The Web Developers Guide to Easy HTML File Uploads

Posted by:
Caitlin Fithian
November 29, 2023

Uploading files is a fundamental feature for many web apps, from job boards to real estate websites. Whether you're dealing with images, documents, or other media types, a file uploader will enhance your user experience and website functionality. But, it can be complicated to code and design your own file uploader. No worries, we can help.  

This comprehensive guide will explain how to add HTML file uploads to your web app. We’ll also show you how to use Simple File Upload for easier file uploads.

What is an HTML file upload button?

​​HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is the backbone of web development. It’s the standard markup language to create web pages and web apps. HTML provides us with the basic structure of web pages. We can then add styling to this basic structure with CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and functionality with Javascript. 

An HTML file upload button is a feature that allows users to upload files from their local system to a web server or cloud storage. A file upload button is vital for interactive websites where user-generated content is key.

Why do I need to add file uploads to my web app?

Adding file uploads to your web app is essential because it enables users to contribute their content directly to your app. This capability will increase your user engagement and expand the functionality of your web app. Check out our favorite file uploading use cases below. 

Job boards. Let your users drag and drop cover letters and resumes to your job board. 

Events. Do you want to collect photos from event attendees? Add file uploading to your web app and allow users to share their photos directly with you!

Real estate listings. Simplify the buying and selling process for your users. Let users upload real estate listing photos directly to your web app. It saves you and your users time! 

Forms. Do you need to collect surveys or feedback from your users? Add a file upload option to your web app and start collecting the data you need from your users now. 

How can I add HTML file uploads to my web app?

Follow the steps below to add an HTML file upload button to your app. Remember, you’ll need to use CSS to customize the appearance of your HTML file upload button and Javascript to add functionality.  

Step 1: Create an HTML Input Element

Add an input element with the type 'file' in your code. This input type will insert a file upload button into your project. 

Code to add an input element with the type 'file'

Step 2: Customize your HTML File Upload Button

To customize the appearance of your file upload button, you’ll need to hide the default input. 

Code to hide the default input

Next, create a new button that your users can interact with. Feel free to change the text if you want your button to say something other than “Upload File.”  

Code to create a new button that your users can interact with

Now, add CSS to change the look and feel of your file upload button. Customize the button size, colors, or font size.  

Code to add CSS to change the look and feel of your file upload button

Step 3: Limit Accepted File Types

If you only want your users to upload specific image types or documents, you can limit the types of files that your file upload button will accept. 

Add the ‘accept’ attribute to your input tag to specify the types of files you want your file upload button to accept. 

Code to limit the accepted file type

Step 4: Add an Image to Your HTML File Upload Button  

If you want to add an image to the file upload button, you can use a combination of HTML and JavaScript to replace the default styling with a custom design. Remember to adjust the path to the image file according to your project structure. 

Code to add an image to your file upload button

Use Simple File Upload to Add a File Uploader to Your Web App (Even Faster than HTML File Uploads)

Simple File Upload is a robust, user-friendly tool that simplifies the process of adding a file uploader to your web app. Forget about the complexities of coding and cloud storage management; Simple File Upload handles everything for you. Plus, the file uploader UI is completely customizable to match your existing website's design. 

Simple File Upload also includes:

Free cloud storage. We know how difficult cloud storage is to set up and manage, so we’ve done it for you. We store your files in redundant high-security, high-availability data centers. Files are also stored across two different service providers. You can be confident that your files are safe and secure with us.  

Dynamic Transformation API. Convert images on the fly with our robust image processor. Let your users upload images at any size, then bulk-resize these images before uploading them to the cloud to save storage space and costs. You can also use our Transformation API to resize images on our network before the images touch your web app. Serve images to your users at the right size, every time.    

Dependable, safe file delivery. Don’t let file uploading slow down your website and frustrate your users. Deliver files faster with our built-in, global CDN. 

Keep reading to learn how to use our step-by-step file builder to add file uploading to your web app in four easy steps. 

Step 1: Select Multiple or Single File Uploads

Log into your Simple File Upload account.

Click "Quick Start." 

Click "Create new uploader."

Select whether you want your users to upload multiple files at once or only one file at a time. Note that the single file uploader will appear in line with your web app. The multiple file uploader will appear as a popup modal. Read our article to learn more about uploading multiple files at once with Simple File Upload.  

Select whether you want your users to upload multiple files or single files

Step 2: Select the Accepted File Types

Choose the max file size you want your users to be allowed to upload.

Select what types of files you’d like your file uploader to accept. Choose from images, PDFs, documents, or all file types. 

Select the accepted file types

Step 3: Add Your File Details 

Select whether you’d like your file uploader to automatically resize images before uploading the images to cloud storage. If so, choose the resize width and height. 

This option is helpful if you want to store all images uploaded to your web app at a specific size. Bulk image resizing can help save storage space and money. 

Add your file details

Step 4: Add Your File Uploader to Your Web App

View a preview of your file uploader. Remember, the file uploader UI is completely customizable! You can still change the style and colors of your file uploader.

Preview your file uploader

Add the provided Javascript snippet to the ‘head’ of your web app. 

Add the provided input tag to your web app wherever you want the uploader to appear. That’s it! 

Add your file uploader to your web app

Simplify HTML File Uploads with Simple File Upload

In this article, we've explored the essentials of HTML file uploads and introduced Simple File Upload. Simple File Upload is a tool that lets you upload, store, transform, and deliver user files to your web app in less than 5 minutes. It can boost the functionality of of your web app and improve your user experience.

Are you ready to upgrade your app's file uploader? Try Simple File Upload for free!

Get Started With Simple File Upload.

Easy Uploads. Effortless Integration.

Start Uploading for Free