The term Downloadable Products appears since eCommerce has started to develop dramatically. Different from physical products that customers can hold on their hand, or touch and feel them, downloadable products are digital goods sold on your online store. They can be ebooks, images, songs, plugins, and many more. With this kind of product, you can easily provide immediate access to customers just by selling downloadable product links.
This article will give you clear step-by-step instructions on how to create a downloadable product with WooCommerce and how to protect it from digital piracy as well.
When Do You Need to Provide a WooCommerce Downloadable Product?
In fact, offering a downloadable product is highly important to your online business. However, there’s a high chance that you will lose a lot of customers if they find it difficult to download your items.
Introducing your product to customers is already a whole complicated process and you definitely don’t want to stop at that. At the end of the day, what you are waiting for is customers’ purchases. So creating downloadable product links is the fastest way to deliver your products to potential customers.
How to Create a WooCommerce Downloadable Product
Creating a new WooCommerce downloadable product doesn’t seem as complicated as some of you might think. It’s basically similar to adding a new product just with some more settings.
Step 1: Create a new product
In your Admin Dashboard, find Products and choose Add New
The same with creating a new post, you have all the essential fields to fill in like the Product Name and its introduction.
Step 2: Make Your Product Downloadable
After that, scroll down and you will see the Product Data field. This is where you do all the necessary setups for a downloadable product.
There are two checkboxes for you to tick on, one is Virtual and the other is Downloadable. Since you want your product to be accessed via links, you should tick on the Downloadable box.
In case your online store sells intangible products only which don’t have any physical components, enable Virtual option.
Step 3: Add Product Data
Under the Product data, you will need to focus on three important fields:
- Downloadable files: In this section, select Add file and upload your desired product. Fill in the product name, especially the File URL, in which you provide a link for your product.
- Download limit: This is where you control how many times a certain customer can download the product. As a default, it suggests leaving a blank for unlimited re-downloads.
- Download expiry: You can set the number of days that your downloadable links are still valid. It’s not a good idea to leave your product links available all the time. But in case your customers are so busy, it would be better to give them a certain time.
Now you’re good to go. Your downloadable products are all set.
Protect Your Product Downloadable Links
Even though WooCommerce offers some options for your product download links protection, it’s not sufficient enough to prevent them from being leaked out to the public because of the following reasons.
Under WooCommerce Product Settings, you get the control to enable some options for Downloadable products.
In the File download method drop-down, there are three different methods.
- Force downloads: Most WooCommerce users choose this popular method for their downloadable products. However, if the product file size is over 16MB, customers won’t be able to download it. In fact, a lot of customers shared they’ve experienced timeouts while downloading the files.
- X-Accel-Redirect/X-Sendfile: With this method, you protect your file via an h.taccess file. Despite its reliability, it requires your server to enable X-Accel-Redirect/X-Sendfile module. However, not every shared hosting server provides this function.
- Redirect only: To solve the first option problem, this solution redirects customers from the downloadable links to the original product links. It turns out more dangerous for controlling your product access.
Protect Your Downloadable Products with Prevent Direct Access Gold
Realizing the issues that your online store might face when providing downloadable product links, Prevent Direct Access Gold comes as the best solution.
The plugin aims to protect every single file uploaded on your WordPress site. So instead of giving the original product downloadable links, you just provide the protected links.
To do that, protect the upload folder of your WooCommerce products under Folder Protection of PDA Gold settings. Then, set the user roles such as admins, editors, or authors, who are able to access the files.
Then go back to the General Settings page, find Private Download Links, and enable Generate Private Download Link Once Protected and Force Downloads options.
This is only one in several advanced features you make use of PDA Gold to protect your product files. Create shared private links, restrict access by IP address, block access through search engines, or even redirect access to the 404 error page, just to name a few.
Create a Secure Online Store for a Better Business
By delivering downloadable product links for your online store, you already put your business on the next level to get a jump in your eCommerce business and compete against competitors in the eCommerce industry.
The instruction above shows you three main steps to add your product files to WooCommerce and make it available for download.
However, you want to provide the product download links for your customers only, instead of attackers or files hackers. To make sure your products are safe, you should choose better protection.
Install Prevent Direct Access to secure your downloadable product now.