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How to Upload PDF Files to Your WordPress Site

Are you looking for a way to upload PDF files to your WordPress site?

WordPress allows you to easily upload PDF files and make them available for download. You can use PDF file downloads to grow your email subscribers, or even sell PDF digital downloads in a members-only area.

In this article, we’ll share how to upload PDF files to your WordPress site to grow your list, accept user-generated content, or even create members-only area.

How to upload PDF files in WordPress

Why Upload PDF Files in WordPress

PDFs are one of the most popular file formats, and there are many benefits of uploading them on your WordPress website.

You can repurpose content by converting long guides and tutorials into PDF files. Then offer them as exclusive content to users or use them to build an email list.

Another benefit of uploading PDF files is that you can use it to boost user engagement and help lower the bounce rate. By allowing your visitors to download PDF files and complete an action, you can easily reduce high bounce rate.

You can even use PDF files to offer exclusive members-only premium content for your paying subscribers as part of your course or membership site.

That being said, let’s see how to upload PDF files in WordPress.

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Upload PDF Files in WordPress

If you’re just looking to upload a PDF file and share it with everyone on your site, then this is the easiest method because it works without installing any plugin.

Uploading PDF files in WordPress is similar to uploading images and other media files on your website.

To get started, login to your WordPress admin area and then go to Media. After that, click the “Add New” button.

click the add new button

Simply drag and drop your PDF file in WordPress or click the “Select Files” button to upload it.

drop files to upload

After that, the PDF file will be uploaded to your WordPress website.

Add a PDF File to a Post or Page in WordPress

Once you have uploaded the PDF file, the next thing to do is add them to your posts or pages.

It’s important to note that by default WordPress doesn’t let you embed the full PDF documents. Instead, you can add them as download links in your blog posts. But don’t worry, we’ll show you how to embed PDFs later in this tutorial.

To get started, first you need to open the WordPress block editor and then add a new post or edit an existing one to add the PDF file.

After that, add a File block in the editor.

add file block in wordpress editor

Next, click the ‘Media Library’ option and select the PDF file you want to add to the post or page.

select media library button

After that, you need to enter a title and edit the file name. WordPress also allows you to show a download button. You can even change the button text and link it to the PDF file itself or an attachment page.

edit file name and download button

Once you are satisfied with the changes, preview the PDF file upload, and then publish it.

pdf file download preview

This is the quickest and simplest way of showing your uploaded PDF files on a WordPress site. However, if you want to show full PDF documents then you will need a WordPress PDF plugin.

Follow our detailed guide on how to embed PDF, spreadsheets, and others in WordPress blog posts for more information.

Pro Tips for Making The Most of Your PDF Uploads

After uploading a PDF file, there’s a lot more that you can do.

Here are some pro tips on how to can use your PDF uploads to grow your email list, measure the number of downloads, allow users to upload PDF files, or even sell PDF downloads as premium content.

1. Offer Content Upgrades to Build Your Email List

One of the fastest ways to grow your email list is by offering content upgrades to website visitors.

Content upgrades are bonus content that people can download in exchange for their email address. You can turn your blog posts into PDF files and then allow users to download them when they signup for the email list.

content upgrade example

The easiest way to add content upgrades in WordPress is through OptinMonster.

It’s the best lead generation plugin that allows you to create beautiful opt-in forms like popups, in-content signup forms, floating bar, scroll boxes, etc.

Using their drag and drop builder and different pre-built templates, you can build and show a content upgrade option in just a few clicks.

Here’s an example results of content upgrades from one of our other websites:

Content Upgrade stats

The OptinMonster blog has even more content upgrade ideas that you can use to get more email subscribers.

2. Measure PDF Download Stats in WordPress

As you start to offer different PDF files for downloads, it is important to find out which files are performing and which are not.

To measure PDF file downloads in WordPress, you can use MonsterInsights. It’s the best Google Analytics plugin for WordPress used by over 2 million websites.

Once enabled, it automatically tracks file downloads on your site.

MonsterInsights Top Download Links report helps you see which PDF files get the most downloads. You can use this information to create more PDF documents on similar topics.

monsterinsights top download links

3. Allow Users to Upload PDF Files

Aside from uploading PDF files in WordPress by yourself, you can also allow users submit PDF files to your site without giving them the admin access.

