Selling digital downloads is a great way to earn some passive income from a one-time investment in creating an ebook, audio file, webinar, and more. You can make decent money by automating the process without having to fulfill every order on your own. All you have to do is learn how to sell digital downloads on WordPress.
Fortunately, selling your new files is a piece of cake. All you really need are a few easy-to-use tools. Depending on your needs, you can choose one from this list of the top plugins for WordPress sites that cater to a digital download model.
In this article, we walk you through the step-by-step instructions to help you start selling digital downloads in less than an hour. And if your product is already created and ready to go, this article is for you!
Let’s dive in.
Plugins to Sell Digital Downloads on WordPress
The easiest way to sell digital downloads on WordPress is through a robust plugin. Once your site is set up and hosted, you can easily venture over to the plugin library and browse the options.
To make your decision easier, we have included this handy guide to the top plugins that you should consider.
Easy Digital Downloads
Perhaps the most highly recommended plugin to help you sell digital downloads on WordPress is Easy Digital Downloads. It might be a little more expensive than some of the other options on the market, but it’s well worth the expense if you’re serious about your digital products.
Not to mention, it has a free option that will likely give you all the tools you need to start to sell downloads with minimal hassle.
On the front end, it is extremely user-friendly and takes just minutes to set up (we’ll cover how to do this in the second half of this article). In fact, you will find that once your digital product has already been created, you can get it ready to download for your customer in less than a half hour — even less if you’re particularly savvy with WordPress’s web hosting control panel.
It allows you to take credit card payments using most of the major gateways, including Stripe, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and even PayPal.
Takes just a few minutes to set up
Works with most payment processors
Easy to set up payment gateway
Can add whole pages into your menu or use shortcode to embed the cart
Compatible with all WordPress themes
Can be a bit expensive for users who are just getting started (except for free version)
No lifetime sales option (only annual subscriptions)
Pricing: Easy Digital Downloads starts at $99.50 per year and scales to $499.50 per year depending on how many sites you use it for and the features included.
You can also try it out on the free version. We will use that in the latter half of this article as we walk you through the steps to upload digital downloads onto your web hosting account.
WooCommerce Checkout for Digital Goods
This plugin might be a better fit if you are already using WooCommerce on your site. It allows you to keep things simple by only using a single type of checkout process, regardless of whether you are selling physical products or digital ones.
One of the benefits of the WooCommerce Checkout for Digital Goods is that streamlines the checkout process for your customers. While some plugins require customers to enter a shipping address, this one bypasses it because it understands that it is unnecessary when sales tax doesn’t need to be calculated.
Allows for digital products ranging from PDFs and music to ebooks and audio
Robust free version
Minimal setup required
May need to upgrade to Pro to get more advanced features
Pricing: You can try the WooCommerce plugin for free, but a subscription to the premium membership will set you back about $29 per year. This isn’t bad, considering how robust the software can be.
Stripe Green Downloads
Website owners who are concerned about customers paying for the digital download might prefer to trust one of the leading payment processors: Stripe. The Stripe Green Downloads plugin for WordPress makes it a cinch to accept all major credit cards, but you can also do free digital products as well.
With this plugin, your customers will get encrypted download links valid for a certain length of time (set by you).
Integration with the well-known Stripe platform
Encrypted download links
Email verification to you and the customer after successful payment
Available for multisite installation
Might be more challenging to set up and use
Pricing: If you only want your customers to access free downloadable files, Stripe Green Downloads is just $19. If you plan to sell digital products for a fee, it is $95.
WordPress Simple PayPal Shopping Cart
Website owners who want a free option to round out their online store will want to consider whether PayPal has the solution they need. The WordPress Simple PayPal Shopping Cart gives you the flexibility to include an “add to cart” button on any page. You will guide your readers through making their cart and then take payment through the highly trusted PayPal platform.
When finished with the transaction, buyers will get an email with a link to their new digital files.
Very lightweight solution to keep your site running smoothly
Affordable for a highly trusted name in payment gateways
Compatible with any type of digital download (PDF, ebook, mp3, audio, etc.)
Create coupons to help sell digital downloads faster
Takes a few more steps to set up selling digital downloads
Pricing: Enjoy selling digital files for your website with this free plugin.
How to Use Easy Digital Downloads Plugin
If you have made it this far, chances are that you already have a WordPress website ready for your downloadable files. We will assume that you already have a page designated for your digital downloads as we walk through how to use the Easy Digital Downloads system.
On the other hand, here is more information on starting a WordPress site if you aren’t at this point yet: Best WordPress courses to help you get started.
Installing the App
From the lefthand sidebar on your WordPress dashboard, navigate to the plugins section and select “add new.”
