How Do I Make My Upload A Download In WordPress?

This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions are 100% my own.

Printables are hot right now. A lot of bloggers are creating activity sheets, checklists, tutorials and more for their readers that can be printed out or saved on their computers for a later date. Many bloggers are stumped about how to go about making an upload a download in WordPress, or even the best practices. Here are a few ways to make your next printable or tutorial freebie easily accessible to your readers.

How to Make an Upload a Download -

From Within a Post

In most cases, the link to the download is going to be located within a post or page. Therefore, it may be easiest to simply upload your file and attach it while creating your post. This is really no different than adding an image to your post. You are simply uploading a .pdf file instead.

Upload File

Upload the .pdf just as you would an image.


Make sure it is linked to Media File in the Settings.

Attachment Link

A link with your file’s name will be automatically inserted into your post.

From the Media Library

A lot of bloggers, myself included, like to make subscriber-only content available to their email newsletter subscribers. In this case, you are going to need to upload the .pdf to your blog through the Media Library and grab the File URL. You can then share the link in a post, an email, a linky, etc.

From Media LibraryHow to Protect an Upload

A couple of problems that occasionally arise with the above methods are when:

  • You don’t want the file sharable with others
  • It’s a tutorial that includes links to outside resources

In case number one, if you are simply uploading a .pdf and sharing the media link with your readers. That link can also be shared easily with the rest of the world without those parties ever needing to visit your main post.

In case number two, if you have ever tried to follow an uploaded .pdf tutorial that links to necessary resources you know that it can be a pain. In most cases the links do not open in a new window. Your reader may have to do a lot of Back and Forward, or Googling or they may simply click away and never return.

In these instances, it may be best to make your file an actual download. When the reader clicks the link, the file is downloaded to their computer as opposed to opening a URL. To do this, you are going to follow the same steps as above but this time you need to save it as a .zip file instead of .pdf before uploading.

How to Zip a File


As you can see, it is rather simple to make your uploads available as downloads, printables or savable files. If you want to track the number of downloads, there are free plugins available like Download Monitor that will provide you with stats and other useful tools.

Do you make printables or other downloads available to your readers? Any tips or cool tools we should know about?


  1. says

    This is great, but what if what you want them to be able to download is an image and not a pdf, for example a desktop background? I would love to be able to have visitors click “click here for download” and then they download the image. I see everyone doing that but I can’t figure out for the life of me how to set it up and I can’t find the answer anywhere. If you know how to do that, would you please share? Thank you so much! Have a blessed day and thanks for the post above, very helpful :)

    • Angie Nelson says

      Same process as above, Tea. Make it a .zip file first and it will automatically download the file when they click the link.

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