WordPress Download Manager is known as one of the best download managers available for WordPress. I tested the free version of the plugin yesterday. It’s very limited compared to the full version of the plugin though I’m sure it’s more than capable for most WordPress users.
The free version only has a few basic settings. You can set the minimum user access level to authors, editors or administrators. The download icon can also be changed in this area.
Adding a new package (file) is very straight forward. The plugin uses custom post types so the title and description of the file are entered using the normal WordPress editor. This allows you to add images to the description area and make it more presentable using tables or CSS.
The file can be uploaded directly from your computer or from a URL and you can categorise files too. If you want to change the link text ‘Download’ to something else like ‘Download Now For Free’ or ‘Click Here’ you can do so by modifying the link label. Files can be password protected if you wish and you can make limit the number of times a file can be downloaded.
You can also publish a download counter with your files and files can be restricted to members if you wish.
Once you have added a package you will be taken to the manage files page. This lists all of the files that you have uploaded and displays the password, access level required, counter status and number of downloads at the right hand side.
An embed code is displayed for each file. All you need to do is copy this code and paste it into one of your post or pages. Once you do this, the download link will be added to the post.
When you click on the download link a pop up box will appear. This box shows the name and description of the file. A password field will also be displayed if the file is protected.
I was very impressed with how easy WordPress Download Manager was to use. There are two versions of the plugin. The version that I downloaded for this review was Download Manager Free. It is a great solution for those who want to offer downloads to their visitors but if you are looking for more features you should consider the pro version of the script.
Retailing at $30, the pro version comes with a lot of additional features such as an upload progress bar, multiple files in a single pack, password protection, bandwidth control, improved download counter and tracker and much more. It’s a bargain when you consider the functionality that it offers.
There are additional add ons available for the plugin too such as the premium package ($15) add on that adds shopping cart functionality so that you can sell files directly through your site. An advanced user access add on is also available for only $5 and there is a WPDM directory add on that places all categories and downloads in a single page (this also costs $5).
I recommend checking WordPress Download Manager out if you are looking for an easy to use download manager for WordPress. The free version is perfect for basic download setups however the feature rich premium version won’t break the bank.