Easy Digital Downloads (aka EDD) 2023 Review: Selling Digital Products With Ease

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We’ve talked many times about how to get your ecommerce site up and running within just a few minutes, but you’ll start to notice that the majority of content online is about selling physical products, and we want to fix this. Some of the best ecommerce platforms provide options to sell your own digital products such as eBooks, music and video courses, but they don’t particularly focus on these digital items. There are only a few platforms out there that do, and Easy Digital Downloads – aka EDD – is one of the more highly respected ones. 

Why? Easy Digital Downloads works seamlessly with WordPress, and you really don’t have to start paying for anything until you feel like expanding your store. Let’s take a look at an in-depth review of the Easy Digital Downloads system to see if it’s the right option for you.

Easy Digital Downloads: Features

Easy Digital Downloads is a simple plugin for WordPress. Unlike many other plugins you’ll stumble upon, it’s rather lightweight and it doesn’t overpower your website. You can expect the site to move quickly without any problems.

It also provides a state-of-the-art checkout system which is nice for those customers who want to download multiple files at one time. The entire interface is pretty darn smooth, so you don’t have to worry about people getting frustrated and leaving the site before buying anything.

What else comes with Easy Digital Downloads? Your customers receive their own profile so they can always come back and download what they bought.

Easy Digital Downloads - example

You can post discount codes for those special summer or holiday discounts. You can also easily track all the payments that go through your site and manage your reports with ease.

Easy Digital Downloads' Data Reporting Features

Easy Digital Downloads has some excellent data reporting tools so that you can view your earnings based on date ranges and categories. All of the statistics can be filtered by searching for specific products.

Easy Digital Downloads - data reporting

The reports are stored on the WordPress dashboard, with clean graphs and tables so that even a beginner can understand and feel comfortable with reading the information. The data reporting tools include buttons for exporting your store data. All of the exports are transferred into a CSV file. We also like the fact that you can monitor all of the downloads from your website, and check on potential abuse or spam. All of your sales are also detailed in the data reporting module.

Easy Digital Downloads: The Discount Codes

Customers love a good discount. That's why it's essential to provide the occasional discount codes for special events or holidays. Luckily, Easy Digital Downloads has its discount code functionality built into the plug-in. For instance, you could choose a percentage-based or flat rate discount to offer to your customers.

Some other settings include the option to limit a coupon's usage by a certain number of times used or by the type of user. Automated start and end dates are possible, along with the ability to include or exclude certain products from the discount codes.

Finally, you might find it advantageous to require a minimum purchase total for the discount to work. For instance, you might say that the customer gets 20% off after spending $50.

Easy Digital Downloads' Customer Management Tools

We mentioned a little bit about how customer management tools are included with Easy Digital Downloads. But now we want to take a deeper look into what these customer management features can do for your business. First of all, just about all customer details are shown in the WordPress dashboard. This includes information such as an email address, customer name, and all recent purchases.

Easy Digital Downloads - customer details

You can manually create a customer page and even link some of these records to other profiles. One of my favorite features is that the Easy Digital Downloads dashboard shows you a customer lifetime value so you can identify some of your VIP customers.

Easy Digital Downloads: The Shopping Cart Experience

The shopping cart is one of the main reasons Easy Digital Downloads became so popular in the first place. Not only can it support both guest and registered user checkouts, but you can customize your shopping cart with Buy Now or Add To Cart buttons.

Easy Digital Downloads - digital store

It truly is one of the simplest checkout processes for customers. In addition, users can save their carts and come back to them when they are ready to purchase. Other than that, the only other standout feature would be that you can require your customers to agree to terms and services before they buy.

Easy Digital Downloads: Ease of Use

The first time I started playing around with Easy Digital Downloads I really thought it would be a little amateurish, since it’s completely free and I usually think that the paid premium plugins are the ones that are worthwhile.

