sell digital downloads quickly and easily on the internet?
Perhaps you want to offer ebooks, online courses, your own photos, digital art, music, or something else else.
WordPress makes it simple to offer premium downloads and distribute them to clients in a safe manner, regardless of the type of digital product.
We’ll teach you how to sell digital downloads on WordPress in this article.
Which Platform Should You Use to Sell Digital Products?
To begin, you’ll need to select an eCommerce platform for selling digital items.
After purchasing a product, customers may download it to their PCs as a digital download. eBooks, digital art, photos, graphics, printables, software, music, and movies are just a handful of the most popular digital items marketed on the internet.
An eCommerce platform is a piece of software that allows you to upload and sell digital files.
You’ll want to pick an eCommerce platform that’s right for you. This is due to the fact that changing platforms may be difficult and time-consuming.
Some platforms are better for selling physical things than for selling digital ones. You want to be sure that the solution you choose has features to safeguard your digital downloads, as well as correct licencing, subscriptions, and other important aspects.
We propose WordPress + Easy Digital Downloads as a combination.
WordPress is the most popular website builder, with over 43% of all websites on the internet using it. The finest WordPress eCommerce plugin for selling digital items is Easily Digital Downloads.
In fact, we utilise this plugin to sell several of our premium WordPress plugins, which are downloaded files that are exclusively available to members, and it includes licencing keys.
Other systems, such as Gumroad, Sellfy, and Sendowl, have a significant disadvantage over WordPress. It allows you to have complete control over your website and sell as many things as you want without having to pay exorbitant monthly or transaction costs.
It’s critical to understand that there are two varieties of WordPress software, and you don’t want to select the incorrect one.
The first is WordPress.com, which is a blog-hosting service. WordPress.org, often known as self-hosted WordPress, is another option.
See our tutorial on the differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org for a more complete comparison.
The self-hosted WordPress.org platform is the best option since it provides you complete control over your website and allows you to sell any sort of digital goods.
We’ll teach you how to set up Easy Digital Downloads on your WordPress site in just a few clicks.
Step 1. Setting Up Your WordPress Website
You’ll need a domain name, site hosting, and an SSL certificate to start selling digital downloads with WordPress.
A domain name is the internet address for your website. Visitors will put this into their browsers to access your website, such as wpbeginner.com.
Your website’s home on the internet is called web hosting. Consider hosting to be the home of your website on the internet. To assist you, we’ve hand-selected some of the top WordPress hosting available.
SiteGround, one of our top hosting recommendations, offers managed WordPress hosting for Easy Digital Downloads. It includes a free SSL certificate, EDD pre-installed, and all of the optimization tools, as well as a 73 percent discount.
In general, you can build and maintain a website for less than $5 per month.
Let’s take a look at how to get a domain name, web hosting, and an SSL certificate.
Open the SiteGround website in a new tab so you can keep track of what’s going on. The first step is to select the Get Plan option from the drop-down menu.
SiteGround will next ask you to choose a domain name for your website.
If you don’t have a name in mind yet, check out our tutorial on how to pick the ideal domain name.
Finally, you must enter your account details. Optional accessories will also be available for purchase.
If you decide that you need these items later, you may always add them. We recommend skipping this step if you’re unsure.
SiteGround will send you an email with instructions on how to get into your hosting account when you provide your payment information. This is a control panel for managing your new website on a web hosting server.
Simply log into your SiteGround account and you’ll notice that WordPress has already been installed for you, along with Easy Digital Downloads (pre-installed as well).
Then select ‘WordPress Admin’ from the drop-down menu.
This will lead you to the dashboard of your WordPress site, where Easy Digital Downloads is already installed.
If you don’t want to use SiteGround for any reason, you may install WordPress on other hosting companies such as Bluehost, Hostinger, and WP Engine using a similar approach.
Step 2. Setting Up Easy Digital Downloads
Because WordPress does not come with eCommerce capability out of the box, you’ll need to use a plugin to sell your digital files.
WordPress plugins are similar to applications on your phone. They enhance your website with a variety of features and functions.
Note: We’ll be utilising the free edition of Easy Digital Downloads for this lesson. A premium edition is also available, which includes more sophisticated features including strong email marketing service capabilities, multiple payment channels, email support, and more.
If you’re using a different hosting service, you’ll need to manually install the Easy Digital Downloads plugin.
The Easy Digital Downloads plugin must first be installed and activated. See our step-by-step guide on installing a WordPress plugin for more information.
You must go to the Downloads » Settings page in your WordPress admin area after activation.
You must first set the location of your business from here.
You might be wondering why you need a real location if you’re not selling tangible goods. It’s because Easy Digital Downloads will utilise a customer’s nation and state information to auto-fill some fields when they make a purchase. It’s also possible that your location will be utilised to compute sales tax.
Open the ‘Base Country’ dropdown menu to add your location. You may now pick where your company will be headquartered.
Locate the ‘Base State / Province’ field next. You can fill in the base state or province where your store is located.
Scroll to the bottom of the screen and click the Save Changes button after inputting this information.
