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How to Create a File Upload Form in WordPress [Full Guide]

Wondering how to let your website visitors upload file attachments to your WordPress forms?

Giving users the ability to upload documents and media to your WordPress site can make it way easier for you to collect the information you need.

In this article, we’ll show you how to easily create a WordPress file upload form without any code.

Create Your File Upload Form Now

Why Use a WordPress File Upload Field on Your Forms?

You might need to add a file upload field to your WordPress forms so users can upload documents to WordPress as well as other types of files and media as they submit their forms to you.

One of the most common uses of a file upload field is in job application forms so applicants can attach their resume files and other important documents. There are countless other scenarios where a WordPress file upload form can come in incredibly handy.

WPForms is the best WordPress Form Builder plugin. Get it for free!

Let’s go ahead and see how you can add the file upload field to your WordPress forms.

How to Create a WordPress File Upload Form

Follow these steps to set up your online file upload form.

Prefer written instructions? Check out the steps below:

Step 1: Install WPForms on Your WordPress Site

WPForms is one of the best file upload plugins for WordPress. This plugin lets your customers upload a variety of file types to your forms including:

  • Documents (.doc, .xls, .ppt, and .pdf)
  • Images (.png, .gif, and .jpg)
  • Video (.mpg, .mov, and .wmv)
  • Audio (.wav, .mp3, and .mp4)

The first thing you’ll need to do is install and activate the WPForms plugin.

WPForms

Make sure to get the WPForms Pro plan (which includes the file upload field that we’ll be adding later on).

With WPforms, it’s super easy to create a form with a file upload field included within it.

After you’ve registered your account and purchased the plan, click on the Downloads tab at the top of your WPForms account area. Then, press the Download WPForms button.

Downloading WPForms

While you’re on this page, also make sure to copy the license key. You’ll need this soon in one of the steps below.

Copying your WPForms license key

When the file has been downloaded, open your site’s WordPress account dashboard and click on Plugins » Add New from the left-hand menu.

Adding a new plugin in WordPress

Then, click on Upload Plugin and press the Choose File button. Find the downloaded WPForms zip file within your directory and then press the Install Now button.

Installing WPForms

Activate the plugin once it’s installed. You’ll now see WPForms added to the left hand panel of your WordPress site. Click on WPForms » Settings. Now, in the License Key field, copy and paste the WPForms license key that you found earlier.

Pasting your license key into the WPForms settings page

Now, we can begin creating our file upload form.

Step 2: Add a New Form Using WPForms

Next, go to your WordPress dashboard and click on WPForms » Add New in the left-hand menu to add a new form and name it whatever you’d like.

Naming your file upload form

Now, we’ll use one of WPForms’ pre-built templates to make our file upload form.

Scroll down and type in “file upload form” in the template search field. When this template appears in the results, move your cursor over it and click Use Template.

Choosing the File Upload Form template

Then WPForms will populate a pre-built File Upload Form.

The File Upload Form template

Now we can customize our WordPress file upload form until it looks exactly how we want it to.

Remember that you can include the file upload field in any form. For instance, you can accept file uploads in your event registration form if you’d like to check out the portfolio of your applicants before giving them an entry pass.

Step 3: Customize the WordPress File Upload Form

Here, you can add additional fields to your form by dragging them from the left-hand panel to the right-hand panel. For example, you can add a payment field if you want to require payment on your file upload forms.

With the File Upload Form template, you’ll already have the Name, Email, Phone, File Upload, and Additional Comments fields.

Click on any of the form fields to make changes. You can also click on a form field and drag it to rearrange the order on your form.

You can also add the File Upload field to any WordPress form you create. Just drag the File Upload form field, found under Fancy Fields, from the left-hand panel of the Form Editor to the right-hand panel.

