Looking for the best WordPress file upload plugin? Here are the 7 best plugins to accept file uploads from users on your site.
Approximate read-time: 8.5 minutes
If you want users to upload files on your WordPress website, a file upload WordPress plugin is the easiest solution. A solid WordPress file upload plugin can allow users to upload files to your site easily.
Some file upload plugins even have advanced features like multiple file upload, zip file upload, and much more. And if you take a look at the WordPress.org plugin directory, there are plenty of plugins to choose from.
So what's the best option? We'll take you through our list of the top 7 to help you decide which one to install.
Why bother with a WordPress file upload plugin?
Sure - your website can handle email signups, registration forms, and of course, contact forms. That's enough for your customers, isn't it? Not these days!
Sometimes your business needs a bit more info. There are a lot of common file types that are actually a little tricky to accept on WordPress sites. Thankfully, a decent file upload plugin can solve this problem.
If you are reading this, you probably have an idea of what kind of files you want to be uploaded to your site. Nevertheless, here's a list of the file types WordPress allows by default:
- Document files (PDF, PSD, DOC, PPT, ODT, XLS)
- Image files (JPG, PNG, GIF, ICO)
- Audio files (MP3, M4A, OGG, WAV)
- Video files (MP4, MOV, WMV, AVI, MPG, OGV, 3GP, 3G2)
If you don't see the file type you need on this list, don't worry. Some of the file upload plugins on this list let you easily add more file types to the allowed list. If they don't have a feature to allow different file extensions, then there are still other ways to allow extra file types.
Note: Not all web hosts allow all file types to be uploaded. Some hosts may not allow large files to be uploaded either. If you are running into trouble, try checking with your host before making any changes to the HTML, CSS, or PHP on your site.
Top features in a great file upload plugin
File upload plugins are usually built to improve user experience. And there are actually a number of ways that they can do that. Mostly, these plugins work by giving users the power to upload files in the frontend of a WordPress site.
File upload forms
When we think about the way a user could upload a file, we probably are thinking about a form-building plugin. Many form builders have options built-in that allow users to upload files when submitting a form. Many file upload plugins are actually a form plugin in disguise!
File extension plugins
But there are also plugins that work by extending the default settings of WordPress (or a WordPress theme). Maybe they increase the file size maximum limit that a site can allow. They also might allow you to add file types to the default list of extensions allowed by the WordPress media library.
File upload plugin add-ons
Sometimes a file upload plugin will augment another plugin on your site. For example, if you use WooCommerce, there are plugins that allow you to create custom forms to collect files within your WooCommerce setup.
Multiple file uploads for WordPress sites
If you want to allow users to upload additional files via your pages and posts, you'll need to make sure the upload form fields allow for that. Luckily, most plugins on this list do. That means users can upload images, documents, and other files all at once.
Specialty file upload plugins
And there are even a few that allow for custom file submissions like e-signatures. In fact, there are many options when it comes to custom file uploads in WordPress!
With all that in mind, let's take a look at our list of the best file upload plugins for your WordPress site.
The best file upload plugins for WordPress
Rating: 4.7 stars (556 reviews) | 300,000+ Active Installations
When it comes to WordPress file upload plugins, a solid form builder is a great option. Just add a file upload field to any form and you're set! Formidable allows you to easily create forms that anyone can use on the frontend of your site.
If you want, you can allow users to upload whatever files they desire. Looking for a contact form with file upload in a WordPress plugin? The file upload options in Formidable can do that plus a lot more:
- Allow for multiple files to upload in one form
- Attach uploaded files to the form email notification
- Automatically delete old files when new files are uploaded
- Auto re-size files before uploading
You can even set the allowed file types you want users to upload. If you only want PDF files, you can restrict your file upload field to take only those. This makes life a lot easier for everyone!
All these file upload features are great. But the reason why Formidable Forms tops this list? It's also a fully-functional form builder! File uploads are just one of many field types you can build forms with.
Another thing you'll notice as you scroll through this plugin roundup: Formidable is the only WordPress file upload form builder here. There are others that feature file upload fields, like WPForms, Ninja Forms, and Gravity Forms. While they all can work for file uploads, Formidable's free WordPress plugin makes testing a whole lot easier.
Another thing, Formidable Forms functions like a WordPress file upload plugin for users, members, and admins alike. With the Formidable user registration add-on, every logged-in user can upload files easily from the frontend! And with the Formidable WooCommerce form builder add-on, your WooCommerce forms can handle file uploads as well.
We should point out that the file upload field is a premium feature in Formidable and all other form builders. However, Formidable offers a 14-day risk-free trial for all premium plans.
Rating: 4.5 stars (90 reviews) | 20,000+ Active Installations
The creatively named WordPress File Upload plugin does exactly what it says on the box. It gives you a simple way to let you or other visitors upload files to WordPress.
Once you activate the plugin, you can use a [wordpress_file_upload] shortcode to add a file upload field anywhere on your site. There's also a dedicated widget that you can add to your sidebar or any other widget area.
The plugin uploads files to your site's wp-content folder. It also displays a new dashboard widget that shows the most recently uploaded files.
For more control, you can choose the specific destination folder to upload files to within the wp-content folder. There's also an option to let users choose the destination folder from the frontend.
