printer friendly’ versions created. If you have a map to an event, a flyer that is meant to be posted, a form that needs to be printed and returned via fax– these are all times that a PDF file would be better suited. Link to your PDF by a button or text link that describes the resulting page.
  2. You have content that is considerably lengthy and detailed, like a white paper, special report, case study, scientific or statistical results. Site visitors may also wish to print these just to ease the strain on their eyes or reduce the time in front of their computer.
  3. You create recurring printed newsletters or special reports that are sent to your current clients or leads list by postal mail or handed out at networking functions. Don’t waste this effort! Either convert the file format you created the document in for printing to a PDF or have someone scan the printed version into PDF form. Be careful to compress the files as much as you can. Scans are usually quite large due to the fact that they are often rendered as graphics.
  4. You create recurring email newsletters through an outside service or by using templates in your email software, such as Outlook. Again, this effort of creating content should not be wasted. You can often save these as HTML files or convert the formatted email into a PDF file. Even if your mail list service provider offers to archive your files and suggest you link to them from your website, it is likely a better idea to post them on your own site. Would you rather these documents help people find YOUR site through search engines, or your mail list service providers site? Search Engines generally put higher weight on sites with more content and those that update regularly. Check your terms of usage when using formats or templates from third party newsletter or mailing lists services to make sure they grant rights to use the resulting files off their server.
  5. You regularly create content in the form of articles, special announcements, newsletters, press releases, etc. but do not have the ability or just do not feel comfortable adding a new "web" page (you’re not a web developer nor do you want to be). Clients who have YNot Take Control or use other web editors can easily update their existing content but often get overwhelmed at the thought of creating "web pages".

If you have the ability to upload documents to your website and can add link texts to your existing pages, you can easily add as much content as you want by uploading a PDF document. Adding content in any form is more useful to your clients and prospects than not including the content at all. If you create content through other means and for offline purposes, let your website and online visitors benefit from this content too. Create a PDF!

Kammy Burleson, of YNot Web, specializes in creating professional and cost-effective web sites and complete web systems to help maximize the value of her small business client’s investment. To learn more about the services provided by Ms. Burleson and YNot Web, go to