PDF's are an easy way to provide your end users value in the form of reports, info-graphics and more. We have outlined below a few ways below to provide these in ideal ways for your customer base and have low risks of content management or display errors.

Preface and general recommendations:

One of the more difficult dilemma's we face as developers is ensuring that you benefit widely from the flexibility that the WordPress platform offers, while making sure that you avoid the most common pitfalls of running a WordPress website installation. More on this topic is outlined here - but a common factor among Embedding PDF plugins is that they typically embed this content onto the page either through javascript, or through iframing of the PDF directly onto the page, both of which are not as SEO friendly or as mobile friendly as alternatives available to you.

More importantly however - is that embedding of PDF's is not supported in a variety of available web browsers, including common ones like Safari for iOS, and Internet Explorer. 

A full list of browsers and image type support is available on Wikipedia here. 

Why not embed via Javascript?

There are a couple of reasons to avoid use of a plugin using javascript for embedding a PDF. They are:

  1. 3rd party plugins using javascript can cause conflicts with other plugins in your website, including your IDX, other 3rd party licensed products, analytics and more.
  2. Embedding via javascript means the content is not included in your XML file, which reduces it's SEO value.

Alternatives to Embedding:

There are three alternatives to consider, each one with pro's and cons. They are:

  1. Use of Object HTML
  2. Use of an Image link to PDF in library
  3. Use of a PDF to flipbook service (recommended)

Simple Object HTML:

Simple object html can be used to include pdf content on a page, which effectively embeds the PDF similarly to a plugin, but does not require the use of javascript. This method is suggested if you require embedding of PDF's on the page and do not want to utilize an image link or flipsnack.com based solution.  Note: This not supported in some older browsers and does not have support in Safari iOS or Internet Explorer. (Neither does javascript embedding).

EXAMPLE:

Example fallback content: This browser does not support PDFs. Please download the PDF to view it: Download PDF.

Learn more about how to use the "object" html class easily in your wordpress text editor here. 

Using an Image link to your library

Use of an image as a link directly to the pdf in your media library. This provides opportunities for SEO optimization and allows for any supported browser to view the content in it's full native window. (Note this is not supported in older browsers and does not have support in Safari iOS or Internet Explorer.)

EXAMPLE:

Use of a flipbook service (recommended)

Convert the content to a compatible iframed flip book for use on your website. Use of this method ensures that the content is displayed in a compatible format for both desktop and mobile browsers.  Flipsnack in particular has both mobile and desktop browser support. 

This method is used by major corporations like Disney, Nike, Discovery Channel, and many more!

Visit Flipsnack.com to find out why converting your PDF's to ebooks is the best way to provide your end users value and ease of use! 

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