Add PDF or File Download to WordPress

I’m regularly asked how to add a link to a downloadable PDF file for companies wishing to circulate brochures or pricelists etc via download from a website. The tutorial below works for any downloadable file whether it be a PDF, Word Document, Audio file, etc..

Published by

Leon Quinn

Multimedia Design company in Leitrim, Ireland specializing in WordPress Website Design, Photoshop and Graphics.

64 thoughts on “Add PDF or File Download to WordPress”

  1. Fail. This tutorial is misleading. This doesn’t mention one thing about creating the ability to “download” the file. It simply tells you how to create a hyperlink (basic html) to a file which “OPENS” the file in a browser, not download it. This is not a true downloading tutorial. Rename it to, “creating a basic hyperlink in html” the browser will do what it wants to do from there. To create an actual downloadable link, you have to set up a server side page that uses octet-stream.


  2. How can I add this feature if the customer must pay for the file before downloading it? Once they’ve made their payment, via PayPal, can they be redirected back to this page and how can I place this page on the back end so that it’s not visible to visitors and how can I prevent them from returning back to this page and downloading a free copy? Please help!


  3. How can I increase the maximum upload file size in wordpress when creating a new page for uploading a file for customers?


  4. Thank you! Can’t believe it took me at least an hour to find the solution to this (your video was clear and precisely what I was looking for), something so elementary should be in the wordpress guides/documentation. I know how to add a PDF file to any website but wp is a bit tricky sometimes, the easy stuff are not as obvious as you would think…
    So glad there are helpful people like you out there!


  5. Don’t know of such a plugin or function but I use the Google Analyticator plugin to count and show in Google Analytics how many times a file is downloaded or an external link clicked. I’d suggest this is a better and easier solution for you.


  6. Leon,

    What I mean is that I want the result of clicking on the link to be both that:

    1) the download starts (as you described)
    2) the user is sent to a different page (so that in this case they go to a page which thanks them for downloading the file).

    I want to do this so that I can create a goal in Google analytics which counts the number of times the file is downloaded.




  7. Thanks for the very clear video.

    Is there a way to create a link which both downloads a file and also sends the user to a different page? Do you know of a plug-in which does this? Do I need to write some code and if so do you know where I might find something already written?

    Thanks for the help




  8. Thanks for the post. It was quite useful. I am new to the WordPress platform and to web publishing overall and it seems everybody wants one to download their plugin instead of using the tools already at their disposal in a clever way. Very effective.




  9. hi, i just checked out your blog to learn how to add or link a pdf file to my blog, and i got the help i needed, thanx

    on the other hand, i love what you have done with your popular keywords, can you show me how?


  10. Thanks Leon !
    Your tips was great !
    I was uploaded the file successfully a couple minutes ago.
    Hope you can share more tips in your next post !


  11. Pingback: PDF downloads… no problem « david siddall multimedia
  12. Thanks so much for the short and to the point training. It helped me upload a pdf and post to my blog fast. Happy New Year!


  13. Thanks Leon

    I’ve been trying to find out how to do this for a while and your video was really helpful. I think I was trying to do what Darren was and put the download as part of the post and not a new page. The download was haphazard when I did it in HTML but ok when done in VISUAL. A bit of trial and error did the trick and now working. I also find it easier to save my file to desktop when uploading. Hope this helps others having the same challenges and thank you once again Leon. Great bit of quick training, well done!


  14. Thank you for presenting this info. It was a very quick way for me to add some pdf’s to my site. Do you know any other ways where it opens up the download box on a the user’s web browser, instead of taking them to a separate page that views the pdf? Here’s the page that the link is on:
    San Clemente Mortgage
    Again, much thanks for the easy instructions!


    1. PDF’s open in the browser by default. I don’t know of any way you can force the link to download but you could try Google “force pdf download”. Failing that just give instructions to your customers to right-click the pdf link to save the pdf to their pc’s.


  15. Thank you for presenting this so clearly. It’s just what I needed. It’s so refreshing to look for help and actually find it, without wasting time. Your accent adds a double pleasure. 🙂 Thanks again. Wishing you success.


  16. Hi there,

    I’m wondering if you might be able to help me. I followed your video (which is excellent by the way) but couldnt get it to work for me. I’m actually trying to make a PDF available to download from my blog.

    I’ve a couple of questions;
    1) following your video the link appeared haphazardly on the page.
    2) Rather than actually adding a new page completely on my site I would rather just add it to my blog
    3) When I was uploading the PDF the link section didnt have any address in it as your example did?

    Hope I’m not asking too much – its probably me just being a little stupid!

    Anyway any pointers would be much appreciated,

    Thanks very much,



    1. You can only use the method outlined in the video to upload a pdf to a wordpress page or post, where else did you want it uploaded? Anywhere else would required coding. The lack of link address thing might require you to click “File URL” in the Link URL box to get the link. Hope that helps.


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