Do you want to use WordPress to manage and control file downloads? You might want to keep track of how many times a file has been downloaded.
Perhaps you need to restrict access to content to only registered users or customers.
We’ll compare some of the best WordPress download manager plugins in this article so you can keep track of and manage your file downloads.
What to Look for in a Download Manager Plugin for WordPress
You might want to use a WordPress download manager plugin for a variety of reasons. It’s possible that you’ll need to do some or all of the following:
- Only registered users with a specific role can access a file that has been locked.
- Only paying customers will be able to access a file that has been locked.
- Offer a limited number of digital file copies.
- In WordPress, reorganise and tag files.
- Stop bots or spammers from downloading your files repeatedly.
- Keep track of how many times a particular file has been downloaded.
- Keep track of how many times a particular file type or group of files has been downloaded.
- As part of a larger product, such as an online course, include downloadable files.
It’s difficult to find a single plugin that can do everything above, but you might not need all of them depending on your use case.
We chose the best WordPress download manager plugins in our comparison to cover all scenarios and use-cases.
The best WordPress membership plugin on the market is MemberPress. It makes it simple to sell digital downloads. You can also use it to sell subscriptions, restrict access to content on your site to members only, and much more.
The MemberPress Downloads addon allows you to manage downloads in a more advanced way. It allows you to upload multiple files, tag or categorize them, and use a shortcode to list them.
MemberPress can be used to protect files, posts, and pages. You can lock files so that only people with the appropriate permissions can see them.
You can also protect files by category and tag, which is a fantastic feature. You can create a rule to protect all files belonging to a particular category or tag. This makes it simple to limit files based on the subscription level of the user.
Using MemberPress’ shortcodes system, you can also organize your files by category and tag. If you have a lot of different downloads to offer, this makes organizing them for your users a breeze.
MemberPress also gives you a lot of options. It allows you to create a full membership site instead of just selling downloads. Constant Contact, ConvertKit, and AWeber are just a few of the email marketing services that it integrates with.
LearnDash is a popular WordPress LMS (learning management system) plugin. It’s simple to use and has a lot of useful features.
LearnDash allows you to charge a one-time fee or set up a recurring subscription for your product. Video and audio files can be easily inserted into your course, making it a great way to sell these types of files.
LearnDash can be used to lock down content on your website, accept payments, create online courses, create assignments and quizzes, and more. LearnDash also includes dynamic forums where your users can interact with one another.
LearnDash stands alone in terms of accepting payments and providing password-protected content. MemberPress, WordPress Download Manager, and WooCommerce are just a few of the other tools on this list that you can use with it.
The perfect Google Analytics plugin for WordPress is MonsterInsights. If you want to see which files on your site are being downloaded the most, this is the best option. This is critical if you provide a lot of free downloads and want to know which ones are the most popular.
You can select which file types to monitor, such as images, zip files, PDFs, and so on.
You can also label your files so that MonsterInsights can see which categories are getting the most downloads. In MonsterInsights, for example, you could keep track of “Free Reports” and “Printable Worksheets” separately.
The file downloads report, along with MonsterInsight’s other user analytics reports, can be found in your WordPress dashboard.
All of the plugins mentioned in this list work seamlessly with MonsterInsights, and we recommend installing it alongside any file download manager plugin you use. File tracking is included in the free version of MonsterInsights, but you can upgrade to the Pro version to gain access to more advanced features.
Alternatively, MonsterInsights can be used on its own. Simply upload your files to the WordPress media library and link to them in your posts, pages, menus, and other places. Following that, MonsterInsights will begin tracking your download statistics.
WooCommerce is a popular WordPress eCommerce plugin. You could also sell both digital and physical products with it.
If you want to sell digital downloads, simply add your download to WooCommerce as a product, and the customer will only be able to access it after paying for it.
WooCommerce plugins can also be used to enhance the functionality of your online store. You can use smart coupons, for example, to make it easier to run sales and promotions.
WooCommerce provides a variety of download options as well as file protection options. You could still select the option that best suits your needs. Your downloads, like regular WooCommerce products, can have variations.
You can also use WooCommerce to make a product with both a digital and physical component. You could, for example, offer an online video course with a physical workbook.
5. Easy Digital Downloads
Easy Digital Downloads, as the name implies, make selling digital products on your website simple. It can also be used to track and provide free downloads.
The Easy Digital Downloads plugin will automatically protect your files. All purchases and free downloads can be tracked by date, time, and IP address.
You have the option of limiting the number of times a customer can download their files. You can also make the download link expire after a specific amount of time has passed. Both of these methods are effective in preventing customers from sharing their files with others.
Easy Digital Downloads can be integrated with a variety of other services, including email marketing services like ConvertKit and AWeber. You can even use AffiliateWP to create a referral program with it.
Customers can buy multiple digital products at once using Easy Digital Downloads’ built-in shopping cart system. You can easily create a customer account page where logged-in customers can see a list of all the items they’ve bought.
6. File Manager
File Manager similarly to FTP. Instead of using FTP to move files between locations, you can use it to edit files directly from your WordPress dashboard.
Wherever possible, we recommend using an FTP client or your WordPress hosting file manager. There may be times, however, when you want to manage files quickly through your WordPress dashboard.
You can also upload your files to the WordPress media library using File Manager. It generates thumbnails for any image file type. It also has search capabilities, making it simple to locate your files.
You can also create private folders with File Manager’s Pro Edition. You can restrict access to specific user roles or even individual users.
The Pro Edition also allows you to limit the types of files that can be uploaded and downloaded. You can even set up email notifications to be notified when a file is downloaded.
7. WordPress Download Manager
WordPress Download Manager is a fantastic, easy-to-use tool. It can be used to keep track of both free and paid file downloads.
You can either set a password for each file or specify user roles that can access your files.
You can use a Captcha Lock or IP Block feature in a WordPress download manager to prevent bots or spammers from downloading your content. You can also limit downloads by assigning each user a download limit. This can help WordPress run faster and more efficiently.
You’ll also receive download logs, which show the date, time, and location of the user downloading your files.
When a user downloads a free file, they will not be required to complete the entire checkout process. With PDF and image files, WordPress Download Manager gives the user the option to open or download the file in their browser.
Using the free “Premium Package – Complete Digital Store Solution” addon, you can easily assign a price to files.
WordPress Download Manager also has a number of paid addons. BuddyPress integration, a User Review addon, a Download Limit addon, and more are among them.
Final Thoughts: The Best WordPress Download Manager Plugin
It can be difficult to pick the right download manager plugin. Depending on how you want to manage your downloads, all of the plugins on this list are excellent choices.
MemberPress is the best download manager plugin if you’re going to sell downloads and want to limit access to members. It has a lot of useful features, such as file protection by category and tag, email marketing integrations, payment gateways, and so on.
MonsterInsights is the best plugin to use if all you want to do is track downloads. It will provide you with all of the information you require. Simply drag and drop the files into your WordPress file manager, embed it in a post, and MonsterInsights will display the download statistics.
We hope you found this article useful in learning about the best WordPress download manager plugins. We also recommend that you look over our list of must-have plugins for business websites compiled by our experts.
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