3 Best WordPress File Sharing Plugins (How to Use Them)

Do you want to share files and documents with people on your WordPress site? Your best shot at achieving this is to use a WordPress file sharing plugin. This type of plugin helps you to add any type of file to your site, display them in a well-organized library, and offer easy downloads to your site visitors.

No doubt, WordPress is a powerful Content Management System (CMS) that allows you to add different file types to your site. But if you want to set up a fully-fledged file sharing portal, you’ll need more than the default features it offers.

As a WordPress site owner, you might need to share files with your site visitors, either publicly or in a private area of your site. In this case, a WordPress file sharing plugin can help you extend the software’s default file management capabilities. You can use it to display documents and manage large file downloads efficiently.

If you’re looking for the best WordPress plugins for sharing files, then you’ve found the right resource.

This article will cover the following key topics:

Let’s get to it!

What is a WordPress file sharing plugin?

As a fully functional Content Management System (CMS), WordPress allows you to add different types of files to your Media Library. Some of the most popular file formats on the platform are PNG, JPG, MP4, and PDF files. After adding these individual files to your site, you can also add them to posts and pages for site visitors to download.

But if you want to create a robust file sharing and management system, you’ll need a custom solution. This is where WordPress file sharing plugins come in.

A WordPress file sharing plugin allows you to create organized file databases that you can share with clients, team members, or other users of your site. You can also use it to display your files and documents in hierarchical file directories. This makes it very easy for site visitors to navigate your site files.

This type of plugin can also be called a WordPress download manager or WordPress document sharing plugin. Using some of the file sharing plugins we’ll be sharing in this article, your site visitors will be able to search your database to find files quickly and easily.

Let’s talk about some of the most popular use cases and the benefits of using file sharing plugins. Otherwise, you can click here to jump to our list of the 3 best WordPress file sharing plugins or learn how to create a WordPress file sharing portal.

Why you may need a WordPress file sharing plugin

Are you a WordPress business looking for an organized way to curate and share your files and documents? Then a WordPress file sharing plugin is what you need. This type of add-on is ideal for most businesses, corporations, and remote working environments. It comes in handy for any organization where it’s important to locate and keep track of files as efficiently as possible.

Here are some of its most popular use cases:

There are lots more use cases for WordPress file sharing plugins but let’s talk about how using them can benefit your site and business in general.

Benefits of using a WordPress file sharing plugin

Whether you need a public file sharing platform or an internal team-only system, here are some of the ways a WordPress file sharing plugin can better your business:

  • Add any file type and offer them for download Granted, WordPress allows users to add lots of file types to the platform. But if you want to add file formats like FLV, BMP, JSON, or PSD, you’ll need an additional solution. A file sharing plugin comes in handy here and you can use it to offer your clients quick and easy downloads too.
  • Help site visitors access files and documents faster A typical WordPress document library plugin also comes with advanced search and sorting features. This can be in the form of a clear hierarchical structure or a file directory system. This way, remote employees and users can quickly navigate your site and access files from anywhere in the world.
  • Boost your team’s productivity Improved accessibility equals faster workflow which will, in turn, have a positive impact on your team’s productivity. A proper file management system cuts the time that would have otherwise been lost uploading, sharing, and tracking files manually.
  • Improve file security sitewide You also get WordPress secure file sharing features. Your team members get access to only the files you want them to. Instead of sharing your files on different platforms, it’s easier to keep them safe in a single secure location.

Now, let’s talk about the best WordPress file sharing plugins that guarantee you access to these benefits listed above.

3 best WordPress file sharing plugins

There are a couple of important features to look out for when choosing a WordPress file sharing plugin. As a rule of thumb, it’s important to consider:

To help our readers, we tested and compared multiple plugins in the market based on these factors. In the end, we came up with this list of the 3 best WordPress file sharing plugins.

As the best WordPress file sharing plugin, the tool supports all file formats. This means you’ll no longer be limited to the WordPress default functionality for all types of file sharing. With it, you can easily:

  • Embed video and audio players
  • Create an eBook library
  • Set up a company database for uncommon file types
  • Import documents with a third-party URL
  • Allow downloads from any device and from anywhere in the world

One of the major benefits of using this plugin is the flexibility it offers when it comes to displaying your files. You can control the number of rows per page, add a download button or icon, and even create dynamic folders.

Key features

Document Library Pro doubles as a simple but efficient WordPress file sharing plugin and WordPress download manager. It allows you to set up your file databases and start sharing files in a few minutes.

The plugin works well with any WordPress theme and the technical team offers great support too.

This WordPress file sharing plugin by W3 Eden is pretty well known for its plethora of file management features. Just as its name implies, the plugin focuses on tracking and assessing file downloads on your WordPress site. WordPress Download Manager is also highly optimized for selling downloadable digital products.

