Do you need a WordPress file upload form? Make sure to get vital options to limit file size, file type, allow multiple files, protect files, and client-side image resizing.
Before WordPress, HTML forms with an upload field were not easy. I remember the first time I tried to add a file upload form to a plain HTML/CSS website. It took 4 hours of frustration to modify a badly documented script and the result was very basic. The uploaded images were saved to the server without even a copy sent via email!
Thankfully, things have changed a lot since then. WordPress revolutionized websites, and form builder plugins changed the face of online forms.
Today, creating a WordPress file upload form takes only a few moments. Plus, they do a lot more than just upload files. You can easily attach files to notification emails and display uploads in Posts, Pages or Views and integrate with other services through Zapier.
Here are some of the main features to look for to get the WordPress file upload forms.
Limit uploaded file sizes
Have you ever been out and about with slow/patchy mobile internet, and a HUGE email starts coming in? So annoying! Especially if the message you really need is further down the queue and won't hit your inbox until this one is complete. Thankfully, sensible limits on file sizes uploaded from your forms will help eliminate this issue. This not only makes the emails arrive faster, but saves space in your email inbox.
Restrict file types
Most file upload forms look for specific types of files. Job application forms may ask for a resume in .pdf or .docx format, music upload forms want .wav or .mp4 files, and photo upload forms need .gif, .jpeg or .png files. Save time and back and forth by selecting the allowed file types.
Resize images before uploading
This is one of my favorite new features of the upload field. In recent years, smartphone cameras have improved in quality to the point where they produce professional images. And since so much internet usage comes from mobile devices, mobile images are often uploaded directly to forms. The problem with high quality images is the file sizes can be LARGE, often in the region of 10x the size needed for online use. This large size can cause very slow uploads.
Resizing the image in the browser BEFORE the upload begins is the answer! Just set the max-width or max-height in the field settings, and your file upload form does the rest.
Send uploaded files via email
Depending on your form, it may be handy to include a copy of uploaded files with the email notification. This is especially useful for files like resumes which will not be displayed on the website, but need to be reviewed along with the rest of the employment application.
Use uploaded files in Views, posts and pages
Once files have been uploaded to your WordPress site, they can be used on your website. Include files in photo galleries, custom Views (such as real estate listings), or even directly in user-submitted posts and pages.
Protect file uploads
When files uploaded in your WordPress forms aren't for the general public, protect them. Sensitive files need to be kept safe and definitely not indexed by Google. When you protect file uploads, they can only be accessed from a link on the site where they are uploaded. If there is no link, the file can't be accessed. But they will still be listed for administrators in the WordPress media library when desired.
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