The Top 3 Easy Digital Downloads Alternatives

If you’re considering getting Easy Digital Downloads to sell digital products on a WordPress site or are looking for a few Easy Digital Downloads alternatives that may be a better fit, you’re in the right place.

But why should you even want to review its alternatives?

Easy Digital Downloads is generally known to be a great store builder for selling digital products. However, it doesn’t come without some serious challenges, some of which we will mention briefly below.

It gets complex really fast

Due to its complexity and large number of extensions (over 85), the plugin despite its name is not always easy to use, even for basic use cases. Getting the plugin’s extensions to work together and figuring out third-party extensions that actually work take a lot of “trial and error”, hence it’s time-consuming and nerve-wracking.

It offers minimal reporting

At this time, unless you have the Beta version of Easy Digital Downloads, you will lack reliable reporting, which is a must for any business. The plugin doesn’t tell you what your best-selling products are, or what is your average customer lifetime value. It’s also not possible to see your store’s growth trends. Even with its premium reporting extension (Advanced Reports), Easy Digital Downloads doesn’t provide good reporting on your eCommerce store or products’ performance. In most cases, you’ll need a third-party reporting extension like the one from Putler to make sense of your store data.

Costs can pile up fast

Another issue is that most of the add-ons available are paid and the total cost of the plugin can skyrocket really fast for users. If you compare the plugin’s subscription plans, you’ll instantly realize that the $199.50 plan (the Extended Pass) is the least you — or any serious digital product entrepreneur — would need. The entry-level plan is too limited to even consider. Also, note that the plan’s discounted pricing is only for the first year. You’ll possibly be renewing at $399.00/year, so you’re looking to spend about $600 in just two years! Even with this plan, you’ll find yourself getting at least 3 to 4 more extensions separately, each of which sells at $89/year. At which point, you might feel forced to go with the plugin’s highest $999/year plan. Especially if you’re just starting out, this can break the budget of your small online store.

Sloppy technical support

User reviews also suggest that the plugin makers don’t fix bugs as they should, the product is not improved according to what users need and its technical support isn’t reliable enough.

👉 Factoring all this, in this article we’ll look at the best three Easy Digital Downloads alternatives that may be a better option for you.



1. Download Monitor

easy digital downloads alternative

Powering free and paid digital product downloads for more than 100,000 WordPress websites, Download Monitor is a leading digital product store builder for WordPress. If you’re selling both digital and physical products, you can use with WooCommerce, to benefit from Download Monitor’s tracking capabilities. Download Monitor is an Easy Digital Downloads alternative created for the specific needs of creatives and small businesses that acknowledge the flexibility of having their own online store.

This plugin offers everything you need to set up an ecommerce platform on your WordPress site. From payment gateway integrations for online payments to robust reporting and seamless digital product delivery, everything’s available in the base plugin itself, although the features of the paid version can take your online store to the next level.

🆓 Main features in the free version: Sell or distribute unlimited file downloads for free, manage digital products, integrate with PayPal payment gateway, add multiple file versions, organize downloads with categories and tags, offer members-only access.

💰 Main features in the pro version: Host downloads externally on Amazon S3 and Google Drive, lock downloads with email, Twitter or forms (Ninja Forms/Gravity Forms), get email notifications when files are downloaded, create a document library, display a custom page while a download is in progress, impose restrictions based on user, role, IP, date limit, daily number of downloads, etc.

✔️ Best for: Both free and paid downloads

💳 Price

Free plan:

Most limited pro plan:

Priciest pro plan:

Yes

$69/year for a 5-sites license

$199/year for a 5-sites license*

*This plan is a complete bundle with all extensions included

👍 Plugin Pros:
  • Simple and intuitive user dashboard
  • Setting up downloads is as simple as adding a blog post
  • 100% Gutenberg compatible
  • Display file downloads with a shortcode or with a download link
  • The free plugin has enough features to cover many use cases
  • Ability to manage digital products
  • The extensions integrate seamlessly with the core plugin
  • Integrations and compatibility with many ecommerce third-party plugins (e.g. WooCommerce, Restrict Content Pro, Paid Memberships Pro)
  • The plugin’s “always-on” reporting starts working as soon as you publish a download, no extra setups are needed
  • Each download is tracked and reported in real-time via the plugin’s intuitive backend reporting section
  • The Complete pricing plan (only $199/year) offers access to all the extensions available, for a full-fledged online store
  • Stellar technical support
👎 Plugin Cons:
  • No other payment methods to sell digital items other than PayPal

2. File Manager

easy digital downloads

Unlike the other Easy Digital Downloads alternatives on this list, File Manager isn’t an online store builder to sell digital products. Instead, it’s a solution that lets you create an internal company-wide Google Drive-like system on your WordPress website. In other words, it’s more like a digital asset management solution that lets you build your digital document/file library with your documents/digital assets.

If If you already use Easy Digital Downloads to manage your company’s digital file delivery, then this is one of the best alternatives you can try.

🆓 Main features in the free version: Upload, edit, move, delete, download files and organize them in folders.

💰 Main features in the pro version: Receive email notifications for certain actions (including when files are downloaded), and restrict access to digital downloads based on user roles.

