File Vault


Hotcakes lets you upload files to your store. The file storage space is called the file vault. The file vault lets you upload files that can be shown to your customers, as part of a product. This section is useful when you want to offer file downloads for your users. You can link these files to products such as manufacturer instructions.  

The files you add here will then be available to associate with one or many products, and will be shown to your customers once they successfully pay for their order.  The files will be shown in the order history view of your site.  If you're not using this view and need to display these files, you'll need to us the order history view, or create your own module/view that displays these files to your customers.

One of the primary benefits of using the file vault, is that your files will be stored in a way that are not directly accessible.  This allows you to protect how often they are downloaded, and by whom.


The following prerequisites will be necessary to accomplish the goals of this article:

  • Have access to your Hotcakes store administration

Getting Started

There is nothing you need to do in order to proceed with this article.

Managing your File Vault

You can access the file vault from the Catalog menu of the control panel.

From the main file vault screen, you can add a new file or edit a current one. Click a file in the bottom section if you want to edit it. To add a file, click the Choose File button and click Add File to upload it to your vault.

Setting Description
Upload a New File to the Site This is a standard file picker that will allow you to browse your computer to find the file you intend to add to the file vault.
Use a File That Has Already Beed Uploaded The default option for this drop down list will be "File Below," but you can choose another file that already exists in the site.  This will load the first 1,000 files that are found that may exist in products, but are not yet associated to the file vault.  This is also useful to update the description of the file.
Short Description The short description will initially match the file name for the file you upload or select, but you may change this to be a more human-friendly value.  

Import Existing Files

If you have several files that you want to add, click the Import Files Already in the Files Folder to mass import several files at once.  

When you click the link above, Hotcakes will look at the following folder and automatically place the files from the import folder, into your file vault.  Your import folder won't exist at first. You'll need to create it. All you need to do is create a folder named "Files" in the root folder of your website.  

If your site is installed in the following folder:  D:\Web\Sites\MySite\

Your files need to be here:  D:\Web\Sites\MySite\Files\

File Vault Grid

You can have one or several files uploaded in your file vault. If you have multiple files uploaded, you’ll see multiple files listed under the Add File button. Each file is listed under File Name and the description is shown. If you mass import several files, they all show in this section.

Column Description
File Name As you might have guessed, this is the name of the file, as it will appear to your customers, and as you have uploaded it.
Description This will be the description you entered when you saved the upload file to the file vault.
Product Count The value you see here will represent the number of products that this file is associated to.  In some sites, each file might be only associated to a single product, such as when you sell software.  In other cases, you may have files that are associated with many products, such as when you sell many products that share a common user manual.
[no name] The first of the unnamed columns contains a way to edit the file you see.  Clicking it will take you to a new view, where you can edit the description, associate it to a product SKU, or replace the file altogether.  
[no name] The final column is a delete action. Clicking this option will permanently remove the file from your site, as well as from any products that might be using it.  
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