Did you know that by 2025, over 200+ zettabytes (that’s a trillion gigabytes) of data will have been uploaded to the web? Although your own website users are unlikely to need to upload quite that much (hopefully!), providing the ability for users to upload files, images and other documents is definitely a growing need for many businesses.
A WordPress file upload plugin allows users to easily upload documents, including spreadsheets, images, PDF files, or other supported formats without logging into the site directly.
This also makes it easy for webmasters to receive file attachments by creating simple forms that anyone can use. In this article, we’ll examine some of the most popular file upload plugins for WordPress, and identify clearly what sets them apart.
Why Use a File Upload Plugin?
File uploads on websites are useful in several cases. It allows you to get more insights and detailed information from your audiences, and it can help you greatly improve the overall user experience of your website.
Here are just some of the many reasons why you may want to use a file upload plugin:
- Accept guest posts: With the help of a file upload plugin, you can easily get users to submit guests posts to your site.
- Streamline the hiring process: Instead of asking people to mail you their resumes or cover letters, you can simply ask them to upload these documents straight through the website.
- Get quotes or official documentation: If you constantly have to work with quotations or documents, you can easily ask your clients to upload them through the platform.
- Uploading pictures: WIth a file upload plugin, you can easily ask users to upload pictures on your website, helping to increase the amount of user-generated content on your site.
- Better support: By allowing customers to upload photos or screenshots, you can get a better understanding of the problem they’re facing, and suggest more accurate solutions.
The Best File Upload Plugins
Here are some of the most popular file upload plugins for WordPress sites that you can use today.
WPForms is one of the biggest names mentioned when we talk about contact form plugins. It’s more than a conventional file upload plugin — it’s a full-scale form builder that comes with a whole range of different options.
You can easily create forms to accept file uploads, including limiting these to specific file formats. There’s also no need for you to copy or paste any HTML on your site to display the form, which makes it a great choice for non-technical users.
More importantly, you can also configure the plugin to store all uploads in your Media library. WPForms gives you a couple of different options for setting up the file upload fields. The Modern style is clean and offers drag-and-drop functionality, as well as supporting multiple uploads.
Or, if you want to accept embedded images, you can also set up WPForms to show a Rich Text field, allowing users to submit images and content together.
It lets you set the maximum upload size, or choose the file type itself. It works seamlessly with other email marketing providers, and you can also integrate WPForms with payment providers to accept donations or other payments.
- AJAX forms are supported (doesn’t require a page reload)
- Very easy to use with a simple interface
- Drag-and-drop functionality
- Set up conditional logic to show or hide specific fields based on user selection
- GDPR agreements can be added to file upload forms.
- You can set up email notifications to receive an email with a link to the file directly.
With over 1 million installs, Ninja Forms is one of the most popular choices if you want a user-friendly WordPress plugin to create gorgeous-looking forms.
The core plugin is free to use and allows anyone to create good-looking forms using the drag-and-drop style form building tool. You don’t need to know any code to tweak the forms and make them look good.
It’s important to mention here that the free version of Ninja Forms doesn’t allow you to accept file uploads. However, if you choose the paid extension (a one-time $49 fee for one website, $72 for five sites, and $99 for 20 sites), you can then easily accept file uploads, which can be sent directly to your WordPress Media Library, Dropbox, Google Drive, or an Amazon S3 bucket.
And, like other top options, you also get added functionality including limiting the number of file uploads, determining the maximum file size for each upload, and selecting the type of files you want to accept.
As an extra touch, you can also set up a progress bar so people know the steps left to completion.
- Lets you accept payments and donations and integrates with PayPal or other credit card payment providers.
- Lets you create customizable lead generation forms to grow your mailing list.
- Supports GDPR compliance.
- Comes with an array of pre-built templates.
- Mobile responsive forms that can blend well with any theme.
- You can export submissions to a PDF or Excel file.
- Supports conditional and multi-page forms.
- Spam protection is available through Google ReCaptcha and Akismet
- Translations for more than 16+ languages are also available.
MonsterInsights is slightly different to other plugins on this list. At its core, it’s a Google Analytics plugin that lets you track form completion rates and know how users are interacting with the file uploads or forms on your site.
At the moment, Google Analytics doesn’t offer support for file tracking. However, MonsterInsights lets you do just that, offering tracking support for multiple file extensions, including popular formats like .docx, .ppt, .pdf, and others.
With the MonsterInsights plugin installed, you can view live data straight from your WP dashboard.
MonsterInsights costs $99.50 per year, and it’s generally a wise choice for people who want to integrate greater file tracking on their websites.
- Lets you track all file downloads
- Integrates seamlessly with Google Analytics
- No need to edit code – supports out of the box tracking
- Offers detailed insights into how users interact with files on your site.
Contact Form 7 is an open-source plugin that lets you create and manage different types of contact forms. It offers unparalleled customizability, letting you optimize forms and make them blend in with your website’s theme.
Contact Form 7 is fairly basic, and it’s great if you want to create a simple contact form that your users can interact with.
Contact Form 7 offers form tags that you can use to add file uploading fields to your forms. If you don’t define the file type or the file size limit, it automatically sets default restrictions, with file sizes reduced to 1 MB and acceptable file extensions being all the popular ones including jpg, docx, png, gif, and pdf.
You can also set up mail tags to attach upload files directly to email and get notified right away.
- Supports local file attachments
- Automatically checks for PHP errors when you upload files.
- Lets you define the absolute directory path or relative path to store uploaded files.
- You can also define and create payment parameters to receive payments via Stripe.
- Includes spam filtering using CAPTCHA and Akismet.
Another popular file upload plugin that you can choose is Formidable Forms. This plugin comes with all the features that you need to create engaging and intuitive forms.
