Easy Digital Downloads Introduction

If you're already generally familiar with eCommerce in WordPress then this document should help you get up to speed with Easy Digital Downloads quite quickly. Unless otherwise noted, everything in this document deals with core features.

Easy Digital Downloads for Digital Media

Easy Digital Downloads (EDD) was built from the ground up to sell downloads; software, ebooks, music, etc. Options, features, and addons are built specifically to help you sell your digital products. Over time, EDD has expanded to sell other non-physical things like booking reservations, e-tickets etc.

Easy Digital Downloads for physical products

EDD is designed for selling digital products, but if you wish to sell simple physical products, there is an add-on for that. If you are selling advanced physical products, consider using an alternate eCommerce solution

Basic Terminology

To get a grasp on some of the terms used in Easy Digital Downloads, read through their descriptions here:

  • Downloads or Products - In various places these terms are used interchangeably. A download is a product. It is the 'thing' that is available for sale.
  • Payment  - A payment is typically recorded whenever money is paid (even if the amount is $0). A single payment can contain multiple different downloads (or products)
  • Sale - The term sale is only used in relation to a single product and is recorded when a payment is made that contains that product. For example, if a single payment contained 3 different products, each product has a sale recorded. 
  • Customer - A customer profile is created when a payment is completed. Think of this as a place where all of a single person's payments are listed together. It also holds some of their personal information - like the customer's email addresses, their name, custom notes, and more. 
  • User - Users are a part of WordPress core but Easy Digital Downloads makes use of them in connection to customers. Each customer can have a user attached to it. This is what allows a customer to log in to view their account. Each user has a username and password (whereas customers do not).
  • File Downloads - Each time a file is downloaded by one of your customers, a file download is recorded so you can track how many times a product (or download) is downloaded. This is found in various places including under Dashboard → Downloads → Reports → Logs → File Downloads.

Product Options

Here are some of the capabilities that products have:

  • Product Title
  • Product Description
  • Variable pricing
  • Easy uploading of media right on the product admin page
  • Custom notes that can be added to receipts
  • Single or bundled products
  • Categories
  • Tags
  • Download limits (how many times a buyer may download the item they purchased
  • In the admin page for each item you can see sales and earnings data

Payment Gateways

EDD has many dozens of payment gateways available, from a variety of sources. Here are just a few of the common ones:

  • Stripe
  • PayPal
  • Authorize.net
  • Braintree
  • Pay with Amazon

Please browse the links below to see if it supports the gateway you need.

Product Delivery

When a product is purchased the customer is presented with a purchase confirmation page. It contains details of the transaction as well as download link(s) so the customer may immediately download the product.

In addition, two emails are sent, one to the customer with a receipt and download link and one to the store owner with sale details.

Customer Email

This email functions as a receipt and contains BOTH financial details as well as a download link to to the product(s) purchased.

Seller Email

This email alerts the store owner to a purchase and includes sale details.

Both of the above emails may be configured via the Downloads Settings area. This allows the store owner to decide how much detail is included in each.

Templates

WordPress has a standard convention for templates in plugins. A plugin may have its own set of templates in its own folder, but may look first in the active theme folder for templates. EDD follows this standard, and has a templates folder in

/wp-content/plugins/easy-digital-downloads/templates

These templates may be copied to a theme folder and placed in a folder called

/edd_templates

Then those templates get used by the theme rather than the EDD core templates.

Shortcodes

EDD has a number of shortcodes that are well documented.

Discounts

EDD has a built in system for providing discount codes. They can:

  • be a percentage or flat rate
  • match product-specific requirements before taking effect
  • have an expiration date
  • have a limited number of total uses
  • be limited to one use per customer

Additionally, there are many Discount addons in the EDD store to enhance this functionality.

Reports

EDD offers reports in a number of formats. On the main reports page there's a chart showing earnings over time, with options for varying time spans.

Reports can also be exported in a variety of formats:

  • Sales and Earnings in PDF format
  • Sales and Earnings Stats in CSV
  • Payment History in CSV
  • Download History in CSV

There's also a real-time log page listing:

  • File Downloads
  • Sales
  • Payment Errors
  • API Requests

Importing

EDD settings from another site may be imported, and Sales and Products may be imported with the EDD CSV Manager.

Exporting

As mentioned above, several different kinds of reports may be exported. Additionally, EDD settings, sales, and products may be exported with built-in tools under Downloads → Tools.

Miscellaneous

  • EDD supports discount codes.
  • Default styles can be disabled with a Settings switch, making it easier to use custom styles if you wish
  • EDD has flexible national, international, and local tax settings
  • There's a TESTING switch, so you can safely process orders without actually having to move money around.
  • There's a very extensive add-ons library