There are 2.5 trillion PDF documents in the world, according to Adobe’s VP of Engineering for Document Cloud, Phil Ydens. Most of these PDF documents are not on the internet, but the ones that are, need a home. PDF hosting allows you to upload your PDF documents to the internet, so they can be accessed by anyone with a link to the hosted PDF.
But choosing which PDF host is best for you might not always be the easiest task. There are so many things to consider, from pricing to how safe it is, and most of the time you don’t know where to start.
Scribd and Issuu are among the most famous PDF hosting sites in the world. So chances are, they will come up frequently in your search for a PDF host. To make your decision easier, I have decided to compare these two across some major factors.
What is Scribd?
Scribd was launched in 2007 by Trip Adler, Jared Friedman and Tikhon Bernstam as a document and book sharing site and has now expanded into so much more. Right now, you can also host audiobooks, magazines, sheet music and podcasts on scribd.com.
It is home to over 70,000 titles across different formats, from PDF to plain text, but despite being home to many file types, for some people, it is still a great PDF host.
It also has some wonderful features for people who read a lot, like allowing you to download your titles for offline reading. Not only that, but it also allows you to annotate, bookmark, highlight and set sleep timers, so you don’t lose your place.
Scribd also offers a joint subscription to both Scribd and The New York Times for $12.99 monthly.
Right now, Scribd doesn’t offer a free plan, instead, they offer a free one-month trial, so you can try it out and decide if it is for you.
A major drawback to Scribd is that even though it claims to give you unlimited access, you can be restricted from reading some titles in a month, especially if you have read a lot of books in that genre.
What is Issuu?
Issuu is a digital publishing and discovery site that allows people to create and publish digital content online. The publication can come in different formats, but they highly recommend that it comes in PDF form, making it a great alternative to Scribd as a PDF host.
Issuu was founded in 2006 by Michael Hansen, Ruben Bjerg Hansen, Mikkel Jensen, and Martin Ferro-Thomsen, in Copenhagen, Denmark, but it didn’t launch until December 2007. In 2009, TIME named Issuu one of the 50 Best Websites, and Webby listed them as an honoree. In early 2013, Issuu opened an office in Palo Alto, California and appointed a new CEO, Joe Hyrkin, who had formerly worked in Yahoo and Reverb, to lead the company globally.
Issuu’s primary goal is to preserve the experience of reading print publications, and they have successfully done that. Right now, it hosts over 15 million publications and serves over 70 million active readers each month. The site contains titles in fashion, culture, and arts, all of which you can access on any device.
Issuu is great because it allows you to embed your uploaded content on your website. You can also share it across different social media platforms, from Instagram stories to Pinterest.
It should be noted that Issuu is way more expensive than Scribd and shows ads in the free and starter plan.
The Simplest Alternative - Tiiny Host
PDF hosting can be complicated sometimes, with some sites requiring you to take multiple steps before your upload can be successful. These details and steps are things you shouldn’t have to worry about. Tiiny Host is the simplest way to host and share your PDF. You also don’t have to worry about ads and difficult navigation with Tiiny host.
It provides an easy-to-use, drag & drop interface to upload your PDF in seconds. Here’s how:
- Navigate to tiiny.host.
- Drag & drop a PDF file containing your site.
- Enter a link name (optional) and click Upload.
RELATED: Alternative to Google Drive Hosting
Scribd Vs Issuu
Scribd and Issuu are both content publishing sites with different plans and different approaches to publishing. Below is a detailed comparison of the two across different factors to help you choose the right one for you.
Ease of Use
It is important to note that Scribd’s primary function is not to act as a PDF host; that just happens to be one of the things it can do.
Uploading a PDF file to Scribd is relatively easy as there is an upload icon on almost every page of Scribd’s website, but you must be logged in to your Scribd account to upload.
Once uploaded, you will need to fill a ‘title’ and ‘description field’ before it can be displayed and found by other people. It is encouraged that you make this description as detailed as possible.
It also lets you choose whether you want to give other people the ability to copy and paste your document.
Scribd doesn’t allow you to edit a document once it has been uploaded, but you can edit it on your computer and then upload the revised document.
To upload a PDF document to Issuu, you need to log in and then basically drag and drop. You can drag the document from your device, Google Drive and Dropbox and drop it on Issuu.
Once you have uploaded a file, it will be converted and saved as a draft that you can edit at any time until you choose to publish it.
A drawback to uploading a PDF file to Issuu is that you have to combine all the pages of your content into a single PDF before uploading to Issuu.