✔️ Best for: Managing WordPress files

💳 Price

Free plan:

Most limited pro plan:

Priciest pro plan:

Yes

$25/year for a 1-site license (the price does not include all addons*)

$99/year for a 10-sites license (the price does not include all addons*)

*You can buy its add-ons separately for $19 each

👍 Plugin Pros:
  • Intuitive and user-friendly interface
  • Administrators can easily upload and download folders and files, structure or restructure the folder/file hierarchy
  • Share or restrict access to your digital assets
  • Control over what types of files can be uploaded or downloaded
  • You don’t have to access your site’s FTP settings to do any of the above
👎 Plugin Cons:
  • NOT for selling digital downloads
  • The (only) pro plan doesn’t give access to all add-ons
  • The plugin had some security issues in the past
  • There are users complaining about the technical support

Note: One of the most notable and useful features of the File Manager plugin in regards to file downloads is the ability to create restrictions based on the users’ roles. You can achieve a similar setup if you use the previous plugin in this list, Download Monitor, with a WordPress plugin like Paid Memberships Pro. Paid Memberships Pro’s native integration with Download Monitor lets you easily make your downloads available only to your members. In fact, even with Download Monitor’s Access Control extension and a free membership plugin, you can set up a basic digital resource access management system for your online business.


3. WordPress Download Manager

easy digital downloads

WordPress Download Manager is a complete solution for digital asset management, that doubles up as a WordPress digital product store builder. It comes with a host of free and paid add-ons that unlock functionalities for both of its use cases. Features like a simple shopping cart system, coupon management, and easy checkouts help build a good digital product store, whereas functionalities like access control, licensing, and download stats support both digital product sales and digital asset management.

It is an Easy Digital Downloads alternative that also ships with a free theme (Attire). Still, you might have to work on customization to make your WordPress Download Manager interface(s) look like a part of your website/theme. Also, be ready to debug styling and compatibility issues.

🆓 Main features in the free version: Sell digital products or distribute downloads for free, protect digital items with password, restrict users’ access

💰 Main features in the pro version: Email lock, social locks, form locks, front-end file manager, coupon management, download statistics.

✔️ Best for: Managing and selling digital products online

💳 Price

Free plan:

Most limited pro plan:

Priciest pro plan:

Yes

$59/year for a 1-site license (the price does not include all addons*)

$299/year for up to 48-sites license (the price does not include all addons*)

*You can download some additional add-ons for free or buy separately for prices ranging from $22 to $149 each

👍 Plugin Pros:
  • Intuitive and user-friendly interface
  • Integrations with most of the popular payment systems (e.g. Razorpay, PayU, Stripe, PayPal)
  • Some basic add-ons for the plugin can be downloaded for free
  • Restrict access to your digital products
  • Free e-commerce theme and compatibility with third-party themes
👎 Plugin Cons:
  • No PRO plan gives access to all the plugin’s add-ons
  • The large number of native plugin extensions (87), plus several third-party extensions can be confusing for the user
  • Reports are only available only with the PRO plans, and for advanced reporting a separate add-on must be purchased

Note: This plugin offers a special WordPress eCommerce Pack that bundles its most popular digital product selling add-ons for building an ecommerce platform for digital products. In addition to the premium plugin, this bundle also includes add-ons for collecting user reviews, facilitating better integration with payment gateways, and adding a shopping cart functionality to a regular WordPress website. However, since it doesn’t offer all the addons from the maker, you might end up buying more separately. This pack sells for $149 for a single site installation.


Wrapping it up… 

Easy Digital Downloads is one of the leading WordPress plugins to sell digital products on your WordPress website, but it may not be suitable for everyone. If you want a simple and straightforward way to manage your digital files, as well as distribute or sell digital products, while having the possibility to scale your online store without breaking your budget, you might be searching for alternatives.

Still not sure what’s the best fit for you? Here are our brief recommendations:

🚀 Download Monitor is an all-in-one solution that fits quite a few use cases. With the core plugin, you can offer both freebies or paid digital downloads. It’s compatible with WooCommerce, so you can use the duo to sell both physical and digital products and benefit from powerful reporting tools right out of the box. The PRO version can transform your WordPress site into a digital asset access system.

Note: Check out Download Monitor’s ($159) Complete bundle that unlocks all of the extensions available and offers the best value. You don’t just get all the current extensions but also all the new ones that are developed and launched while you’re a subscriber. You’re also backed by a 14-day money-back guarantee.

🚀 File Manager is ideal if you want to create a document library with access restrictions on your WordPress site. You can’t sell downloads with File Manager, so if this is a feature you need from an Easy Digital Downloads alternative, choose another option from this list.

🚀 You can give Download Manager a try if your focus is to sell digital goods and your business needs integrations with most of the payment processors and other third-party platforms. The downside is that you’ll have to buy extensions separately, besides the PRO version of the plugin.

Get started with Download Monitor now and join 100,000+ digital product entrepreneurs just like you! Oh, and ping our support team if you need any help!

Raiber Cristian

Self-taught entrepreneur with a deep passion for learning, understanding human nature, and what drives businesses forward. CEO of WPChill. Our products are being used by over 750,000 users, every day. Connect with me on Twitter.

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