How to Add PDF Files to Websites

Add PDF files and PDF links to your website

What to Know

  • Use your web host's file upload program to upload PDF files to your website. If they don't offer one, use an FTP program.
  • Find the URL of the PDF > copy the URL > determine where you want the PDF link to display on your website.
  • Paste the link into your website's HTML code. On website builders, add the link to anchor text according to web host's instructions.

This article explains how to add a PDF file to your website for your readers to download or print. You can create PDFs in Adobe Acrobat, convert Microsoft Word documents to PDF files, and convert hard copy documents to PDFs while scanning. Sharing PDFs with your readers makes sense because practically anyone can open a PDF.

Upload PDF File to Your Website

To add a PDF file to your website, use the file upload program that your web service provides. If they don't offer a file upload program, you'll need to find an FTP program to upload your PDF to your website.

Copy the URL of the PDF File

Where did you upload the PDF file? Did you add the PDF file to the main folder on your website or to another folder? Or, did you create a new folder on your website just for PDF files? Find the PDF file that you uploaded, and copy the URL. Most website hosts generate a for your

Choose a Location for Your PDF File

Determine what page and where on the page you want to place the link to your PDF.

Add the Link to the PDF File

Look through the HTML code on your webpage until you find the spot where you want to insert the link to your PDF file.

Add or paste (Ctrl+V) the URL where you want the PDF file's link to show up on your website. It's the same URL that you would use for a typical web page link. You can make the anchor text for the PDF file link say anything you want.

For example:

  • Freeservers is your website host.
  • The username for your site is sunny.
  • The location of your site is http://sunny.freeservers.com.
  • You uploaded the PDF file to the main directory in your file manager on your website
  • The PDF file is called flowers.pdf.
  • The text you want the reader to click on to download the PDF file is "Click here for the PDF file called flowers."
  • The anchor text will look like this:
Click here for the pdf file called flowers.

Or, if you're using a website designer such as Wix, go to the exact space on your website where you want to add the text (or image) that will link to your PDF. Add the link according to the web host's instructions and set up.

Adding link to a PDF on Wix platform.

Test the PDF File Link

If you're creating your website on your computer, verify that the link to the PDF file on your hard drive works properly before uploading the PDF file to your server.

If you're using a website builder, preview or publish the website, and then tap the link to verify the PDF will open.


Make Sure PDF Files Are Allowed

Some hosting services don't allow files over a specific size, and some don't allow you to have certain types of data on your website; this might include PDF files. Make sure that what you are about to add to your website is allowed by your web hosting service first. You don't want to get your site shut down for not following the rules or do a lot of work getting ready to add the PDF file to your website only to find out you can't. 

If your hosting service does not allow you to have PDF files on your website, you can get your own domain name for your website or switch to another hosting service that does allow PDF files or large files on websites.

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