Forms are the best way to initiate communication between you and your customers through your WordPress website — with little effort, you can stick a basic form on any page to gather contact information, a support request, or any type of user feedback.
However, sometimes text alone isn’t enough for what users need, and you might want a form that accepts file uploads as well. These types of forms can be used for:
- User-submitted content — Allow visitors to send in photos or other documents. For example, you might be running a photography competition and ask users to submit entries through your site.
- Support — Users can send screenshots to better describe the problems they’re facing.
- Item specifications — If your site takes custom orders, you may want visitors to attach a file with specifications, like a text document or a reference image.
- Applications — Does your website accept job apps? Let candidates upload their resume, CV, cover letter, or any other materials directly to your site.
There are a handful of reasons you might want to accept file uploads from your visitors. And, while WordPress doesn’t have a built-in way to do this, there are also a handful of WordPress plugins that make it possible. Many are form builders with a file upload field, while others allow for larger uploads or loosen restrictions on file types users can submit.
In this post, we’ll review 10 free and premium WordPress plugins that let you accept user-submitted files through your website, so users can send their files and learn about your service all under one domain.
Best WordPress File Upload Plugins
- Gravity Forms
- File Upload Types by WPForms
- WordPress File Upload
- File Manager
- Tuxedo Big File Uploads
- Customer Upload Files for WooCommerce
- Ninja Forms
- Drag and Drop Multiple File Upload - Contact Form 7
WPForms is a popular WordPress form plugin used by thousands of sites to collect visitor information. With its intuitive drag-and-drop building method, you can easily add a submission field for file uploads to your form. It allows for common file types and restricts file types for security reasons — to remove these limits, see the File Upload Types plugin below. It also imposes a file size limit determined by your host, or you can set a smaller size limit yourself.
You can view uploaded files from your WordPress dashboard, or route file uploads to your media library under the plugin’s advanced settings. This plugin’s flexibility and simplicity make it ideal for new site owners who want to get forms up and running quickly.
Pricing: WPForms is available as a free version. There are also four paid plans: Basic ($79 per year), Plus ($199 per year), Pro ($399 per year), and Elite ($599 per year). File uploads are available starting in the Basic version.
Gravity Forms is another powerful WordPress form plugin for lead capture, feedback, and support forms. It comes with a drag-and-drop builder tool to assemble your website forms, and over 30 custom fields to gather nearly any type of data you want. Among these fields is the upload field, which allows users to submit file attachments like photos and text documents.
The upload field can accept single or multiple file uploads, and you can specify which file extensions your form accepts as well as the maximum file size per upload. Gravity Forms automatically stores user submissions on your server, and all uploads can be viewed inside your WordPress dashboard.
Of course, Gravity Forms isn’t just for file uploading — it’s a fully-featured builder for all your site’s forms. To learn more about what this plugin can do and how to use it, see our Ultimate Guide To Using Gravity Forms in WordPress.
Pricing: Gravity Forms is available on three tiers: Basic ($59 per year), Pro ($159 per year), and Elite ($259 per year).
By default, the WPForms plugin restricts the file types visitors can upload through a form. File Upload Types is a free plugin that lifts these restrictions and lets you set additional permitted file formats, such as .zip, .xml, and .svg.
File Upload Types by WPForms is completely free to use and built by the same reputable team as WPForms, so you don’t need to worry about security compromises if you install this plugin, nor should you experience performance issues. Yes, it’s a bit annoying that you need to install one more plugin for this specific purpose, but it’s a small tradeoff for the quality you get with a plugin like WPForms.
Pricing: File Upload Types by WPForms is free.
Forminator is a form builder plugin from WPMU DEV for easily deploying any type of form, be it contact, payment, email, feedback registration, or file upload. The upload field of Forminator’s forms allows for single and multiple files, and it lets you set limits on file types, number of files, and file sizes. For your visitors, uploading a file is as simple as dragging and dropping it onto the page.
Beyond its file uploads, Forminator has robust integrations with popular CRMs and payment processors if you want to use the tool for your checkout process. There’s even the option to add a poll or a quiz to your site to increase engagement.
Pricing: Forminator is available as a basic free version. For full functionality, purchase Forminator Pro for $5 per month. Or, you can subscribe to a WPMU DEV membership (starting at $15.83 per month) for access to all premium WPMU DEV plugins.
If you’re looking for a file upload tool that isn’t a general form plugin, you can try the WordPress File Upload plugin. Aptly named, this plugin allows visitors to upload files from the front end of your website. It provides a shortcode for a file upload field which you can place just about anywhere on the page. WordPress File Upload also offers a sidebar widget for the same purpose. Once a file is uploaded, you can view it in your WordPress dashboard.
