The 6 Best WordPress File Upload Plugins

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.

  • WPForms

    WPForms form plugin

    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.

    Features

    • 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

    WordPress File Upload plugin

    Free | Get this plugin | Premium upgrade

    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.

    Features

    • 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
  • Frontend Uploader

    Frontend Uploader plugin

    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.

    Features

    • 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
  • WP User Frontend

    WP User Frontend plugin

    Free | Get this plugin | Premium upgrade

    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.

    Features

    • 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
  • Ajax Multi Upload for WordPress

    Ajax Multi Upload plugin

    $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.

    Features

    • Ajax-powered forms
    • Single and multiple file uploads
    • Integrates well with other forms
    • Limit the number and size of uploads
    • Upload statistics
  • Gravity Forms Advanced File Uploader

    Gravity Forms Advanced File Uploader plugin

    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.

    Features

    • 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.

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18 Comments

  1. Robin Barton Robin Barton

    I am running WordPress 4.8 on a client site and as soon as I activate WordPress File Upload, my site is broken. I am also using Contact Form Maker, so it’s possible there’s a conflict. But deactivating solves the problem, so there’s no risk in trying it out.

    • Ben Sibley Ben Sibley

      Hey Robin,

      I’m having trouble recreating that issue, so I think it may have been a conflict with another plugin but I’ll keep an eye out for further errors. Thanks for sharing your experience here.

  2. Gunjan Shrivastav Gunjan Shrivastav

    Your article is very good. Thanks for posting such articles.

  3. Navneet Navneet

    UPG USER POST GALLERY wordperss plugin is best options for me to upload files.

  4. Peter Petrucci Peter Petrucci

    Good comparison. I like the idea of adding additional fields. I have a website that displays images of original artwork so each image has additional fields, like price, artist and medium. But I am having trouble displaying those additional fields in a LightBox or pop up. Do any of the upload plugins have that capability?

    • Ben Sibley Ben Sibley

      You could use WPForms inside an OptinMonster popup which can be triggered by a link click. That said, it may be more user-friendly to keep the fields visible so visitors always have access to this info.

  5. Anjii Anjii

    Hi, I have personalised products where user needs to upload their jpg file (or 2) to the product. The shopping cart needs to reflect the upload, and also the files need to attach to their purchase order at the backend. I’m a bit confused and wondering which you would recommend for this. Thankyou.

    • Ben Sibley Ben Sibley

      It sounds like you’re looking for an eCommerce solution. Check out this list of plugins instead.

  6. Richard Richard

    Do you know if any of these show a thumbnail of the image in the form once uploaded? (So the user can see the file they uploaded, and have the ability to remove it if it is the wrong image.)

    • Ben Sibley Ben Sibley

      I don’t think any of the plugins display a thumbnail, rather they include the filename next to the “Choose File” button.

  7. Dimitri Dimitri

    HI,

    Some service providers specify storage capacity for file upload, others don’t. Does it mean they don’t offer any capacity and it needs to be bought from another storage?

    • Ben Sibley Ben Sibley

      The files uploaded will be stored on your server so storage capacity will be up to your host. I would recommend checking your hosting account to check how much storage you have available. If storage does become an issue at some point, you can always offload the files to a third-party service like Google Drive or Dropbox.

  8. Tammy Tammy

    Thank you for this list. I’m looking for a file uploader that will allow me to send docs to a secure location and list on the same page what files the user has uploaded. Have you heard of tool like this?

    • Ben Sibley Ben Sibley

      WPForms will securely store the files users upload on your site. I don’t think any of these plugins work well for associating uploaded documents with a user. That sounds more like something you’d get from a membership plugin or a CRM.

  9. Stephanie Stephanie

    We have very stringent security concerns and file uploads from site visitors in general send up alarm bells. Do you have any best practices to recommend to protect against malicious uploads?

    • Ben Sibley Ben Sibley

      The level of security is ultimately provided by the plugin that allows the file upload. There are various techniques developers use to ensure only safe files are uploaded, but if it is a strong concern of yours, you should email the plugin developer and ask them specifically what practices they employ to ensure your site’s security.

  10. John Valentine John Valentine

    Thanks.
    Nice post but i have a question.
    i use Divi theme and Ultimate Member plugin but i want users to be able to upload photos by themselves on a particular page (dashboard) i designed and anytime they visit their dashboard, each individual will see his/her own photo.
    Please kindly help if you know any CSS code that will help.

Comments are closed.

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