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How to Upload a PDF to WordPress Websites (3 Easy Methods)

pdf preview on wordpress website

Want to know how to upload a PDF to WordPress? 

There are a lot of benefits of embedding PDFs on a WordPress website. You can use PDFs to grow your email list or sell digital downloads to members only, sharing ebooks, tour itineraries, restaurant menus, or course materials, among other things. 

Embedding a PDF to a post or page is super easy. In this tutorial, we will show you the exact steps you need to take to embed PDF documents on your WordPress website. 

Let’s get started. 

How to Upload a PDF to WordPress Websites

The first step is ensuring the document is in a proper .pdf format. You can use the following free PDF converters to convert your doc to a proper .pdf format.

Now, there are 3 different methods to upload PDFs to WordPress websites. 

You can upload the file directly to your media library and display it on a post or a page using the Gutenberg File block. 

Alternatively, you can upload the document into your Google Drive and then embed the file link into your website. 

You can also use a plugin to offer advanced features like full-screen mode, continuous scrolling for a seamless reading experience, lazy loading, etc. 

In the next few sections, we will show you how to implement each method. Choose whichever method seems convenient for you.

Upload PDF Using Gutenberg File Block

In this method, we are going to use a Gutenberg block called File. So naturally, this method won’t work if you are using website builders like Elementor, Beaver Builder, Thrive Architect, etc. 

But don’t worry. Even if you can’t use Gutenberg blocks, your website builders should allow you to upload PDF files to your WordPress website. Just look at the official documentation explaining the steps. For instance, Beaver Builder has an official guide on how to add PDFs using the website builder. 

Now, let’s look at how to use Gutenberg block to upload PDF files to your WordPress website. 

Step 1: Open your WordPress dashboard, go to Media > Add New, and upload the PDF file

Step 2: Next, open the post or page where you want to embed the PDF. 

Then, add the File block to the post or the page. It will ask you to Upload a file or choose one from the Media Library.

gutenberg file block

Select Media Library and you should be able to see the PDF file you just uploaded. Select it and insert the file into the post or page. Remember to hit the Publish button.

That’s it folks. That’s how you can upload a PDF to WordPress website.

pdf preview on wordpress website

Pro Tip: If you want to make the PDF available as a download button, Gutenberg will help you create one. Add a Button block and design it as per your need. 

Then open your Media Library and select the file and click on the Copy URL to clipboard button. Next, insert the URL into the Download button and publish the page.

media library copy url to clipboard

Upload PDF Using Google Drive

You can embed a PDF on your WordPress website using Google Drive. This method comes in handy if you don’t want to bog down your site’s speed by uploading too many files into your media library. 

Step 1: Log into your Google Drive, then select the New > File Upload options located on the left-hand side of the screen. Upload the file from your local computer.

upload file into google drive

Step 2: After the file is uploaded, open it, select the three dots on the right-hand corner of the screen and click on the Share option.

google drive file share button

A popup will open. You should see a General access option with a dropdown menu. From the menu, select Anyone with the link and save the setting.

google drive anyone with the link

Pro Tip: If you don’t want the PDF to be downloaded, printed, or copied, then click on the gear icon and deselect this option ‘Viewers and commenters can see the option to download, print, and copy.’

disable download print copy in google drive

Step 3: Next, close the popup and select the three dots once again. Click on the Open in new window option and the PDF file will open in a new window. 

Step 4: Go over to the new window and select the three dots from the top right-hand corner of the screen and select the Embedded item option. A new popup will appear with an HTML code. Copy that.

google drive embed items

Step 5: Now, go to your WordPress dashboard, open the page, or post where you want to showcase the PDF file. Paste the code into the page or post and hit the Publish button. 

Upload PDF Using a Plugin

Using the plugin makes sense if you want more control over how the PDF is displayed on your site. 

Most PDF plugins server PDF files from their own servers. This ensures that your post and pages load quickly. 

Other benefits of using a plugin include hiding the document from search engine crawlers, preventing visitors from downloading and modifying the file, etc. 

While there are plenty of PDF plugins to choose from, we’ll prefer the following plugins based on our personal experience. 

1. PDF Viewer for WordPress

PDF Viewer is one of the best PDF plugins out there. It allows you to track the number of impressions and download via Google Analytics. It also offers a ton of controls like download, print, share, zoom, presentation mode, etc. The best part is that you can customize the PDF to match your brand. 

PDF Viewer for WordPress is a premium plugin and it cost $40. 

2. PDF.js Viewer

PDF.js Viewer is a perfect PDF plugin for displaying large PDFs. The plugin has a lazy load integration which means it loads the file only when people navigate to the PDF on your page. This prevents your pages from becoming slow.

The plugin is mobile responsive and offers plenty of useful features like zoom functionality, password protection, and search functionality, among other things. 

PDF.js Viewer is a free plugin. 

pdfjs viewer

3. PDF Embedder

PDF Embedder is one of the most popular PDF plugins out there. It’s a responsive plugin which means, that once you upload a PDF into the page or post, it will automatically resize the doc according to the browser dimensions. 

The plugin ensures that it’s serving the files from its own server. 

The premium version of the plugin offers a download button, hyperlinks, full-screen mode, mobile responsiveness, and continuous scroll, among other things. 

With that, we have come to the end of this tutorial. 

Also read: How to do A/B Testing on WordPress Site

Conclusion

Uploading a PDF to your WordPress website is super easy. All you need to do is upload the file into your media library and then use the File block to embed it into a post or page. 

Alternatively, you can also upload the file into Google Drive and then embed it into a post or page. 

If you want more control over how the PDF appears on your website, then use premium plugins like PDF Viewer for WordPress, PDF.js Viewer, PDF Embedder, etc. 

That’s it for this one folks! If you have any questions about how to upload a PDF to WordPress websites, leave a comment below.

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