Selling digital downloads is one of my favourite ways to monetize a website, if you have a website or blog, creating a digital product such as a piece of software or an ebook provides a much better return than running advertising or affiliate programs. If you are using WordPress, there are no shortage of ways that make this process easy for you, in the past I have looked at e-junkie for selling online, the Publisher theme and of course all the e-commerce plugins and themes that are available. A new plugin which launched recently which aims to make an impact in ths area is called "Easy Digital Downloads" and is created by Pippin Williamson from Pippins Plugins.
This looks to be quite a powefull plugin, here are the main features :
- Cart system for purchasing multiple downloads at once
- Complete promotional code system
- Many payment gateways. PayPal and Manual are included by default with Stripe, PayPal Pro, PayPal Express, and others available as add-ons
- Complete payment history
- User purchase history and ability to redownload files
- Multiple files per downloadable product
- Customizable purchase receipts
- Earnings and sales charts
- Details purchase and file download logs
- Extensible with many add-ons
- Developer friendly with dozens of actions and filters
As you can see from this screenshot, the plugin adds a new menu to your WordPress admin for you to manage all aspects of the plugin. Adding a new file for download is as simple as writing a blog post - you can enter the price, description, purchase now text and choose a category and tag for it :
The plugin keeps a record of all your sales and kets you view an order in detail and resend the purchase receipt if required :
The option for issuing discount coupon codes is also included, so you can offer percentage or fixed amount discounts with an expiry date if required and also a maximum use count :
Reporting is included so you can see how many downloads you've sold for each item and earnings reports for each month :
As I mentioned before, there are a number of paid extensions currently available with more on the way. Currently available is :
- Campaign Monitor ($12) - Adds an option for users to sign up for your Campaign Monitor Email list during checkout.
- Mail Chimp ($12) - Adds an option for users to sign up for your Mail Chimp Email list during checkout.
- Skrill ($49) - Accept payments through Moneybookers / Skrill
- 2 Checkout ($49) - Accept payments through the international friendly 2Checkout payment system.
- Authorize.net ($49) - Accept payments through your Authorize.net account.
- Stripe ($49) - Accept payments through the Stripe.com payment gateway.
- Paypal Pro ($49) - Accept payments through PayPal Pro and PayPal Express.
These are the free extensions currently available :
- Easy Digital Downloads Toolbar - Gain quick access to all parts of the Easy Digital Downloads plugin through this handy, and free, toolbar extension.
- Mijireh - Accept payments with SSL through the PCI compliant Mijireh Checkout. It's free!
This looks like a quality plugin - considering it has only just been released, the amount of extensions allready available is impressive and Pippin tells me there are even more on the way. Give it a go if you are looking for a simple to use way to offer paid downloads on your WordPress-based website.