Are you looking for an Easy Digital Downloads review to see whether it’s the right eCommerce plugin for you?
Unlike some other eCommerce plugins, Easy Digital Downloads is designed specifically to sell digital products. This means you don’t have to waste time configuring features that don’t help you sell digital downloads, such as shipping and inventory management settings.
In this Easy Digital Downloads review, we’ll see whether it really is the best digital eCommerce plugin to help you sell ebooks, audiobooks, music files, and more.
What is Easy Digital Downloads?
Easy Digital Downloads allows you to sell digital downloads online using WordPress. Unlike some other eCommerce plugins that are designed to sell all kinds of products, EDD is designed and optimized specifically for selling digital goods.
It also supports software licensing so you can sell your own WordPress plugins, themes, apps, SaaS products, and more with proper digital rights management.
With Easy Digital Downloads, you can sell as many products as you want, and process unlimited transactions with no monthly fees. It also comes with a full-featured shopping cart that supports registered users and guest checkout.
By default, you can accept payments with Stripe and PayPal, but you can also unlock additional payment gateways including Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Authorize.net.
Easy Digital Downloads is very easy to use, and there are even managed EDD hosting offerings that come with EDD pre-installed.
If you’re just getting started or have a limited budget, then you can download a free version of Easy Digital Downloads from the official WordPress repository.
This plugin allows you to sell as many digital downloads as you want, and accept credit card payments using Stripe, PayPal, and Amazon Payments. Apple Pay and Google Pay are also included via Stripe’s Payment Request Buttons.
However, if you want to offer additional payment gateways, accept recurring payments, or promote your products with powerful up-selling and cross-selling features, then you’ll need to upgrade to the premium plugin.
Easy Digital Downloads Review: Is It the Right Digital eCommerce Plugin for You?
The right WordPress eCommerce plugin will help you sell more products to more people, and grow your digital marketplace.
With that in mind, let’s look at Easy Digital Downloads’ pros, cons, support options, and more, to see whether it’s the right eCommerce plugin for you.
1. Built-in Shopping Cart
If you just want to sell a few items, then you can add a simple payment form to your site using a plugin such as WP Simple Pay or WPForms. However, if you want to create a digital marketplace then you’ll need a full shopping cart system.
Easy Digital Downloads comes with a full-featured shopping cart that works out of the box. If you’re not happy with the default cart, then you can also configure and customize it to meet your exact needs.
To reduce cart abandonment rates, we recommend offering guest checkout wherever possible. The good news is that Easy Digital Downloads’ shopping cart supports both registered user and guest checkout.
Even better, Easy Digital Downloads supports cart saving.
This is where the shopper creates a temporary link to their cart so they can return to it later, or send the link to another person, similar to how wishlists work on sites such as Amazon.
You can even automatically redirect users to the checkout as soon as they add an item to their cart. This is a good option if you only sell a few items, or products that the customer is likely to buy together such as different subscriptions to your membership site.
2. Sell an Unlimited Number of Files
Easy Digital Downloads doesn’t add a bandwidth charge to file downloads.
This means you can sell as many files as you want, to an unlimited number of customers without worrying about any extra fees based on the amount of data transferred to customers. In this way, you can continue using Easy Digital Downloads no matter how big your digital product marketplace gets.
3. Fully Customizable Checkout Form
Digital products are a great way to make money online, but they can also help you generate leads. For example, you might offer a product as a free download, in return for the customer’s email address.
To help you do lead generation, EDD has a Checkout Fields Manager extension that allows you to customize the checkout form. In this way, you can collect exactly the information you need from customers, even when they’re downloading a free file.
You can also use the Checkout Fields Manager to provide a better customer experience. For example, if you’re selling digital party planners then you might ask for the date of the customer’s event. You might even collect their date of birth, so you can send automated birthday emails and make them feel like a valued customer.
4. Support for Software Licensing
You can even sell the software as a subscription service, and make money over the long term.
EDD comes with powerful software licensing support including proper digital rights management, license key generation, management, renewals, upgrades and more. This allows you to sell and manage licenses for Microsoft Windows, Linux, and Mac apps.
With that being said, EDD allows you to sell software and SaaS directly from your WordPress website, rather than using a third-party platform.
When creating a digital product, simply click ‘Check to enable license creation’ and then follow the onscreen instructions to turn the product into a software license.
5. Complete File Access Control
When selling digital products online, you’ll want to stop people from downloading those files without your permission.
EDD automatically restricts all your downloadable products so only authorized customers can access them. However, there are also some extra steps you can take.
To start, you can limit how many times a customer can download the same file, and add an expiration date to the download link. This will make it more difficult for customers to share the file and URL with other people.
Another option is to completely disable redownloads. This removes the file’s link from the customer’s account, so they can only download the product once.
6. Create Customizable Discount Codes
EDD has everything you need to create a wide range of different discount codes.
