You want to start or grow an online business or blog, and you want to make money with digital products. If this sounds like you, you need to read this Easy Digital Downloads review.
This plugin is a great option to manage and deliver digital products to your audience. Keep reading to learn more about the plugin and its features plus how to start using it.
But first, this post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy to learn more.
What Is Easy Digital Downloads?
Easy Digital Downloads is a WordPress plugin that you can use to sell digital products on your blog. That can help you retain traffic since you aren’t sending people to a third-party shop.
You can use the plugin to manage the purchase process. While the basic plugin is free, you can pay for certain extensions to get more features.
Easy Digital Downloads Core Features
No Easy Digital Downloads review would be complete without a list of the basic features. These are the things you’ll get access to when you install the plugin without needing to pay.
When you set up the plugin, it will create a shopping cart right on your blog or website. It will also add a few pages for things like checkout, purchase confirmation, purchase history, and failed transactions.
These pages make it easy for your audience to add more than one download to their cart at a time. So you may be able to make more money per sale.
I love analytics, and Easy Digital Downloads offers a ton of data. You can track your sales, revenue, taxes, and more, and you can filter that data by month or other custom date ranges.
That makes it super easy to track the growth of your digital store over time. You can also see which products are selling well, so you can create more products like them.
In your WordPress site, you’ll be able to click on an Orders page to view all of the orders that have been placed. The page will tell you who bought what and how much they spent as well as when they completed their order.
If you choose to offer refunds, you can also view those transactions under this page. Personally, I don’t recommend offering refunds on digital downloads since the customer already has the product. But I will offer a free extra if someone’s unhappy with their order.
Another great feature is that Easy Digital Downloads helps you manage your customers. You can view a list of everyone who has bought from you, how many orders they’ve placed, and how much money they’ve spent in total.
The page can also show you customer email addresses and even physical addresses for customers that provide them. Then, you can learn where your top buyers are from, so you can refine your marketing strategy accordingly.
Easy Digital Downloads Extensions
If you want more functions, you can purchase an extension from Easy Digital Downloads. They offer individual extensions, which can be nice if you want just a little something.
But there are also passes that come with multiple extensions. Here’s what you need to know.
I bought the Personal Pass a few years ago so that I could start tracking sales generated through email marketing. This pass comes with extensions like Mailchimp and ConvertKit.
You’ll also get access to more payment methods and more powerful reports compared to the free version. And you can duplicate products to save time when uploading new listings.
The Extended Pass includes everything that the Personal Pass does. But it also comes with subscription pricing, which is great if you want to start a membership site.
It also gives you the ability to collect customer reviews to help market your products. And you can accept payments in different currencies, so that’s nice if you have a global audience.
Along with the features above, the Professional Pass lets you set up customer wish lists and recommend similar products. You can also turn your website into a digital AND physical product store.
This pass also lets you run a marketplace with other sellers, and you can sell software. It’s a great option if you want to help others start making money using your existing audience.
All Access Pass
The top tier, this pass lets you message customers and connect to Slack. You’ll also get access to advanced accounting features to help you manage the financial side of your business.
Not only that, but you can run Easy Digital Downloads under the same account on up to three websites. Finally, this tier comes with over 70 add-ons.
Easy Digital Downloads Themedd
You can use Easy Digital Downloads with almost any theme. But if you don’t know where to start, consider using Themedd by Easy Digital Downloads. This theme is set up perfectly for your online store.
While I haven’t used this theme, it’s free to download and install. The screenshots that the plugin shares of this theme also look great, so you don’t have to do a ton of design work.
What You Can Sell With Easy Digital Downloads
If you want to use the plugin to make money, you’ll love all of the options regarding what you can sell. While you can’t sell physical products unless you get a Professional Pass, there are tons of digital offers, such as:
- Digital Art
You can also “productize” your services and use Easy Digital Downloads to process orders of your service. Then, you won’t have to deal with billing every client separately.
