- Featured Image
Full Review of Easy Digital Downloads
Easy Digital Downloads is a free WordPress plugin for selling downloadable products, provided by Pippin`s Plugins.
Pippin Williamson is a freelance web developer and WordPress Plugin developer who is known for his tutorial site- Pippin`s Plugins and for his many plugins available on CodeCanyon like Easy Custom Content Types for WordPress or Restrict Content Pro .
Why another plugin?
Well, on the WordPress Plugins Community there are many others e-commerce plugins capable of selling digital downloads, but Easy Digital Downloads has a system only for digital downloads, so it`s doing only one thing but it`s doing it the best!
How it works
Easy Digital Downloads can be installed as any other plugin. After the installation, a Downloads Menu can be seen in the left sidebar of the dashboard.
The Downloads Menu allows you to:
- See All the Downloads created.
- Add New download.
- Create Categories and Tags for the added downloads, just like the ones for posts.
- Check Payment History and Reports.
- Create Discount Codes.
- Make the Settings for the shopping system.
- Check-out the Add-ons.
Let`s begin with the beginning
For our shopping system to work, first of all, we must set it up. That can be done from Downloads-Settings. Here you will see five settings options:
- General – where you can set the Purchase and Success Page or make Currency Settings.
- Payment Gateways – where you can set the Payment Gateways (PayPal and Test Payment), the Icons for the accepted payment methods and also PayPal Settings.
- Emails – here you can set the configuration for the emails that will be sent after the purchase. You can set the Email Template, your shop Name and Email, the Email Subject and also the Purchase Receipt – where you can use the available template tags.
- Styles – set up the checkout button color or disable all included styling.
- Misc – here you can make miscellaneous settings like:
- Disable Ajax- for the shopping cart,
- Enable jQuery Validation- on the checkout form,
- Disable Guest Checkout- at first, users must be logged in to purchase something,
- Show Register/Login Form- for the non-logged-in users,
- Download Link Expiration,
- Disable Re-download.
Also, settings for Terms of Agreement can be done, like the Agreement Text.
You can create discount codes for attracting more clients. You can do that from Downloads -> Discount Codes.
You must add the code and the percentage for the discount, the start and expiration date and also the maximum uses of the code. The discount will be applied at the checkout.
To see the Categories and Tags and the shopping cart in your page, you first must set up the appearance for the downloads. Where? In Appearance -> Widgets.
Easy Digital Downloads plugin has two widgets:
CATEGORIES AND TAGS
Simply drag-and-drop the Downloads Categories/Tags widget to the left sidebar or in the desired footer area.
The shopping cart can be created in three ways:
- With a widget – drag-and-drop the Downloads Cart in the desired place, set a desired title and enable to show the quantity if you want.
- With a short code – insert the short code:[download_cart] in a page, post or widget.
- With a template tag – by placing the following function in your theme template file:
1 2 3 4
// to store in a variable $cart = edd_shopping_cart(false); // to echo and display edd_shopping_cart(true);
How to create a download
From the Downloads menu, choose Add New. You will see that a download can be created similar to a post or page. Enter your download title and content and after that scroll down on page and you will see Download Configuration. That`s what actually make the difference.
As you can see above, you must enter the download purchase information, like price, download file, the purchase text, link style (button or text) and button color .
For every download that you add, you also can add a Category and a Tag and set a Featured Image.
Now that you have set-up the shopping system, it`s time to see how it actually works for you and your customers.
You can see your products if you view your downloads archive at yoursitename.com/downloads or by adding the short code [downloads] in any page or post.
A product is added to the shopping cart, with the possibility to remove it , and when the customer decide, he will go to the Checkout. Here he must fill the checkout form and purchase. A Purchase Confirmation appears, to assure the customer that the order has been sent successfully.
Also in the main page, a customer can check his Purchase History and see what product he has bought before.
Display the downloads, the checkout form and the purchase and download history
Easy Digital Downloads plugin allows users to create different things with the aid of the short codes:
- Show Downloads List / Grid – [downloads] – shows a list or grid of downloadable products and have the possibility to add parameters (category, tags, relation, number, price, buy_button, style, columns, etc. ) to specify what downloads are displayed and how.
[downloads category="Music" number="3" columns="3" thumbsize="small"]
- Show the Shopping Cart – [download_cart].
- Show the Checkout Form – [download_checkout] – this short code displays the checkout form on a page. The cart content will be shown, with the possibility to remove an item, and also the form (name, email, discount, etc.) and the payment gateway.
- Show User’s Purchase History – [purchase_history] – show user`s complete purchase history, including the date, the amount and a link to each file.
- Show User’s Download History – [download_history] – similar to Purchase History, shows a list of file names and download URLs that a user has purchased.
- Display Purchase Buttons – [purchase_link] – is used to display the purchase button, anywhere in your site. It accepts parameters like: id, text, style, color.
[purchase_link id="185" text="Buy" style="button" color="blue"]
Payment History and Reports
In Payment History you can see all the payments that have been made to you, see the customer details like ID, email address, price, date, user and order status.
Also you can see the purchase details, change the order status (Pending, Complete, Refunded) or delete it.
The Reports option shows you how many downloads you`ve sold for each item and the earnings reports per month.
You can choose from a list of 18 paid extensions like: Audio Player – perfect if you are selling music, giving the customers a preview of the music they are buying or Google Checkout – which allows you to accept payment through your Google Checkout/Wallet Account and 4 free extensions for Easy Digital Downloads and download the ones that suite to your needs.
Documentation and Support
Easy Digital Downloads has a well done documentation, which contains information about:
- Basic configuration
- Information for creating a download
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Developer API
Easy Digital Downloads plugin`s developer API allows to have access to functions, constants, actions (Ajax, Cart, Template) and also filters for email, messages and template.
- Premium Support
- Questions About the Plugin
- General Support
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Plugin Conflicts
- Theme Conflicts
- Feature Requests
Only Questions About the Plugin, Frequently Asked Questions and Feature Requests can be accessed for free, the others support options are provided after paying a subscription ($29/month or $99/year) and for that you first must register.
- Easy Digital Downloads is easy to set-up and use, having an intuitive interface.
- You can choose from many easy-to-use short codes and customize your shopping system as you desire.
- It has an impressive collection of add-ons, paid and free, and that can be nothing but a good thing.
- As a minor minus, the paid support. Although Easy Digital Downloads is a free plugin, the support price makes it a $29/month or $99/year plugin. A community driven forum (besides WordPress.org) would’ve been nice.