How to Upload PDF Files to a WordPress Site

Are you looking for a way to add PDF files to your WordPress website? Well, today we’re going to discuss how to upload PDF files to a WordPress site.

Before uploading a pdf file make sure to prepare the document carefully. PDF documents can be created with various software or plugins. In most scenarios, your PDF should be optimized for the web (typically it is set to optimize for print). This will load the document quickly giving your users a chance to read it.

WordPress has options to upload PDF files and make those downloadable too. You can use this feature to grow your email subscribers or you can use it to sell PDF digital downloads to your audience. We will discuss these a bit more in the article.

In today’s article, we’ll learn why and how to upload PDF to WordPress site, how to use PDF files to grow your email list, accept user-generated content and also create a members-only section where your members can download the PDF. So, let’s get started.

Why should you upload PDF to WordPress?

PDF is one of the most widely used formats for documents online. You can look for PDF viewer plugins for WordPress and believe me, there are many of them. But do you know how you can benefit from uploading PDF files?

There are some handy tricks that you can apply to benefit from PDF files. Let’s learn a few of these tricks:

Provide exclusive content or build an email list

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You can make shorter versions of long guides or tutorials and create a PDF file. Then offer these PDF files as exclusive content or use them to build your email list. Another way of growing your email list is to offer content upgrades to your visitors.

These content upgrades will be exclusive content for your subscribers. You can create a PDF of your blog posts and offer your subscribers to download those posts if they sign up for your newsletter.

Reduce bounce rate and increase user interactions

Call to action is a great way to increase user interaction on your website. By making your PDF files downloadable, you can increase your visitors’ interactivity on your website and also reduce your bounce rate.

Create a members-only section and provide exclusive content

You can create premium content using the PDF files and then place it under a “Members-Only” page. You can use a membership plugin to manage your memberships.

This is a great way to sell PDFs as digital downloads or upload premium PDF content to your paying members.

How to upload PDF files to a WordPress site

By default, WordPress has a built-in feature to upload PDF files to your website. Using this feature you can quickly upload PDF files as no extra plugin is required.

Using this method, we can add a PDF file to our content in easy 2 steps. In step 1, we will upload the file, and in step 2, we will add it to our content.

Step 1: Go to media from WordPress dashboard

You can upload a PDF file from the Media option in the WordPress dashboard, just like when you want to upload a media file. From your WordPress dashboard > Media and select Add New. Now select your PDF file.

Adding new media from wordpress dashboard

Step 2: Select or drag-and-drop your file

After clicking Add New, a new section will open up. You can drag and drop your PDF file from your computer to this section. You can also click on “Select File” and upload your file from here.

pdf files uploaded to wordpress library

Once uploaded, your file will appear in the Media Library ready to be used. That is how you can upload pdf to WordPress site.

How to add PDF files to content

Now that you have added your PDF file to the media library, you can include it in your post. There is a custom block that allows you to add a PDF file as a link and include a button to download it. If are looking for a PDF embedder for WordPress, you can use plugins like PDF Viewer for WordPress or EmbedPress.

There is a default option to embed your PDF file but we will discuss that later. Now let’s see how you can add your PDF file link to your site.

Step 1: Open your block editor

To add your PDF file to your website you need a page or a post first. Edit that post or page where you want to add your PDF file. After that, click on the ‘+’ (plus icon) and locate the file.

including a pdf file to content

Step 2: Add your PDF file

Since your file is already uploaded, you can select Media Library and add your PDF file. You can also drag and drop your file if you want to.

selecting the pdf file from wordpress media library

Step 3: (Optional) You can add or remove a button for the download

This step is optional, when you add your PDF file, a button will appear beside it. Give it any name like “Click to download” since your audience can download the PDF file with this button.

customizing the pdf block

Embed PDF on WordPress

Now let’s talk about the default embedded viewing option in WordPress. To embed pdf on WordPress you can use the default settings. The settings option is located on the right side of the screen inside the editor. You probably have noticed an option to enable/disable embedded view. By default, it might be enabled, you can disable it from here if you want.

However, the embedded view doesn’t support some PDF files. If you want to embed a full PDF document on your website, you may need to install a WordPress PDF viewer plugin. Plugins like these give you better options to display PDFs on WordPress websites. You can check out our list of best WordPress PDF viewer plugins and learn more about this.


There’s a lot you can do with PDF files. As we have mentioned earlier, you can use them to grow your email list, offer premium downloads, etc. 

You can also use plugins to better view your PDFs on your website. For example, the PDF viewer for WordPress is a plugin that lets you show your PDF files on your website and makes them fully responsive. It also allows you to set different color schemes, display styles and offers a wide variety of features.

Also, when creating a PDF file make sure that it is optimized for the web. 

We hope this article helped you out in uploading and showing a PDF file on your website. If you found our tips helpful for your business, let us know in the comments!

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links and we may receive a small commission if you purchase something by following them. However, we recommend services/products that we believe good to serve your purpose.

Staff Author
Staff Author

A team of WordPress enthusiasts led by Arafat Bin Sultan, a seasoned professional with over a decade of experience in tech blogging, content marketing, and video creation.

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