Dropbox is an extremely useful service for sharing large documents or folders with others. Users can download and save files into their own Dropbox account, via a shared link, within seconds. Tracking downloads from Dropbox is important because file owners won’t know click activity or how many times each file has been downloaded with the basic platform services.
To track downloads of your Dropbox files, you can either use a short URL address or a Dropbox plugin. This article will provide a step-by-step guide, as well as descriptions that will help you decide which option is best for you.
In this post, we’ll also give you a bonus tip for protecting WooCommerce product files hosted on Dropbox. Let’s hop in!
How to Count Dropbox Downloads
Method 1: Using Short URL Services
With URL shortening services like Bitly and Goo.gl, you can see the number of clicks your Dropbox shared files have received as well as how many times the files were saved. These services can help you to understand which products are most popular and if anyone is sharing your files without permission.
Through Google and Bitly, it’s possible for you to see the click count during a certain period including every hour, in 7 days, and in 30 days.
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There are also geographical reports that show you were certain clicks, or downloads, are coming from. These reports can help determine marketing data and audience data.
Method 2: Using Dropbox Plugin
Dropbox doesn’t provide a download link count feature by default. however, the service does give developers the ability to create plugins to handle missing features via the Dropbox API function.
One plugin that can help track Dropbox downloads is Orange Dox.
We will be using this plugin as an example.
After you connect the plugin, OrangeDox will retrieve a list of your files from Dropbox.
Then, select the file you intend to share, create a public URL, and add a name for it.
You can find the new file URL by clicking on the chain icon next to the file name. Use this URL when sharing the file.
To see the click statistics of your file/folder, simply click on the link title. You can sort the statistic by time and see viewer info.
To protect your Dropbox files even further, make sure to study Dropbox link expiration guides.
Bonus tip: Protect WooCommerce Products Hosted on Dropbox
WooCommerce plays a key role in WordPress e-commerce sites due to its powerful features and flexibility.
However, users aren’t able to upload and store files over 2GB on the server. Downloadable content like training videos, courses, and videography lasting over 30 mins are over 2GB and can’t be kept on the server.
This drawback prevents digital product providers like educators and photographers from using WooCommerce to sell products.
Fortunately, this issue can be solved by integrating WooCommerce with Dropbox. You now can sell large product files without any limitations.
When integrating Dropbox, it’s important to protect your WooCommerce product files from being shared.
How to Protect WooCommerce Products Hosted on Dropbox
To protect Dropbox business products, we use the plugin Prevent Direct Access with the PDA Dropbox integration.
Step 1: Configure Plugin’s Settings Page
After installing and activating the PDA plugin, head to the Prevent Direct Access Gold section on your WordPress admin menu and choose the Dropbox option.
Fill in your Dropbox app key and access token information. This information will connect your Dropbox account with your WooCommerce store and with the PDA plugin.
Step 2: Add Dropbox Files to WooCommerce
Go to your WooCommerce products and create a new product page or edit an existing one.
Scroll down to the bottom of the product page where you will see the Product data section. In the General tab, select which files you want to sell from Dropbox via the “Choose from Dropbox” button.
Step 3: Create a “Shared Private Link”
Through the Prevent Direct Access plugin, you can create individual links for different users or user types. These links can expire after a certain amount of downloads, or after a certain amount of time has passed.
This can be achieved on the PDA dashboard. For more information, check out our Shared Private Link Guide.
Don’t forget to click Publish or Update to save the product page.
Dropbox Click Tracking Made Simple
With the support of Bitly and Goo.gl URL services and Orange Dox, you can click statistics on your Dropbox files without any hassle. These tools provide you with an insight report on how many times users click on your files as well as where the clicks come from.
You can also protect your WooCommerce products hosted on Dropbox using the “Prevent Direct Access” plugin.
For more information on protecting your files and WordPress site, check out our blog.
Have more questions or tips about file protection on WordPress? Leave us a comment!