Type in “easy digital downloads” in the search bar to pull up the free plugin and select “install.”
When it is finished downloading, you will select the “activate” button that appears in the same spot where the “install” button once showed. This will get you set up for the plugin and allow you to get started with selling digital downloads in the next step.
You will know when the plugin is active because it will pop up with a new option on your sidebar titled “Downloads.”
Before you can start to sell digital products, you will need to configure the settings on your new plugin. Here are a few of the things that you will need to modify prior to selling.
First, you will have to update the settings for your digital downloads, including the physical address for your store. Even if you don’t have a storefront in your city, the address listed here is used to calculate sales tax if and when necessary.
Once you have filled out the information, click “save changes” at the bottom of the screen.
While you are on the settings screen, you will need to configure your payment settings. This may not be as important if you are only selling free digital downloads, but you want to fill it out if you will be selling digital products on your website.
Easy Digital Downloads makes it simple to accept payments from the gateways of your choosing. Active payment gateways include:
As a bonus, you can even select a default gateway that automatically populates for your customers. This means that you can choose the gateway that charges you the fewest fees for your product or service, hoping that your customer will not think to change it.
Click on “save changes” when finished with this screen.
Configure PayPal or Stripe
However, you aren’t quite done setting up your payment processors yet. Depending on what options you select, you may need to head to another tab. For instance, PayPal and Stripe both have separate tabs that you will need to visit if you intend to accept payments using these methods.
Click on the appropriate tab for the payments you plan to accept.
From here, it will walk you through how to connect your new payment platform with your website. Stripe takes a little bit longer to set up than PayPal does, but both are relatively user-friendly and take just a few clicks of the mouse to get where you want to go.
Don’t forget to select “save changes” at the bottom of the screen when finished with each page.
Adding a Digital Product
Now that you have the foundation laid to start to sell digital products, it is time to focus your attention on actually creating your digital product. This requires just a few steps and is easy even for users who are just getting used to their WordPress website.
Here is a quick look at how you can add your digital downloads to your store.
On the left sidebar from your WordPress dashboard, select “downloads” again.
Next to the header on the new page, you will see the button that says “add new.” Click here.
Enter a title for your digital downloads at the top of the screen.
Fill out the description information, which is what your site visitors will see about your file when they visit this screen.
Underneath this section, you will see the option to set a price for your digital download. You can leave this section as-is (the default setting is $0.00 or free) if you intend to use it for a lead magnet to drive sales for your store. However, you can also set it up to charge a fair price for the download of your digital products.
After entering the price, you will need to actually upload your digital downloads for your customers to review. You’re almost there! Under the price section, you will see “Download Files.” Enter the name of your new product and then enter the URL or upload the file.
If you are uploading it, simply click the link icon to the right of the box and it will give you a popup where you can select a download from the media library or upload a new one.
Set Up Yoast
If you are also using Yoast SEO (and we recommend that you do!), you can configure the page to match up with your other SEO efforts. Add in a keyword, alter the meta description, and even set the slug for the page.
Business owners who intend to advertise their new digital download on social media may want to select the social media tab on Yoast, upload an image that represents their new offer, and change the description for social posts.
Publish Your Digital Downloads
Once you finish with all of the setup wizard on this screen, you can officially publicera your product! Head up to the top of the page and in the upper right-hand corner, you will see the telltale blue button that allows you to “Publish” your new product.
That’s all you have to do to create a page that allows you to sell a digital download!
Add Your Download to a Webpage
Sometimes, you may want to consider adding your digital downloads to the menu of your website. This allows it to be more easily found. After all, nobody is going to know how to click through your link if they don’t even know it exists. Fortunately, there are just a few extra clicks involved to get that digital product onto your website menu.
Navigate to the dashboard home and select “Appearances” on the left-hand side. Click “Menus” to get started.
You will see several categories pop up on the left side. Scroll down to the third option, titled “downloads.” Click the box next to the download that you would like to add to your menu and then click on “add to menu.”
This will move it over to the screen on the right, where you can rearrange your pages until they make sense to you.
Alternatively, you may not want to create an entire page for your new lead magnet or download. In this case, you may instead prefer to place the download on another page. You may even show it on your blog posts that advertise the download. The good news is that you have another option if this describes you.
Open up your download product page and click the gear icon at the top of the screen.
Scroll down until you get to the “download settings” section.
At the bottom of this download files section, you will find the “purchase shortcode.” Copy this shortcode.
Next, on the page where you want to sell downloads on WordPress, add a block of shortcode. Paste this description in the box and save.
This will make learning how to sell digital downloads on WordPress quick and easy from any page of your website.
