If you’re a digital product store owner, you must have heard of Easy Digital Downloads at least once. It undoubtedly proves the best and most common plugin to sell digital and downloadable assets.
Frankly, this is not the only solution to bringing a digital product store to the market. There are numerous other useful Easy Digital Downloads alternatives you can consider for your business.
To help you separate the wheat from the chaff, we’ll look at the 5 best Easy Digital Downloads alternatives. Their key features, pricing, pros, and cons will be fully covered in this article.
Easy Digital Downloads Overview
Easy Digital Downloads or EDD is yielded at over 50K active installs, and the number is significantly increasing on a daily basis.
The plugin greatly assists you in creating a fully-equipped e-commerce shop. Upon activation, it adds a shopping cart, custom checkout, flexible payment, and sales reports to your store.
You can sell any type of downloadable items there, including software, documents, photos, ebooks, music, spreadsheets, videos, and tons more.
Challenges When Using EDD
Despite its immensely powerful functionalities and full control, EDD can’t please every user. There are still disadvantages that encourage users to seek another EDD alternative.
EDD is not as easy as its name sounds. Installing the plugin takes you just a few clicks; however, configuring settings and having it start working smoothly is a bit complicated.
- High cost
You can download EDD for free from the WordPress repository. Still, it comes with basic features. You couldn’t enable different payment gateways or restrict content unless you pay for its extensions and add-ons, along with the Pro version.
There are up to more than 150 extensions, and the total cost to build a complete store can soar like an eagle. Consider carefully when you just own a small online business; otherwise, it will break your budget.
- Poor support sometimes
EDD satisfies most of its users, as proven by the 4.7/5-star review. Due to the huge user base and support requests, the team can’t always handle their problems on time. As a result, it receives many complaints from users.
If you’re a starter and need one-one support for your store, give trust in plugins that ensure to assist you in every issue.
5 Best Easy Digital Download Alternatives
Spotting out EDD drawbacks, it’s time to learn about potential options for your digital product store.
#1 WooCommerce – Perfect Easy Digital Downloads Alternative
Siding with WordPress’s arrival, WooCommerce provides you with the most popular e-commerce plugin to set up an online shop. There exists a stereotype that this plugin helps sell physical items only. Still, you’re able to offer downloadable files there too.
Users love this Easy Digital Download alternative thanks to its ease of use and wide range of extensions. There are more than one thousand plugins on WordPress.org to expand WooCommerce features, not to mention premium plugins on other markets.
Noticeably, WooCommerce integrates with almost all payment gateways and plugins to customize your stores.
- Manage all products and orders via a clean dashboard
- Get updates on sales via reports
- Showcase both physical and digital goods, product variations, instant downloads, and affiliate products
- Be friendly to SERPs
- Configure shipping options
Pricing: Free. Come with a bunch of self-developed extensions, ranging from $0 to over $200.
- Easy to set up and use
- Provide a user-friendly and robust interface
- Packed with endless plugins and extensions to customize the store
- Process orders quickly
- Have a long and complex default checkout process
- Not an ideal solution for large e-commerce businesses
- Conflicts with other third-party plugins
#2 Prevent Direct Access Gold
Prevent Direct Access (PDA) Gold primarily helps secure your media files from unauthorized direct access and downloading. It’s listed as the best Easy Digital Downloads alternative for access restriction. In other words, the plugin allows protecting your digital products so that only customers paying for those products can view and download them.
You may sell unlimited products of all types private, from ebooks (PDF), and photography (PNG, JPEG, ZIP) to videos (MP4), audio (MP3), and documents (DOCX). Once private, only logged-in or paid members can have access to these files.
Instead of letting customers access original product URLs, the plugin enables you to create private download links and limit download time via these links. This facilitates you to fix the WooCommerce loophole of sharing order page URLs after guest users purchase the product.
- Block search engines from indexing digital products
- Create private download links for customers to access
- Restrict protected product files by user roles
- Expire private download links based on time and clicks
- Encrypt protected files
- Prevent file hotlinking and block IP addresses
- Manage and track link clicks
- Disable directory listing on your private products
Pricing: It doesn’t cost you a penny to get started with PDA. However, you need its Gold plans to extend the list of protected file types. The free version supports 9 file types only. You can pay at least $178.8 per year to use PDA Gold on 3 sites.
- Compatible with most WordPress themes, page builders, and plugins
- Offer top-notch support for both free and premium users
- Manage everything in one place with an intuitive and user-friendly interface
- Extend WordPress file protection capabilities with many valuable extensions and addons
- Skyrocket the total cost when buying multiple extensions at a time
- Need to integrate with WooCommerce to sell protected digital products
#3 File Manager
File Manager doesn’t lend you an option to build online stores and sell digital products. Instead, it gives you full control over your media files, including downloadable product items.
You’re able to take all actions on your files: edit, delete, upload, download, zip, copy, and paste files or folders from the admin dashboard. The file and folder structure is exactly the same as what you deal with on Google Drive. There is no need to touch the website server.
- Control uploaded and downloaded file types
- Enable various file manager themes
- Share files via emails
- Preview common file types
- Drag and drop files and folders
Pricing: Similar to the 2 above plugins, you don’t have to pay anything to have File Manager installed and activated on your site. To access advanced features such as private folder, shortcode, and user roles, you’re required to buy the Pro version at $25 for 1 site.
- Easy to use
- Reasonable price
- Free you from accessing the site’s FTP settings
- Can’t sell digital downloads
- Security issues reported
Which Is Your Ideal Easy Digital Downloads Alternative?
The Easy Digital Downloads plugin is common in many digital product stores. However, it’s not always effective and cannot serve all businesses. The challenges may lie in its complexity, high cost of add-ons, and poor customer support service sometimes.
Consider WooCommere as a perfect Easy Digital Downloads alternative. You can add, manage, and sell digital products with ease. It’s possible to put physical products in your store when you plan to scale up the business too.
PDA Gold, on the other hand, helps protect digital items and manage their downloads. File Manager, whilst, greatly assists you in pulling out the server files and folders right in the admin dashboard.
Do you have an Easy Digital Downloads alternative in mind? Share with us your thoughts in the comment box below.