For this you need to create a file upload form. We recommend using WPForms because it’s the best WordPress contact form plugin used by over 4 million websites.

Once activated, you simply need to create a file upload form using WPForms and let users submit PDF documents.

file upload form preview

4. Create Members Only PDF documents area

If you want to sell PDFs as digital downloads or upload premium PDF content to a members only area, then you can do it in WordPress by using a membership plugin.

We recommend using MemberPress because it’s the leading membership platform that allows you to create courses, add members only content, and more.

We have created a complete step by step guide on how to create a membership site in WordPress.

We hope this article helped you learn how to upload PDF files to your WordPress site. You may also want to go through our guide on how to create an email newsletter, and our comparison of best WordPress SEO plugin and tools to grow your traffic.

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Reader Interactions

16 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Thank you for this tutorial.

    I’d like to know if hosting PDFs on my WordPress site will slow the site speed in anyway?

    • Only if you start to run low on your hosting provider’s storage space for your site.


  2. Hi…I am trying to upload a pdf file size as small as just 3.5mb, but it’s unable to upload on my WordPress website. I also tried uploading it through internet explorer but it won’t work. Also, I tried by changing the file location on my pc. Please suggest how to upload the file.

  3. I am trying to upload a PDF to my Word Press site but it says it’s too large to preview. It’s about 750mb. Is there some way for me to get the PDF on my website?

    • For a file that large, if you are unable to reduce the file size, we would recommend having the file on a third-party service like Google Drive or Dropbox and embedding a download link on your site.


  4. Hello,

    I am trying to find download count for a PDF I uploaded to a blog post.

    I did not install any plugin to track downloads – I guess I just assumed that this would be easier to figure out.

    Godaddy hosts the site and they want to charge me $50 to investigate.

    Google searches keep taking me to plugins I could download, but none seem to be able to retroactively tabulate downloads.

    Any help would be much appreciated!

    Thank you,


    • We do not have a recommended method for retroactively counting downloads at the moment.


  5. hi,
    the WordPress plugin “Google Doc Embedder” is retired (only the gview shortcode is still working ).

    please suggest a few more plugins to make it more easy and secure in terms of upload or download.


  6. We use WordPress for our blog. The blog is maintained by one individual but the posts are written by numerous other people and emailed to the person in charge of maintaining the blog. Our posts are written with images placed in specific areas within the text, some have frames, and some have citations with the image. They are written using Word with images inserted into the appropriate place within the text.

    The problem is that the person maintaining the blog says she has to Copy&Paste the text and go back and add the images manually since there are only blank spots where the images should be. This causes issues with the posted blog not being the same as the written blog, since there is an issue with sizing, the framing, and citation placement for the image.

    It has been suggested that we convert the word doc to a .pdf file and post it, but I don’t see anything on the WordPress site that tells me the document will appear in the blog in the same layout as the original (images in exact location, same size, framing, and citations in place). Or if we would still need to load the images separately.

    Also, if there is a way to upload the Word doc as written into WordPress without the image issues PLEASE let me know what that would be.

    Please help,

    • Hi Glenda,

      Unfortunately, there is no reliable way to do that. You can add users to your WordPress blog and assign them Contributor user role. Contributors can add new post and edit their own posts but they cannot publish them. They will be able to write inside WordPress admin area and save their work.

      The person responsible of maintaining the blog can review their articles and publish them.


  7. I started a blog recently and this site has proved to be very useful. But I have a question regarding file uploads. What if the file I want for download is not just pdf but like psds and other files. Can I do that too? Or will I need to register to another file hosting provider if I have too many to upload? Because that will eat a lot of space. What is your suggestion on that?

  8. Hello!

    I am trying to upload a pdf into a post using the fist method.

    So far so good, everything works like it should but the pdf title has special characters and the link created by wordpress looks normal inside post editor. But when published it shows some errors like extra spaces between characters.

    If I copy and past the link into a plain text editor I can see some erros and if I delete the special characters inside post editor and type again it works fine.

    That would solve the problem but I will be inserting some files and I wish I could rely on something else than typing every special character by myself.

    In the past wordpress had problems dealing with text pasted from word. Is it the case?

    Can you help me, please?

  9. I would like to learn how to use wordpress and want to install it on my personal computer. Is this possible
    …and. What is wamp…do i need this too?
    I have windows 10 are they compatible?

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