Sometimes you do need to share PDFs as a link so that someone can download or view them directly in the web browser. For that, you need to upload your PDF somewhere and then share the public link for anyone to access.
While there are cloud storage platforms like Google Drive, Dropbox, and pCloud, your account can be restricted if the traffic to the shared public link is unexpectedly high.
So, what are the solutions then?
I have prepared a list of 7 ways and platforms that you can use to host your PDFs.
Platforms to Host PDFs
You will find some free, paid, as well as some really interesting platforms with additional benefits. Let’s take a look:
1. Your Website (Free)
I recommend going with this method.
If you have a website then it’s the best place to upload PDFs with a public link for anyone to see and download.
It’s very easy if you have a WordPress website, go to the Media section, upload the PDF, copy the public URL, and share it wherever you want.
For example, compile.blog is created in WordPress and I would just upload the PDF and share the link. The shared link would look something like
Please note that websites created using different techs can also host PDFs where there are images and other static files are hosted. The process might be a bit complicated and different but you definitely can.
2. Amazon S3 (Paid)
While Amazon S3 can be a great place to host your PDFs online, it requires a bit of technical knowledge and you might feel a bit overwhelmed by it especially if you’ve never worked with AWS (Amazon Web Services) before.
Amazon S3 is also not free. Yes, you get 100GB of free data transfer every month but after that, you will have to pay a minimal charge of $0.09 per GB. But you also have to pay for storing your PDFs, which is $0.023 per GB.
For example, if you have to host 1GB of PDFs and 1000 people view the files then your cost will be around $81.
3. PDF Host (Free)
PDF Host is just like Imgur, a platform to host images and GIFs. You can host multiple PDFs here, all for free.
Just the negative point is, you do not have a dashboard from where you can control or view the analytics of your PDF files. But it’s free for unlimited files.
I tried uploading a small PDF and you can see how simple the interface looks in the screenshot above. Fun fact, you do not even need to log in to upload the PDFs.
4. Scribd (Free)
While you can upload and host your PDF files on Scribd, I do not recommend this platform. You need to create an account before uploading which is not a problem, but the people who download the PDF through the public link will also have to create an account to download the file.
I tried uploading a simple file on the platform, the process was quick and easy. You can see what the dashboard looks like in the screenshot above.
5. Gumroad (Free)
Gumroad is not really a PDF hosting platform, it’s a marketplace to sell almost all kinds of digital products. You create a free account and create a product by adding your PDF and someone can download the file for free or by paying the money that you specified.
In other words, it’s a platform to sell PDFs. Please note the people who download the PDF will have to provide their email addresses.
6. WeTransfer (Free)
WeTransfer doesn’t provide a permanent PDF hosting solution, it’s temporary. If you have to send one or more PDFs to someone then you can use this platform for that.
Just upload all the files quickly and share the public URL with the people to who you want to send the file(s).
You can see what the platform looks like in the screenshot above.
7. Cloud Storage
If not a lot of people will be downloading the PDFs you share, you can go with cloud storage services providers like Google Drive, Dropbox, and pCloud.
Just note that if a lot of people open the public share link, you might hit the hidden data transfer cap and your account might get restricted.
This is not the ideal way to host a PDF file, but it gets the work done and you can go with it.
Apart from uploading the PDF files on your website and hosting them on the Amazon S3, I do not like any options because they are not reliable.
If you think there are platforms that are better at hosting PDFs and that I have missed here, please let me know in the comments below.
Also, kindly share the article with the people who you think might be interested in reading it.