Adding a File Upload field to a contact form

You can click on the File Upload field to change its:

  • Label — Name the form field so your site visitors know what it’s for.
  • Description — Add a description explaining details to users. For example, if you only want people to upload an image, tell them that.
  • Allowed File Extensions — If you want to restrict the types of files that can be uploaded to your WordPress form, put them here, each separated by a comma.
  • Max File Size — Specify, in megabytes, the max size file you’ll allow users to upload. If you leave this blank, WPForms will default to the maximum file size limit that’s allowed by your web host. If you need to increase it, see this tutorial on how to change the maximum file upload size in WordPress.
  • Max File Uploads — If you’ve chosen the Modern style (see below), you can specify how many files users can upload to your form.
  • Required — If you want to require that users upload documents to WordPress before they can submit their form, select this checkbox.

In the Advanced tab of the field options panel, you can also change:

  • Style — You can switch between the default Modern style (recommended) and the Classic style. Only the Modern style allows for users to upload more than 1 file at a time.
  • Store file in WordPress Media Library — Save files uploaded to this field in your site’s WordPress Media Library.
  • CSS Classes — Add custom CSS classes to your Field Upload field.
  • Hide Label — Remove the field label.

You can also make forms look great by following the steps in our post on how to create a multi-step form in WordPress. But for the sake of this tutorial, we’ll stick with a single page.

Step 4: Configure Your WordPress File Upload Form Notifications

Notifications are an excellent way to know when someone submits one of your file upload forms.

Accessing a form's notifications settings

All forms in WPForms have notifications enabled by default.

To get an email message when someone completes your form, you’ll need to set up form notifications in WordPress and provide your email address.

You can also send a notification to the respondent if you’d like to let them know that their entry has been successfully submitted.

For more on this, check out our step by step guide on how to send multiple form notifications in WordPress.

There are 2 ways you can include your form’s uploaded file(s) in the email notification. The recommended option is to use Smart Tags to add a link to the body of the email.

A file upload link in an email notification

Or you can scroll down to the Advanced settings for the notification and Enable File Upload Attachments.

Enabling file upload attachments for an email notification

This will include the uploaded file(s) as an attachment to the email notification. Keep in mind that email providers may have limits on the size of the attachments you can send from your site.

Step 5: Configure Your File Upload Form Confirmations

Form confirmations are ways to take action immediately (and automatically) after your user has submitted information to your form. For extra help with this step, check out our tutorial on how to set up form confirmations.

There are 3 different kinds of confirmations in WPForms:

  1. Message — This is the default confirmation type. It displays a message after someone hits submit on your form, and is customizable.
  2. Display Page — Automatically sends users to any post or page on your site like a thank you page.
  3. Redirect — Useful if you want to take the user to a different website or specialized URL for more complex development.

So let’s see how to set up a simple form confirmation in WPForms so you can customize the success message site visitors will see when they submit a form on your site.

To start, click on the Confirmations tab in the Form Editor under Settings.

Next, select the type of confirmation type you’d like to create. For this example, we’ll select Message.

Customizing the file upload form confirmation message

Then, customize the confirmation message to your liking and click Save when you’re done.

Now you’re ready to add your form to your website.

Step 6: Add Your File Upload Form to Your Website

After you’ve created your form, you need to add it to your WordPress site.

And WPForms lets you add your forms to multiple places on your WordPress website including your pages, blog posts, and sidebar widgets.

So let’s take a look at the most common placement option: page/post embedding.

To begin to embed your file upload form, create a new page or post in WordPress, or go to the update settings on an existing one. After that, click inside the first block (the blank area below your page title) and click on the Add WPForms icon.

Adding a WPForms block to a page

Now, the WPForms widget will appear inside of your block. Click on the WPForms dropdown and pick the form you’ve already created that you want to insert into your page. So select your file upload form.

You’re one step close to creating the perfect upload page in WordPress.

Selecting a file upload form in the WPForms block

Next, click on the blue button in the top right that says either Publish or Update, so your form will appear on your website.

Publishing a file upload form

That’s it! Your file upload form is now on your website.

Step 7: View the Uploaded Files in WordPress

WPForms stores each form submission as an entry. To view uploaded files, go to WPForms » Entries.

And from there, select the right form from the list and click on View.

Viewing an entry to your file upload form

Next, right click the file to download the file, or click to view it in your browser.

