WordPress Document Library Plugin: The Complete Guide

A WordPress document library plugin is a popular way to display PDF files or other documents in a structured format with download links. With a good document library, users can quickly and easily find the items they need, including search options and filters. You can also easily add and manage documents, saving you time.

Surprisingly, there aren’t many good quality WordPress document library plugins out there – free or premium. One of the more popular options is a plugin called Document Library Pro. It has all the features you need for a fully functional document library.

Today I will show you how to use the Document Library Pro plugin to create a searchable WordPress document library with filters, download links and additional data about each document. Your completed document library will look like this:

If you like what you see, keep reading and I’ll show you how!

Who Needs a WordPress Document Library Plugin?

In my 8 years of designing WordPress websites, I’ve been amazed at how many people need an online document library. This is one of the most common requests, up there electronic commerce and event management.

Here are some examples of how a WordPress document library can benefit your site.

public document library

Many WordPress websites include a document library of various post types in an easy-to-find format. It can be named something other than “Document Library”, such as “Resources”, “Downloads”, or “Knowledge Hub”. If it’s a way to store files or other types of documents, then it’s a document library!

You can use a WordPress document library to provide all types of downloadable files that people will find useful. If you are a charity, your document library may contain publications and printable fundraising materials. If you are a membership organization, your document library may contain membership materials, such as downloadable logos and trust badges. A consulting website can create a document library of downloadable resources.

Database data sheet

A WordPress document library is a great way to publish technical documents or instructions for your products. For example, you can display the datasheet for each document in a table with links to downloadable PDFs. It can be a standalone page on your website, part of your databaseor part of a WooCommerce website if you sell online.

Document Library Pro has a sister plugin called WooCommerce Product Table, which lists products in a table format with links to downloadable spec sheets. Use it if you need to sell products and provide downloadable files.

Employee intranet with policies and procedures

Many organizations need an easy way to create a staff intranet with downloadable policies and procedures. This should be available to all employees, both on-site and remote.

If you’re on a tight budget and don’t want an enterprise-level solution like SharePoint, a password-protected WordPress document library is a great option. You can add any policy document as a downloadable file (e.g. PDF, DOC or other format) or publish the full text of the document directly on a web page.

You can restrict public viewing of your document library with the WordPress Password Protected Categories plugin. Simply place all your police documents in 1 or more password-protected categories and pass the password on to your employees. Use the same password to restrict the main document library page with the same password, and you’re good to go! It’s much simpler than a full membership plugin because you don’t have to worry about individual user accounts for each employee.

Okay, now you know why a website might need to store and display files and documents. Next, I’ll show you how to create your own document library.

To do this, we’ll create a document library for a fictitious member organization. It will contain a series of documents to show you what is possible with the WordPress Document Library plugin. We will also add additional features such as a keyword search field, multiple filters, and additional columns of information on each document.

The Plugin Document Library Pro takes care of the whole process: adding and saving documents in WordPress; and display them in a searchable document library on the front end of your website. I’ll tell you how to set it up next.

To get started, install the WordPress Document Library plugin on your site.

1. Choose fields from your document library

Before you begin, it’s worth making a list of the information you plan to include in the document library. This affects the fields you need for documents.

The WordPress Document Library plugin comes with a set of built-in fields. These are all…

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