Step 3. Setting up Your Payment Gateway
You’ll need a mechanism to handle payments from your consumers if you wish to sell downloads.
PayPal, Stripe, and Amazon Payments are all supported with Easy Digital Downloads. These are all well-known payment processors.
If you want to add other payment gateways, check out the Easy Digital Download extensions, which include Braintree, Authorize.net, and others.
Click the Payments tab to choose your payment gateways. Make sure the Gateways tab is chosen after that.
Select all of the payment gateways you wish to utilise on your new WordPress website under the Payment Gateways section.
Stripe and PayPal are the most popular payment gateways, so we’ll teach you how to set them up.
You’ll need to set a default payment gateway if you’re utilising several payment providers. When a visitor arrives at your checkout page, this is the choice that will be picked automatically.
Because most consumers prefer to pay using credit cards, we recommend making Stripe the default payment method.
Scroll down to the bottom of the page and choose Save Changes.
There will be some new tabs when the website reloads. These tabs are where you may set up your payment gateways.
If you want to use PayPal, then click on the PayPal tab. You can now type your PayPal email address and password.
To set up Stripe, click on the Stripe tab. Then click on the ‘Connect with Stripe’ button.
This launches a setup wizard that will guide you through the process of connecting your website to Stripe.
You may now wish to alter the currency used on your website based on your region.
Easy Digital Downloads displays all of your prices in US dollars by default. It also displays the price with a dollar sign in front of it, thus $5 is displayed as ‘$5.’
Scroll to the top of the page and choose the Currency option to modify the default currency settings.
Then, select a currency from the drop-down menu. You can now select a different currency.
Just keep in mind that not all payment gateways accept all currencies. If you’re unsure, go to the website for your selected payment gateway and look it up. The majority of payment gateways include a list of currencies they accept.
Don’t forget to click the Save Changes button if you’ve made any changes to this page.
Step 4. Creating Your First Digital Product
You’re ready to start selling your digital items now that your WordPress site is up and running!
Go to Downloads » Add New to make your first digital product.
In the ‘Enter download name here’ section, you may now provide a name for your product.
After that, write a product description. WordPress will display this description to your visitors, so make it as descriptive and persuasive as possible.
Product categories and tags are used by many online retailers and websites. This can assist customers find what they’re seeking for while also encouraging them to look at similar items.
In the Download Categories and Download Tags sections, you may create categories and tags.
Scroll down to the Download Prices section after that.
Easy Digital Downloads will automatically offer your goods as a free download. You’ll need to select a price if you’re planning to sell your digital downloads.
Scroll down to the Download Prices area to add a price. The sum that visitors will have to pay to download this product may then be typed in.
The following step is to upload your product. This may be an ebook, a recorded webinar, a PDF guide, a snapshot, or any other WordPress-compatible asset.
To add your downloadable file, simply scroll to the Download Files section.
Type a name for your downloaded file in the File Name area. Then select ‘Upload a file’ from the drop-down menu.
The WordPress media library will be launched as a result of this. Here you may select the file that you wish to make available for download.
The last step is to upload a product picture.
When selling digital downloads, your product photos may need to be more inventive. If you’re selling a recorded webinar, for example, a snapshot from the video would be appropriate.
Using online design software like Canva, you can quickly generate a professional-looking product image.
Simply scroll down to the Download Image area to add a product image.
Then, on the ‘Set Download Image’ option, click. This opens the WordPress media library, where you may select a picture for your product.
Click the Publish button when you’re satisfied with the information you’ve submitted.
Your very first digital product is now available! You may now get a live preview of your product page.
You can now create more digital downloads simply by repeating these steps.
Step 5. Selecting and Customizing Your WordPress Theme
Themes are in charge of how your WordPress website appears to visitors, including the layout, colours, and fonts.
With dozens of WordPress themes to choose from, it may be difficult to know where to begin. For more amazing possibilities, have a look at our list of the most popular WordPress themes.
Once you’ve decided on a theme, follow our beginner’s guide to installing a WordPress theme to get it up and running on your site.
After you’ve installed your theme, you may personalise it with our instructions on how to modify your WordPress theme.
If you’re just getting started, both the Astra and Coaching Pro themes are totally compatible with EDD.
Another alternative is to start from scratch and develop your own custom theme.
SeedProd is required to develop a custom theme.
It is the most popular website builder plugin on the market, with over 1 million websites using it. It allows you to develop stunning layouts that are professionally designed and optimised for conversions and sales.
SeedProd also includes a large number of pre-made templates. Designs that are ideal for advertising your digital downloads are included.
Check out our article on how to make a custom WordPress theme for additional information (no coding needed).
Step 6. Customizing Your Digital Download Emails
Easy Digital Downloads will send an email to the individual who purchased a digital download.
The consumer can use the URL in this email to download the file they just purchased.
You may wish to add your own text and branding to this email. Strong branding may give your company a more professional appearance while also inspiring loyalty.
Go to Downloads » Settings and choose the Emails tab to modify your emails. Make sure the General tab is chosen after that.
You can start by adding a logo to your emails.
This logo will be shown at the top of your purchase receipt emails.
