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How to Offer Free Downloads in WooCommerce for Visitors

Offering free downloads on your website is a great way to build an audience and attract customers. Free files can be related to a purchase or a promotion. If you have an online store, you can offer a free download with WooCommerce quickly and easily.

WooCommerce downloads can oftentimes get lost in the mix of a bigger online store with many products. This is especially true if the site sells physical goods, as downloads are not as important. That being said, offering different free downloads can really attract customers and make them remember to come back.

What is a WooCommerce Download?

WooCommerce is the most popular way to sell physical and digital goods online. It gives you all the tools necessary to be up and running in just a few minutes. A WooCommerce download is an item that you have either bought or had sent to you for free. 

Downloads are usually files like PDFs and digital files that you can only get if you have a link to save it on your machine. Many WooCommerce stores offer free downloads in WordPress because of the aforementioned way that it attracts customers and helps boost sales.

If you have a setup like this and you have been wondering how to offer access to free downloads in WooCommerce, then you are on the right page.

Today, I am going to show you how to use a smooth plugin that will allow you to easily offer WooCommerce downloads for free through your site.

Let’s take a look at the plugin we are going to use today and see all that it has to offer.

Free Downloads WooCommerce

Free Download in WooCommerce plugin

Free Downloads WooCommerce is the best way to offer easy digital and file downloads for free from your WooCommerce store. The reason that this plugin surpasses other methods of free downloads is that it allows your website users and customers to bypass the checkout portion of the transaction and simply download the free file in question.

There is quite a bit to love about Free Downloads WooCommerce. For starters, the plugin works with both single and multiple files. It is also very customizable and, perhaps most importantly, works in conjunction with WooCommerce Memberships when needed.

The plugin has great security standards, is flexible and full of features, and won’t slow your website down when it is used. It was designed to allow store owners to more easily distribute content to customers in a way that would keep them coming back for more.

If you have a downloadable file, then you can offer it for free through this plugin. Everything is handled by your own server, not an independent server that the plugin runs from. That means you know it is safe and secure because you are in more control.

Some of the features to look forward to when you activate this plugin include:

  • Digital products are downloadable without the checkout process
  • Download products right from shop listing pages
  • Quick View feature included
  • Highly customizable
  • Single and multiple file support
  • Download buttons and links to match site style
  • PDF support
  • Support for WooCommerce Memberships and Subscriptions

All-in-all, you will be hard-pressed to find a better way to offer free WooCommerce downloads than this.

Let’s get the plugin installed and running together so that you can start offering downloads to your customer base.

Note: There is a pro version of this plugin that offers even more functionality. Feel free to take a look at it if you think it is something you need. The rest of the tutorial below is based on the free version of the Free Downloads WooCommerce plugin.

I’m also assuming that you already have WooCommerce installed and set up on your site.

Set Up Free Downloads For Customers

Step 1: Install and Activate the Plugin 

Before you can offer a free download in WooCommerce, you first need to install and activate the plugin. You can do this by heading over to the Plugins page in the WordPress admin dashboard.

Install and activate the free download woocommerce
 plugin

When you get there, you will see that there is an available search field. Use that field to search the plugin by name. When you see the correct plugin, then go ahead and install and activate it right from there.

Step 2: Go To the Settings Page

Now that the plugin has been activated, you want to head over to the settings page so that you can configure all the settings appropriately.

To do this, click on WooCommerce > Free Downloads, located on the left menu area of the dashboard. 

Click woocommerce then click free download

You can see that “Free Downloads” is now available because you activated the plugin.

Step 3: Explore the Home Page

At this point, you have made it to the main homepage and settings page for the Free Downloads WooCommerce plugin. You will see that there is some information on the main homepage, as well as some other tabs. They include:

  • Home
  • Settings
  • Support
  • More
  • Pro Edition

Home page tab

We aren’t going to go over the other tabs, as they are just extra stuff you can look into later. However, let’s go over the settings together so you can see how it is laid out.

Step 4: Configure the Plugin Settings

Click on the “Settings” tab and bring up all the options and features that the plugin has. You can see that the main settings tab has six sub-links that you will want to go through and configure appropriately. These include:

  • General
  • Single Files
  • Multiple Files
  • Owned Products
  • Quick View
  • PDF Settings

General

These are all the main and general settings for the plugin. Go through and configure everything according to what you want for your particular WooCommerce download setup.

General settings tab for free download woocommerce


Single Files

Configure the entire setup for all of your single file downloads here.

Single file tab

Multiple Files

Do the same with the multiple files sub-link as you did with the single files link. Configure your setup if you are offering multiple files for free download.

Multiple files tab

Owned Products

This is actually the area you would set up everything for when someone already owns a file they paid for. If you are using this option as well, then go ahead and configure all the settings in this area.

Owned products tab

Quick View

The Quick View feature allows customers to take a quick look at the download without having to actually go to another page. If you want to offer this, go ahead and configure this section.

Quick View for free download woocommerce


PDF Settings

As mentioned above in the plugin details section, Fee Downloads WooCommerce does offer PDF support. Use these setting options to configure all the PDF options that you feel are necessary.

PDF setitngs tab

Make sure you click on the “Save Changes” button to save all the configurations you made. 

Step 5: Add Downloadable Files to Products

Last but not least, go ahead and add downloads to your already existing products, or as a new product on its own.

Click on Products > Add New, to open a new product editor in WooCommerce

Click on products then click on add new

Scroll down to the “Product Data” box on the page and make sure the “Downloadable” checkbox is checked. If so, you will see fields to add your downloadable products.

Product Data box for free download woocommerce


Add them there, publish the post, and you are all set. That’s it! You can repeat the process above as many times as you want and add a free download in WooCommerce wherever you would like on your site.

How Do The Downloads Work?

Now that all the settings are fixed how you want them, it is time to add a downloadable file. There are three important things to remember here.

  1. The plugin actually works out of the box, but we went through the settings anyway.
  2. You can add a downloadable product as new goods. Users will simply see a “Download” button instead of an “Add to Cart” button on the page.
  3. If you add downloads to already existing products, the same will hold true, users will see download button links within the product page.

All of the above allows users to bypass the checkout process when getting their free files, which is the entire point.

Final Thoughts 

Adding free downloads in WooCommerce will help drive sales and keep your site users interested. This is a great way to market your products and connect with an audience.

I hope this tutorial was able to show you how easy it is to set up and offer a free download in WooCommerce. If you have the right plugin and the right steps, then configuration is not too difficult at all.

Have you ever tried offering free downloads in a more manual way on your eCommerce site? Do you feel that using a plugin makes it easier?

Author: Jeremy Holcombe

Growing up in Hawaii, Jeremy started his freelance writing career doing resumes, business plans, article writing, and everything in between. He now specializes in online marketing and content writing and is part of the Content Marketing Team at GreenGeeks.

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