Viewing the file upload in an entry

Better yet, the WPForms WordPress plugin has tons of addons you can install so you can do more with your files. For example, you can use our Zapier addon to automatically save all file uploads to:

Create Your File Upload Form Now

You can also set up CSV file uploads so visitors can send you orders or timesheets

And there you have it! You now know how to create a file upload form with a WordPress plugin.

Next, Create a File Upload Widget in WordPress

If you want to allow site visitors to upload files directly to your website, be sure to check out our helpful guide on how to create a WordPress file upload widget.

WPForms also lets you accept user submitted content, so external authors can easily post to your website without needing to create a user account on your site.

So what are you waiting for? Get started with the easiest-to-use WordPress form builder plugin today. WPForms Pro includes a free file upload feature and free file upload form and offers a 14-day money-back guarantee.

And don’t forget, if you like this article, then please follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Using WordPress and want to get WPForms for free?

Enter the URL to your WordPress website to install.

Comments

  1. some truly nice and useful info on this internet site, too I conceive the design and style contains great features.

  2. Hello,

    how can a change the text “click or drag a file to this area to upload” (to Dutch) ?

    regards,
    Marcel

  3. How can this be used to allow users to upload multiple files and have them all linked to the submitted post?

    1. Hi Hiren, thanks for the question!
      In the Post Submission form, you can only use individual File Upload fields, as you will have to add custom fields to your posts and there is no custom field type to store multiple files. However, if you will upload images only, then you can use the Image Gallery custom field and use multiple Upload Files field in your post submission form.
      In case it helps, we have a great tutorial on how to create a post submission form in WPForms.
      I hope this helps.
      Have a good one 🙂

  4. If i wanted to use this form builder to take their name ,contact and mailing address along with submitted customer pictures and text to sell My POD merchandise. How Can i link this to my paypal acct and autoresponder account? To take their order?

    1. Hi Steve,
      In order to connect WPforms with PayPal and add the PayPal payment options to your form, you can use our PayPal addon, which is available with the Pro license level or higher. I’m not aware of the Autoresponder service that you have mentioned, but you can check if it’s available in Zapier – the connection service, then you should be able to integrate it with WPforms through our Zapier addon.
      I hope this helps!
      Have a good one 🙂

  5. Hi, thank you for you plugin, I am using basic plan.

    How I can send attachment with entry confirmation to manager? It forwards only text fields, but not an attachment.

    This is an issue when using staging / live environments at hosting, as during I am preparing updates on staging there are a lot of submissions at live version and then, after pushing staging to live all attachments are lost.

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Volodymyr.
      WPForms doesn’t support including attaching files to emails currently. The reason is that it can often hurt email deliverability. Different email providers have different limits on the type and size of files they can accept. Sending files that don’t pass these rules most often means the email won’t get delivered or will bounce.
      I hope this makes sense.
      Have a good one 🙂

    1. Hey Jana – The file upload size limitation in your forms defaults to the maximum that your web host allows. You can lower this limit from the form settings though. In general, having high file size won’t affect overall site speed but it will take more time to upload big files and users need to wait for a longer time to submit the form, Also your server should have sufficient space to store big files.

      I hope this info helps!

    1. Hey Tim — I apologize, but I’m not sure I understand your question. When you get a chance, could you please share more details, or possibly an example of what you’re looking to do? Thanks!

  6. Hi there, Thanks for this article.

    Using the Modern Style, how can I upload an image and display it in the same box after it has been uploaded; i.e. after clicking the submit button?

    Thanks

    1. Hey Noel – I am afraid this can’t be done at the moment. We will keep it on our roadmap for the future. Thanks for the suggestion!

      Have a good one 🙂

    1. Hey Debajyoti – If you’d like to include uploaded files on a WordPress page/post, then I’d recommend setting up the File Upload field to send files to the WordPress Media Library (you can check out more details on that setting here). This will let you easily access those files as you’re using the WordPress page/post editor.

      I hope this helps! If you have more questions about this, or if I’ve misunderstood your question in any way, please contact our support team. We’d be happy to help more from there! 🙂

      1. when uploading a audio file, it does not post to the blog but the title and info does but not the audio player. how do I get the audio player or video player to appear on the blogpost with submitted post?

