How to Create a WordPress File Manager and Upload Files: A Detailed User Guide
03 Feb 2021
A big part of WordPress site management is storing and managing files. Site managers need a secure and easy informational storage system. WordPress site managers need operational support to supplement WordPress. Security and ease of use are the two top things to look for in a file manager plugin.
There are a variety of options. Unlike most WordPress plugins, Posts Table Pro Plugin is easy to use and works from the front-end. In this tutorial, we will outline how to use Posts Table Pro.
Keeping this plugin in mind, we have designed this simple guide.
We will walk you through:
- How to create a WordPress file manager
- Ways to upload files and add documents
Before starting the process, let’s take a quick look at the benefits of using Posts Table Pro.
Ease of use
A file manager sorts and stores a wide range of documents from spreadsheets to PDFs. For easy access, they are searchable. If someone is looking for a document, they can find it and even download it, if needed.
Allows shared access
File managers allow multiple users. You can also share documents or add more documents to a list.
Ease of organization
File managers sort and arrange documents based on custom taxonomies, categories, and tags. Thus, users can organize files the way they understand them better.
Display information of choice
File manager allows users to display information like thumbnails, date of creation, last updated, last downloaded, etc.
Intuitive and straightforward interface
A simple, front-end interface displays files in a tabular layout. It keeps the admin panel undisturbed and pristine, free from all sources of tampering.
A wide range of display options
Users have many choices such as:
- Making each document accessible via a free, unique link
- Documenting in WML, Dropbox, etc. and linking
- Users can directly download docs via page links
Now that we know that a file manager is a useful tool for information and organization management, let’s move on to the procedure for creating one for the WordPress site. As mentioned above, we will use the plugin Posts Table Pro’s example to explain.
Install and activate plugin Posts Table Pro
Posts Table Pro is a paid plugin. So, you must buy it before installation. You can go for a free trial before you commit.
Now, follow these steps to install and activate the plugin:
- Login to WordPress admin panel
- Go to Plugins
- Select ‘Add New’
- Click ‘Upload Plugin’
- Go to ‘Choose File’
- Find zip file for Posts Table Pro plugin
- Upload file
- Click ‘Install Now’ to install the plugin
- Activate Plugin button
- Go to Settings> Posts Table Pro and input the license key
- Click Save Changes
Now that it’s installed, let’s add documents and files.
Adding documents and files to the website
There are a few options for adding documents and files to your website. We explain them below.
Add docs using WordPress Download Manager
WordPress Download Manager is a plugin used for adding documents and performing other related file operations. As a part of the file system development process, the user can create categories and tags to organize the files and other documents uploaded. Next, users can upload documents on the file management system.
This method involves the following steps:
- Go to Plugins
- Click Add New
- Search for WordPress Downloader Manager plugin
- Install and activate it
- Go to Downloads>Categories
- On the categories page, you can customize categories.
- Using the Downloads>Tags path, the users can add tags.
- Next, go to Downloads>Add New to add files.
- Categories and tags make the file you need easier to spot.
- The built-in custom post type makes adding docs a breeze.
- can see download history.
- Custom field options are missing, so the user has to come up with their own.
- Cannot customize taxonomies
Adding Documents’ Attributes
WordPress Download Manager has set tags and taxonomies. Go to Add New File to add more attributes to your files.
- First, name the document with a suitable title.
- Then, upload a file by using the sidebar: Upload/Browse/URL box.
- Add Excerpt in the text box provided.
- Select categories and tags.
- A featured image can also be added.
When using the Classic Text Editor, additions happen in the main content area. In the case of the Gutenberg editor, updates happen in the Paragraph block.
Finally, to make the document accessible to site visitors, you must create a button or link. There are two ways.
Manually add: It is useful for non-developers. Insert a link into the document. This is downloaded to the WordPress file manager.