Tracking Results and Downloads on WordPress
Once you have your download uploaded and organized on your website with Easy Digital Downloads, you need to start tracking it. This allows you to uncover how many people are accessing your page, clicking the download option, and more.
The easiest way to track your results is to download MonsterInsights. Head over to your MonsterInsights dashboard and click on the e-commerce tab. You will see an option for Easy Digital Downloads here and check the box.
All you have to do is head to “Insights” > “Reports” > “eCommerce”. This allows you to see how your digital products are faring in the marketplace.
The Verdict: How to Sell Digital Downloads on WordPress
Selling physical products is mostly a thing of the past for people looking to set up more passive income streams. If you want to sell digital goods to your audience but don’t want to be responsible for fulfilling all those orders on your own, you need software that will automate the process for you.
Easy Digital Downloads offers just that. But it isn’t the only option if you want to sell digital downloads on WordPress. Consider some of the other top WordPress plugins on our list to expand your payment gateway and make your checkout page a breeze.
If you don’t already have a WordPress website set up, then you may want to consider how you can start today. Learn more about setting up your site in some of these articles here:
Top website builder (öppnas i ny flik) WordPress has pushed an urgent update to users with the WooCommerce add-on installed in response to a highly disruptive security vulnerability.
Cybersecurity researchers from GoldNetwork recently discovered a major flaw affecting WooCommerce Payments 4.8.0 and higher. WooCommerce is an open-source ecommerce WordPress plugin designed to service small and medium-sized businesses.
Explaining the bug in more detail, researchers from WordFence (a cybersecurity team focused on WordPress) claim the bug allows threat actors to “impersonate an administrator and completely take over a website without any user interaction or social engineering required.”
WooCommerce devs have now released a security update, and the good news (or so it seems right now) is that the Swiss researchers were the first ones to discover the flaw.
“At this time we have no evidence that the vulnerability was exploited beyond identifying it in our own security testing program. We do not believe any store or customer data was compromised as a result of this vulnerability,” BleepingComputer cited Beau Lebens, Head of Engineering at WooCommerce.
“We immediately deactivated the impacted services and mitigated the issue for all websites hosted on WordPress.com, Pressable, and WPVIP.”
If you have a WordPress site with WooCommerce, chances are it’s already been updated: “We shipped a fix and worked with the WordPress.org Plugins Team to auto-update sites running WooCommerce Payments 4.8.0 through 5.6.1 to patched versions. The update is currently being automatically rolled out to as many stores as possible,” Lebens said.
Here are all the vulnerable WooCommerce Payments versions: .8.2, 4.9.1, 5.0.4, 5.1.3, 5.2.2, 5.3.1, 5.4.1, 5.5.2, and 5.6.2.
If your website is still running any of the above mentioned versions, chances are it still hasn’t been updated. To do so manually, head to your WP Admin dashboard, navigate to Plugins, find WooCommerce Payments, and look for a notification about the vulnerability, as well as the instructions on how to update.
Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], March 24 (ANI/PRNewswire): Bluehost, one of the largest WordPress hosting providers in the world, today announced the launch of its new commerce solutions that make it simple for customers to launch their online stores and makes using WordPress easier by bringing together YITH plugins and WooCommerce. Addressing the need for a simple, convenient online selling solution for all, Bluehost’s new commerce solutions, bring together the power of WordPress, the versatility of WooCommerce and the elegant simplicity of YITH plugins to empower users to easily create online stores that truly stand out from the rest.
From a mobile-responsive eCommerce website to powerful connections with all the major online marketplaces, Bluehost’s commerce solutions enable users to sell products anywhere and everywhere confidently. The affordable all-in-one commerce solutions allow users to build a robust online store. Users can easily accept payments, sell across popular marketplaces, schedule calendar appointments, ship new customer orders, print labels, and add advanced features like GiftCards, WishList, Customer Account Page, and more. Site owners will save time and energy maintaining every aspect of their eCommerce business, all from one platform.
Bluehost’s commerce solutions make selling online easier and save customers hundreds of dollars by bundling enhanced plugins.
“We have so many customers around the world with unique needs and different levels of expertise building online stores,” said Ed Jay, President of Newfold Digital, the parent company of Bluehost and YITH. “With the launch of Bluehost’s new commerce solutions, our team is addressing the needs of small businesses looking for the flexibility and power of WordPress but want the experience of coming online and selling to be simple. The curated experience we are providing strikes the perfect balance of security, reliability, and functionality by taking the power of WordPress and putting it into the hands of users in a way that feels intuitive and native for each of our customers seeking to grow their businesses.”