However, the plugin was rather simple to download and put onto my site. You just go to their website and click on the Download button. This places the file on your computer which can then be uploaded and activated on your WordPress website.

Easy Digital Downloads - homepage

There’s also a nice product demo for checking out the front end of the site, but this didn’t really tell me anything about the backend and how to setup your products.

Easy Digital Downloads - purchase

Needless to say, the plugin is quite easy to use, since they provide a thorough instructions page right off the bat.

There is a little Downloads tab on the left-hand side of your dashboard, and that’s all you really need to know in terms of moving around the plugin.

Screen Shot 2015-02-10 at 1.15.10 PM

This tab provides options to add a new product, check your payment history and to see your reports. The only thing that’s a little tedious is combining your current theme with the plugin. You basically have to figure out how your theme works with the plugin, so you may have to jump to a page and place a certain amount of products on this page or set your homepage to feature some of your more popular items.

Easy Digital Downloads: Pricing

The Easy Digital Downloads plugin is completely free. This is one of the main reasons it’s so popular for selling digital products. You might have to pay a little money for your payment processor, but this depends.

The main area where you might have to pay some money is if you go to the Extensions page.

Easy Digital Downloads - integrations

This lets you power up your site a little more with items such as email reports, payment gateways, and invoices.

If you pay for three or more extensions you get a 10 percent discount, and they also package together some of the extensions with huge discounts.

As for WordPress themes that are compatible with easy Digital downloads, you can find several free themes on the Easy Digital Downloads website. The developers also recommend many community themes that play well with the Easy Digital Downloads plugin. Having said that, you may decide to buy a premium theme from a place like ThemeForest. If that's the case, you should factor the cost of that theme into your overall budget for running a digital product website.

A Look at Some of the Extensions

Easy Digital Downloads comes with plenty of features for you to get started selling digital items online. In fact, basic stores shouldn't have to purchase any extensions to expand functionality.

However, the extension library has some excellent tools for those companies that need unique features such as recurring payments, frontend product submissions, and software licensing.

The categories for the Easy Digital Downloads extensions are listed below:

  • Payment gateways
  • Accounting
  • Licensing
  • Analytics
  • Email Marketing

As mentioned before, you also have the option to purchase some extension packages that may make it cheaper and provide a better value for a large group of extensions.

The pricing for these extensions varies drastically. I would argue that you should expect to pay around $50 to $100 per extension. For example, the Stripe Payment Gateway extension is listed at $89 for a single site license. The Mailchimp extension is a little cheaper at $49 for a single site license.

To give you an idea, here are some of the most popular Easy Digital Downloads add-ons to choose from:

  • Recurring payments
  • The Stripe payment gateway
  • Software licensing
  • Front end submissions
  • The PayPal Pro and PayPal Express gateway
  • Free downloads
  • Mailchimp
  • A checkout fields manager
  • Dropbox

An All Access Pass:

Similar to companies like Elegant Themes, Easy Digital Downloads also has “membership” pass options so that you can pay a certain amount per year for access to some or all of the Easy Digital Downloads products.

These packages are excellent for developers with clients and for people who might be running multiple websites. We also like it if you just want access to all of the extensions for one website.

Here are the passes to give you an idea of how much you'll have to pay and what comes along with each package:

  • Personal Pass – $99 per year for single site licenses to all email marketing integrations.
  • Extended Pass – $199 per year for support to sell recurring subscriptions and use all payment gateways. Each extension you receive comes with a single site license.
  • Professional Pass – $299 per year for access to all premium extensions and marketplace functionality. All extensions get single site licenses.
  • All Access Pass – $499 per year for access to all extensions and unlimited license key usage. This is ideal for an agency or a network of websites.

Updates and support are included with all of the passes.

Easy Digital Downloads: Setup and Design

Since 65 percent of ecommerce traffic comes from mobile devices, you should definitely consider using a platform that offers mobile responsiveness. This is another reason Easy Digital Downloads works so well.

