So you have a WordPress website and want to start selling digital products on it but don’t know where to start?
In 2021, there are so many platforms you can use to sell digital products (like knitting patterns, video games, films, eBook) such as Shopify, Squarespace and many more. However, in our opinion, WordPress is the best CMS out there as its free, flexible and updated frequently. As WordPress doesn’t have any built in eCommerce functionality in it, you need to use an additional service for this – one of the most popular is WooCommerce, but what other options are there?
If you’re looking for solutions for selling digital downloads on WordPress the options can be a little overwhelming – here is our definitive top 10 list of plugins or platforms for selling digital products in 2021 on WordPress.
1. Bucket Blaze
Of course we couldn’t write this article without including Bucket Blaze! If you sell large digital products, host your files on Amazon S3 and use over 500GB of bandwidth each month, then Bucket Blaze is for you.
Compared to just hosting your files on Amazon S3, Bucket Blaze is 50% cheaper, up to 10x faster and provides detailed analytics on your file downloads. Because it simply generates unique download links after purchase via shortcode, it can be used with WordPress extension that allows shortcodes such as WooCommerce etc.
WooCommerce is by far the most popular eCommerce extension for WordPress and for good reason. Its free, flexible and comes with a huge range of functionality. In addition, its ideal for selling digital products, which some other solutions don’t focus on. Its an “extension” to WordPress meaning it has its own installation on your website and needs its own resources on your server.
The WooCommerce plugin comes with five installed payment gateways but there are plenty of additional free and paid extensions such as Amazon Payments, Stripe etc. I highly suggest using Stripe with WooCommerce as it gives you access to multiple payment additional methods within it such as Apple Pay, GiroPay, SOFORT, Alipay and more.
- Open source and free
- Ideal for digital downloads
- Scaleable and flexible
- Huge amount of 3rd party plugins for extended functionality
- Can require more server resources as your website becomes popular
- Takes a little time to learn
4. WP Easy Cart
WP Easy Cart is a very flexible system which offers solutions for all product types such as subscriptions, donations, video content but also digital downloads. Its built to be mobile ready and has a whole host of features that make it very easy to create a product and sell it on your website.
It can be used to created beautiful store fronts and its very simple to use for those of us who aren’t developers.
- Very feature rich
- Lots of features that cost extra on WooCommerce are included as standard
- Active community and actively developed
- $69-$99 per year
- If you only want to sell digital products, it has too many additional features
You do not need to know how to code before you can make use of Sellfy. It is unique because, unlike others, it is a plugin but not specifically for WordPress. It allows for easy purchase by customers. Once you write or paste a shortcode, it enables you to perform a peculiar function to your website. For instance, as a digital product manager or producer whose aim is to sell, you can add the code that allows users to click on products with either “Add to Cart” or “Buy Now.”
Sellfy allows for an Application Programming Interface (API) that allows the interaction between websites or software applications. Sellfy will enable you to perform other marketing activities such as marketing through mails, coupons, discount codes, etc.
- Smooth management of products
- No charges on transactions
- Simultaneous running with WordPress
- Easy to use without prior experience
- Provides products and sales analysis
- Security of digital products
- Limited payment gateways
- Versions of the apps must be paid for
3. WordPress Download Manager
WordPress Download Manager helps manage, track, and control files downloaded (products) from your WordPress website. It allows you to sell your digital product by fixing your price or allow for the free download of your product.
When purchasing a product with a price, the purchaser is directed to the cart and asked to checkout. Its checkout process is relatively easy and allows for a successful purchase and payment process.
- It gives you reasonable control over the download of your products
- Smooth navigation
- Easy payment platforms
- Allows for multiple digital storage pathways such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive
- Records the number of each product sold
- It gives your buyers the option to view products in a browser or download them
- Displaces files into the downloads folder
- Seldom inaccurate download numbers
4. Easy Digital Downloads
It is easy to use and free, thus making it a popular plugin. Almost anything is sellable using this plugin, from software to graphics to eBooks, etc. Payment channels such as Amazon payments, Stripe, Coinbase, PayPal, amongst others, are supported by Easy Digital Downloads. However, most of these gateways are used in the non-subscription version of the plugin.