You can choose from one-time discounts, percentage discounts, maximum discounts, scheduled coupon codes, and more.
By scheduling coupons in advance, you can be confident that your promotions will run on time, no matter how busy you get.
You can also exclude specific items from the discount, and set a minimum amount that customers must spend before they can use the code. In this way, you can create campaigns that work for both you, and your audience.
Pro Tip: If you’re using OptinMonster then you can show EDD’s coupons to visitors before they leave your site with Exit-Intent® technology. This allows you to turn abandoning visitors into paying customers.
For more information, please see the post on how we increased our email subscribers by 600% with OptinMonster.
7. Collect Recurring Subscription Payments
Sometimes, you may want to collect recurring payments. For example, you might sell subscriptions for online courses, an online yoga class, a stock photography website, a digital music store, or something else.
Aside from collecting one-time payments, Easy Digital Downloads allows you to offer subscriptions, memberships, or payment plans.
You can create daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, and yearly plans. You can even combine recurring payments with variable pricing to show both recurring and non-recurring price options. In this way, you can encourage customers to compare the pricing and choose the option that represents the best value.
When you sell recurring subscriptions, EDD will handle the billing and renewal process automatically. This means you don’t have to worry about sending invoices, reminders, and renewal emails, which can save you a ton of time.
This automated workflow is also a better customer experience, since customers can manage their own subscription without having to manually renew it, or contact you for help.
Another option is to offer a free trial subscription. EDD has everything you need to set up a free trial, and can also stop people from abusing that trial. For example, you might set daily download limits, limit the free pass to specific product categories, and more.
8. Offer Variable Pricing
Easy Digital Downloads lets you create different versions of the same product. For example, if you sell photos online, then you might release a stock images bundle, where each version contains a different number of photos.
By giving customers a range of purchasing options, you can provide a better experience. It’s also a powerful upsell technique, as customers may be tempted to a pay a little more, in order to get a better version of the product.
Easy Digital Downloads makes it easy to create an unlimited number of pricing options. Simply check the ‘Enable variable pricing’ box and then enter some information about the different options you want to offer.
9. ‘Pay What You Want’ Custom Pricing
‘Pay what you want’ is a popular marketing strategy that gives customers the freedom to choose their price. This can encourage people to take a chance on a new digital product. It’s also an easy way to accept donations from people who want to support your projects.
With Easy Digital Downloads, you can add a custom pricing box to any product.
If you want, then you can set a minimum price or a suggested amount, which often influences how much customers pay for the product.
You can also offer a bonus item that customers will get if they pay more than the suggested price. In this way, you can offer flexible payment options, while also encouraging the customer to pay more.
10. Create Bundled Downloads
Bundles are a popular way to increase the average spend per customer. They can be particularly effective if the bundle is a lower price compared to buying each file separately.
With Easy Digital Downloads, you can combine multiple, separate products into a single bundled download.
You can then simply publish the product as normal.
After that, anyone who buys the bundle will get instant access to all its downloadable files.
11. Flexible Payment Options
Out-of-the-box, Easy Digital Downloads supports Stripe, PayPal, and Amazon Pay. This allows customers to pay using all major credit cards, their PayPal balance, or their Amazon account.
If you already have a Stripe or PayPal account then it’s easy to integrate with the Easy Digital Downloads plugin.
You can also enable other payment gateways using extensions, including Authorize.net, SOFORT banking, and PayPal Payments Advanced.
There are even extensions that allow you to accept hand written check payments, or add a credit and deposit system to your online store.
In addition to multiple payment gateways, EDD has a Test Mode gateway. This allows people to test your site without paying for each download.
Enabling this mode is as easy as checking a box in the plugin’s settings.
12. Easy Order Management
With Easy Digital Downloads, you can manage all your orders from a single location.
The EDD dashboard allows you to change the order status, add new products, charge transaction amounts, initialize refunds, and more.
Easy Digital Downloads also creates a separate record for each customer. This makes it easy to view, edit, or delete a customer’s record at any time.
You can also link customer records to user profiles, and create customer account pages. This is perfect if you want to let customers manage their own account information or view their purchase history.
13. File Download Logs
By tracking your downloads, you can identify the top-performing content, and the files that aren’t selling so well. You can then create more of your store’s most popular content, which should get you even more sales.
Easy Digital Downloads tracks your downloads and creates detailed logs automatically, so you can see exactly what files people are downloading.
It also records information about your customers including the user’s IP address, the date and time when they downloaded the file, the payment method, and more.
By getting a deeper insight into customer behavior, you can often segment and target your audience more effectively. For example, if you notice that customers tend to purchase and download files within a specific timeframe, then you might schedule your social media posts or email marketing for that time.
You might even use this information to do A/B split testing. For example, you might try different download placements, promotions, or coupon codes and then monitor the results.