      2. Hey Joe,

        I am sorry as currently, we don’t have an inbuilt feature to embed the uploaded audio/ video into their respective audio/video player in the blog post. I’ve made a note of the feature request and we’ll keep it on our radar as we plan out our roadmap for the future.

        I apologize for the inconvenience!

  7. Is there a chance to combine it with some sort of double-opt-in?
    Otherwise I have to rely on third party stuff like borlabs or the like.

    1. Hey Till – I am afraid we currently don’t have a built-in double optin feature in the form. If it helps we have addons for various email marketing services and most of these services have double optin features which you can use via WPForms. For example, we have addons for most of the email marketing services mentioned here. Please take a look at the pricing page to know which addon is available with which license.

      I hope this helps!

    1. Hey Hardik- Good question!

      By default, the user-uploaded files are stored in the WPForms folder inside the Uploads directory of your site. (wp-content/uploads/wpforms)

      I hope this helps! If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch with our team.

      Thanks, and have a good one 🙂

  8. FILE UPLOAD IS NO LONGER FREE IN WPFORMS!
    I just lost abou an hour creating a form e when I got to the file upload part, I just couldn’t make it. So frustrating. please, update your post.

    1. Hi Lucas, I’m sorry to hear that you’re having some issues with the File Upload field on your form. The File Upload field is only available with any of our Pro (paid) versions of WPForms as mentioned in the article. Our Lite (free) version does not include the File Upload field. If you’re having issues with the File Upload field with one of our Pro versions, please contact us if you have an active subscription.

      If you do not, don’t hesitate to drop us some questions in our support forums.

  9. How can I download files collectively?
    People send me about 300 photos and I want to download it faster than clicking every link.

    Is it possible?

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Martin! We don’t have any options that would enable you to download all the files at once, as the entries are stored in their own post within your site’s database. You could download files in batches if you access your site’s server via FTP, or the File Manager in your hosting dashboards cPanel. By default, the user-uploaded files are stored in the Uploads directory of your site, inside the WPForms folder. More details about our File Upload field can be found in this article.

      I hope this helps to clarify 🙂 If you have any further questions about this, please contact us if you have an active subscription. If you do not, don’t hesitate to drop us some questions in our support forums.

    1. Hey Theirry- Great question. File upload names are preserved, but we add a unique hash to the end of the file name as you probably noticed (eg: my-logo-570543445db74.png). This is done for security purposes, to prevent users from trying to “snoop” for the files on your server after they have uploaded them, which is common when someone is trying to be nefarious.

      By default, WPForms (and WordPress) will not allow any files to be uploaded that could be harmful to your website or that could be exploited. However, we add the hash to the file so that malicious users couldn’t easily open up a bunch of files that have been uploaded to your site.

      Customizing the File Name with the respective user name can be possible. However, I apologize as we aren’t able to provide support for this degree of customization.

      In case you’d like to look into custom development options, we highly recommend using Codeable. Codeable screens all developers for you to make sure that they’re highly skilled and communicative, and then also helps guide the entire process of connecting and communicating with a best-fit developer.

      Here’s our tutorial on using Codeable, which provides more details on how this process works.

      Thanks!! 🙂

  10. Are all of these uploaded files searchable by keywords? I’m trying to do something like there where I can have users upload files and fill in keywords in the upload form. And then other users can search via keyword for those files.

    1. Hi John. Thanks for reaching out to us.

      The File upload names are preserved, but we add a unique hash to the end of the file name as you probably noticed (eg: my-logo-570543445db74.png). This is done for security purposes, to prevent users from trying to “snoop” for the files on your server after they have uploaded them, which is common when someone is trying to be nefarious. It should be possible to search through your file depending on the File name. However, we don’t have a native feature to achieve this at the moment.

      As a workaround, you can display the entries on the front end using this custom code and for further customization of integrating a search feature, we suggest you codeable or WPBuff.

      Thanks and have a good one!

  11. Instead of saving upload url in database, is it possible to save attachment id against the field value while using upload field?

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