While we love an excellent out-of-the-box tool (and the WordPress community supplies so many of them!), we’re no strangers to making something from scratch when we feel it would be the best option. Not only is it fun, but we can really make it our own and make it exactly the way we like.
Not too long ago, we collaborated with Travis Smith, who is a champ. He had a plugin he’d built for a client, but hadn’t released. We reached out to him and he was generous enough to give us access to the source code so we could fork the plugin and make it our own.
Built on Travis’ solid foundation, we created the Zao PDF Viewer. It allows PDFs to be previewed inline on a website, using a viewer that is similar to the PDF viewer used in Firefox.
The plugin creates a simple shortcode that is super handy and easy to implement. JT cleaned up the original code, added the shortcode and UI in the admin, and added a ton of hooks for developer functionality.
Now, your users can view any PDFs you need to share without leaving your site. It may seem overly simple, but keeping users on your site is important. If users leave your site, they’re less likely to come back, which can make your traffic and user engagement drop.
This is also a dreamy solution if you’re offering lead magnets in the form of a PDF. Rather than having to automate an email to go out to customers through your favorite email automation software, you can set it up so they can exchange their email and open up the PDF, all without ever leaving. They can view, read, download, and even print directly from your site, easy peasy.
We love opportunities like these. They allow us to work with more people we like (yeah!) and push ourselves to create something amazing for our clients and do justice to the original developer.
Give it a try and let us know what you think!