Bluehost’s commerce solutions offer the functionality, and the perfect mix of tools, plugins and guidance online sellers need to start and grow their online business including:
– Easy Online Store Creation: Bluehost’s new commerce solutions come with an easy-to-follow onboarding experience. Answer a few simple questions and within minutes users will have the right foundation pages to launch their site. The guided onboarding experiences walks users through the set-up process for commonly needed features of an online store, like payment processing, tax information, shipping and managing product inventory. It helps customers launch further, faster by setting up their theme, fonts, top menu and homepage by assembling a custom design in a few simple steps.
– WooCommerce and Enhanced YITH Plugins: Both of Bluehost’s commerce solutions come with WooCommerce and enhanced YITH plugins. YITH is one of the largest sellers and developers of WooCommerce Plugins for WordPress, with nearly 2.3M active installs and more than 100 plugins that expertly solve critical eCommerce needs. Payment Processing, Gift Cards, Wish Lists, Appointment Bookings, Shipping, Product Search/Filtering and Customer Account Creation are included, providing users with everything they need to build an online store for a simple low price.
– Sales Across Multiple Marketplaces: Whether users are selling on Amazon, Etsy, eBay, Shopify, BigCommerce, or any other kind of marketplace, the Bluehost Online Store + Marketplace plan allows customers to manage their inventory from one centralized dashboard. This allows them to analyze which marketplace is the best place for selling their products, as well as keep track of inventory in real-time without having to log into multiple dashboards.
– Yoast SEO: The #1 WordPress SEO Plugin powering more than 13 million websites. Yoast SEO is made by world-renowned SEO experts and is packed full of features, designed to help visitors and search engines to get the most out of their website. Newfold acquired Yoast in August 2021.
– New WordPress eCommerce Block Theme “Wonder” Pre-installed: Take advantage of WordPress’s Block Editor with Wonder’s 24 patterns, focused on shops, and six different style variations. YITH, a leading global provider of WooCommerce plugins acquired by Newfold in March 2022, built Wonder leveraging their WordPress commerce expertise.
– Professional Services and 24/7 Expert Support: In-house Bluehost experts are readily available to help customers get online and support customers if roadblocks are encountered while creating an online store, via online chat or over the phone at 1800-419-4426.
For more information on Bluehost’s commerce solutions, including product features and details, visit Bluehost.in.
Bluehost is the leading web hosting solutions provider specializing in WordPress. Since its founding in 2003, Bluehost has been trusted by millions of people because it makes building, growing, and managing successful WordPress websites easy. Bluehost delivers a suite of WordPress solutions designed with the perfect mix of guidance, tools, and expertise to build a professional website. Bluehost is a part of the Newfold Digital family of brands. For more information on Bluehost, visit Bluehost.in.
Newfold Digital is a leading web and commerce technology company serving nearly 7 million customers globally. Established in 2021 through the combination of leading web services providers Endurance Web Presence and Web.com Group, our portfolio of brands includes: Bluehost, CrazyDomains, HostGator, Network Solutions, Register.com, Web.com, Yoast, YITH, and many others. We help customers of all sizes build a digital presence that delivers results. With our extensive product offerings and personalized support, we take pride in collaborating with our customers to serve their online presence needs. Learn more about Newfold Digital at Newfold.com.
A sneaky new credit card stealer has been discovered hiding in places that are difficult to scan, and thus managing to steal payment (öppnas i ny flik) information without triggering any alarms.
A report from cybersecurity experts Sucuri notes how it stumbled upon the malware when called in to investigate an “unusual infection” at one of its clients’ payment endpoints.
As it turns out, the malware was hiding in the site’s WooCommerce payment gateway module called Authorize.net, which process payment details on checkout. As this module works after the user submits data at checkout, cybersecurity solutions have a harder time detecting potentially malicious code hiding within.
Usually, threat actors would inject malicious code into the HTML of the store of customer checkout pages. The code would then grab the data being inputted during checkout – giving hackers access to sensitive data such as full credit card numbers, CVV numbers, expiration dates, phone numbers, email addresses, and other important information.
But today’s cybersecurity solutions can scan the HTML code for malware and thus keep the ecommerce sites safe.
That’s why this creative malware developer turned to the Authorize.net payment processing system. Apparently, it is currently being used by more than 400,000 merchants all over the world.
But the WordPress ecommerce plugin WooCommerce, or the Authorize.net payment gateway, are not flawed, and do not carry any vulnerabilities, Sucuri stressed.
“Overall they are both robust and secure payment platforms that are perfectly safe to use. Instead, this article highlights the importance of maintaining good security posture and keeping environments locked down to prevent tampering from threat actors.”
“Just like any other piece of software, if malicious actors compromise an environment they can tamper with existing controls,” they concluded.
To remain secure, businesses are advised to leverage file integrity monitoring, keep a close eye on modified files, and urged to “take every possible avenue to keep the attackers at bay.”