Overview

Skill Level: Any Skill Level

Ingredients

Uploading files or exchanges are a daily task for any content or web developer. Every day you need to upload files of various types, (text, image or video) to the Internet. Web developers often need to write a file uploader script on your site to allow your visitors to exchange files. A file upload library can make this task much easier. In this article, we present you with the top JavaScript and JQuery file upload libraries for you to choose.

Step-by-step

  1. Why Do You Need a File Upload Library?

    If you are a web developer, you might think of writing your own file-sharing website or you need to complement an existing website with file-sharing functionality to allow your user to share their own files. For example, post pictures and upload their videos. There are many ways and tutorials online that can help you with that. 

    However, writing the code to upload images, videos, or files of any other type can be a time-consuming task. That is why you should find a solution to upload and manage files for you and allow your users a reliable sharing component as well. 

    Moreover, when working with a large workload of images and media files, using a file upload library can help you to streamline your uploads. Some of the advantages of using a file upload library: 

    • Saves time—of writing your own code to upload the files 
    • Streamlines your work—you can upload multiple files at the same time.
    • Facilitates working with media content—file uploading libraries come with a user-friendly dashboard, and thumbnails that help you drag and drop the images you need to upload. 

    While you can write your own script, when working with large workloads, it makes sense to use a file uploading library. For an effective file uploader,  there are some aspects you should consider:

    • Simple, user-friendly—it should be clean and easy to understand with an obvious upload button. 
    • Drag and drop—if you have a number of files, this feature can be a time-saver. 
    • A progress bar—so the user can know the progress of the upload. 
    • Thumbnail-preview—it is useful when working with image files allowing you to see what you are uploading. 
    • Multi-device—a good file uploading library works across several devices so you can add images or videos from a tablet, laptop or computer. 
    • Multi-file upload—allows you to upload simultaneously multiple files of any type, size and format. 
    • Built-in editing—a good file uploader has built-in image editing and formatting, so you can crop, resize, change the format of an image before uploading. 
    • Multi-platform— file uploaders allow you to fetch and drop files across social media, and use cloud storage solutions. The best solutions provide also the file storage you need.
  2. Top 10 File Upload Libraries

    I have selected these file uploading libraries to make your work easier. This collection includes JavaScript, jQuery, Ajax, and drag and drop systems.  There are so many options available, that there is no one size fits all solution. Instead, you should review the features, advantages, and disadvantages to find the one that works best for you. 

    1. JQuery file upload plugin

    JQuery file upload comes in 5 versions: Basic, Basic Plus, Basic Plus UI, Angular JS and jQuery UI, and it is free. Check out the demo here.

    Features

    • Uploads multiple files
    • Drag and drop
    • Resize images once uploaded
    • Compatible with server-side platforms such as Python, PHP and Java 
    • Supports Chrome, Safari, IE and Firefox

     

    2. Dropzone

    Dropzonejs is an open-source file upload library that allows uploading, copy and share files using drag-and-drop.  

    Features

    • Lightweight
    • Customizable
    • You can resize images once uploaded
    • Easy and comprehensive documentation

    3. Cloudinary

    This is a file uploader and cloud storage service that allows you to upload images and videos to the cloud directly from a browser or an app. It has a free version and several paid options.

    Features

    • Easy to use
    • Quick implementation, with just two lines of code
    • Fetch resources from remote locations such as social media and adds them to your media library
    • Drag and drop interface
    • Upload preview
    • Multi-file uploads
    • Built-in image editor
    • Supports all major browsers
    • Works with PHP, Java, Ruby on Rails, and even iOS and Android 
    • Manipulate during upload
    • Error monitoring
    • Backup and revisions

     

    4. PekeUpload

    A jQuery plugin that uses HTML5 for file uploads. You can configure the file size and file extension restrictions. PekeUpload is lightweight and can be used as a website widget using the jQuery + HTML5 combination. 

     

    Features

    • Multiple file uploads
    • Drag and drop
    • Upload preview
    • Can customize error messages
    • Open-source

     

    5. jQuery.filer

    jQuery.filer is a complex jQuery file management plugin with a number of interesting features. 

     

    Features

    • Allows you to limit size, number and type of files that can be uploaded
    • Image preview 
    • Built-in editor
    • Features its own API
    • Comprehensive documentation

     

    6. jQuery Ajax

    jQuery Ajax is a simple file uploader with a multiple files option. 

     

    Features

    • Multiple files upload
    • Progress bar
    • Built with Bootstrap
    • Supports all major web browsers

    7. Flow

    Flow.js is a JavaScript library that allows multiple uploads via an HTML5 File API. 

    Features

    • Multiple simultaneous uploads
    • Pause and resume file uploads
    • Recover lost uploads
    • Drag and drop
    • File preview for images
    • Progress bar
    • Chunk uploads

    8. Backbone

    Backbone upload manager supplies structure to JavaScript applications. 

    Features

    • Rich API of enumerable functions
    • Uses a RESTful JSON interface to connect to all the existing application
    • Complements the JavaScript framework

    9. FileDrop

    A JavaScript file uploading library, that focuses on direct browser file uploading. 

    Features

    • Custom notification alerts
    • Drag and drop
    • Multiple file uploads

    10. Formstone

    It is a front end library that works as a collection of front- end components. Still, Formstone has an Upload component that is a functional file upload management solution.

    Features

    • Works well with websites and apps
    • Lightweight
    • Drag and drop
    • Multiple file uploads
    • Progress bar
    • Integrates with other Formstone components. 
  3. Conclusion

    Choosing the best solution to ease a time-consuming task such as file uploading is not an easy feat. An easy to use interface, multiple file uploads, compatible with major browsers and languages, are some of the features users look for when choosing a file uploaders. Equipped with the tips we presented you in this post, you can browse around and check the solution that best fits your needs.

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