If you are satisfied with the uploaded document, you can now publish it, but not before you confirm your right to publish and do the following:
- Add a title.
- Add a description of the book.
- Choose whether you want to make your content public or not.
- Choose whether you want to make your content downloadable or not.
RELATED: How to share a PDF as a link
Scribd offers customer support through different channels, among which are an online support library, help center, and 24/7 live chat support. It also has a ticketing system that handles up to 600 support tickets per day.
Their customer support team is very responsive on the live chat and well-trained but with some channels like the Scribd review and complaints board, but it might take a few days before you get an answer.
Issuu has a great customer support system. Top of the list is a help center that provides you with a lot of information: onboarding FAQs, general FAQs, webinars and video tutorials.
They also have a 24/7 live chat system and a responsive customer support phone line.
The Issuu team is really knowledgeable. They know their platform inside and out and will give you all the guidance you need to work to use the site.
Scribd has a subscription fee of $8.99. This gives you access not just to PDF hosting, but to a library full of books across a range of authors.
A subscription is not necessary if all you want to do is upload PDFs. They also offer a free 30-day trial period where you can read most of the books you want; some titles may be temporarily unavailable to you, depending on your recent reading activity.
Your subscription automatically renews monthly but can be cancelled at any time as long as it is more than 24 hours before your renewal period.
Paying the subscription fee also gives you access to Scribd perks like movies and music subscription services.
Issuu offers four payment plans with the following features:
- The free plan: this only allows one user, but you can publish as many PDF documents as you want. This is a great plan if PDF hosting is the only thing you plan to do with it, but it has an upload limit of 500 pages.
- The starter plan: This costs 19 dollars a month, allows you to host as many PDFs as you want online, is limited to one user and has an upload page limit of 500 pages
- The Premium Plan: This costs 40 dollars a month, allows you to host as many PDFs as you want online, allows three users, and has an upload page limit of 5000 pages.
- The Optimum Plan: This costs 269 dollars a month, allows you to host as many PDFs as you want online, allows twenty-five (25) users, and has an upload page limit of 5000 pages.
There are also a number of things that set these plans apart, like ads, the reading experience and whether you can access the user statistics.
Performance and Reliability
Scribd has been in existence for over 14 years, and the fact that almost 80 million users across the world use it should tell you a lot about how reliable it is.
It is also used by 4 big publishing companies – Penguin Random House, Simon and Schuster, Macmillan, and HarperCollins, and is home to over 5,000,000 digital books that have been published by people like you.
Issuu offers a number of great features, including searchable text, scrolling animations, and zooming, which you can rely on to work anytime you use the site.
According to a 2021 report, Issuu has 20,000 publications added to it daily and presently has over 30 million publications on its site, so people trust it for their publishing.
Scribd takes reasonable security measures to protect its users’ information. They also have agreements with third parties that require them to also employ similar security standards.
Scribd’s privacy policies are clear and indicate that they share personal information with third parties for purposes ranging from operating the service to providing targeted ads on third-party sites.
Users can choose to opt-out of the use of personal information for targeted advertising.
Issuu is HTTPs encrypted and certified safe according to Google Safe Browsing.
Issuu comes with free hosting, featuring powerful servers that ensure your document is always running if it is public. It has hardly any crashes or downtime for you and your customers, and premium plans with large bandwidth.
Features & Services [comparison table]
|Features and Services||Scribd||Issuu|
|Customer Support||Live chat, call center, online library||Live chat, FAQS, video tutorials and call center|
Scribd Vs Issuu: Which Is a Better PDF Host?
A good PDF hosting site offers you many things, from ease of use to good security. Scribd and Issuu both offer a list of different features to meet your PDF hosting needs.
They also have free trials; Scribd has a 30-day free trial while Issuu has a 14-day free trial, so you can try both of them out and find out which one works best for you.
Although Scribd and Issuu are both great places to host a PDF online and have similar features. We will suggest you go with Issuu if you are looking for a PDF host that is supported by more platforms, allows you to view reader analytics, and has more customer support channels.
Both Scribd and Issuu have their strengths and weaknesses, and whatever PDF hosting site you choose should be dependent on your needs and how much you can afford to spend on a PDF host.
People pick Scribd because it is affordable and Issuu for how easy it is for a beginner to use, but only you can decide, and the free trials offer you an avenue to do just that. Either way, you should seriously consider customer support, reliability, pricing plans, and features when choosing.