WordPress doesn’t provide a way for your site’s users to upload files or submit new content.
If you have a client, site authors, or other users who need to submit files, you can use a plugin to add this functionality to your site.
There are a handful of high-quality plugins that can add a file upload form to your site. Below you’ll find the five best plugins for adding frontend file uploading to WordPress.
WordPress File Upload Plugins
Each plugin below has a similar functionality and a few unique features. Make sure to check out each one individually to make the best choice for your site.
Premium | Get this plugin
WPForms is my favorite form plugin. I use it on our contact form and all of the other sites I build.
I love this plugin because it’s extremely intuitive for building custom forms. It’s also easy to include a file upload option. In fact, it’s just as easy to include the file upload field as a name or email field.
One of the best reasons for using WPForms for file uploads is that you can set a size limit on the file uploads and choose exactly which file extensions you want users to be allowed to upload. This can be really useful if you only want to use JPG images and not PNG, for instance.
If you want to learn more about WPForms, check out my full review here. It’s got tons of screenshots and few thousands words of in-depth detail.
- Easily create any kind of form you want
- Add conditional logic to show/hide different fields
- Custom email notifications and confirmations
- Create unlimited forms
- Additional settings for file uploads
WordPress File Upload is an excellent plugin for allowing users to upload files. This plugin provides a shortcode which makes it easy to add an upload form to any post or page on your site.
Here’s a tutorial on shortcodes if you’ve never used them.
You can use this plugin to add upload forms to multiple places, even on the same page.
- Choose where to send uploaded files (Media Library or other destination)
- Add multiple fields including checkboxes and email address fields
- Send email notifications upon upload
- Visual editor for customizing form
- Redirect to another page after a submission
Free | Get this plugin | No upgrade
This plugin is great for letting users submit content to your site. While you can use it to let users submit posts and pages, it can also handle submissions for custom post types.
Of course, this plugin works well for simple file uploads as well.
- Handles submissions for all popular file types
- Allows post, page, and custom post type submission
- Shortcode for displaying a form anywhere
- Shortcode is highly customizable
WordPress has built-in support for multiple authors allowing them to write and edit their posts from the regular admin menus. While access to vital settings is restricted, you may not want them to use your site’s admin menus at all. This is where WP User Frontend comes in handy.
WP User Frontend to lets users create and edit profiles, and submit posts without accessing your site’s backend. It has a depth of functionality for allowing guest authors on your site, and the premium version is especially feature-rich.
- Let users submit posts from the frontend
- Advanced profile editing
- Display anywhere with custom shortcodes
- Custom post type support
- Email reminders for submissions, publication, and subscribes/unsubscribes
- Upload images and any other file type
$13 | Get this plugin
The Ajax Multi Upload plugin makes it easy to add Ajax-powered forms to your site. By using Ajax, users can auto upload and submit files through a form without needing to reload the page. This makes for a smoother user experience.
- Ajax-powered forms
- Single and multiple file uploads
- Integrates well with other forms
- Limit the number and size of uploads
- Upload statistics
Free | Get this plugin | No upgrade
Lastly, we have Gravity Forms Advanced File Uploader.
This plugin adds additional functionality to the Gravity Forms plugin. It creates a new form field for allowing file uploads. On the frontend, it creates a custom upload form with a file browser where users can manage and upload multiple files.
- Integration with Gravity Forms
- Allows for multiple uploads at once
- Easy-to-use upload form for users
- Drag-and-drop uploading
- Limit file size and number of files
Evaluating the best file upload plugins
The WordPress File Upload plugin is likely best for basic file uploading needs, while Frontend Upload is probably the best choice for allowing users to submit posts and content.
WP User Frontend has more features for letting authors create detailed profiles, and Ajax Multi Upload makes for the fastest, smoothest upload experience. For anyone using Gravity Forms, the Gravity Forms Advanced File Uploader plugin will be a great fit.
Is there any feature you can’t find in these plugins? Have any other recommendations? Leave a comment below.