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How to Use Dropbox and WordPress to Sell Digital Files (Products)

Illustration: File downloads from the cloud

Looking to sell files stored on your Dropbox? Good idea. Selling digital products is a great way to build an online business and bring in passive income.

You already use Dropbox to store, share, and organize your files because it works great. It’s easy to start selling right from the same place without having to move your files somewhere else.

In this article we’ll show you how to use Dropbox and WordPress to sell your digital files.

This will be great. Because:

  • πŸ—‚ You already have your files organized on DropBox, keep it simple, keep them there.
  • ⚑️ Dropbox will make your downloads fast and reliable, so customers will be happy.
  • 🐌 You’ll avoid the risk of slow downloads that happens on some website servers.

Website servers are great for hosting your WordPress site. They’re not always great for uploading, organizing, and delivering files to customers. There can be challenges with file size limits and bandwidth restrictions. This is especially true if you sell video, audio, photos, or graphics.

😊 But don’t worry about any of that! We’ll show you how to get the best of everything. With no custom coding!

Files = Digital Products:
We basically mean the same thing we say file and digital product. Other words often used to describe selling files are: downloadable products, downloads, digital goods, or virtual products.


Step 1: Install EDD and the File Store with DropBox Extension

The best way to sell digital products is with WordPress and Easy Digital Downloads (EDD).

πŸ’ͺ WordPress runs more than 40% of the entire internet. With the worlds largest ecosystem of plugins, themes, and professional service providers, you can trust it as a reliable platform for your online business.

πŸ’ͺ EDD is a plugin that turns your website into a full featured eCommerce store with just a few clicks. EDD takes care of all the complex functionality needed for selling with no coding skills required by you.

Install EDD

Get An Extended Pass

  1. Next, grab an EDD Extended Pass
  2. Install and activate EDD and the File Store for Dropbox extension.

Once you have installed EDD on your WordPress site you’ll have a new tab on the left-hand side of your WordPress dashboard. It’s called Downloads. This is where you manage your digital store.

Screenshot: new Downloads menu item

Next, install the File Store for Dropbox extensions (add-on). You get that from your account page after purchasing an Extended Pass.

Screenshot: Install Dropbox plugin

Last, be sure to click Activate after installing.

Screenshot: Activate Dropbox plugin

πŸŽ‰ Now your WordPress site is a powerful online store!


Step 2: Link Dropbox and EDD

Now we need to configure permissions for Dropbox and Easy Digital Downloads.

Go to the settings page at Downloads > Settings > Extensions > Dropbox. Here you’ll see instructions for linking Dropbox.

Click on the Get Code button.

Screenshot: EDD Dropbox Extension settings

You’ll be taken to a page where you can log in to Dropbox. Enter your Dropbox username/email and password and log in.

Screenshot: Dropbox settings 1 log in

Next, you’ll see an explanation that EDD wants to access files and folders on DropBox. Click Allow.

Screenshot: Dropbox settings 2 allow connection

You’ll be given an API code. Copy this code to your clipboard.

Tip: the best way to make sure you get each and every number/letter is to click on the field and ‘select all’ with CTL-A on a PC or CMD-C on a Mac.

Screenshot: Dropbox settings 3 API code

Then, head over to your EDD settings tab, it should still be open. Past that code in the new box that appeared then click Register Code.

Screenshot: Register code to sell digital products with Dropbox and WordPress

You are done. Now you not only have the most powerful digital eCommerce store (EDD), you are managing your files with your go-to platform (Dropbox). 🎸 Rock-n-roll!

File Organization

We recommend keeping your products for sale in their own folder on your Dropbox. For example, we have an EDD Demo Store folder, with subfolders for Photos and Video. It’s better to keep any personal or other work file separate.

Screenshot: Dropbox file organization

Next, let’s create a product to sell.


Step 3: Set Up Your Digital Product (Download File)

In EDD the products you sell are called Downloads.

To create a new download, in your WordPress dashboard click on Downloads > Add New. You’ll be taken to a familiar page editing interface, that’s a lot like making a blog post, only with some easy-to-understand store settings.

Give your Download a title and description.