Formidable Forms is a pretty popular name in the community, offering a wide range of options, including multi-page forms with a progress bar, repeater fields, date picking options, cascading lookup fields, and a lot more.
It also offers comprehensive support for file uploads, letting you create a simple drag and drop upload forms. They are responsive, so your forms will automatically scale according to the screen size and device. Given that mobile devices account for half of all website traffic, having mobile-friendly, responsive forms is a must for almost any business.
It features a multi-file uploader, allowing users to upload as many files as they want. If you want to attract more user-generated content to your site, Formidable Forms is a fantastic choice.
It is also great for collecting data about how users interact with the forms on site. However, Formidable Forms is expensive, starting from $39.50/year. The most expensive version (Elite) costs $299.50/year!
- More than 170+ form templates (only with the Elite version).
- Integrations for Stripe, PayPal, Salesforce, Hubspot, and others.
- API available
- Money-back guarantee
- Free version is also available
- Drag-and-drop functionality
- Fully GDPR friendly
Forminator is a fantastic contact form plugin that’s easy to use, versatile, and above all, free. Whether you’re running a finance site or a recruitment site, Forminator can be customized to meet your needs very conveniently.
It features a visual drag-and-drop builder that lets you customize and create any form you want by simply dragging and dropping blocks. From hidden fields to calculations to pagination, Forminator has everything you’d want.
More importantly, Forminator offers subscriptions for more than 1,000 apps, including all the big names like HubSpot, Campaign Monitor, Google Sheets, and many others. Forminator is a great choice if you want to create quizzes, or conventional forms to use as lead magnets.
It supports Gutenberg blocks and prevents spam using Google reCaptcha. And, more importantly, it’s also GDPR-friendly. Since it doesn’t cost much at all, this is a fine choice for those who want a decent file upload plugin that’s easy to use and packed with features!
Another great feature we love with Forminator is the ability to run live polls directly on your website. This is great for encouraging user interaction and interest, with live stats displayed using great-looking pie charts and graphs.
- Offers a dedicated Import Wizard to move all existing data from CF7 (Contact Form 7)
- Lets you create custom login and registration forms
- Multi-file upload supported
- Drag-and-drop file uploads also supported
- Specify limits for file size, or restrict file types
- E-signature form field available with the Pro version (which costs from $190 to $990 per year, depending on the size of your business.)
If you’re looking for a fairly simple file upload plugin that’s free to use, go with WP File Upload. It lets you or any other user upload files through a page, post, or sidebar very conveniently.
All you have to do is to add a shortcode to the contents of any WordPress page, and you’ll be able to upload files to any directory within wp-contents.
WP File Upload also displays all uploaded files in a top-level menu that you can access through your Dashboard, and there’s also a file browser to help you manage the uploaded files.
It’s arguably not the most popular plugin, but if you need a free plugin that you can use on your site to accept file uploads, this one does the job well.
- GDPR compliant
- Built using HTML5 so it works well on mobile phones and on older browsers.
- Notification emails and messages can be configured.
- You can set up an upload progress bar.
- You can also save uploaded media to an FTP location
- Support for additional form fields is also available.
8. File Manager
File Manager is a nifty file upload plugin that you can use to enable file uploads on your website. However, instead of simply being a file upload plugin, it also offers file management features.
You can manage files on a remote server, including running common file actions such as copy, move, upload, delete, rename, etc. It also comes with an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) so you can test and edit the code.
File Manager also lets you share files via email and even has support for PDFs and other popular file formats. A search function is also built into the plugin.
- Multiple themes are available for maximum customization
- Preview support is available
- Files can be automatically resized after uploading
- The plugin works just as well on mobile or other devices
- Support for multiple languages is available
- A Pro edition is available which greatly expands functionality. The cost for this is a one-off price of $25 for a single site, or $99 for up to 10 sites.
Another fantastic option available is Everest Forms. While it’s an intuitive form builder, don’t let its apparent simplicity fool you, as this plugin offers a huge amount of features. It supports multiple file uploads, letting users simply drag and drop files to manage uploads. More importantly, you can also configure the plugin to only accept specific file types, and reject others.
You can also use it to create multi-step forms or accept payments online. It’s a great plugin that works like a breeze, though there’s no free version.
The Personal plan costs $49, and prices go all the way up to $199 per year for the Agency plan. Lifetime prices are available, but obviously at much higher prices.
- Offers simple drag-and-drop functionality
- Lets you configure file uploads based on your requirements
- Easy to use, very quick to configure
Key Features to Look For in a File Upload Plugin
Before you decide to shell out and purchase a file upload plugin, or opt for a free alternative, there are a few important things that you would want to look at:
- Customer support: This is obviously very important. You’ll want the plugin to work seamlessly, but if it doesn’t, there should be a number or email that you can contact the company through.
- Support for multiple file formats: Similarly, you’d want to make sure that the file upload plugin offers support for multiple file formats.
- File size restrictions: The file upload plugin you choose should allow you to restrict uploads to a maximum size.
- File management: The uploaded files should be stored in an easily accessible directory, and you should have the option to store it in your website’s directory or on a remote server.
- Notifications: Whatever file upload plugin you choose should be able to notify you when a user uploads a file.
Any of these plugins will allow you or visitors to your site to quickly upload files. But, you should know that some hosting providers often limit the types of files that users are allowed to submit, and you may encounter file size limits too.
A WordPress installation will, by default, include a maximum file size limit of between 4 MB and 128 MB. This will usually be determined by your web hosting company, so if you’ll need your users to upload files greater than this limit, make sure you discuss this with your hosting company before you decide to purchase a paid subscription for a file upload plugin!