I’ve used several WordPress eCommerce plugins.  From WP Gold Cart to JigoShop to WooCommerce, I’ve used most of what was out there for the past 7 years.  The one I hadn’t used was Easy Digital Downloads, by Pippin Williamson and crew, due to its relatively newness in the industry.

Man, I was missing out.

I’ve been doing a ton of research into eCommerce, WordPress, and different plugin platforms lately in order to get ready for a new business idea that has been slowly building steam over the past few years (Wanna be the first to hear?  Subscribe to my email list on the left!).  While the tools I had used previously all work and provide great support, security, and functionality, I simply wasn’t happy with them.  There just wasn’t that “WOW” factor.

So when I saw that Pippin had recently redone his website, I decided to take a look at it and his plugins.  Again, I’m not sure why I missed them for so long. Doh!

From the moment I installed and activated Easy Digital Downloads (EDD), things seemed to just work.  Upon activation, I was immediately greeted by a fabulous page detailing what the plugin featured and how to setup your first download.

While the base functionality of Easy Digital Downloads contains some awesome features, the true power of the plugin is in the community and extensions available to add functionality.  There are over 250 extensions in the EDD library that do everything from VAT MOSS (ugh) coverage to payment gateways to Zapier integration.

From the moment I installed and activated Easy Digital Downloads (EDD), things seemed to just work.

 Getting Started with Easy Digital Downloads

So the first step to getting started with Easy Digital Downloads is to install and activate the plugin.  You can do so by searching for Easy Digital Downloads in the wordpress.org plugin repo search bar in Add New Plugin.  Then click install and then activate.

One of the things that gave me that “WOW” factor for EDD was that after activation, you are immediately taken to a page that gives you simple instructions on how to get started.  It is crazy to me that not every plugin does this.  It’s such a simple thing to do and yet a powerful effect that makes me feel trust in the author that they know what they are doing.

Creating your first product to download is easy.  Simply hover over Downloads and click Add New.  Then simply add a product title, a description in the WYSIWYG editor and you are ready for the pricing details.  Depending on what kind of pricing you want, fill in either a fixed price or enable the variable pricing option and input those values.  You’ve got lots of options to add descriptions, download files, and more.

Next you’ll need to setup a payment gateway in order to take payments online via something like Paypal or Stripe.  EDD comes with Paypal Standard and a test gateway by default.

Conclusion

Easy Digital Downloads is simply a great product.  I’ve loved working with it so far.  While I believe that there are other eCommerce plugins that are viable solutions and will use them depending on my needs per project, I have selected Easy Digital Downloads for my new theme shop, Red Cloud Themes, and believe it will provide a great base for myself and my customers.  This post will be the first in a series of posts outlining helpful features, add-ons and tutorials for Easy Digital Downloads as I explore it further and possibly even write my own extensions.

Published by Matt Pritchett

Matt is a Christian, a husband, a father to two beautiful girls and a WordPress developer at CrowdFavorite. He also creates software for nonprofits and enterprise customers at Pritchett Media.

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