Screenshot: Create Download - Title and Description

Next, give your Download a price.

Screenshot: Create Download - Download Prices

After that, add a Download Image. This is important. It’s the image people see when browsing the products on your store. Make it look nice and appealing. Click here for an article on making beautiful product images. It has free templates too!

Screenshot: Create Download - Download Image

The Dropbox Magic

Now, look at the Download Files box. The Download File is the file a customer gets after purchase. This is where you take advantage of Dropbox!

Click on the Upload a File Button.

Screenshot: Create Download - Download Files

In addition to the normal WordPress media Actions on the left-side you’ll have two new ones. You’ll have the option to:

  1. Use Upload to Dropbox to add a new file, and it will be stored on your Dropbox, or
  2. Choose Dropbox Library to select a file that is already on your Dropbox account
Screenshot: Dropbox media action - upload
Option 1: Upload a file to Dropbox from EDD
Screenshot: Dropbox media action - select
Option 2: Choose a file on Dropbox for use by EDD

EDD allows you to move files to and from Dropbox so you don’t have to mess around with a bunch of tools or browsers tabs. All nice and simple.

Last, choose the file that the customer will get upon purchase. Now your Download is ready. Click Publish.

Protected Files

EDD will make a secure connection to the file. Customers get an auto-expiring link when they make a purchase. Only paying customers will be able to see and download your files! You can:

  • Easily reissue download links to customers
  • Set the length of time before download links expire to prevent piracy

You get all these features while continuing to manage your files where you always have; good ol’ (blazing fast) Dropbox.


Step 4: Set Up Payment Method

Next, you’ll need to set up a way to accept credit card payments. EDD makes that easy too. Stripe and/or PayPal integration are included for free. Your Extended Pass also gives you access to all of our other payment gateways.

➑️ Click here for a quick guide on setting up Stripe


Step 5: The Final Result

When you have hit ‘Publish’ on your Download a preview link will appear. Click View Download.

Screenshot: View download

You’ll see your new Download ready to sell on your website. In the example below we are using the Astra theme. Your site will look different depending on your theme.

Screenshot: Video product on the frontend

Potential customers click on the Purchase button, add their personal and credit card info and check out.

They will be taken to a purchase confirmation page that looks like this. There is a link to download their video file (in our example).

Screenshot: Purchase confirmation page

Your new customer will also get a purchase receipt email. This email also has the download link.

Screenshot: Purchase receipt email

This link expires after 24 hours with the default setting. Your file remains safe and secure on Dropbox, no one can get sneaky and share the link with others.

File Downloads Settings

Under Downloads > Settings > Misc > File Downloads, you can control link expiration and other settings.

A customer can log in to their account to get a new download link. Or, you can resend the purchase receipt on the Orders screen. Customize the purchase receipt email under Downloads > Settings > Emails > Purchase Receipt (learn more on this Doc).


Simple and Digital

Easy Digital Downloads provides everything you need for selling your files. It’s a solution that is purpose-built for digital goods. Other solutions, like WooCommerce are great for selling physical products. But they also have shipping, inventory, and logistic tools that you don’t need to bother with. Some even require add-ons just to sell digital files.

EDD provides a ton of other great features for digital creators like you:

  • Flexible checkout; shopping cart or buy now buttons
  • List an unlimited number of products
  • White label (full control of branding and customer experience)
  • Coupons / discount codes

What are you waiting for? Get started selling with EDD and Dropbox today!


Conclusion

Suh-weet! You’ve learned how to use Dropbox and WordPress to sell digital files. This is a great way to turn the digital creations stored on your Dropbox into products that help others and generate passive income for you!

We wish you the best as you build your online business.

We have a lot more resources for digital creators like you. What do you want to learn about next⁉️

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Joe Wells

About Joe Wells

Joe is a Marketing Specialist at Awesome Motive. For years he’s been helping people and organizations succeed with WordPress. He is also the founder of an alternative accounting solution for your side hustle called HustleBooks (powered by Easy Digital Downloads). He and his family live and play just outside Detroit. A busy dad, he enjoys running, watching and creating films.

@thisisjoewells

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