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Tutorials

How To Add URLs As Assets – Delivering URLs As Downloads

attach urls

Last updated on 25 September 2022

Downloadable Digital Assets has the ability for users to host their assets on their own servers, then add them as URLs in the app. This allows you (the store) to be in full control of your asset’s locations.

If you’re interested, we also have an API for URL Assets.

Which plan do I need for this feature?

You will need the Starter plan or above.

Your URL assets will not be counted towards your storage space. Only assets uploaded to our app will count towards storage space.

Bulk CSV import

Yes, it’s possible to do a bulk CSV import of URLs into our app. That means you don’t need to go and add each URL one by one.

Make a copy of this CSV template, update it and then send us the CSV so we can import it for you.

View our guide if you just want to attach uploaded assets to products using a CSV.

Instructions for the CSV

All assets are automatically linked to the products via the SKU. Please make sure the SKU is correct otherwise the asset will not connect to the product

  • SKU – This is your stock keeping unit. You can assign a unique code (SKU) to each product & variant on the Shopify products page
  • Asset name – the display name of your asset for you and your customer
  • Asset size – Make sure you enter the byte size after the number otherwise it will not work. For example, do this – 2GB
  • Asset URL – This needs to be the final download URL where your customer can download the file

The assets that you add in the blue columns will connect to the SKU that is on the same row in the orange column.

If you want multiple assets to attach to a single product/variant, just add the same SKU on another row and then add a new asset link beside it.

Adding URLs as Assets

How does it work?

This feature works by allowing you to attach URLs to our app from places such as Dropbox, Google Drive & more. So essentially you are selling your files that are hosted on your own cloud account.

The way this works is:

  1. You will add your external URL as an ‘Asset’ in the app. This ‘Asset’ will be attached to your products so when the product is ordered, the ‘Asset’ will be delivered.
  2. Once a customer purchases, they will be delivered their ‘Assets’ as download links via email (and other ways if you have enabled them) but essentially it’s the same downloads links with all methods.
  3. Our app will deliver custom URLs to the customer. These links will redirect to your chosen external URL.

The reason we do this is that, if you are using our special features such as URL expiry or limitations, these features work on the URL level. We want you to have control over your links, even if you’re using external links.

For example:

The customer receives an email and the download links will appear from our app domain (https://app.digital-downloads.com/…). You can control these links in our app by adding features such as expiry dates, block access and more.

If you set an expiry date for 3 days after purchase, then the links will stop working after 3 days. This means the download links will not redirect to your external URLs if they have expired.

It’s not possible to control access to a different domain such as Google because it’s obvious that we are not in control of them. So this is the best method to help protect your files when using external URLs.

For the best protection against file sharing, you should upload your files directly to our app so that the URLs delivered to your customers are fully protected and cannot be shared.

Video walkthrough

Step 1 – Create the asset

Go to our app > go to the ‘Assets’ page > click the button ‘Upload new assets’.

go to assets and upload

Step 2 – Add a link and the information

Click the button ‘Add a link’, then follow the steps by inputting:

  1. Name of the asset
  2. Size
  3. Download URL
add a link

Once you have created an asset using an external URL, it will show on the assets page with the term (Download Link) in a purple box, like this:

  • Download Link – an external URL added as an asset
  • File – an asset that has been uploaded directly to the app
url as asset