If you offer any sort of download from your WordPress-based site, instead of just linking to the file to be downloaded, you can use a plugin called WordPress Download Monitor to organise your downloads. With this free plugin you can keep count of how many times your files have been downloaded, change the files without having to edit any posts or pages + more features. In this post I will show you how to install and set up this plugin.
Install the Plugin
Download the plugin from the WordPress repository. Visit “Plugins” > “Add New” > “Upload” and upload the plugin zip file.
Activate the plugin and you will see it adds a new menu to your admin area called “Downloads”.
If you click the “Configuration” link on the new menu, here is where you can set up a few settings before you start adding downloads. You can set things like custom download URLS – the default is yourdomain.com/wp-content/plugins/download-monitor/download.php?id=1 which is rather long, you can change that to: yourdomain.com/downloads/1
The general options tab has many different things you can set, such as setting a download not found page, member only files page and other options :
If you plan on having quite a few downloads on your site, you may wish to split them up into categories. In that case, click the “Categories” link in the menu and you can begin adding them :
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Add your first Download
Click the “Add New” menu and you can add your first download to the system. This page is fairly straight forward – name the download, enter a version number, upload the file, choose a category, add some tags and you can choose if it should be a “members only” file.
If you have a lot of files you want to add to the system in bulk, you can use the “Add Directory” option – here you can specify a directory on your system and the Download Monitor plugin will attempt to add them all for you. It will automatically choose filenames for you which you can go back and edit later if required.
If you need to make any changes to your uploaded files, hit the “Edit Downloads” link and you will see them all listed and can edit them as needed :
Viewing your Download Stats
If you visit your WordPress dashboard homepage, you will see the plugin has added a couple of new boxes to it – a download stats and top 5 downloads. Here you can see how many times each file has been downloaded by week or month.
I have found this to be a really handy plugin that I use here on WPLift, I’m a stats junkie so it’s nice to see how my freebies are doing. I expect that if you run a site with a lot of downloads, it becomes even more handy – by displaying which of your files are more popular, you can use that to tailor your content in future.