Host your PDF with ease: step-by-step guide to online PDF hosting

PDFs may have been introduced over thirty years ago, but they’re more popular than ever now—you (and your customers) probably use online PDFs more often than you think.

From the menu at your favorite neighborhood restaurant to glitzy real estate brochures, online PDFs allow business owners to show off their publications in a modern, digital format. In fact, PDFs are an essential tool in any comprehensive content marketing strategy for small businesses.

If you’re looking to create and share your own online PDF, a few key steps are involved. In particular, you need to create and host your PDF.

Wondering what PDF hosting means and how to host a PDF online? Don’t worry—we’ve got you covered.

Choosing the right platform for PDF hosting

When you create a digital PDF for your business, it can’t just sit on your computer. It needs to be hosted on an online platform for others to view it.

Think about it like this: when one of the more than four billion smartphone users in the world opens up their phone to scan a QR code at a restaurant and look at a digital menu, that menu is hosted on a platform.

Ultimately, hosting makes your PDF viewable to a global audience, shareable, and useful for your business. But for this to be the case, you need to learn how to host a PDF online, and that starts with determining which platform is right for you.

There are many hosting platforms to choose from, but they’re not all created equal. To that end, it’s important to choose one that has all of the features you’ll need.

What are some criteria to consider when selecting a PDF hosting service? They are:

  • Security: Does your PDF hosting platform offer security, such as password-protected login and other safeguards to protect your information and documents?
  • User interface: Does the platform make uploading, customizing, and sharing your PDFs easy? Is it desktop and mobile-accessible? Does it avoid third-party advertising? Is its design ADA-compliant?
  • Storage capacity: How many PDFs can your hosting platform accommodate, and how many pages can these PDFs be?

If you’re looking for a digital publishing platform that allows you to launch and host digital editions in minutes, then FLIPpages should be a top option. FLIPpages is preferred for PDF hosting thanks to its ease of use, simple and cost-effective subscription options, and advanced hosting abilities.

Preparing your PDF for online hosting

Before you upload your PDF to FLIPpages—one of the best platforms for PDF hosting—consider optimizing it for web viewing.

Some tips include:

  • Ensure readability: Your PDF should be easy to read on different devices, so choose professional fonts, readable colors, and a clean layout. Keep in mind that today, nearly 60% of all web traffic comes through mobile phones, so you’ll want your PDF to be readable on a small smartphone screen. Remember that your audience will likely want to access PDFs from anywhere.
  • Reduce file size: Large files can take longer to load, frustrating your audience. To that end, be sure to reduce file sizes (especially with images) before uploading.
  • Secure documents: If your PDF contains confidential information, consider password protection offered by some PDF hosting services. Secure PDF storage is also important to consider.

Uploading your PDF to FLIPpages

Now that you understand how to host a PDF online, let’s dive into how to actually upload your PDF. When you use FLIPpages, for example, uploading an interactive PDF for hosting is easy:

  1. Upload your document: After creating your PDF, simply upload it into FLIPpages.
  2. Customize your PDF: Choose from the selection of PDF templates available to personalize your PDF and align it with your audience’s preferences. Also, establish any document permissions and security settings (such as password protection).
  3. Publish and share: Finalize your PDF and share your creation. You’ll receive a unique URL that leads to your PDF, which you can use to distribute your document. Sharing PDFs online is simple, but the optimal method depends on your channels and audience (we’ll cover this in-depth in a moment).

Managing your hosted PDFs

Once your PDFs are hosted on FLIPpages, you can easily organize and manage them. For example, you’ll have access to a document library and features for editing, updating, and even deleting your PDF files.

If you change your mind about anything, you can access different versions and backups, so your documents are always secure and available.

Sharing and embedding your PDF

Understanding how to host a PDF online is one thing, but how do you distribute it to your audience? Fortunately, we have advice for that, too.

First, you can embed PDFs on websites or in emails, meaning you can easily make yours part of your site or marketing materials. This can be done by inserting the link generated by FLIPpages into your website or email builder’s PDF tool (or by using HTML code). The specific steps will depend on the website and email tools you use.

There are also public and private sharing options. For example, you can have the PDF viewable to everyone on a public website or make the document password-protected and distribute the link at your discretion.

To maintain document integrity and secure sharing, be sure to select a distribution and security format that suits your needs.

Tracking and analyzing PDF engagement

With PDF management tools like FLIPpages, you also gain access to resources that help you track viewer engagement and document usage. These analytics are important because they allow you to improve document performance by learning where adjustments can be made.

For example, if your audience is consistently dropping off at a certain point in your document, you can improve that area and enhance user engagement.

FLIPpages: Your partner in PDF hosting

By understanding the what, why, and how of online PDF hosting, you can take your content marketing strategy to the next level—especially when you partner with FLIPpages. FLIPpages is a digital publishing platform that lets you turn PDFs into interactive publications and host them with ease.

Find out more about hosting your PDF with FLIPpages today.

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