Similar to Document Library Pro, Download Manager gives the user a lot of file and document management controls. But unlike our number one pick, you don’t get as many front-end display options.

If you’re looking for a solid solution for monitoring downloads and controlling file access, you can hardly go wrong here.

Key features

Download Manager has both a free and premium version. The free version includes 15GB of Google Drive and 2GB of Dropbox storage. But you’ll need 1 of the 3 paid plans to access features like multi-file packaging, bulk import, and download stats.

The third plugin on this list is our pick for the best free WordPress file sharing plugin out there. This extension takes a little different approach from the first two options we shared above.

Its major selling point is that it allows site visitors to add their own files to your site, provided they are logged in. This way, other registered users get the ability to share files with you and other site visitors. You can achieve all this by simply adding a shortcode to your site.

Advanced File Manager is arguably the most user-friendly solution for uploading, moving, and downloading files from a WordPress site. It eliminates the need for less beginner-friendly solutions like cPanel and FTP.

Key features

Advanced File Manager grants you access to both files inside and outside the WordPress root directory.

This plugin is ideal for site owners and administrators looking to share files on a tight budget. But you’ll have to trade the flexible display and download tracking options other plugins offer.

How to share files and documents in WordPress (4 Simple Steps)

Ready to start sharing files in WordPress? You can do this by following these 4 simple steps below.

We’ll be using our number 1 plugin pick, Document Library Pro to demonstrate this.

Step 1: Install and activate Document Library Pro

You can start sharing files in WordPress by getting Document Library Pro here.

After getting the plugin, you’ll receive a confirmation email that includes a license key. You’ll need this key to activate the plugin on your site.

Next:

That’s it! Document Library Pro is ready for use.

Now, let’s configure the necessary settings.

Step 2: Configure your default library settings

Go to the plugin’s settings page by navigating to Documents → Settings. This is where you set all the default options for your file libraries.

Let’s talk about some of the key settings to configure.

In the General tab, select the file fields you want to use for your documents. These fields will appear on the single file pages. You can choose one or all of these options: content, excerpt, featured image, and comments.

Also, set a default document library page to display files by default. You can choose the ‘Document Library’ page the plugin creates automatically.

Otherwise, you can add a document library anywhere on your site with the [doc_library] shortcode.

Another important option on this page is the default layout for displaying files. Among other settings, you also get to choose whether or not to add a file preview, link, image lightbox, or set the number of files per page.

In the other tabs, you can set up the table or grid columns, and the single file page.

Step 3: Add files to four WordPress site

The process of adding a file to WordPress follows the same as creating a page or post. Start by going to Documents → Add New.

Here, fill in all the important information fields like author, file size, and category.

When you’re done, click Publish and you’re good to go.

You can also add files directly by going to Documents → Import and using the drag and drop option.

Otherwise, simply import in bulk with a CSV file. Make sure you’ve properly prepared the file so it contains all the important information fields. Similarly, you can convert existing files in your Media Library to documents.

If you choose, you can as well update your files and their properties in the future.

Step 4: Display the documents on any page

All the files you’ve added or converted into documents will automatically be displayed on the default document library page you set earlier.

Otherwise, you can add a document library to any page using the  [doc_library] shortcode.

Depending on the option you chose, these files will appear either in a grid layout:

Or table layout:

You can also choose which files to display based on categories, tags, and other attributes. Follow this link to see the detailed list of shortcode options for displaying different file lists.

How to offer WordPress secure file sharing

To share files in a private area of your WordPress site, you’ll need to combine Document Library Pro with a WordPress private content plugin. We highly recommend Password Protected Categories for this.

The plugin helps you to either:

  • Hide the whole file database
  • Hide selected file categories
  • Show different files to different users using roles or password protection

Once you’ve installed the plugin on your site, you’ll see a new settings section when you go to Documents → Add New.

You can also hide specific file categories by going to Documents → Categories. Select the file category.

Then change the visibility of the category to ‘Protected’.

When you’re done, click Update.

Hooray! You’ve successfully created your first secure shared file category in WordPress.

Start sharing files on WordPress

There are certain business cases when it makes sense to share files with your WordPress site visitors. You may want to create a company wiki, resource library, or public file sharing portal.

In each of these cases, you’ll need more robust file management features than what the default WordPress software offers. Fortunately, you can use a WordPress file sharing plugin to add, manage, and display any type of file on your site.

In this article, we showed you how to share files publicly and publicly with the best WordPress file sharing plugin in the market, Document Library Pro. This plugin gives you full control over your site files and helps you to display them in a well-organized manner.

We hope you’ve been able to use this guide to set up your own file sharing platform in WordPress. Let us know if you have any questions in the comments section below.

This content was originally published here.