By Adobe.Lumu at de.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia CommonsWordPress has made it easier for adding links to PDF documents on your website.

And this quick tutorial will be a handy prompt, if ever you get stuck.

If you have been reading my blogs for a while,  you will know I covered this in December 2012, however, subsequent WordPress updates have simplified the buttons and steps involved.

The first point to note is that I NEVER put content online ONLY in PDF format.

PDF is handy for giving site visitors the option of downloading supplementary information (a brochure to support a piece of content) or a print-ready duplicate of the information on the web page.

There are a few reasons I take this stance, namely:

  • Web content natively published as part of a web Page or Post is much quicker to load and easy to read
  • Native web content (on a well designed site) flows nicely on the screen, whether it is a laptop, tablet, or smart phone
  • Google can much more easily access and reference native web content
  • Some users still get confused when they click a PDF download link and wonder why their screen has gone temporarily blank during the download process

One extra point is that if websites primarily make their content available in PDF format it shows they do not understand the web environment or are lazy.

How to make PDF documents ready for download in WordPress

Let’s assume you have a Page or Post with content that now needs a link added for the downloading of a PDF.

  1. Firstly, click your cursor on your WordPress Page or Post editing screen (this will position the link to the PDF)
  2. Click on the Add Media button
  3. Click the Upload Files link and then the Seletct Files button to look for your PDF document on your computer
  4. When you find it, double click it and it should start uploading into your website
  5. When the upload has finished, look to the right of your work screen and a slim column of options should appear.
  6. Clear the Title field and replace it with the text you want, such as Click Here To Download The Steve Davis Memoirs
  7. Look further down in the Attachment Display Settings and choose Medial File in the Link To dropdown box
  8. Click Insert Into Page
  9. Back on the Page or Post, click Publish or Update, and you are done

Congratulations, you have now inserted a download link to your PDF file.

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