The web is built on a foundation of different file types. Whether it’s photographs, video content like movies, your personal Word documents, text documents, or programming oriented files, we are constantly changing and exchanging files with one another. It’s one of the main reasons why services like Dropbox exist, to help us manage and synchronize our files wherever we are. If you are a regular internet user, you will know the very importance of file sharing, and how crucial it can be to have access to reliable file sharing services in order to share our files in secure, convenient and effective ways.
If you are a web developer, you might be drawn towards the idea of building your own file sharing website, or perhaps you are looking to compliment an existing web design with a file sharing functionality that would let your customers or visitors to share their own files. There are many ways to look at it, but in order to even get that far, we need to find a reliable solution for uploading and managing files on behalf of ourselves, and behalf of others. This is why we have gathered a list of the most prominent and the best jQuery file upload scripts that you will be able to use for uploading and optimizing your files.
Because there are so many choices, we wish to mention that no choice is the best one, but instead one should closely investigate the end goal for each requirement, so if you are looking to create a personal file uploading script for uploading your personal files, then choose a more minimal uploading script, but if your agenda is to create a multi-functional file management website, take a look at the scripts that provide more extended functionality, you are sure to find a little bit of everything in our list here.
As we learned, content uploaders can serve many different purposes, and we begin our jQuery file uploader list with a perfect example to that statement. Closify is a jQuery image uploading and managing library that developers can use to manipulate images as soon as they are uploaded, whether for the purpose of a wallpaper website, to use for a personal community script that needs image resizing for community members, a standalone image management page for your own personal needs — with Closify you can upload images, and in the same page resize, crop and save them. Your newly resized or cropped images maintain their aspect ratio, which makes the script appealing even to those who are into sharing quotes images and such.
jQuery File Upload is the perfect illustration of how file uploading works within jQuery and how it can be used for simply uploading and saving files. This library offers a slightly more versatile range of features though. To begin with, it comes with 5 different styles to choose from, including native jQuery UI, and also for AngularJS developers who need a quick and reliable file uploading solution for their projects. Features include the means to drag and drop multiple files from your desktop or other folder right into the uploader, you can cancel your uploads and also resume them, there’s a progress bar for each upload so you know when things are about to be finished, those with modern browsers will be able to edit images after they are uploaded, and the same browsers will enable to preview all uploaded files before finalizing. Works with any server-side platform (PHP, Python, Ruby on Rails, Java, Node.js, Go etc.) that supports standard HTML form file uploads.
jQuery.filer is another complex jQuery file management plugin that comes PACKED with traditional and new features that will enable a profound file uploading experience. Features include things like file validators — specify the limits of the file size uploads, the number of files that can be uploaded, or even the type of files that can be uploaded. An editor that can be used to either preview files, or directly edit them from the browser — given that your browser supports the necessary API calls for such events. jQuery.filer also features its own API, meaning you can freely manipulate the appearance and functionality of your uploader. The documentation covers all aspects of possible calls and events that you can begin using right away.
Dropzone is a modern drag and drop file uploader that works within a component widget on the website you are trying to use it, though it does support traditional click and upload concept as well. If you plan on using Dropzone for image uploading, the library supports live image editing after files are uploaded — editing, resizing, cropping, etc,. All file paths and file type configurations happen in the background, so you need to work with the Config files before launching the script on a production server. The official Dropzone homepage has all the documentation you need to get started right away.
Another full-scale jQuery file uploader solution is called Fine Uploader — a very popular jQuery library for uploading, managing, and scaling files. Some of the stand out features of Fine Uploader include the ability to retry failed file uploads, not from the beginning, but from the last chunk that wasn’t uploaded — this is also a part of the actual library, called file chunking and splitting. Fine Uploader fully supports cloud file management, meaning you can upload files on Amazon S3 or Microsoft’s Azure, and other simpler features include the permission to edit, delete files as they are being uploaded. This is pretty much a full-on solution for any site that needs a reliable file uploading solution where perhaps a larger community of active users is involved.
Formstone is unique to our file uploader list in a way that it’s actually a multitude of products (components) within a single project, but Formstone does have an Upload component that’s a very usable and very functional file upload management solution for websites and apps, both small and large. The lightweight component features a simple drag&drop interface (with click interaction) that lets you upload single or multiple files with a lightweight progress bar attached. It’s a very effective solution for websites that are looking for extra components without the heavy fat attached to them, but also Formstone is a project within itself, and you can stitch together the other few dozens of components and create a web or app project out of that. Learn more about Formstone to fully understand the interaction between the variety of components they have to offer.
File Uploader is an elegant and technical example of how modern web browsers can support quick and sound file upload needs of the modern web user. You can create various calls to help manage the files, but the main features that stand out — drag and drop file upload, progress bars, and ability to allocate each file upload to a specific user, where the user himself mentions his name. We can see how that could be modified into a fully functional solution for password protected file uploads and such.
PekeUpload is a lightweight component solution that can be used as a website widget for uploading files using a jQuery + HTML5 combination of features. Built with Twitter Bootstrap, PekeUpload is incredibly easy to style and offers tons of ways to extend itself. With PekeUpload you remain in control of your file uploads, being able to set file size limits, and also the kind of file types that your component is going to accept. If traditional error notifications make you tired, rest assured that you can set your own custom error notifications. Visual content can be previewed directly before and after uploading.
Developers can of course build their own jQuery library for file management, it makes sense, as it provides a lot of learning experience, and you end up being the one in charge of the codebase. Then again, perhaps another way to solve the file uploading problem is to rely on an API that has been built specifically for one single purpose, which in this case is file uploading and file management. We recommend looking into FileAPI, a fully developed project that provides the necessary functions, calls and events to create file uploaders for desktop apps, mobile apps, and general web projects.
Plupload is one of those projects that took a really long to mature, but not because it was inexperienced, but because there was a huge limitation in the number of features languages like HTML were able to provide for the web at the time. Now that HTML5 is changing the web development landscape, Plupload is really able to shine. By definition, Plupload is a file upload management API that provides a number of tools and features for building strengthened file uploaders within a few minutes, rather than having you code your own over several weeks.
Resumable.js’s main area of function is the HTML5 File Management API — providing a simple file upload environment that allows to upload multiple files, to pause and resume uploads, and an overall stability. Large files can easily be split into several chunks to enable resumable uploads, meaning that whenever a connection goes bonkers in the transition, you can rest assured that your file will still end up being uploaded from the same place it was left at.