An online store is a great way to make money online, however, selling physical products you make or using drop-shipping are not the only two options when it comes to e-Commerce websites.
You can open up a digital marketplace and sell digital downloads like e-books, photos, icons, WordPress themes or plugins, and more. The beauty of selling digital products is that you only have to create the product once and you can sell it an unlimited number of times.
If you’re thinking about selling digital products, the Easy Digital Downloads plugin is a great choice and in this post, I’ll review the plugin and talk about its features.
What Is Easy Digital Downloads
The Easy Digital Downloads plugin is a plugin designed to help you sell digital products from your WordPress website. You can also create variable digital products, bundle products together and sell them and you can create discount codes.
Why Use Easy Digital Downloads Plugin?
You might be wondering why you should use Easy Digital Downloads when WooCommerce does all of the above and has the option to mark products as digital. While WooCommerce does come with the ability to sell digital products, it wasn’t designed with digital products in mind.
Its biggest disadvantage is that the visitors have to enter their physical address which makes the entire checkout process unnecessarily long and can result in cart abandonment.
Easy Digital Downloads plugin removes that obstacle as the only thing your visitors need to enter during the checkout is their name and email address before they proceed with the payment information.
Another difference is that there is no shipping settings to configure in Easy Digital Downloads plugin like there is in WooCommerce. This is quite normal as digital products don’t actually require any shipping. Customers can simply download their product after the checkout is complete.
In other words, if you’re selling only digital products, Easy Digital Downloads is the way to go. However, if you’re selling both digital and physical products, then you will be better off using WooCommerce.
Easy Digital Downloads Features
Now that you know what Easy Digital Downloads plugin is and why it’s a better solution for digital products, let’s go over its most important features below.
If you’ve ever used WooCommerce, product creation will feel familiar in Easy Digital Downloads plugin. The biggest difference is that instead of “Products”, Easy Digital Downloads plugin uses the term “Downloads”.
Aside from that, the editor allows you to enter your product title and the description. You can also set a product image using the sidebar on the right and configure the pricing options and upload the file using the widgets below the post editor.
The plugin comes with a sleek and clean reporting dashboard. You can easily see how many sales you’ve made in a given period and filter them by category so you can see which product categories are the best money-makers as well as how many times each individual product has been sold.
You can see which payment methods are the most used which then allows you to stop offering those that aren’t popular.
Finally, you can filter the report to show you the total amount of taxes you’ve charged for your products.
The checkout page offered by Easy Digital Downloads plugin offers a streamlined checkout experience. The plugin comes with a one-page checkout where the buyer has to enter their name and email address and they click the purchase button to submit the payment.
If you’re using PayPal, keep in mind that your visitors will be redirected to PayPal to complete the purchase. As such, it’s a good idea to offer alternative payment methods such as Stripe so they can use the method that’s the most convenient for them.
Similarly to WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads offers a number of extensions that will help you get even more out of your store.
The extensions range from free to paid and include:
- Integration with email marketing software such as MailChimp, Aweber, and others
- Additional payment gateways including Stripe, 2Checkout, Authorize.net, and more
- The ability to issue software licenses and open up a vendor marketplace similar to Envato Market
- Marketing widgets such as featured products, the ability to instantly add products to cart, variable pricing descriptions, and more.
Aside from the official extensions, you can also find third-party extensions for Easy Digital Downloads such as a downloads toolbar, integration with Block Editor for Gutenberg, and others.
Easy Digital Downloads integrates with any theme. However, there are a number of free and paid themes made specifically for online stores powered by Easy Digital Downloads. In fact, the creators of the plugin even offer two free themes to help you design your store and they feature a list of third-party themes that are compatible with Easy Digital Downloads on their website.
Easy Digital Downloads can be downloaded for free from the official WordPress plugin repository. While the basic plugin offers all the features you need to open up your digital product store, it also offers four different pricing tiers which give you access to their extensions.
- Personal – the personal plan comes with a bundle of the most basic extensions you need to enhance your digital download store. They include their most popular email marketing extensions which are perfect for beginners. This plan is billed at $99/year and allows you to use the extensions on one site.
- Extended – the Extended pass includes the email marketing extensions as well as recurring subscriptions and integration with other payment gateways such as Stripe, PayPal Pro, Authorize.net, and more. It’s billed at $199/year and allows you to use the extensions on one site.
- Professional – the Professional pass includes all the extensions that are included with the Extended pass and adds the ability to create your own digital download marketplace and premium extensions. This plan is available for $299/year and allows you to use the extensions on one site.
- All Access – the All Access pass includes all of the available extensions and allows you to use them on an unlimited number of sites. This plan will run you $499/year.
Keep in mind that you can purchase the extensions on an individual basis but you will more than likely spend more than buying one of the passes. The best option would be to buy the Extended pass as it includes extra payment gateways and recurring subscriptions which are the two most important features for any online store.
Easy Digital Downloads: Video Review
If you prefer the video version, here’s my video review of Easy Digital Downloads. I talk about the plugin’s features mentioned in this review and show you how to setup your digital product.
Digital products are an easy way to make money online as they don’t require any shipping or handling fees. On top of that, you only have to create the digital product once and you can sell it multiple times. If you’re thinking about selling digital downloads, the Easy Digital Downloads plugin is a better solution that WooCommerce so be sure to give it a try.
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