Other useful features include:
- An in-dashboard file browser so that you can browse all of the uploaded files without leaving WordPress.
- User role restrictions to control who can upload files. There's also an option to enable/disable file uploads for guest visitors (i.e. visitors without a WordPress account).
- Restrictions for file extensions and/or file size.
- Notification emails for newly-submitted files.
- Custom fields to capture additional information about file uploads.
All of the features from the list above are available for free. Then, there's also a premium version that adds support and features. These include multiple file uploads, drag-and-drop file uploads, CAPTCHAs, and more. The Pro version starts at €20.00.
Rating: 4.2 stars (339 reviews) | 20,000+ Active Installations
WP User Frontend does more than just file uploads. It lets you create a custom frontend user profile area and improve the WordPress registration system.
Your users will be able to manage their profiles from the frontend of your site and also submit content, such as guest posts.
Another thing that they can do from the frontend is - you guessed it - upload files and attachments. Users will get a frontend upload area where they can add both general file attachments. In addition, users can configure specific types of attachments, such as the featured image for a blog post that they're submitting.
Want to go beyond just file uploads? You can also create some types of membership websites. Just be aware that it does a lot more than just file uploads.
WP User Frontend has a limited free version at WordPress.org. Then, there are also paid plans starting at $49 per year.
4. File Manager
Rating: 4.8 stars (787 reviews) | 600,000+ Active Installations
File Manager is a robust file management solution for WordPress sites. It can handle file uploads, but it also does a lot more than just allow users to upload files to your site.
With File Manager, you'll be able to browse and manage all of the files on your server right from your WordPress dashboard. No need to use FTP!
As part of that, any user can upload files of any size to any location on your server - even outside your wp-content folder.
Beyond that, you'll also be able to:
- Create ZIP files from one or more files on your server.
- Control which file types can be uploaded.
- Share uploaded files by email with just a few clicks.
- Create private folders for uploads (with the Pro version).
- Delete uploaded files.
- Drag-and-drop files to move them to different locations.
- Register uploaded files with your Media Library to use them in WordPress.
There are also premium add-ons that let you upload (or download) files from WordPress to external cloud storage services such as:
- Google Drive
Overall, if you just want a simple solution to upload files to the WordPress Media Library, this one is overkill. Want a full file management solution that can rival FTP or cPanel File Manager? This one is great. It also lets you do it all without leaving your WordPress dashboard.
You can get started for free at WordPress.org. After that, you can purchase individual extensions for $19 each or a bundle for $99.
Rating: 4.7 stars (6 reviews) | 4,000+ Active Installations
Checkout Files Upload for WooCommerce lets you give shoppers the ability to upload files as part of the checkout process at your WooCommerce store.
This is especially great for customizable products. For example, you could let shoppers upload the logo image that they want to print on a hat you sell. Or, you can probably come up with your own uses!
The plugin gives you flexibility for where/when you display the file upload field.
You can display it on the checkout page, either before or after the checkout form. Or, you can wait until a shopper places the order to let them upload the file. If you opt to wait, you can display the file upload field on the "Thank You" or "My Account" pages.
Other useful features include the ability to:
- Conditionally show/hide the field based on the product(s) in a shopper's order.
- Set limits on the file extensions that shoppers can upload and/or the file size.
- Customize the error messages (e.g. the message that appears when someone tries to upload the wrong file type or a file that's too large).
The core plugin is free, but there's also a premium version that adds more features. Included is the ability to upload multiple files & more placement locations for the file upload field. The premium version starts at $29.99.
Rating: 4.9 stars (50 reviews) | 20,000+ Active Installations
Drag and Drop Multiple File Uploader is a free file upload plugin. It extends Contact Form 7 (CF7) to give you a new file upload field that you can use in your forms.
Your visitors will be able to upload files by simply dragging the files into the upload field. You'll also be able to allow multiple file uploads, to set a limit on the number of files that a visitor can upload.
Other useful features include the ability to:
- Restrict which file types users can upload.
- Attach uploaded files to email notifications.
- Give users the option to delete uploaded files before submitting the form.
If you need more flexibility, there's also a premium version that adds other features. Included amongst those are the ability to automatically delete files, change the upload folder, performance improvements, and more.
The premium version costs $14.99.
Rating: 4.4 stars (19 reviews) | 30,000+ Active Installations
WP Add Mime Types is a slightly different take on a WordPress file upload plugin. It's kind of a bonus plugin because it may or may not fit what you're looking for.
Most plugins focus on making it easy for you or others to upload a file to your WordPress site. WP Add Mime Types instead focuses on expanding the types of files that you can upload to WordPress using the already-available upload methods.
By default, WordPress places restrictions on the file extensions that you can upload for security reasons. For example, you might try to upload an eBook epub file only to find out that WordPress blocks that extension.
With WP Add Mime Types, you can easily allow new file extensions from your WordPress dashboard. That's all it does - simple and easy.
WP Add Mime Types is 100% free.
With all these WordPress file upload plugins available, there will easily be more than one that fits the bill. Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments below.
Until next time, stay tuned to the Formidable blog for more WordPress tips and tutorials. Bye for now!
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