In addition, EDD’s download tracking can help you spot potential problems with your digital content or file delivery. This puts you in a strong position to detect suspicious download patterns and respond to them quickly.
If you need to share all this data with other people, then you can easily export EDD’s download logs. This is perfect if you need to share the reports with your marketing team, clients, or anyone else who doesn’t have access to the WordPress dashboard.
14. Detailed eCommerce Tracking and Reporting
To create a successful digital marketplace, it’s important to track user engagement, and monitor your sales. This allows you to identify what’s working, and what isn’t. You can then fine-tune your activities to get even more conversions and grow your business.
Easy Digital Downloads comes with built-in reporting, so you can get actionable insights without having to set up separate tracking software and analytics solutions.
You can monitor all aspects of your online store including earnings, average order value, new customers, and more.
You can also view reports for earnings by category, number of downloads, payment methods, and taxes collected.
In this way, EDD makes it easy to find exactly the information you need no matter how many sales you make, and how much data you collect.
Easy Digital Downloads also provides a graphical view of your total earnings, so it’s easy to identify trends at a glance.
15. Community and Professional Support
With Easy Digital Downloads, you can sell an unlimited number of digital products without any complicated setup or coding. However, sometimes you may have questions, or need some extra help.
If you prefer to find answers yourself, then EDD has detailed online documentation.
You can access this documentation no matter whether you’re using the free Easy Digital Downloads plugin or a premium upgrade.
If you buy a premium license, then you’ll also get access to professional support.
Simply raise a ticket and the EDD team will aim to respond as soon as possible.
How WPBeginner Uses Easy Digital Downloads
Awesome Motive, our parent company, uses Easy Digital Downloads to manage and sell some of the most popular premium WordPress plugins on the market. This includes WPForms, which has over 6 million users and MonsterInsights, which is used by over 3 million people.
In fact, Easy Digital Downloads helps Awesome Motive deliver software and training to over 25 million websites.
In particular, Easy Digital Downloads allows Awesome Motive to generate and manage millions of license keys, renewals, and upgrades with ease. It’s also the key to collecting recurring subscription payments from businesses around the world.
Nulled WordPress plugins are a big problem for all WordPress developers and businesses. However, Awesome Motive uses EDD’s advanced fraud and file protection features to promote and sell some of the market’s most popular WordPress plugins, without losing revenue to software pirates.
If you’re just getting started, then you can download the free version of Easy Digital Downloads and start accepting credit card payments.
However, if you want to unlock additional payment gateways, grow your email list, and unlock powerful upselling and cross-selling features, then you’ll need to upgrade to the premium EDD plugin.
There are four plans to choose from:
- Personal. For $199 per year you can use Easy Digital Downloads with all the best email marketing services including ActiveCampaign and Campaign Monitor. You’ll also get access to powerful upselling and cross-selling features to help you make money online.
- Extended. Priced at $399 per year, this plan unlocks all the payment gateway extensions including Braintree, ClickBank, and PayPal Express. Customers can also purchase store credit, set up recurring payments, buy all access memberships, and enter a pay-what-you-want price. You can also collect and show customer reviews on your digital marketplace.
- Professional. For $599 per year, the Professional plan allows you to use Easy Digital Downloads on 2 websites. If you want to sell software online, then the Professional plan also provides a complete license key generation, activation, and checking system.
- All Access Pass. Priced at $999 per year, All Access Pass allows you to use Easy Digital Downloads on 3 websites. This license gives you access to the entire suite of extensions, features, and tools that Easy Digital Downloads has to ffer. This includes addons that integrate MaxMind into your store to reduce fraud, a built-in password meter to force strong passwords on users, and powerful content restriction features.
Conclusion: Is Easy Digital Downloads the Right Digital eCommerce Plugin for You?
We believe that Easy Digital Downloads is the best digital eCommerce plugin for WordPress. Unlike some other eCommerce plugins like WooCommerce, EDD is built specifically to sell digital products.
Due to that, EDD doesn’t have unnecessary features, such as shipping and inventory management. Since it’s optimized for digital store owners, EDD also comes with specialist features such as file protection, download logs, and software licensing support.
There’s a free version of Easy Digital Downloads that allows you to sell an unlimited number of digital downloads with no hidden fees. You can also accept credit card payments using Stripe, PayPal, and Amazon Payments.
However, if you want to unlock more payment methods, marketing tools, and improved store management, then you’ll need to upgrade to one of the premium plans.
We recommend buying an Extended or Professional license. If you want to sell apps, plugins, or other software, then EDD Professional is a must-have due to its software licensing features.
Finally, if you own multiple websites or want to build a digital business fast, then the All Access Pass includes every feature, payment gateway, improved store management, and advanced accounting tool that EDD has to offer.
We hope this Easy Digital Downloads review helped you decide whether it’s the right digital eCommerce plugin for you. You can also check out our guide on how to install Google Analytics in WordPress, or see our expert pick of the best live chat software.