Instead of only showing information on your website, sometimes you need to allow your visitors to download a file or two. Whether it’s your new song in .mp3 format which you want you visitors to have on their computers, entire e-book or a simple graph in .pdf format, you can offer the file for download.
In WordPress, you can do that easily by uploading a file to your server and providing URL for your visitors. And that can be good enough if you don’t expect many downloads or you don’t care about it too much. But if you want to monitor your downloads, have more control over links or even allow downloads only for registered users, you will need to step up the game.
That’s where Download Monitor plugin comes in to help.
This free plugin will let you easily add new downloads and attach them to your posts and pages via simple link or the shortcode. You can add descriptions to your files and monitor the number of downloads. If you have more than one version of the same file, Download Monitor will allow you to add multiple versions (each with its own description and a counter).
Editing files is as easy as editing your normal posts. You can categorize downloads, add tags or any other meta information you use in WordPress.
If you want to provide more than one location, alternative links (mirrors) can be defined for each download version.
One of the best features is Members Only Download – If you check the option on your download page, only registered, i.e. logged in users will be able to access your files. If you want to monitor downloads, everything can be found under Logs so you can easily see which users downloaded which files and when it happened.
Everything can be easily customizable so you can change the way links are displayed.
Create your first download link:
To help you get stared, let’s go step by step and create a simple download link which can be accessed only by registered users:
- Go to Plugins->Add New
- Search for “Download Monitor”
- Install and activate the plugin
- Navigate to Downloads->Add New
- Add download title, description and select files (versions) which you want your visitors to be able to download
- On the right side, you can choose from different options:
- Choose categories and add tags if needed
- Publish your download
- On top of the page you can find download ID, URL and a shortcode which can be used in any other post, page or widget.
- Copy the shortcode and paste it into your post
Featured Download – choose if you want your download to be featured; this is used by shortcodes and widgets
Members Only – Choose if you want your download to be available for registered users only
Redirect to File – redirect file to another folder if needed
There are many more options this plugin offers but we can’t go through all of them in this article. We hope this helped you get started with managing downloads and that you’re ready to publish your first files. If you need even more control over downloads (for example, integrating it with MailChimp or requiring people to enter their email address before download and much, much more) you will probably be interested in different extensions available for Download Monitor.