Software, Development, and WordPress

Adding PDFs To WordPress Comments with PDF Comments

This plugin is no longer maintained or available and comments on the post have been closed.

When I first got into WordPress development several years ago, I began experimenting with selling two premium plugins for approximately one year. During that time I learned a lot about what makes or breaks a successful plugin (and what kind of things can seriously drain you from a support perspective).

In fact, I eventually killed both of those projects off because I no longer had the desire to work on them, maintaining the support required more time than I currently had, and I had not really selected the best business model for selling them.

Since then, I’ve spent a lot of time working on client projects, free projects, writing, speaking, and working to build other WordPress-based products.

For those who have been following this blog for some time, you know that I’ve been doing research on WordPress support systems, I’ve been working to rebrand my LLC, and I have been refocusing all of my efforts specifically on WordPress (and dropping support for other platforms, frameworks, etc.).

Today, I’m happy to announce that I’ve recently partnered with the guys at FooPlugins to release my first premium plugin in the past couple of years which makes adding PDFs to WordPress comments a breeze.

Adding PDFs To WordPress Comments

PDF Comments Homepage

Just as the landing page describes:

PDF Comments is a WordPress plugin that makes it easy for readers to attach PDF files to their comments on blog posts and pages.

It’s a simple plugin, but this particular plugin has come out of a felt need from a number of different client projects that I’ve done, and I decided to productize the plugin with a few additional features.

Keeping It Simple

Out-of-the-box, version 1.0.0 offers the following:

  • The plugin just works. Activate and Go.
  • Respects hosting limitations by limiting the size of the upload to 10MB.
  • Uses both client-side and server-side validation to make every effort that only PDF files can be uploaded.
  • Built using the WordPress Coding Standards and the WordPress API to ensure that it’s as compliant with the latest versions of WordPress.
  • Survey your comments from within the WordPress Dashboard.

You guys know that I’m a fan of “a strong 1.0,” so this is just a starting point. I’m eager to hop into the support forums and begin working with customers to refine the product and make it even better.


The plugin is licensed under the GPL, but here’s the break down of what is offered:

  • Personal. $9. For use on a single-site.
  • Business. $15. For use on as many sites as you own.
  • Developer. $25. Everything above along with the CodeKit configuration file and all un-minified LESS files and JavaScript source.

And each license is valid for one year.

Easy enough to follow, right?

Purchase PDF Comments

Purchase PDF Comments

As previously mentioned, I’ve partnered with the guys at FooPlugins with this plugin. Though the guys don’t require any exclusivity, I’ve opted to exclusively sell the plugin through their marketplace for the time being.

With that said, you can purchase the plugin from the marketplace listing.


  1. Eric Dye

    I don’t normally comment, but when I do, I need a PDF to contain everything I have to say. :P

    • Tom McFarlin

      Oh, I see – THE COMEDIAN HAS ARRIVED ;).

  2. Adam W. Warner

    Very pleased to have you involved Tom, and we wish you the best of success!

    • Tom McFarlin

      Likewise, Adam!

  3. John Saddington

    i commented on their announce post. i said you were a clown.

  4. Andrew Ledwith

    Side note: I dig what you’ve done with the outline-style navigation on the landing page. Very nice touch.

    Good luck with the launch!

    • Tom McFarlin

      Thanks a lot, Andrew – appreciate it!

  5. Philip Grey

    Just curious, what’s a typical use case for this plugin?

    • Tom McFarlin

      Hey Philip – so this plugin actually came out of a client project that I did several months ago.

      In short, the specific use case is for an intranet-style blog where an educator, teacher, or some other point-person is setting up an assignment using a post (or some other post type) to which a comment is obviously not the best place to respond in full, but it allows for readers to attach their assignment (usually an essay or longer document) to their comment as a way to turn it in.

      The site admin then obviously has rights on if the blog is public or not and whether or not the comments are moderated so other ‘students’ or whatever can see others’ works.

      From there, I took the code, refactored it a bit to make it a bit more general, and then released it.

      • Michael John Beil

        Good question Phil and great response Tom.

  6. Michael John Beil

    Very interesting plugin Tom!

    • Tom McFarlin

      Thanks a lot, Michael! Hoping to roll out a few more in the coming months.

  7. Pascal Birchler

    Hey Tom, only one question: Why is it limited to PDFs? I think a plugin which allows file uploads on comments would be great, offering a filter to limit file extensions.

    • Tom McFarlin

      This isn’t a bad idea at all – I’ve been thinking about doing something similar, except I really like the idea of doing tailored solutions.

      In my experience (and this is just mine, so it’s not prescriptive), the more options that are given, the more problems potentially come up. I have a Comment Images plugin and one for audio (that I’m currently working on, too).

      That said, I’m open to suggestions as to what file types you’d like to see – the more feedback I get, the better stuff I can church out.

      • Robert Lilly

        With the use case scenario you describe above I can see the value of this for a site my wife wants me to build for her where her students interact with each other and post assignments online. I imagine that .doc or .docx would be the preferred format though, although maybe we could get by with PDF. Would it take much revision to the security aspects of the code to allow for those formats in addition to, or perhaps instead of, PDF?

        • Tom McFarlin

          Straight up, Robert.

          I think that what you’ve proposed is actually a great idea and think it’d make a great change / update to the plugin so much so that I’d be willing to either develop a new plugin or add the functionality to this one.

          I was just discussing this with someone elsewhere before where I’m a fan of laser-focused plugins because it prevents us from needing to add so many options that some (not all, of course) customers may ultimately feel confused as to what’s possible.

          Let me give this some thought and see what we can do.

          As usual, I’ll update the blog at some point in the future with how this has played out. Thanks a lot for the feedback – I think you’re on to something :).

          • Adam W. Warner

            Doc Comments, Excel Comments, PSD Comments…:)

            • Tom McFarlin

              HEY. You’re getting carried away.

              Might as well make “Warner Comments” where all it does is grab random tweets from you and appends them to comments :D.

              • Adam W. Warner

                I could live with that, but I’m not sure anyone else would;)

          • Robert Lilly

            Thanks Tom!

  8. Mathew Porter

    Not sure if any of our clients will ever need this, but its always nice to know something like this exists if they do.

    • Tom McFarlin

      Thanks Mathew!

      I’m actually going to be generalizing this plugin in the near future to handle PDF’s, DOC, DOCX, and Pages files so that others can attach other type of documents, as well.

© 2020 Tom McFarlin

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