Easy Digital Downloads Review (2020)

Easy Digital Downloads Review

Easy Digital Downloads is a unique ecommerce plugin for the WordPress CMS and focuses completely on allowing users to add digital products to their website.

EDD as it is often referred to is a very popular plugin and is often mentioned as an alternative to WooCommerce but is it actually a good option and viable alternative? Read my full review below to find out!

Easy Digital Downloads Logo

Pricing
Features
Theme Selection & Customisation
Support
Performance
Ease of Use

Total out of 5

3.5

WordPress website required

EcommerceGold is reader supported, meaning that we may earn a commission (at no additional cost to you) from products or services purchased through links on our site. Learn More.

Easy Digital Downloads Pricing

The standard Easy Digital Downloads plugin is free to use and install but they do have lots of extensions that can be paid for individually but a more cost effective solution if you are going to be using multiple extensions would be to purchase one of their annual passes, you can see a summary of these below:

Easy Digital Downloads Logo

Personal Pass

$99

• Email Marketing Tools
• Ideal for Beginners
• Email Support
• Updates Included
• Single Site License

Easy Digital Downloads Logo

Extended Pass

$199

• Sell Subscriptions
• Includes Payment Gateways
• Email Support
• Updates Included
• Single Site License

Easy Digital Downloads Logo

Professional Pass

$299

• Premium Extensions
• Marketplace Functionality
• Email Support
• Updates Included
• Single Site License

They also have an All Access Pass that includes all of the extensions and can be used on unlimited sites, this cost $499 annually.

As with all WordPress sites, this will be on top of your monthly hosting.

Easy Digital Downloads Features

The standard Easy Digital Downloads plugin is pretty light on features as it is designed to provide you with a basic shopping cart for digital products, which can then be customised with additional extensions.

With the basic Easy Digital Downloads plugin, you do get the following features includes:

  • Customisable action button
  • Registered or guest user checkout
  • Customer record management
  • Discount codes either fixed amount or percentage based

The one feature that I do feel is missing from Easy Digital Downloads is integration with the Gutenberg editor, this can be done with the installation of a third-party plugin but the actual EDD plugin doesn’t provide any blocks.

I think they have missed out on an opportunity here as being able to add your digital products to a post or page would open up so many more options.

Easy Digital Downloads Theme Selection & Customisation

When it comes the theme selection, Easy Digital Downloads doesn’t come with the biggest offering, especially when it comes to free themes. A search for Easy Digital Downloads within the the free WordPress theme library returns a result of only 22. There is an additional free one available direct from the Easy Digital Downloads website.

The amount of available themes does increase a lot when you start looking at premium themes, EDD recommend 48 paid themes on their main website and a search on Themeforest returns a result of just over 440 themes.

Customisation

As with all WordPress themes, the amount of customisation options does come down to the theme developer and some will have lots of options, with others having not so many.

But as I mentioned above, the lack of integration with the Gutenberg editor is a bit of a let down, especially as it is now the standard page builder.

Easy Digital Downloads Payment Gateways

In the standard plugin, payment gateway options are quite limited as you only have PayPal standard and Amazon. If you want to use additional payment gateways, then you are going to have to buy an extension for it.

In the official extensions, there is only a small amount of payment gateways to choose from including PayPal Pro & Express, Stripe and Authorize.net and these will cost $89 a year.

There are lots of payment gateway plugin made by third-party developers but most of these are paid options as well.

Easy Digital Downloads Support

All users of the EDD plugin get access to email support from the EDD team, which is more than you get with most free plugins. I am surprised that you don’t get some additional support options with their access passes though.

Easy Digital Downloads Performance

Doing any kind of in-depth performance testing of a WordPress plugin is quite difficult as there are so many variables that can play a factor, including quality of hosting, theme choice and website optimisation.

However, I still tried to do some kind of testing, so I installed EDD on my demo site (which isn’t optimised) and ran it through Pingdom’s Speed Tool and got a load time of 0.94 seconds.

Obviously, once you start adding products, new themes and plugins, this will effect load times, so the quality of your web host and optimisation become much more important.

How Easy is Easy Digital Downloads to Use?

Ease of use is very important when it comes to any kind of platform or plugin in this instance and to test this out, I have looked at four different areas:

  1. Getting Started
  2. Navigating the Dashboard
  3. Adding and Managing Products
  4. Managing Orders

Getting Started

Getting started with EDD is the same as any other WordPress plugin, simply search Easy Digital Downloads in the WordPress plugin library and the install and activate.

Now unlike other plugins, EDD doesn’t have any kind of set up guide. So you have to going in to the settings yourself and start getting it configured. A simple set up guide, would have been a nice addition.

Navigating the Dashboard

Navigating your way around the EDD plugin is pretty simple, once installed it will add a new heading to the main WordPress sidebar called Downloads.

There isn’t a main summary dashboard for EDD, like there is with some other plugins, instead all the information about your downloads, payment history, customers and reports have their own separate sections. While this isn’t bad, having snippets of information in a summary screen can be helpful.

Adding and Managing Products

Being able to effectively create and manage your inventory is very important and it doesn’t matter whether it is physical or digital products.

Creating a new download in EDD is very simple to do and the single page layout is based off the classic WordPress post/page editor. Within the add new download page, you can add a description, set the price and also set a if you want there to be a limit on the amount of times that the file can be downloaded.

With EDD, you can also create a hierarchy for you products by using the WordPress category system and this allows you to create both parent and child categories.

Managing your stock isn’t such an issue with digital products as unlike their physical counterparts, you rarely will sell out or have to restock them. But you may need to update your prices and to do this quickly and effectively, you can use the quick edit option to quickly update the price and also the product title and/or URL if you want to.

Managing Orders

In general, managing orders is much easier to do with digital products, this is because you don’t need to print order invoices or packing slips in order to be able to ship the product as they are automatically delivered once the order has been placed.

There are still some order management options within EDD, with the main ones being the ability to edit order statuses from the main order overview page, either in bulk or individually.

Within the reports section of EDD, you can also export your order history, which is useful if you use third party accounting or management software.

Conclusion

Easy Digital Downloads Review

Paul @ EcommerceGold

Easy Digital Downloads Logo
Pricing
Features
Theme Selection & Customisation
Support
Performance
Ease of Use

Summary

As a specialist tool, Easy Digital Downloads is very good at what it does but the basic plugin is quite limited and when you start adding extensions & plugins, it can become quite expensive.

And while the selection of plugins & themes is good, it is significantly smaller than that of its main rival WooCommerce, which can do pretty much the same thing but isn’t limited to just digital products.

The Good:

• Free to install and use
• Good selection of extensions & plugins
• Easy to use admin area
• Nice choice of Premium themes
• Designed specifically for digital products

The Not so Good:

• Extensions are expensive
• Limited choice of free themes & plugins
• Lack of Gutenberg integration

If you are looking for a quick and easy way to sell digital products via WordPress, then Easy Digital Downloads is definitely worth considering. If you are looking for something a bit more complex, then make sure you know what features you need and see if you can do it with EDD and how much it is going to cost before committing to the plugin.

3.5

Easy Digital Downloads Alternatives