1. Home
  2. Knowledge Base
  3. Getting Started
  4. How to Add Your First Download

How to Add Your First Download

Are you ready to use Download Monitor to add your first download? You will have a live download in no time if you follow the step-by-step instructions in this guide.

Before getting started, make sure you’ve installed and activated Download Monitor on your site.

Adding a new download

To begin, you’ll need to be logged into your WordPress admin area. Once there, you will see a Downloads section in your Dashboard.

Once you click the Downloads section, you will see an Add new button. Click it to begin adding your first file.

Adding a new download

You will see that creating a download has a similar interface to posting posts and pages. Give your download a name and some content (if necessary).

In the Downloadable FIles/Versions section, you can begin uploading your files beneath the content area.

Adding a new file

The files can be uploaded from your computer or by adding them in the cloud and linking them (using Amazon S3 and Google Drive extensions – both Download Monitor PRO extensions)

Browse Google Drive files

Customize your download

The page where you add your download has many options depending on what extensions you have installed.


You’ll see an Add Form button just under the download title if you look closely. You can use this to force people to fill out a form before they can download the file. This makes data collection more manageable and helps your company better understand its customers. Both Gravity Forms and Ninja Forms extensions come with the PRO plan.

Add a form


You will notice another feature being the Version section. This is especially handy if you own a business that sells products and offers free user manuals to your customers.

Whether you frequently change manual versions and want to let users know what version they have and if they need an update, you can make use of this feature.

Adding file versions

Download rules

With the Advanced Access Manager add-on (available in PRO version), you can also create a set of download rules. 

ℹ️ Get started with Download Monitor and Advanced Access Manager add-on!

You can limit your download to certain users by clicking the Add Rule button in the Advanced Access Rules section.

You can even block a certain IP address. You can also set a daily download limit or a certain number of downloads for the download URL.

Download rules

Downloading options

When you add a file to be downloaded, you’ll see a section called Download Options on the right side of the page with a variety of check boxes.

It’s worth noting that not every tick box under Download Options is from an extension. The plugin’s settings available in the free version are Feature Download, Members Only, and Redirect to File.

Download options section

You can use the Email Lock extension (PRO feature) and check the box to require users to input their email addresses before downloading. With this in mind, you can add the email address to the database and use it to send newsletters to them later.

Email lock option

You’ll also see a tick box labeled Members Only if you look closely. It will make visitors to your website sign up in order to get the downloadable content.

Members only option

Download tags and categories

A section called Download Tags and Download Categories can also be found on the right side of the page. This allows you to sort your files into multiple categories.

If you set the “instruction manual” tag, for example, and your user clicks on it, they will view all files that have that tag. The categories can be of products, file types (images, videos, audios, etc) or even file extensions (PDF, JPG, PNG, etc).

Download tags and categories

Save your changes

Once you are happy with all the settings and options, you can scroll up and hit the Publish button on the right side.

Publish download

Displaying your first download

Displaying your downloads is easier than you might think. A clickable URL or a button are the two alternatives available to you.

You’ll see a section labeled Download Information on the right side of the screen. Your generated shortcode and URL will be there. You will need them soon.

Download information

Setting up a clickable URL

Copy the created shortcode after you’ve saved your work thus far. Search for the shortcode block or simply paste the code into the post or page where you want the link to appear.

Keep in mind that the download file’s title will appear as the text anchor (clickable URL) on the page. The file link can also be used to copy and share the file with others.

Display download using shortcode

Setting up a download button

This method is not more complicated either. From the Download Information section, copy the URL.

If you’re using the Gutenberg Editor, create a basic button by clicking the “+” and searching for that block on the page on which you want to display the button. You can enter a text like “Download here!” and attach the link to it.

Display download using buttons

If you prefer the WordPress Classic Editor, you have the option to look for a Shortcode block as well. Simply create a custom button of your choice and copy the shortcode after it was generated.

Custom buttons

When it comes to buttons, Download Monitor has a Buttons extension (in PRO version) that allows you to create templates, change, and stylize them in a variety of ways.

Go to Downloads > Buttons if you want to change the look of the buttons. Give the template a name in the text box and then click the Add template button.

You’ll be redirected to another page with customization options including background, border, font, text size, and shadow, as well as a right-side preview of your button.

Customize buttons

When you’re satisfied with the design, click the Save Button. After you save your template, a shortcode will appear next to the template name in the templates list. Copy the shortcode and paste it on the page you want. By pressing “+,” you can look for the shortcode block or paste the shortcode and save the page. Your newly created button will appear on the screen.

Redirected page

If the Downloading Page extension is enabled, you can choose a redirect page to appear when someone clicks on your file link or button.

For this feature to work, you first need to create a separate page that you will redirect your users to. 

Simply go to Downloads > Settings to set up a redirect page after the download. Select the Advanced tab from there. Under Pages Setup section there’s a Downloading Page option there as well as a drop-down choice next to it. You can choose the specific page where your users should be directed after their download.

Downloading page extension

Track your downloads

Once your files are up and running, click to Downloads > Reports to keep track of their progress. 

The number of downloads, reports, and even a graph are all available to help you visualize the data. This will assist you in furthering the growth of your company.

The tracking starts automatically as soon as the file is live. You don’t have to set up or do anything special to make it work.

Downloads tracking

And this is how you create, display and track your first downloadable content on your WordPress website. Download Monitor offers basic tools but if you want to make the most out of it, the PRO package comes equipped with everything you need to distribute digital files.

Was this article helpful?

Related Articles

Start Protecting your WordPress Downloads

Protect and track downloads on WordPress... What are you waiting for?