FossHub and the story of the download button

The web didn't have any download buttons. I am talking about the young "WWW" before 2000. That's how the front page of Yahoo Search Engine used to look back in 1997. Source: "The Wayback Machine" - Internet Archive.

Other popular sites such as Craigslist kept and improved the original site design for almost 20 years. As for the links you can see that it still use almost the same link structure.

Later, Adobe Flash gain popularity so more and more websites started to create and use buttons. Like many other things, buttons were designed to make your life easier and identify a resource that was meant to download, in most cases a file.

Try to search for "flash buttons" using Google and you will find a plethora of buttons - most of these served as inspiration for almost any download button nowadays.

After 2008 more and more "advertisers" started to use the big download buttons to mislead and deceive Internet users.

I made a screenshot which shows only a tiny percentage of such crapware advertising - this is just a tiny part of what we block.

Example of misleading or deceptive download buttons

Some projects use download buttons, here is an example of a legit download button surrounded by misleading advertising.

Legit download button surrounded by misleading advertising

The natural question: why doesn't FossHub use download buttons like everyone else?

If the above screenshots are not enough, please consider this:

  1. In the last eleven years, we changed our site design five times, but we always used download links, so the keyword here is consistency and a good example here would be Craigslist (I mentioned this at the beginning of the article).
  2. It is much easier to work with a standard link.
  3. A misleading advertisement will most likely show a larger false download button than what we can show.
  4. Ugly page design for our pages that have more than a program available to download.
  5. Almost any download site supported misleading ads for years and encouraged the use of download buttons, FossHub never accepted or promoted this.

What happens if I want to share your link, but I am afraid the other person won't find it easily?

Easy, share the direct download link - once he clicks on it, the download will start automatically or prompt to download the program (depending on browser type).


It takes you seconds to get used with how to download from FossHub. Once you see how easy it is, you will have trouble finding the "real" download button on other download sites.

To conclude!

Something that was designed to make our life easier was used to trick us. The "industry" did NOTHING but enjoyed the earnings from its visitors. You can read part two here.

P.S. FossHub was not a part of this.