It isn’t often that I can’t find many good things to say about a plugin, but Dropbox Upload Form left me scratching my head and wondering just how this plugin managed to stay in the extended listing in WordPress’s plugin manager.
There are many problems with this plugin, but the most notable ones include lack of updates, lack of functionality in the latest updates of WordPress, and old API integration for Dropbox.
Combined, this means that the only way you’re going to get this to work is if you’re extremely lucky and you happen to be running a really old version of WordPress. A version from 2011 might be able to make this plugin work, but I wouldn’t be making any bets that any version newer than that will have the results you’re looking for.
Another plugin that shares similar woes is Drop in Dropbox. Once again, users can expect mixed results in terms of functionality and installation success, all dependent on the version of WordPress being used.
Before I talk about the options that will work in modern forms of WordPress without having to pray for divine intervention, it is important to acknowledge how good of an idea this type of plugin is, even if there are more than a few incarnations of it that don’t work.
Dropbox is a great way to share files with many people. By making use of an API system and shortcodes in WordPress, it is possible to securely use Dropbox on your WordPress site without risking your critical information. It is an excellent way to let your customers send you files without having to use email, and it is an excellent way to keep virtual backups of important data.
There are many ways that you could use Dropbox in conjunction with WordPress to create a unique, flexible tool for your site’s needs.
Since I couldn’t get Dropbox Upload Form or Drop in Dropbox to work, I decided to find a few alternatives that do work.
Gravity Forms Dropbox Addon
Gravity Forms is a favorite with many serious WordPress users and they don’t disappoint with the Dropbox addon. This addon plugs into paid Gravity Form systems to offer easy and secure integration. Like Dropbox Upload Form, this plugin allows you to place a form on your site that visitors can then use to load files into your dropbox account.
Installation is simple, as the plugin is available through Plugins -> Add New, but you will need to have a Gravity Forms license, which can be rather expensive.
Simple Dropbox Upload
It is hard to beat a plugin created and maintained by the folks responsible for Gravity Forms, but Simple Dropbox Upload rises to the challenge admirably. This plugin offers the same basic functionality as Dropbox Upload Forms with the added benefit of current WordPress compatibility. This is a good alternative for those who can’t afford the Gravity Forms license but still desire the ability to allow site visitors to upload files to your dropbox.
For those who need something a little more than a sync-to-dropbox solution, Post via Dropbox allows users to update WordPress blogs through Dropbox. Through linking Dropbox and WordPress with this plugin, it is possible to update your blog without ever leaving your Dropbox account.
In order to use this plugin, you will need to understand shortcodes and be comfortable with their use. If you’re a more advanced WordPress user, this plugin might be a great tool for updating your WordPress while on the go.
Dropbox Photo Sideloader is a solution for those who want to easily be able to upload photographs and other media from their Dropbox accounts into WordPress. Once installed and configured, it is easy to use and takes out a lot of the headache and wait times associated with uploading media to WordPress.
For businesses that deal with digital media, delivering files to customers can be a major problem and concern. PalDrop Dropbox Shop solves a lot of problems by allowing you to sell digital products hosted on Dropbox. In order to make this plugin work, you will need a Paldrop merchant account. Free users have a limited number of files that can be sold, while paying merchant accounts receive increased limits and additional perks.
This plugin is a must-have for any WordPress-based business that has digital products for sale and needs either a temporary or permanent delivery solution.
A few things of note…
As always, anytime you integrate anything that uses personal account information, you should take a few precautions in order to ensure that your information is protected. Fortunately, dropbox uses an API system which greatly increases your security, but I always recommend that you create an account specifically for the purpose of integrating with your WordPress site.
It keeps business separated from personal, and it will ensure that if you do somehow have your Dropbox compromised, you won’t have personal files and data accessed by unauthorized users.