While simple to use, this plugin packs many handy additional features. To collect more information from visitors, WordPress File Upload includes the option to add additional fields like email, dropdowns, and checkboxes. You can also turn on email notifications whenever a file is submitted and set the destination folder of uploaded files. The plugin can even redirect users to a new page after the upload is complete.
These features all come with the free version of the plugin. For unlimited file size uploads, a dedicated Gutenberg block, multiple file uploads, drag-and-drop functionality, and the ability to visually customize the field display, purchase WordPress File Upload Pro.
Pricing: WordPress File Upload is available as a free version and a premium version for €20 (around $25).
6. File Manager
At over 700,000 downloads to date, File Manager is a popular enhancer for the WordPress back end — it lets WordPress admins upload, download, copy and paste, edit, and remove server files and folders from inside the WordPress CMS, replacing the need to modify server files through another means like FTP.
Among its many capabilities, the File Manager plugin handles file uploads to your WordPress back end. There are no size limits to the files you upload, though admins can set size limits and also control which file types may be uploaded and downloaded through the plugin.
File Manager is best for administrators who want a powerful way to interface with their server files without leaving WordPress. Plus, it’s free. The developers also offer paid add-ons for uploading files from WordPress to cloud storage, and there’s a premium version that enables a code editor and syntax checker, user permissions, and a built-in database manager.
Are your media files too large for WordPress? Tuxedo Big File Uploads is a free, simple plugin that increases the file size upload limit on the WordPress media uploader. Once activated, upload your media files as usual — they can be as large as your server allows.
Tuxedo Big File Uploads runs in the background of your site and won’t eat up your server space with excess features. For settings, you can set a maximum upload size limit, and that’s about it. This plugin does one job, and it does it well.
Pricing: Tuxedo Big File Uploads is free.
WooCommerce shops that take custom requests from customers need ways for clients to indicate what they want in their tailored product. One way to do this is by allowing clients to upload files with their specifications.
Customer Upload Files for WooCommerce is a paid WooCommerce extension that enables this — customers can upload photos and other file types to their orders, preview their file uploads, and remove them at any point in the checkout process.
This extension requires minimal work on your part to set up, but you can toggle specific settings for your needs. These settings include choosing on what pages or products your upload fields can go, setting limits on upload file size, restricting file type, uploading multiple files as an album, and adding a charge for clients to submit a file attachment.
Pricing: Customer Upload Files for WooCommerce is $49 per year.
9. Ninja Forms
Ninja Forms is a huge player in the WordPress ecosystem, with over a million downloads. This free drag-and-drop form builder lets anyone assemble and place sleek contact forms on their site with no coding required.
By itself, the free version of Ninja Forms doesn’t accept file uploads. But, it does have a paid extension that enables uploads. Starting at $49 for one website, this add-on lets users upload files which are then sent to WordPress (plus the option to send uploads to your media library), Google Drive, Dropbox, or Amazon S3.
As with other options we’ve seen, this add-on lets you limit the number of uploads, file type, and file size in the settings menu. There’s also a handy progress bar so visitors can track their uploads from start to finish.
Pricing: The Ninja Forms File Uploads extension sells for $49 for one website, $72 for up to five sites, and $99 for up to 20 sites. Ninja Forms is free.
Contact Form 7 is another well-known form plugin — it’s often bundled with WordPress themes, making it common across WordPress sites. However, like Ninja Forms, there’s no way to allow file uploads in the base plugin.
The Drag and Drop Multiple File Upload plugin for Contact Form 7 is a free solution, adding a file upload field to your form builder. Site visitors may add one or more files of types set by you. You can also turn on email notifications whenever a file is submitted.
Upgrading to the Pro version of this plugin adds bonus features like image previews or uploads, visual customizations for the upload field, performance improvements, the ability to change your uploads folder, automatic image optimization, and a lot more.
Pricing: Drag and Drop Multiple File Upload is free. There’s also a premium version for $19.99.
Accepting uploads? Check with your host.
With any of these reputable plugins, you’ll let visitors send their files quickly and efficiently to you. However, it may also be worth checking with your hosting provider on what files users are allowed to submit.
Many of these plugins will alter your WordPress core files to change storage limits and release file type restrictions. Some WordPress hosts may not allow this if they see it as a liability and a security risk.
So, if you want to change these limits set by WordPress core, consider checking your host’s documentation or sending a quick message to the support team to make sure you’re following the rules.
Originally published Oct 5, 2021 7:00:00 AM, updated October 05 2021