Although it depends on the theme you are using, if you opt for a responsive theme, the plugin seems to work quite well so that everyone who uses mobile devices can see your products okay.

The only word I can use to describe the Easy Digital Downloads design is minimalistic. They don’t have any bells and whistles included, so you can work on your own CSS styling to make the site look the way you want.

All you have to do is upload an image, punch in a description for the products and implement a button for people to buy from you.

Easy Digital Downloads: Managing Your Inventory

Let’s say you want to add a few digital products to your website. All you have to do is click on the Add New button under the Downloads tab in your WordPress toolbar, and then it gives you a WordPress editor page just like you were about to write a blog post.

Easy Digital Downloads - inventory

At the bottom of the page, you can type in a price for the download and include various other details such as product type, notes, the download link, and an image. Feel free to also change how many times a single person can download the file.

Easy Digital Downloads download price

Easy Digital Downloads Review: SEO and Marketing

Easy Digital Downloads doesn’t seem to have any built-in SEO or marketing tools, so you either have to add your own WordPress plugins or purchase some of the items they sell in the extensions store. This isn’t a huge problem since WordPress allows you to add pretty much anything and this plugin is completely free.

Payments and Security

If you go to the Settings page you’ll find a Payment Gateways option to play around with the payment systems you can use. Once again, various other payment gateways are available in the Extensions Store, but by default you can implement a PayPal payment gateway.

Easy Digital Downloads payment gateways

It’s pretty simple to set up, and from what I’ve read you shouldn't have to worry much about security, although I had some trouble finding documentation about security on the Easy Digital Downloads website.

Easy Digital Downloads Review: Customer Support

The Easy Digital Downloads support is incredible. In short, the company provides Forums, FAQs and an area to submit your own tickets if you have any questions.

Easy Digital Downloads customer support

Easy Digital Downloads Review: Conclusion

The Easy Digital Downloads plugin is extremely lightweight and easy to use, so it would be my first choice if I were planning on selling some eBooks or songs, so feel free to give it a try, since you can always just uninstall it if you find it isn’t a fit for your site.

Let us know in the comments section if you have any questions about this Easy Digital Downloads review.

Editor's note: This post was originally published on February 11, 2015 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Rating: 4.5 - Review by

Joe Warnimont

Joe Warnimont is a Chicago-based writer who focuses on eCommerce tools, WordPress, and social media. When not fishing or practicing yoga, he's collecting stamps at national parks (even though that's mainly for children). Check out Joe's portfolio to contact him and view past work.

Comments 8 Responses

  1. I’m working with EDD, I have also installed the plugin EDD checkout in which I’ve made 3 fields who are apearing in the cart page. I want to use those 3 fields in the mail which I;m sending to my customers and in the ordermail which I’m using myself,
    Is this possible and how will I make this work.

    Thanks in advance,

  2. I have not found EDD to be remotely easy. The “support” is virtually nonexistent and they have not responded to my email, despite indicating they sent an email to me after I submitted a presale question. This email has not arrived.

    1. Hello Mei,

      Easy Digital Downloads is a plugin for WordPress so it won’t work with Shopify.


      Bogdan – Editor at ecommerce-platforms.com

  3. can i use payment gateway prevalent in nigeria on the edd platform? since paypal is not functional in nigeria most customer will have problem using the platform. so can i use anoda gateway outside the ones offered in the edd extentions? pls i need ur answer to get started imediately

  4. I Would have an urgent question, I installed easy digital downloads yet but still I don’t know how to put it in my menus that costumer just have to click there to get to my shop. Do I have to add a new site? And copy the downloads in there? I didn’t find any useful information in the net or on WordPress to solve the problem.
    By now I have “sell downloads” but I want to set up my shop with edd coz I have more options there.
    Hope you understand what I mean and you could tell me how to do that.

    Thanks in advance, looking forward to hear from you soon

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