How to Add Viewable, Downloadable PDF Files to Your Website

There are a number of reasons why you would want to add a PDF file to your website – all for the benefits of your readers. In case you want your readers to be able to open and download a PDF file, this article may be able to help you.


The good news is that you can create PDFs in Adobe Acrobat and convert various documents to PDF files using Microsoft Word. Depending on what you are intending to do, you will definitely find the most appropriate way to convert your content into PDF. Once you’ve done that, how do you upload it to your website?

Check with Your Hosting Service

Does your hosting provider allow uploading PDFs to your website?

In fact, there are hosting services and platforms that do not allow the addition of files bigger than a specific size. In case the PDF file you wish to add to your website is bigger than the allowed size, you won’t be able to upload it successfully. And if you don’t follow the rules of the web hosting service, your site may end up being shut down.

If this is the case, you may want to change your web hosting service provider or change your plan so that adding big files is allowed.

How to Upload PDF to Your Website via FTP

In case your hosting service allows adding PDF, you can use the available file upload program. However, if such is not available, you will need to use an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) program. File Transfer Protocol is a standard network protocol largely deployed for the transfer of various files between a client and server on a computer network.

To do this, you need to know your FTP login details. You can get those from your hosting service.

Once you have uploaded the PDF file, you should find its URL address so that you are able to link to it. This will depend on the place where you added the PDF. Is it the main folder on your website, or is it another folder?

Maybe you’ve created a separate folder specifically for PDF files?

Find the URL address according to your answer, and add it to your site, to the specific location where you want to place the link to your PDF.

To do that, you need to inspect the code on your webpage and discover the specific location where you want to add the link to the file.

How to Add the Link to Your PDF File

Adding the code to the location where you want the link to the file to appear in your HTML code is the next thing you need to do. Perhaps you are wondering what this code is. In fact, this link is no different than a typical web page link, and your link code will have the “a href ” attribute.

Note. Depending on the folder where you uploaded your file, the link code could look different. If you uploaded your file to a folder called Folder1, then the link will have /Folder1 addition.

How to Test a PDF File Link

Before uploading the PDF file from your hard drive to your server, make sure that it works properly. To verify the link to the PDF file that you will upload to your website you need to do the following:

  • Find the folder that contains the PDF file, My Documents folder, for example.
  • Then find the PDF file which is called let’s say photography.pdf.
  • Copy the path to the PDF file.
  • Decide what will say the clickable text on your website that will open the selected PDF file. It may say, “Click here to download a free photography whitepaper.”
  • Then add the following code to your website:
<a href ="file:///C|/My Documents\photography.pdf">Click here to download a free photography whitepaper.</a> 

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