Have you ever wanted to start your own online store? How about launch your own e-commerce portal on WordPress to sell eBooks or other digital downloads on your WordPress powered blog/site?
Back in the day, it seemed impossible to set up a digital downloads store of your own, but thanks to various online WordPress plugins, now anyone can start a digital downloads store on WordPress and start making money.
Don’t let the term “digital downloads store” misguide you, as it is merely a popular term in the business industry. For a blogger like you and me, what it means is:
- You can sell eBooks, plugins, or themes on your blog. (You need to have a product of your own or collaborate with others to sell their products.)
- Musicians can sell their music.
- Graphic designers can sell graphics or .psd files.
- Any digital product (image, sound, video, template, or any other digital file) can be downloaded for a price.
- You can offer consultancy and collect payment.
Last year, we launched an online store here at ShoutMeLoud to sell eBooks online. Earlier, I was selling eBooks on Instamojo and Gumroad. However, I needed a more reliable solution to sell my eBooks internationally, as many Shouters complained about not being able to buy them outside India.
After a lot of thinking and research, I figured out it’s about time to sell eBooks on ShoutMeLoud directly. This is when I bumped into a popular WordPress plugin called Easy Digital Downloads (which is free to use).
Another question before launching the store was:
Should I launch the ShoutMeLoud store on a sub domain or on the main domain?
At first, I thought of launching a store on a sub domain, but later on I dropped that idea and launched it on the main domain (ShoutMeLoud.com)… 🙂
In this tutorial, I will share everything which I have learned about this awesome plugin called “Easy Digital Downloads”.
What is EDD (Easy Digital Downloads) & How Does it Work?
It is basically the WooCommerce equivalent for digital goods.
With Easy Digital Downloads, also known as EDD, you can easily set up an online store (e-commerce store for digital downloads) within a couple of hours. EDD is easy to configure, and as an end user, you will have no problem managing things like:
- Adding or removing new products.
- Setting up pricing.
- Settings up payment gateways.
It makes it easy to manage everything from the WordPress dashboard and even adds in a “Downloads” post type for you to easily make new entries.
What I like the most about EDD is how it integrates with all popular WordPress plugins like AffiliateWP, GravityForms, and many others popular products.
Moreover, this is a free plugin which you can try right now.
EDD offers paid add-ons, and this is where they make money. These paid add-ons enhance the features of your store, and I must say, some of the EDD add-ons are important to have.
Initially, I got overwhelmed with the huge number of add-ons, and I was about to buy their add-ons bundle. I luckily changed my decision and purchased only those add-ons which I required.
I suggest you pick the bundle only if you require all of those add-ons, otherwise you are better off by buying add-ons individually.
Here are the Easy Digital Downloads add-ons I purchased for the SML store:
I have also purchased one Instamojo payment gateway add-on from a 3rd party, which is essential for anyone who wants to collect payment from India.
Note: Indian users whose primary audience is in India should use another gateway other than PayPal due to PayPal restrictions. (An Indian PayPal user can’t send or receive payment from other Indian Paypal users.) I suggest you look at other payment gateway such as 2checkout and Instamojo.
The Most Important Thing: Selecting the right payment gateway
The biggest challenge is to pick the right payment gateway. Depending on your country of residence and your target audience’s geo-location, you should pick the one that supports most of the payment collection points.
For your reference, here are the most popular payment gateways:
EDD has inbuilt support for PayPal basic, and it’s a good starting point if you don’t want to spend money on buying paid add-ons.
Here is another trick if you want to save money initially…
You should browse the free EDD plugins on the WordPress plugin repo. Many developers have released free plugins for EDD which are otherwise paid on the EDD add-on store.
Here is how my EDD e-commerce store looks (see screenshot below or browse the store for better understanding):
How To Configure Easy Digital Downloads Plugin
Configuring the Easy Digital Downloads plugin is as easy as installing and selecting a few options. Here is a video tutorial created by Chatty where he gave an overview of the EDD plugin and how to configure it:
Since this plugin is free, you must try it and watch it open up new possibilities for you. If you don’t want to test it on your live site, you can create a staging site or test it on a local WordPress installation.
Easy Digital Downloads Review – Is It Worth It?
For all those who want to extend their blogging business to next level, EDD is a great choice.
You can create your first eBook or eCourse or anything which is digitally downloadable and start making money. I have been using the EDD plugin for more than a year now, and it’s a high-quality plugin to launch your digital store on WordPress.
The team behind EDD is one of the best as you get great support in case of any queries, and they always keep rolling out timely updates.
From an entry point, the pricing of add-ons might look a little steep, but considering the possibilities this opens for your e-commerce portal, the price is worth it. Moreover, my suggestion is to add addons slowly as you discover your needs.
Learn more about the EDD plugin
Do let me know if you have further questions regarding the EDD plugin. When and what are you planning to launch on your WordPress based digital downloads store?
If you liked this review of Easy Digital Downloads, do share it with others who can benefit!
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