How to Setup Digital Download Products with WooCommerce
Selling digital products through your WordPress site is one of the best ways to make money online. As you probably already know, there are many advantages that digital products have over physical products. A couple huge advantages are that you don't have to deal with the headaches of shipping and inventory management (not to mention the costs associated with both). The bottom line is that selling digital products almost always results in higher profit margins and lower stress levels.
The purpose of this tutorial however, is not to persuade you into believing that digital products are better than physical products because you already know that. The purpose is to inform you that WooCommerce has made it easier than it's ever been to sell digital products through your WordPress site. More specifically, the purpose of this UploadWP.com tutorial is to show you how to setup digital downloadable products with WooCommerce and WordPress so let's get started.
Steps for Setting up a WordPress Site that Sells Downloadable Products with WooCommerce
Step 1: Install the WooCommerce Plugin and Configure the Settings for Digital Download Products
The first step in the process of setting up your downloadable products eCommerce site is to install the WooCommerce plugin and configure the settings. Our “WooCommerce Tutorial Part 1 – Building an eCommerce Site with WordPress” will show you exactly how to install and activate the plugin. After the plugin has been activated and the WooCommerce pages have been created you can configure the settings.
To configure the WooCommerce plugin settings for digital products do the following…
In your WordPress admin go to WooCommerce > Settings > watch the “Configure WooCommerce Settings for Digital Products” tutorial video below
If your site only sells digital download products then the main updates you need to make to the WooCommerce settings are as follows…
- General settings tab – You'll likely want to limit the purchasable quantity of downloadable items to 1.
- Inventory settings tab – Disable stock management.
- Shipping settings tab – Disable shipping
- Payment Gateways settings tab – Disable the “Direct Bank Transfer” and “Cheque Payment” options. Enable PayPal and enter your PayPal email address.
- Emails settings tab – Configure your order notification settings and customize WooCommerce emails template.
Step 2: Create your Product Categories
It's always a good idea to setup product categories before adding products. Therefore, the second step in the process of setting up your digital downloads site is to create your WooCommerce product categories.
Step 3: Add your Digital Download Products
The method for adding digital products to your WooCommerce powered WordPress site is very similar to adding physical products. You'll go through almost the exact same steps. The “Product Data” section is where we'll define the product as being virtual and downloadable.
When adding any type of product with WooCommerce, make sure to complete the following fields…
- Long description
- Short description
- Select the product category
- Set a featured image
- Insert additional thumbnail images (if necessary)
As previously mentioned, the difference in setting up digital products is in the Product Data section. So to make the digital product downloadable scroll down to the Product Data section and do the following…
Product Data > select “Simple Product” from the drop-down > check the “Virtual” and “Downloadable” check-boxes > give it a Regular Price > File Path click Upload a File > copy the Link URL > Save Changes > in the “File Path” field paste the URL to the product that you just uploaded
You'll have the ability to limit the number of times a digital product can be downloaded. Also, you can set an expiration date for the download link. The link to download the product will stop working when it expires.
Important Note: Another cool thing to take advantage of when adding products are the WooThemes and WooCommerce short codes. I recommend using the “Social Buttons” short code every time you add a new product. The WooThemes Social Buttons short code makes it easy to insert Twitter, Google +1, Like on Facebook, Pinterest Pin It Button and more so make sure to utilize it.
Step 4: Eliminate the Sidebar on the Cart and Checkout Pages
You'll most likely want to eliminate the sidebar on your Cart and Checkout pages. To get rid of the sidebar on any of your WooCommerce pages simply make them full width. Here's how to make a page full width…
In the WordPress admin go to Pages > All Pages > click Edit > in the Page Attributes widget on the right-hand-side of your screen you'll see a Template drop-down > select “Full Width” > Update the page and the side-bar will go away for that page
Step 5: Test to make sure your Digital Products Download Properly
Here's how the process of placing an order for a digital product should work… When a customer competes their payment via PayPal, they will be directed to an “Order Received” page where they can download the digital product. In addition, they'll receive an order confirmation email that contains a link to download the digital product they purchased.
So the final and probably most important step in this process to to Test it out. Go through the process of placing an order on the site. Think from your customers' perspective as you go through the Cart, Checkout, PayPal and Order Received pages. If you can find ways to make improvements then go ahead and make them. The main thing is to make sure that the links to download your products work.
Keep in mind that you have the ability to customize the automatic emails that WooCommerce sends after people purchase your digital products. It is definitely a good idea to insert your site logo in the WooCommerce emails header. Also, change the base color of the emails to match your site's main color scheme.
To customize your WooCommerce order emails go to…
WooCommerce > Settings > click on the Emails tab
You'll be able to manage all of your orders in the WordPress admin. To manage orders go to…
WooCommerce > Orders
Information on the demo site used in this tutorial…
Demo site: DigitalDownloadsDemo.com
WordPress theme used on demo site: Mystile theme
Hopefully this tutorial helps point you in the right direction. If you have any additional questions related to setting up digital download products with WooCommerce please feel free to ask by posting a Comment below.
Please use the new Upload WP Community Forums to post questions and comments on configuring digital download products in WooCommerce. Thanks