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..

This Article has had 52,208 views so far.

Posted in How to Guides, Podcasts, Video Tutorials, Wordpress Tips on January 7th, 2009
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Reverb Studios is an affordable Web & Digital Design studio based in Leitrim, Ireland and specialising in Wordpress Website Design, Graphic Design and Photo Editing.

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  • Jeffrey

    Thank you! This was exactly what I was looking for!


  • Cheryl

    Thank you VERY much for doing this. It was quite helpful and saved me a lot of time!

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  • Leona

    Thank you! The bit about the title is exactly what I’d been looking for.

  • zemon

    this REALLY helps!!
    thanks so much.

  • Michael Montgomery

    Thank’s a million for this short but to the point tutorial.

  • Richard

    Thanks Leon, just what I was looking for

  • Darren

    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,


    • Leon

      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.

  • Darren

    Hi Leon,

    I was trying to post it on my blog (which is in the wordpress site)

    Would that require coding?

    Thanks again for your help!


  • Leon

    Posting to your blog means adding it to a page or post!?

  • Darren

    Hi Leon, Sorry I’m only getting back now…yes it would mean adding to a post so I guess it would be the same process?

  • Leon

    Exact same yes.

  • Darren

    Thanks Leon!

  • jaxky

    hi Leon, i got your link form the HostGator support, thank you for the explanation..

  • Richard Maybury

    Nice one Leon, must check if you have any more tips like this!

  • Ari

    Thank you so much! The first really useful tutorial I ever find about wordpress.

  • joette

    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.

  • Andy


  • Matt

    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!

    • Leon

      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.

    • Aaron Reimann

      I know this is old, but…..I wrote a plugin to do a “force download”. It isn’t on the WP repository yet, check back here: later this week though.

  • Cathie Brown

    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!

  • Adil

    thnks jani but the url is soo difficult to mention. but i hove done my work with your help.

  • Nancy Carroll

    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!

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  • Gio

    No words to say thank you!!!! I was looking for a simple explanation for so long…the best ever!

  • Zul

    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 !

    • sandy


  • Camera Removal Team

    Thanks Leon,

    I was halfway through the video and I already had the link published. Perfect!

  • sam.mariachi

    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?

    • Leon

      Its just a WordPress plugin called Cumulus..

  • Walt Karmolinski

    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.



  • Mark

    Nice one- exactly what I was looking for!

  • Aran

    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



    • Leon

      All I know is you can open a link in a different window/tab by adding target=”_blank”. Is that what you mean?

  • Aran


    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.



  • Leon

    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.

  • Lina

    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!

  • Carolyn Elizabeth Blake

    Thank you for this nice tutorial on the file download process.

  • Eve

    Thank YOu! simple and to the point. I will ref your site in the future.

  • Leokret

    Video does not work!

  • Leokret

    Video does not work!

  • whitney

    so very useful, thank you…sorry your broadband is so slow.

  • 4starlist

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

    • Leon Quinn

      Try adding this to the wp-config file: 

      define(‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ’128M’); 

      however it may not work if your host isn’t agreeable.

  • 4starlist

    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!

    • Leon Quinn

      That can be achieved with a few wordpress plugins..

  • guest


  • Shyju Mathew

    Would you know how I could give away a pdf through my feeds? 

    • Leon Quinn

      Don’t RSS feeds include post attachments? Not sure..

  • Drew

    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.

  • photo studio los angeles

    WP plugins are available for it 

  • Tom Wilder

    There are a lot of people who asked about how to add a pdf or a file download to WordPress and now you offered them a 

    great WordPress tutorial 
      about these options.  

  • jules

    any ideas how i can add an extra page for downloading files ? is there a plugin for wordpress to do that ? my website is and i would like to add a new page where the link for the downloaded file should appear

    thanks !

    • Leon Quinn

      Em…just add a new page in wordpress!??

  • Deborah Iverson

    Thank you so much. I know this was an older version of WordPress but I was still able to figure it out from your information and get it done.

    Deborah Iverson

  • web hosting companies

    Above the video is explained how to Add PDF file and how to download file in wordpress information guide is very helpful to me.

  • Splanella

    Great stuff! I was able to insert the downlad option for our case study in few seconds!
    Thanks a million!

  • pheiona

    how can i increase upload file size? pdf file size is about 5MB and the maximum upload size is only 2MB. :’( how should i do? please..

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  • Leon QuinnThanks for checking out my Blog! I'm a Multimedia/Web Designer based in Leitrim, Ireland. Leon.

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This blog is written and maintained solely by Reverb Studios Design. Contact Leon at or 353 76 602 5555.