Files that can be downloaded using easy digital downloads are unlimited. You can put up as many of your products as possible. Because there is no restriction on downloads, customers buy more and consequently increases your revenue.
It furnishes you with reports from activities such as purchases, income, etc., you are informed about the statistics of your products and details of the customers. It also has a page where customers can check the history of their purchases.
- Seamless upload of digital products to your website
- It supports multiple payment gateways
- It allows additional extensions for future expansions
- It allows software licensing
- The interface is easy to use
- Redirection to other sites before downloading
- There are issues with caching
- Non-appearance of products on the checkout page
6. WP Express Checkout
If you’re looking for a super simple plugin that allows you to accept Paypal and then send a customer a download link for a digital download afterwards, this is for you.
This plugin provides you a shortcode to generate a customizable PayPal payment button that allows a customer to pay for an item instantly via a popup using the PayPal’s Express Checkout API/Gateway. The checkout process is quick and easy.
The full checkout takes place in a payment popup window and the customer never leaves your site.
This is ideal for selling a product or service via PayPal.
- Encryptions are used for links to download products
- Customization of orders
- It is open-sourced
- Settings allow coupons/discounts
- Supports shortcode
- The only payment channel allowed is PayPal
- It has no premium version
7. Ecwid eCommerce Shopping Cart
The unique feature of this plugin is that it also has a dedicated application package and a website. It allows you to upload your digital products, take and manage demands and monitor your stock. It allows for easy management of products from one dashboard. The orders – its inflow and outflow, prices can be monitored, which is beneficial to the product owner as it reduces the time used for manual analysis of sales and products.
It allows marketing and advertising tools such as Mailchimp, Google, Facebook, etc., for business growth. It will enable your customer to use almost any payment processor of their choice as it allows multiple payment options. Regarding shipping, you can help the buyers of your products choose the appropriate shipping method and the actual shipping cost based on their location or where they want it delivered.
- It allows easy synchronization of digital products
- It makes use of Stripe as its central payment processor and 50 others
- Payment is fast and secure
- It gives room for sale across various spectrums such as websites, social media, etc.
- Analytical functions through a single dashboard
- Faster implementation on its platform
- Erases URLs
- The ‘Store Dashboard’ button might not go to the actual URL
9. Paid Downloads Pro
If you avoid any complicated plugin, then you might want to opt for this plugin. The reason is that it is simple to install and use. After completion of payment, products are sent to the customers using encrypted links, which are temporary.
Payment gateways used by this plugin include PayPal, Authorize.Net, Moneybookers, Payza/AlertPay.
- Makes use of different languages
- Allows for the use of shortcodes
- Ability to handle large files and those not on the server
- Allows buyers the option of various payment methods
- There is a basic tool such as the Shopping Cart
- It does not allow the integration of cloud hosting
Although expensive to use, it is very functional for the sale of digital products. It is made for businesses that are based on subscriptions. It is operational on IOS, Android, and Windows-enabled devices. With its tools such as Customization of checkout pages and popup widgets, sales tend to go up and allow an increase in revenue.
It affords you the flexibility you need to manage your products. It does not charge platform fees and has a large Application Processing Software (API). Also, it allows third-party integrations.
- Allows for translation
- Allows follow-up of uncompleted orders
- Reports traffic and monitors uptime on your website
- Manages transactions and permissions
- Classification of customers
- Email integration and notification
- You must pay before usage
- It is expensive
- Manual integration of A/B testing support
- It does not allow payment using Apple pay or Cryptocurrency
So, we have extensively discussed the various plugins that you can use to sell your digital products in 2021. In order to scale your business, save cost and time and enjoy optimum profit margin, you should make use of plugins that afford you the flexibility needed and suits your business mode of operation and target.