Pros of Easy Digital Downloads
If you’re looking into selling digital products, consider why you may want to use Easy Digital Downloads.
You can pay for the plugin to get access to a few extensions, but you don’t have to. If you’re already on a tight budget, you can get started with the free version of EDD.
I used the free version for a few years, and I was able to make some sales from it. You may even be able to make consistent sales without any premium extensions.
One of my favorite things about Easy Digital Downloads is that you can upload as many products as you want. While you may start with one or two offers, you can keep adding more as you go.
I use the plugin on a music-related website, and I uploaded a lot of sheet music. In niches like that, it’s super nice to not be limited by how many files you can sell.
Multiple Payment Gateways
Even with the free version of the plugin, you can offer multiple payment options to your customers. I’d offer PayPal and Stripe at least, but you can connect to other gateways.
This can help you attract more customers who may not want to use the first payment method you set up. And if you want even more choices, you can pay for one of the premium passes.
Cons of Easy Digital Downloads
Unfortunately, Easy Digital Downloads isn’t perfect. Before you start using the plugin, consider some of the drawbacks.
Only Digital Products
Maybe you want to start with digital products, but you never know if you’ll want to sell physical products. While you can do that with EDD, it will require the second-most expensive pricing tier.
To use the plugin for free or cheaper, you’re stuck with digital offerings. That may not be a problem, but you can use other plugins, like WooCommerce, for free to sell both digital and physical goods.
Only on WordPress
I’d recommend WordPress to anyone looking to start a website or blog. But maybe you already have a Blogger blog or a Wix website, and you don’t want to switch over.
In either case, you can’t use Easy Digital Downloads. You’ll need to find another platform to host and distribute your digital products to your customers.
Can Get Expensive
Once you start paying for extensions or a pass, you can end up spending a lot of money. And if you aren’t making consistent sales yet, that can eat into your profits.
Sure, you can pay for a pass once, but you’ll need to renew it every year to get access to updates. Over time, that adds up, and you may have other expenses to deal with.
How to Set Up Your Easy Digital Downloads Store
If you want to give Easy Digital Downloads a try, consider the steps to set up your online store.
Choose a Website Host
You can only use EDD on a self-hosted WordPress website. That means you need to choose a third party company to host your online store.
I use SiteGround and have loved using it since 2016. They’re super helpful and responsive if I ever need technical help or if my site has other issues.
There are other hosts you can look into, so you can find a more affordable one. That way, you can more easily afford the startup costs for your new venture.
Next, you’ll need to install WordPress. Many hosts, including SiteGround, make it super easy since you can just click a button to install the software.
If your host happens to not offer that option, you can download WordPress from WordPress.org. Then, you can upload it to your website, but I’d only do that if you have a lot of tech experience.
Configure the Settings
Next, you’ll need to configure the basic settings. It’s been a while since I did this, but the plugin should make it easy to fill out your business information and payment details.
Be sure you connect to at least PayPal and Stripe or one other payment gateway. Then, you won’t have to worry about that later when you get customers to your website.
List Your First Product
Now, you can upload a file, like a PDF, and create your first product listing. Give the product a title, add a price, and write a description of the item.
You can also add images and other media to the sales page to help generate sales. Once you’re ready, you can publish the product and start promoting your store!
Why Should You Sell Digital Downloads?
Selling digital downloads can be a great way to supplement your blogging income. Once you create the files, you can upload them, and EDD will take care of the delivery and payment processing.
While you’ll still need to promote your products, that involves a lot less work than offering a service. It’s also easier than selling and shipping physical products.
Do You Have to Pay for Easy Digital Downloads?
You can pay for Easy Digital Downloads, but the free version offers plenty of features for you to get started. I’d recommend starting with the free version, and you can always upgrade later.
In this Easy Digital Downloads review, I went over the features and paid options. I love using this plugin to manage and host downloads for sale.
If you’re looking to make money online, give it a try. And if you want to start promoting your digital products on social media, enroll in The Instagram Marketing & Sales Academy to learn more.