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How to install and configure Easy Digital Downloads on WordPress

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When WordPress was first released, it was a boon to bloggers everywhere. The platform made it incredibly easy for anyone to create posts on any subject and share their thoughts for anyone who would take the time to read them.

As WordPress evolved, it became much more than a blogging platform. 

Today, WordPress is considered more a Content Management System (CMS) that can be used for simple blogging, affiliate shops, booking systems, real estate listings, directory websites, forums, crowdfunding, and e-commerce.

If selling products is what you’re looking for, WordPress has you covered. If those products happen to be digital… even better because there’s a plugin called Easy Digital Downloads you can install for free to make selling digital products very easy. 

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Let me show you how to install and configure Easy Digital Downloads, so you can start selling all of your digital products.

How to install and configure Easy Digital Downloads on WordPress

Requirements

To use Easy Digital Downloads, you’ll need admin access to a WordPress site. I prefer to use self-hosted WordPress sites, so I’ll demonstrate on a WordPress instance I deployed as a containerized application on my home network. If you opt for the hosted version, via wordpress.com, the process for installing and configuring the plugin is the same. 

That’s all you need. Let’s get to work.

To log in to the WordPress admin console, go to http://DOMAIN/wp-admin (where DOMAIN is the domain of your WordPress site). When prompted, log in to your WordPress site with an admin user account.

Once you’ve logged in, click Plugins in the left navigation. On the resulting page, click Add New near the upper left corner.

The WordPress plugin listing page.

Adding a new plugin to WordPress is very easy.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

In the next window, type Easy Digital Downloads in the search field and hit Enter on your keyboard.

The WordPress Plugin add page.

Searching for a WordPress plugin.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

Click Install Now, associated with Easy Digital Downloads — Simple eCommerce for Selling Digital Files. 

The Easy Digital Downloads listing in WordPress.

Installing Easy Digital Downloads is just a click away.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

After the installation completes, click Activate to make the plugin available to your site.

The Easy Digital Downloads activate button.

With Easy Digital Downloads installed, all you have to do now is activate the plugin.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

Configure Easy Digital Downloads

With the plugin installed, you’ll see a new entry in the left navigation, labeled Downloads. 

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Hover your cursor over that entry to reveal a popup menu. From that menu, click Settings. In the Settings window, you’ll want to go through every tab (as well as the sub-tabs) and make all the necessary configurations for your site. In particular, you’ll want to make sure to visit the following sections:

  • General: At a minimum, make sure your business information is correct in the Store section, and configure your currency in the Currency sub-tab.
  • Payments: Select your payment gateway(s) in the general section, enforce SSL on Checkout and require an optional login to purchase files, and even add optional banned emails. In the Refunds section, you can change the default status from refundable to non-refundable and set a refund window. If you use Paypal as a payment type, you’ll want to connect with PayPal in the PayPal section.
  • Emails: You can select a default template, attach a logo, and set the from name and email in the General section. In the Purchase Receipts section you can create a template for emails that are sent after a purchase is made. 
  • Taxes: This is where you enable taxes for your downloads.
The Easy Digital Downloads Settings window.

Make sure to navigate through all the tabs and configure every option that applies to your site and products.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

Those are the four sections you should consider must-configure. Beyond that, I would suggest you go through every tab to see if there are any options that apply to your needs.

Once you’ve taken care of configuring Easy Digital Downloads, it’s time to start adding downloads to be sold. Fortunately, the process of adding a new digital product is just as easy as creating a WordPress post. So, if you’re familiar with adding content to WordPress, you won’t have any problem adding a digital download to sell.

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And that, my friends, is all there is to turning your WordPress blog into a site that can help you start making money off those digital downloads you’ve created. Enjoy that new revenue stream.

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