6 Best WordPress file download manager plugins

Are you looking for a plugin to manage file downloads on your WordPress site? Do you want to sell downloadable products on your website? Here, we’ve shared 5 WordPress file download manager extensions you can use.

Why not use WooCommerce? WooCommerce is a powerful WordPress eCommerce platform. It lets you sell downloads but adds numerous options to the WordPress dashboard. If you don’t want to use WooCommerce to sell downloadable products because of this reason, you can use a WordPress file download plugin we’ve shared below:

Download Monitor

Download Monitor

Download Monitor can create these three pages for your website – no access, cart, and checkout. The no access page is a page that will open when users who don’t have permission but try to download a file. The cart page will let users purchase digital products on your website, and the checkout page is the page with which users will have to select the payment method for making a payment. Once the pages are ready, you must create a download by clicking on the download menu and the “Add Download” button.

To create a download, you must enter the description, choose the downloadable file, and enter the download name. You can add a custom field to the “downloads” form. If you’re using the Apache web server, the plugin will automatically protect the downloads folder. If you’re using Nginx, Download Monitor will display a code that you should put in your Nginx configuration file.

By default, Download Monitor will use PHP to serve downloads. If your web server supports X-Accel-Redirect or X-Sendfile headers, you can configure the extension to serve downloads using one of these two headers. This plugin lets users see the download log in the WordPress dashboard.

Easy Digital Downloads

Easy Digital Downloads

Easy Digital Downloads is one of the top WordPress download manager plugins. It is a freemium WP extension that enables you to sell products that users must download i.e. PDFs, software, apps, etc. Users of EDD can configure the plugin to limit the number of times a file can be downloaded. If you want to sell a limited number of downloads, you can change this value to 1+.

Easy Digital Downloads lets users create and manage flat and percentage discount codes. In EDD, the discounts can be valid between two dates. Easy Digital Downloads features a beautiful sales vs downloads graph. It has a dedicated payment history section where you can see the payments made by the users.

Easy Digital Downloads includes a dedicated customers page where you’ll find a list of customers who have purchased your product. EDD enables you to block people using specific email addresses from buying the product or downloading the file. It has plenty of options on the settings page. The options are grouped into these tabs – general, payments, emails, marketing, styles, taxes, privacy, and miscellaneous.

WordPress Download Manager

WordPress Download Manager

WDM is an excellent alternative to the above WP file downloader extensions. Unlike the above plugins, WDM lets you add/create downloads with the Gutenberg editor. Bootstrap powers WDM. If your theme is built using Bootstrap, you can disable the plugin’s Bootstrap JavaScript and CSS files from the WDM’s settings page. If you don’t do so, the Bootstrap JS functions may not work great if the Bootstrap version the theme and this extension are using is different and a significant change has been made to the Bootstrap functions.

WDM ships with 10+ download and page templates. To use the template, copy its shortcode and paste it into the package (download). Like some WordPress file download plugins we’ve shared above, WDM shows the download history and statistics in the WordPress dashboard. You can filter the download data by package name, email, and user name.


Contact Form 7 File Download

If you’re using Contact Form 7 on your website, you can add a download option to the CF7 form with this free CF7 download add-on for Contact Form 7. How to use this addon? The plugin’s settings page shows a form with a drown-down list and text boxes. You must choose the contact form ID with the drop-down list, enter the attachment URL, and enter the download name. When you fill out these fields, click the “save changes” button.

Shared Files

Shared Files

SF lets users set up downloads within a minute. It is easy to use. To make something downloadable with it, create a new file, copy the shortcode that SF shows, and paste the shortcode on the page of your choice. SF can show a downloads counter with custom text on the page where you’ve added its shortcode. It can show a preview button if the file you’ve created is a PDF document. It lets users set an icon for files and has over 20 layout options.

Email before download

Email Before Download

You may have come across web pages with a form that will let you download a file only if you enter and confirm your email address. You can add this functionality to your WP site with Email Before Download. EBD requires the Download Monitor and Contact Form 7 plugins. If you don’t install and activate CF7 and DM before installing EBD, you’ll see an error.

Email Before Delivery supports two delivery forms – inline and “send email”. If you choose the inline delivery method, EBD will show a link to download, and if you select the “send email” method, EBD will send an email containing a link to the downloadable file to the visitor’s email address. The extension enables you to set the download link expiry time and export the list of users who have downloaded the file. You can configure it to show the form only when the website visitor chooses the download option and display the radio button instead of a checkbox.


Pramod is the founder of wptls. He has been using WordPress for more than nine years. He builds web applications, and writes about his experiences with various WP products on this site.

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