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The Beginners Guide to Easy Digital Downloads: Basic Introduction

This post is part of a series called The Beginner's Guide to Easy Digital Downloads.
Easy Digital Downloads: Installation & General Settings, Part 1

Ever thought of setting up a website where you could exclusively sell your digital and downloadable products? This series covers a plugin that lets you do just that: Easy Digital Downloads (abbreviated as EDD). 

This plugin is built on top of WordPress, which allows you to set up a "digital store" to sell items like eBooks, themes, tutorials and so on. It is lightweight and easy to install, and you can instantly start selling your products by listing them in order. Today I am going to make sure you know what Easy Digital Downloads is all about.

Easy Digital Downloads

Nowadays Easy Digital Downloads, commonly known as EDD, is considered to be the most effective WordPress plugin to set up an easy-to-use website for selling digital products. EDD can go a long way to helping you manage your digital products.

This plugin was developed by Pippin Williamson and a long list of other contributors. Like other WordPress plugins, EDD is free and open-source. It was introduced in April 2012 and is considered to be a revolutionary addition in WordPress's eCommerce space. 

At the time of writing this article, Easy Digital Downloads has a user base of 522,509 downloads, which clearly justifies the popularity of this plugin. EDD keeps track of the license keys and the copies of the customer's products which are purchased by them. The versatility of this plugin can be explained from the fact that you can also provide activation, license key generation and a checking system to your customers. 

Not only this but the team at Easy Digital Downloads provides you with dedicated support and subscription facilities, which keeps you well informed about all the updates. EDD maintains a large set of different languages for your use, like English, German, French, Spanish, Arabic, Turkish, Russian, etc.

Why Was EDD Developed?

The main reason why EDD was developed was the need for a framework which could help focus and sell only digital products. There are many people like teachers, vloggers, singers, developers, etc. who make downloadable products but do not have the expertise to code their own website to sell them.

EDD has a user-friendly interface and super-simple operations, which helps you do just what you want, i.e. sell digital stuff. EDD is easy to install and manage. Even if you are not a code nerd you can make any kind of changes to configure it the way you want, again without any hassle. You can even export data out of EDD. There is no limit on the size of data you export which is stored in Excel or Google Docs.

Features

Let's talk a little about the important features of Easy Digital Downloads.

Impressive Cart System

A versatile cart system is pretty much the best thing about EDD. It helps your customer to purchase multiple digital products just in a few clicks. The shopping cart system provides you with a complete track of the orders placed so far. It comes powered with AJAX so you don't even need to load a new page to add something to the cart. More on this later.

Payment Gateways 

EDD offers several payment gateways. Manual payments and PayPal are offered as the default gateways at the time of plugin installation. However, you can get several add-ons as well, like PayPal Pro, Stripe, PayPal Express, etc. There are whole bunch of them.

Simple Yet Powerful

The functionality of EDD can be defined as "simple yet powerful" as it allows you to take several actions at one time. You can categorize your downloads and introduce various filters. There are no complications in the registration process, and license restrictions are very simple to understand.

Records & Reports

With EDD installed, your store's performance is less of a worry than it used to be. You can enjoy all the information being stacked at one point. Details like payment history, user purchase history, sales, etc. are all displayed with the help of beautiful graphs, statistics and charts. You can even generate customizable purchase receipts and export your data locally in the CSV or PDF format.

Discounts

The discount feature in this plugin is amazing. It helps you to convert your leads into sales at a good pace. This way you can encourage your customers to look forward to new products.

Secure

EDD is highly secure and your customers' personal information is under strict check. Pippin does a great job of keeping EDD up to date, which ensures a strong reputation and credibility. 

Applications of EDD

EDD is applicable to many things. You can sell items like:

  • eBooks
  • online support
  • songs and music albums 
  • training materials and tutorials
  • software and updated versions
  • themes and designs for different software
  • templates and fully managed presentations

Conclusion

To wrap up this entire discussion, I think Easy Digital Downloads has many interesting and intuitive features which can help you to set up your digital downloads store in no time. This plugin is equally beneficial for customers, who can freely download any digital or virtual product. In the upcoming articles of this series I will start explaining the configuration of its settings in detail. 

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