How to Programmatically File upload from Custom Plugin in WordPress

It easier to implement file uploading programmatically on the custom WordPress plugin using wp_handle_upload() method.

After successfully upload this returns the file path which you can use to store in the MySQL database table or display on the page.

In this tutorial, I create a simple plugin to demonstrate file upload in WordPress.

How to Programmatically file upload from Custom Plugin in WordPress


  1. Create Directory and Files
  2. customplugin.php
  3. uploadfile.php
  4. Conclusion


1. Create Directory and Files

Create two PHP files and img directory where stored logo.png file.

  • customplugin.php – Define plugin details and menu.
  • uploadfile.php – Create a <form > and upload file on submit.

How to Programmatically file upload from Custom Plugin in WordPress

2. customplugin.php

Define plugin information between /* */.

Create customplugin_menu() function to add menu and uploadfile() for include uploadfile.php.

Completed Code

  Plugin Name: Custom plugin
  Plugin URI:
  description: A simple custom plugin to demonstrate file upload
  Version: 1.0.0
  Author: Yogesh Singh
  Author URI:

// Add menu
function customplugin_menu() {

  add_menu_page("Custom Plugin", "Custom Plugin","manage_options", "myplugin", "uploadfile",plugins_url('/customplugin/img/icon.png'));
  add_submenu_page("myplugin","Upload file", "Upload file","manage_options", "uploadfile", "uploadfile");

add_action("admin_menu", "customplugin_menu");

function uploadfile(){
  include "uploadfile.php";

3. uploadfile.php

Create a <form > which has file element and submit button.

On <form > submit check file is selected or not. If selected then assign $_FILES['file'] to $uploadedfile and array('test_form'=>false) to $upload_overrides variable.

Use this variables in wp_handle_upload() method.

If file successfully uploaded then read file path $movefile['url'] and print on the screen otherwise display error $movefile['error'].

Completed Code


// Upload file

  if($_FILES['file']['name'] != ''){
    $uploadedfile = $_FILES['file'];
    $upload_overrides = array( 'test_form' => false );

    $movefile = wp_handle_upload( $uploadedfile, $upload_overrides );
    $imageurl = "";
    if ( $movefile && ! isset( $movefile['error'] ) ) {
       $imageurl = $movefile['url'];
       echo "url : ".$imageurl;
    } else {
       echo $movefile['error'];

<h1>Upload File</h1>

<!-- Form -->
<form method='post' action='' name='myform' enctype='multipart/form-data'>
      <td>Upload file</td>
      <td><input type='file' name='file'></td>
      <td><input type='submit' name='but_submit' value='Submit'></td>

4. Conclusion

I hope this tutorial, helps you to add file upload in your plugin. The uploaded file will be stored in wp-content/uploads directory.

If you found this tutorial helpful then don't forget to share.

6 thoughts on “How to Programmatically File upload from Custom Plugin in WordPress”

  1. Hi Yogesh, thank you for this tutorial, i make a same code , but i can’t use the link to download the file, is there are any solution about this?

  2. It’s working perfectly. But I need to know how to use this in front end with shortcode.

    I have the error while trying to upload.

    Can you please update?


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