How to Add a Smooth jQuery Public File Uploader to WordPress

How to Add a Smooth jQuery Public File Uploader to WordPress

Though the WordPress dashboard is incredibly user-friendly, there are still times when sites may need a public front-end file upload option. Most site owners prefer to keep users out of the dashboard altogether and keep all of the magic happening behind the scenes. The other day I had a Twitter chat with @thecorkboard about what tools are available for easily adding a WordPress public file uploader. Believe it or not, there aren’t a lot of flexible options available in plugin form. However, there are a couple tools that, when combined, can create a comprehensive solution.

Uploadify Plugin:

Uploadify simply adds a shortcode that uses the jQuery Uploadify plugin. The shortcode accepts many of the attributes that Uploadify supports, such as folder path, auto upload, multi upload, permitted files extensions and many more. Check out all the options on the plugin’s installation page.

View the Demo at Uploadify.com

Please note that the files will be sent to the default WordPress uploads folder unless you specify a custom path within the shortcode. You will need to use the full path to the root of your site. Here’s an example but it will depend on your host’s files structure:

{code type=html}[uploadify folder=’/home/cpanelusername/public_html/yoursite.com/photofolder’ multi=’true’ auto=’true’]{/code}

You will also need to make sure that your custom folder has write permissions (777 or 755).

Uploadify + NextGEN Gallery

The Uploadify plugin is a great place to start if you need to add a public upload option to your site or to a plugin that you’re writing. However, let’s say the uploads coming to you are images for a group gallery or news blog and you want to easily group them together for gallery display. Here’s how you can use the Uploadify plugin together with the NextGEN Gallery plugin to create a suitable solution:

Step 1: Download and install the NextGEN Gallery plugin.
Step 2: Download and install the Uploadify plugin.
Step 3: Use the shortcode to set Uploadify to use a NextGen gallery folder.
Step 4: Sync that folder with the public images using the “Scan Folder for new images” option when editing the NextGEN gallery.

NextGEN Gallery is a well-known WordPress gallery plugin that also has a public file upload option in a companion plugin. However, it doesn’t function as smoothly as Uploadify, nor does it allow for multiple files uploads at the same time. Many thanks to Kyle Jones for alerting me to this handy solution for combining the two.

If you know of another option for public files uploads that is simple to implement, let us know and we’ll pass on the tip!