As we strive harder to achieve the ideal of a paperless office, we realize that we need good document and file management systems to actualize this goal. For all of us using WordPress, the good news is that there are some really good document management plugins around.
Countless people have gone for Joomla just for its Docman plugin, but this is no longer necessary as WordPress, combined with the plugins we are reviewing here, is more than enough to handle your document and file management needs.
The Top WordPress Document and File Management Plugins (More details below)
|WP Download Manager||4 / 5||More Details|
|Posts Table Pro||4.9 / 5||More Details|
|WP File Download||4.8 / 5||More Details|
|WP Document Revisions||3.6 / 5||More Details|
|Advanced File Manager||4.3 / 5||More Details|
|Groups File Access||4.2 / 5||More Details|
|Download Monitor||4.4 / 5||More Details|
|Easy Digital Downloads*||4.7 / 5||More Details|
*Easy Digital Downloads, by Pippin Williamson, is an alternative for e-commerce and/or offloading media files to 3rd-party services.
Most of the above plugins are actually described as WordPress download managers, but they do the job of document and file management perfectly well.
My favourites are WP Download Manager and Posts Table Pro, but you may find that one of the others is more suitable for your needs. For example, if you want to sell digital downloadable files from your site (such as WordPress plugins or themes) or offload media files to 3rd-party services such as Dropbox and Amazon S3, look no further than Easy Digital Downloads. It has all the functionality you need built-in.
To understand all your options, check out the more detailed description of each plugin below. First, however, if you are searching for specific features, use this form to let us know what you would like your ideal Download / File manager to do.
Here is a more detailed look at each of the file management plugins mentioned above.
WP Download Manager
- Password protection on downloads
- Download visibility based on member roles and capability
- Price variations
- A hit counter
- A detailed download log
- and many more.
It even offers social lock options. These allow you to boost your social media appearance by locking your downloadable files using different social networking options.
Apart from that, you also get integrated html5 players and shortcode options for audio streaming, a digital store and marketplace option, integrations to create membership sites, and so on.
If that’s not enough, this file management plugin also provides a mobile screen that allows you to monitor download and sales stats on the go in a sleek dashboard. Looking to try it out first? Use their free demo.
Lastly, WP Download Manager gives you the opportunity to save hundreds upon hundreds of dollars through their Discount Packs. Whether you need payment gateways, themes or another great combination of add-ons, these are the best deals you’ll find.
Posts Table Pro
Display your downloads in a sortable table, letting your visitors quickly find what they want. Posts Table Pro dynamically creates sortable and filterable tables, so you can add your documents or downloads once using a custom post type or custom field, and then display them across your site using a simple shortcode.
If you’ve got a lot of documents or downloads, and need to ensure visitors can sort through them quickly, then this will be the file management plugin to choose.
Posts Table Pro can be used in many other ways, including creating a flexible video gallery.
WP File Download
WP File Download is an easy to use yet powerful WordPress file management plugin. The amazing user interface is a huge time-saver for professionals while staying accessible for final users. Create a file category, drag’n drop your files then insert a file category or a single file directly in your content. WP File Download brings you a lot of professional features to manage files: 1 click file ordering, 4 responsive themes, file versioning, file importer, remote download, user role file access limitation.
Unique download manager features: the plugin has a highly flexible full text search engine and Google Drive and Dropbox cloud integration with double way synchronization.
Learn more about WP File Download in our extensive review.
WP Document Revisions
WP Document Revisions is a document and file management and version control plugin. Built for time-sensitive and mission-critical projects, teams can collaboratively edit files of any format — text documents, spreadsheets, images, sheet music… anything — all the while, seamlessly tracking the document’s progress as it moves through your organization’s existing workflow.
Additional information, including a screencast of a typical use case, is available on the WP Document Revisions page. For more information on document management including digital signature services, look into YouSendIt.
WP Document Revisions is three things:
- A document management system (DMS), to track, store, and organize files of any format
- A collaboration tool to empower teams to collaboratively draft, edit, and refine documents
- A file hosting solution to publish and securely deliver files to a team, to clients, or to the public
Groups File Access
Groups File Access is a WordPress plugin that allows to provide file download links for authorized users. Access to files is restricted to users by their group membership.
With Groups File Access you can provide file downloads for Premium Members or allow only registered users to download files from your site.
