Do you want to learn how to create and offer free digital downloads in WordPress?
In today’s digital age, providing free digital downloads is an effective way to attract and engage website visitors. By offering valuable resources, such as e-books, software, templates, or audio files, you can capture the attention of your audience and establish your expertise.
🔎 In this article, we’ll cover:
- Benefits of Offering Free Digital Downloads
- How to Offer Free Digital Downloads in WordPress
- FAQS About Free Digital Downloads in WordPress
Benefits of Offering Free Digital Downloads
Before diving into the process, let’s briefly understand what digital downloads are. Digital downloads refer to any files that can be downloaded and accessed electronically, such as:
They offer a convenient way to distribute valuable content to your audience.
There are several compelling reasons to offer free digital downloads on your WordPress website. One is lead generation. By providing free downloads, you can collect email addresses or other contact information from your visitors, allowing you to nurture leads and build a loyal customer base.
It can also help you establish authority. Sharing high-quality content for free establishes your expertise and builds trust with your audience, positioning you as a thought leader in your niche.
Offering free digital downloads can attract more visitors to your WordPress site. This is especially true if you promote them through various channels like social media or email marketing.
Finally, free downloads provide an opportunity to showcase your premium products or services, encouraging users to explore your offerings further.
How to Offer Free Digital Downloads in WordPress
Ready to jump in? Once you decide what kind of digital download you want to offer, you can get started with the process of creating your digital download store. Below, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step tutorial on how to offer free digital downloads in WordPress.
Still need a WordPress website? Don’t worry. SiteGround’s Managed EDD plans provide everything you need to start selling digital goods. This includes web hosting, Secure-Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates, SEO tools, free WordPress themes for eCommerce, and more.
Step 1: Get & Install Easy Digital Downloads
To simplify the process of managing and delivering digital downloads in WordPress, the best eCommerce plugin is the Easy Digital Downloads (EDD):
EDD is a powerful and user-friendly solution for selling digital downloads. It offers extensive features, customization options, and compatibility with various payment methods, including Stripe, PayPal, and Authorize.net. There is a free version available.
However, I recommend grabbing a premium pass and downloading EDD Pro to unlock the WordPress plugin’s full potential. Learn more about EDD Free vs EDD Pro.
Once you download the EDD Pro plugin, you can upload it to your site. From your WordPress dashboard, go to Plugins » Add New. After uploading it, select the Install Now and Activate buttons:
Next, you can click on Get Started to launch the Onboarding Wizard:
This takes you through the initial setup steps, like entering your business information, connecting to Stripe payment gateway, and choosing which conversion and optimization tools to add.
You can also go to Downloads » Settings to configure these options and general settings. Here, you can choose a currency and manage your email and payment gateway settings, etc.
⚙️ For help setting up your EDD store, use these guides:
- What Are Digital Downloads? A Beginner’s Guide to Selling Online
- How to Sell Files Online
- Set Up an Online Store With WordPress
- EDD Quickstart Guide
Step 2: Add the EDD Free Downloads Extension
The EDD Free Downloads extension makes it easy to provide free downloads as lead magnets:
Visitors are shown a modal pop-up window. This functionality lets them skip the standard shopping cart and checkout process to quickly download the freebie:
If you have EDD Pro, installing and managing extensions is super simple. Go to Downloads » Extensions to view the addons available with your pass:
Next, enter “free downloads” in the Search Extensions field in the top-right corner:
Once you locate it, click on the Install button:
The addon automatically activates. We’ll configure the extension settings in a moment.
🔑 Don’t have access to the premium EDD extension you want? Learn how to upgrade to EDD Pro.
Step 3: Add Your Free Digital Download(s)
Now that you have Easy Digital Downloads installed and configured, it’s time to create and upload your free digital download.
To begin, go to Downloads and click the Add New button:
Name the digital download and add a description:
If you wanted to sell the digital product, you could enter the price under Download Prices:
Since you’re offering it for free, you can leave the amount set to “0”.
Next, go to the Download Files section to upload the file of your free digital download:
In the File Name field, you can add something such as “Free Download”. This will be the download link users can click on to access the digital file. Next, select the link icon under File URL to upload the digital download file.
You can add a Download Image under the settings on the right to display on the digital download product page:
When you’re done, save your changes. Select Save draft or Publish.
Step 4: Configure the Free Digital Download Settings
On the front end of your site, your shoppers will have the default option to click on Download Now and enter their email to access it:
But Easy Digital Downloads gives you a handful of ways to customize these download settings.
Go to Downloads » Settings » Marketing » Free Downloads:
Under General Settings, you can enter a custom Button Label and Modal Button Label. If left blank, the default is “Download Now”.
Next, decide whether to display a close button on the modal and whether logged-in users should bypass the auto-download.
Under Field Settings, you can choose which fields to display. Perhaps you want to ask for the user’s name in addition to their email and include a Notes box:
Further down, you’ can’ll find Processing and Cache Settings. For guidance on configuring these settings, check out our Free Downloads documentation.
When you’re done, click on the Save Changes button at the bottom.
Return to your Downloads list and select the View link under the free digital download to see how it now looks on the front end of your site:
Step 5: Promote Your Free Digital Downloads
Creating and offering digital downloads is only the beginning of your journey. To reach a wider audience and generate more downloads, consider the following promotion strategies.
First, share your free downloads on popular social media platforms to expand your reach and engage with your audience.
Another effective strategy is to leverage email marketing using any of the many email-related extensions and integrations EDD offers. Send newsletters or targeted emails to your subscribers, highlighting the value and benefits of your free downloads. You might also consider adding an email newlsletter signup form on your website.
Use this video tutorial to learn how to use the EDD Free Downloads extension to grow your email list.
You could also partner with influencers, collaborators, and affiliate marketers to promote your downloads.
FAQS About Free Digital Downloads in WordPress
Let’s wrap up with some frequently asked questions.
Use EDD to Offer Free Digital Downloads
By leveraging Easy Digital Downloads in WordPress, you can effortlessly create and offer free digital downloads to attract, engage, and build relationships with your website visitors.
Grab a pass today to get started!
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