Click the Upload File option to add a logo to your emails. You may either upload a new picture or use one from your WordPress media library.
You may also include a ‘From Name’ field. This name will appear in the inbox of the customer. You’ll want to choose anything that tells them who you are right away, like your website’s name.
A ‘From Email’ must also be included.
The ‘from’ and’reply-to’ addresses will be the same email. You’ll want to pick a professional email account that you check regularly since clients may respond to your messages.
Click the Purchase Receipts tab after you’re pleased with your email branding. You may compose the email that consumers will get every time they make a purchase under this tab.
You might want to start by taking a look at how this email now appears. Click the ‘Preview Purchase Receipt’ button to do so. This will open a new tab with your email.
You may add an email topic and header under the Purchase Receipts tab. You may also alter the body text of the email.
Dynamic text might be your hidden weapon in this situation. The term “dynamic text” refers to text that varies depending on variables such as the buyer’s name and the date.
Dynamic text is supported by Easy Digital Downloads. You’ll discover all of the different dynamic text that you may utilise if you scroll down.
These various pieces of dynamic text may be copied and pasted into your emails.
Easy Digital Downloads will update this placeholder dynamic text with real information such as the customer’s name every time it sends an email.
You might wish to send a test email while you’re working on your email. Easy Digital Downloads will send an email to your admin email address when you click the Send Test button.
Have you attempted to send a test email but have yet to get one? Then, to ensure that your emails reach your customers, follow our instruction on how to solve WordPress not sending email.
Scroll to the bottom of the screen and click the Save Changes button when you’re satisfied with your purchase receipt emails.
Step 7. Promoting Your Digital Downloads
Easy Digital Downloads creates a separate page for each product. You’ll need to attract traffic to these sites if you want to sell your digital files.
This might imply adding these pages to the menu of your website. You may also include links to your product pages across your website. This might be anything from blog entries to landing pages to an announcement bar.
You’ll need to know the URL of the product page to add these links. This information may be seen just beneath the product’s title.
Another method is to use the Purchase Shortcode from the product on a page or post.
Scroll down to the Download Settings section of the product to create a Purchase button. The Purchase Shortcode can then be copied.
The shortcode may then be added to any post or page, as well as a widget area like your sidebar.
See our tutorial on how to utilise shortcodes in WordPress for more information.
A buy button will be added using the shortcode. When a visitor hits this button, the digital download will be added to their shopping basket.
The checkout button will replace the buy button. Customers may submit their payment information and purchase their download by clicking this button, which will lead them to the Easy Digital Downloads checkout.
See our article on how to install a shortcode in WordPress for further information on how to position the shortcode.
BONUS – Tools to Sell More Digital Downloads
You’ve introduced digital downloads to your website with ease! The next step is to persuade visitors to purchase the downloads.
WordPress plugins can help with this.
Here are some of our favourite plugins for increasing digital download sales.
On the market, OptinMonster is the conversion optimization software. It may be used to develop optin forms in order to increase your email list and convert visitors into paying clients. It can also help you avoid abandoning your shopping cart.
All in One SEO is the greatest WordPress SEO plugin, and it can help you optimise your site for search engines in order to increase traffic and revenues.
MonsterInsights is the greatest WordPress analytics solution. It allows you to see where your visitors come from and what they do on your website, allowing you to make informed decisions and change your marketing approach.
With affiliate marketing, AffiliateWP may help you reach a whole new audience. AffiliateWP comes with everything you’ll need to start your own affiliate programme, where users can earn money by promoting your items to their audiences.
PushEngage is the greatest WordPress push notification software. It enables you to deliver tailored online push notifications to inform your clients about new digital downloads, special deals, and even unique discount coupons.
FAQs About Selling Digital Downloads
Many of our readers regularly reach out to us with questions about selling digital downloads. We have tried to answer some of the most frequently asked questions below.
1. Can I start selling digital downloads for free?
Easy Digital Downloads is a completely free plugin. It comes with everything you’ll need to begin selling digital downloads on your WordPress site.
While Easy Digital Downloads is free, you will need to pay for a domain name and web hosting account in order to use it.
You may wish to upgrade to the pro edition of Easy Digital Downloads as your business expands. This sophisticated plugin has strong email marketing tools, additional payment methods, and WordPress support for selling digital subscriptions.
2. How much does it cost to create a WordPress website?
Absolutely! It’s not uncommon for a successful company to branch out into other industries.
Despite its name, Easy Digital Downloads may also be used to sell tangible goods. There’s also a Simple Shipping extension for the Easy Digital Downloads plugin that provides shipping functionality.
4. Will my customers’ digital download links expire?
Every digital download link expires after 24 hours by default. This is to prevent consumers from sharing or even publishing your links publicly.
You may adjust the 24-hour deadline in your WordPress dashboard by heading to Downloads » Settings. Then select Miscellaneous » File Downloads.
Now look for the area that says “Download Link Expiration.” Then, before the download link expires, write in the amount of hours you want it to stay available.
We hope this lesson was useful in teaching you how to sell digital downloads. You might also be interested in our expert assessment of the best live chat software for small businesses, or these simple techniques to generate visitors to your new website.