Access to files is restricted by group membership. To be able to download a file, a user must be a member of a group that is assigned to the file. If an access limit has been set for the file, the user must also have accessed (downloaded) the file fewer times than the file’s access limit.
If you want to restrict access to a file to users that belong to a certain group, create the group, add the desired users to the group and assign the group to the files that the group should be able to access. More than one group can be assigned to a file.
Shortcodes are used on posts or pages to render links to files, provide information about files and conditionally show content to users depending on whether they are allowed to access a file.
WordPress Download Monitor
Download Monitor provides an interface for uploading and managing downloadable files (including support for multiple versions), inserting download links into posts, and logging downloads.
Digital Downloads for E-Commerce, and Offloading Files for Better Performance & Security
I know many readers find this post when looking for a good plugin that can handle the selling of digital downloads or the option of offloading media and files for better site performance. The best plugin for this is Easy Digital Downloads, created by established developer Pippin Williamson. It is a free plugin with premium add-ons.
Selling digital downloads is something that not a single one of the large WordPress eCommerce plugins has ever gotten really right. This plugin aims to fix that. Instead of focusing on providing every single feature under the sun, Easy Digital Downloads tries to provide only the ones that you really need. It aims to make selling digital downloads through WordPress easy, and complete.
Features of the plugin include:
- Cart system for purchasing multiple downloads at once
- A complete promotional/discount code system
- Many payment gateways. PayPal and Manual are included by default with Stripe, PayPal Pro, PayPal Express, and others available as add-ons
- Complete payment history
- User purchase history and the ability to re-download files
- Multiple files per downloadable product
- Variable prices for multiple price options per product
- Customizable purchase receipts
- Earnings and sales charts
- Detailed purchase and file download logs
- Data export options for CSV and PDF
- Extensible with many add-ons
- Developer friendly with dozens of actions and filters
Likewise, offloading media, files and documents to services such as Amazon S3 and Dropbox will help your site in a number of ways.
- Benefit from the security features offered by each service
- Potentially reduce hosting and transfer fees since you won’t be using your site’s server bandwidth
- Access to the free high-availability features of each service
- Excellent integration with your WordPress site
- Automatic expiration of download links to prevent link-sharing
Keep hosting in mind before getting started
Another important consideration is that having people uploading and downloading files can become very resource intensive. Before launching any WordPress site that is intended to do more than just display text and images, you need to consider whether your current hosting is capable of handling that strain.
Once you actually have traffic, you don’t want visitors to your site to be confronted with unexplained delays. More importantly, you definitely don’t want them contacting you to ask whether their file uploaded, because the confirmation page failed to appear even though they waited for ages and ages, and now they hate you!
The advice we always give is to make sure you get properly resourced hosting in place before you launch. We recommend three hosts that we have seen work out well for our readers, the choice between them comes down to money:
If you are on a tight budget, SiteGround has a good reputation for well-managed and well-supported shared hosting at a good price. They are by far the best at that price level, consider in particular their GoGeek level.
For those with a little more to spend, Kinsta is a very strong candidate for Managed WordPress hosting. They offer top-notch support with a very capable hosting platform that won’t break the bank. You can try Kinsta risk-free for 30 days thanks to their 30-day money-back guarantee and no long-term contracts. Kinsta also offers free migrations from other WordPress hosting companies including WP Engine, Flywheel, Pantheon, Cloudways and Dreamhost.
If, on the other hand, absolute reliability and performance are more important to you than price, WP Engine provides some of the best possible managed WordPress hosting, I have used them for all of my most important sites, the ones that generate money. They even work out significantly cheaper than other managed WordPress hosts if you take advantage of the exclusive discount we have arranged for the readers of WP Mayor which, surprisingly, you can use in addition to their usual annual discount: 20% discount – 4 months off yearly plans!
If you don’t find or afford the hosting service you need in order to handle the number of files to be uploaded to your site, we again recommend Easy Digital Downloads together with its extensions for Amazon S3 or Dropbox. This will ensure that your site won’t get bogged down with an influx of files, ruining your visitors’ experience and potentially damaging your site’s reputation.
Don’t forget to leave a comment below if you have any opinions on the above plugins, or want to suggest any other good document management plugins for WordPress.