How to Handle Digital/Downloadable Products in WooCommerce

How to Handle Digital/Downloadable Products in WooCommerce

In this tutorial we’ll discuss what is Digital/Downloadable products and how to handle digital/downloadable products. We will also show you the settings that allow you to manage your downloadable products easily.

Setup and Configuration

To setup and configure digital/downloadable products go to: WooCommerce > Settings >Products > Downloadable Products which contains several downloadable product options. The most important option is the file download method like the below screenshot:

Downloadable products

Select a File Download Method from the drop down menu.

You have three options to choose:

Redirect only – When any user download a file, their link redirects to the file.

Force download – File downloads are forced, using PHP. Force Download can be used to ensure that files are protected from direct linking. However, if your files are large, or the server is under powered, you may experience timeouts during download. In this case, you need to either look at your server or use the redirect method to complete the download.

X-Accel-Redirect/X-Sendfile – By choosing this option downloads are handled by the server. This method requires the X-Accel-Redirect/X-Sendfile module to be installed and enabled on the server. Confirm with your web host company that one of these modules is installed before using this method for your store. There is also an .htaccess file that protects and secure the files.

You Must be logged in to download files. You must also disable the Guest checkout option.

Put a tick mark on Grant access to downloadable products after payment grants access to files when Processing if the order is complete. Now Save changes.

Creating downloadable products

Downloadable Simple Products

→ To start create a downloadable simple product, just go to WooCommerce > Products > Add Product.

→ Put a tick on the Downloadable checkbox. (Like the following screen shot)Creating a digital downloadable product

After ticking this box, extra options will appear: Downloadable Files, Download Limit, Download Expiry, Download Type.

Digital product file

WooCommerce supports multiple files per product!

Then Upload a file and click Insert to set up each downloadable file URL. Match the URL of the product to the URL of your store site. (For example if your site URL has www make sure that it is in your file URL also)

Note: In WooCommerce 2.0+ version enter one per line. In prior versions of WooCommerce, only one file was allowed per product. Multiple files required packaging in a ‘zip’ file.

→ Enter the Download Limit (which is optional). Once the user sets this limit, they can no longer download the file.

→ Enter the Download Expiry. If you set a number of days, download links expire after that period.

→ Select the Download Type from the drop down and


Downloadable Variations

Variable products are those products that has variation. These products can also have downloadable variations. When adding a variation tick the Downloadable checkbox (like the earlier option) and more options appear.

Procedures are same like simple products. Set the file path and optionally choose a download limit and expiry, and save.

Downloadable variations

Combining downloadable and virtual products

If you tick the Downloadable check boxes, products with have stock feature and the system will treat them as physical products. This will allow you to sell downloads and real products together.

If you want to add/sell a downloadable product which is not physical, also enable the Virtual option.

The Ordering Process

The order process for downloadable products is:

→User adds product to their cart.

→Users checks out and pays.

→After payment, several things can happen depending on your setup:

If items

– in the order are all downloadable + virtual, the order will complete.

– are physical and downloadable/virtual, the order will be processing until you change it.

If you put tick on “Grant access to downloadable products after payment” option, the user can –

  1. Grant download permission
  2. See download links
    → on the order received page
    → in their email notification
    → on their ‘My Account’ page if logged in
  3. Download files.

Managing orders with downloadable line items

→Go to WooCommerce > Orders and select the order you want to view or edit.

→The downloadable products meta box contains user permissions.

→By editing this option, you can modify a user permissions or revoke access to files.         You can also grant access to new downloads.

Download product permission

Download logs/reports

There are download logs/reports that can track the unique IDs that digital/ downloadable products have.

Related Article: Digital/Downloadable Products Handling

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