Users can create a link by adding an anchor text like ‘Download.’ Highlight it, and click the link icon available in the WordPress toolbar. URL is written as https://domain-name.com/?wpdmdl=filename
While using Posts Table Pro columns, you will see a column labeled ‘content.’ The column will display ‘Download Link.’
Program it: For developers, an automated way of creating links is helpful when the WordPress file manager has lots of files. Simply add a code snippet to the functions.php file in the parent theme.
This automatically adds a download link in the WordPress file manager’s ‘Content’ column. In the code snippet, you can replace ‘download’ with anchor text used for download links.
Creating a WordPress File Manager
Once you’ve installed and activated Posts Table Pro:
- Go to Pages and select Add New
- Create a new page to add a file manager
- Add shortcode using Classic Editor or Gutenberg.
Customize the table for better readability
- Set Columns to attributes like image, content: download link, title, excerpt
- Check if the Shortcodes checkbox is ticked off
- Search Filters are set to Custom from the drop-down menu
- Go to Custom Filters and input tax:wpdmcategory, tags
- Page length is set as Hidden
- Save Changes
Since there are multiple file manager categories, the users may need to list downloads for analytics purposes. Once you’ve done the above steps, you’ll see the downloads in the WordPress file manager. If you need to list downloads from a specific category, it is also possible. You can do it with the ‘term option’ in Posts Table Pro. Let’s put the specific category name as Listicles. The shortcode will look something like this:
Apart from a specific category, you can list downloads based on the date published, author, and other tags.
Create custom post types using Pods
Pods is a plugin available for free. You can customize post styles and assign taxonomical arrangements. The users can add custom fields that complement the chosen custom post type. Once Pods finishes its role by enabling you to add documents to custom post style, the Posts Table Pro can take over from here.
To add Pods plugin:
- Go to Plugins at WordPress Dashboard
- Search and Add Pods plugin
- After installation and activation, go to Pods Admin
- Click Add New and under this, go to Create New
- Select Custom Post Type option from Content type under Create New
- Now add singular and plural labels and name them as Document and Documents, respectively.
- Click Next Step
The Next Step is to Edit Pod. Here, you will find the Manage Fields tab. Click it and start adding as many custom fields as required.
These are essential steps involved. You also have Advanced Options under the built-in Taxonomies and Supports sections. The process is complete when you tick any of the features you want to add, such as Images, Featured Image, etc.
Advantages of this method
- In a custom post type, the user can add as many custom fields as desired. The user can upload the files’ characteristics like file size and type, etc., to differentiate one from the other.
- Users can control select fields like featured images and post excerpts.
- Easy to design custom taxonomies.
- User cannot find who downloaded the files
- The user needs to create a custom post type first to start the document uploading process
Adding documents and files to custom post types
Adding documents and files to custom post types is the same as creating new posts or pages. The steps comprise:
- Go to Documents, and select Add New
- On the Add New screen, input documents’ information such as title, short description.
- Add additional data like taxonomies, featured image, custom fields, etc. to describe the document.
- Click Publish
Process to create the WordPress file manager
All the above subsections and steps help populate WordPress Sites with documents and file attributes. This helps retrieve and display documents. The process involves the following steps:
- Go to Pages and select ‘Add New’
- From here, you have two choices to follow to complete the process
Classic Editor: In Classic Editor, Click Insert Posts Table. It will embed a shortcode [posts_table] to the page
Gutenberg: It adds the [posts_table] shortcode to the Shortcode Block
It is how shortcode, and eventually, the Posts table is added to the page. As a result, the page starts displaying all files and documents in a tabular form.
Display documents directly from the front-end after uploading them to WordPress Media Library
In the above methods, the users must create the post to make it available for download. However, you can also display a post directly from the WordPress Media Library.
Other functions of WordPress File Manager
Apart from sorting and arranging the files and documents and presenting them in a tabular form, the WordPress File Manager can:
- Show who downloaded the files
- Offer control over the file accessors
- Allow users to add documents
- Sell downloadable documents, in case it is a WooCommerce site.