In this guide, I will show you the best method to sell digital products on WordPress without any limitations you find with the WordPress platform or plugins.
Unfortunately, WordPress doesn’t have great in-built tools for protecting your digital products. WooCommerce is quite outdated, complicated to use, and has a lot of limitations. Never mind the extra charges you get for adding features.
The below method is the best way to sell digital products on WordPress by utilising Shopify’s best eCommerce tools and the best digital download delivery app in the world.
What do I need?
- A WordPress website
- A Shopify $5/month plan (the eCommerce tool) – the system to take payments and deliver the digital products
How does this method work?
This will work by using WordPress as your frontend (visual side) of the website and then using Shopify for your backend eCommerce system.
Essentially allowing you to add products to your current website without needing to change your site completely to a new system.
Why we’re using Shopify integrated with WordPress
There is no eCommerce system built-in with WordPress, and all the ones that are available, such as WooCommerce, are very limited, clunky and nowhere near as good as Shopify.
Shopify is the leading platform for eCommerce for many reasons. It’s by far the best method to sell products online, even if you host them on a different platform, such as WordPress. To name a few reasons why we are using Shopify integrated into WordPress:
- Top-level support for digital products – much more branding customization
- No limitations when selling worldwide and digital products
- More file protection features for digital products
- Global tax rules
- International pricing and sales
- Secure, responsive, one-click checkout experience
- Unlimited products
- 100+ payment gateways accepted
- Easily integrate 1000’s of apps
- Shopify has a brilliant mobile app to track sales and analytics for orders. It dings every time you get an order 😉
If you want to learn more about how this works, read Shopify’s guide on using Shopify with WordPress.
Advantages of this method:
- Sell any file size within your plan storage amount
- Attach as many digital files as you want to your products
- Sell any file type you want
- Download links can last forever, or you can add your own custom limitations
- Includes email tracking (Scale plan)
- Upgrade options, no limits
- Many file protection features
- Use your own email to send downloads (Pro plan)
- Completely customizable email templates and branding
- Free plan available
How to sell digital products on WordPress
1. Sign up for Shopify
What you need to do is sign up for Shopify’s $5 plan. This allows you to use Shopify for your sales, but you won’t be able to create a storefront there. You will essentially be integrating it into your WordPress website.
Install the free apps you will need:
Next, you will need to install the below apps. You can do this by:
- Go to your Shopify dashboard
- Click “Apps” > “App and sales channel settings“
- Click the “Customize your store” button
- Search for the below apps, or simply click the links.
App 1 – Install the Buy Button app
Click the “Add app” button and follow the steps to accept.
App 2 – Install the DDA app
Click the “Add app” button and follow the steps to accept. When you get to the pricing page, choose a plan 7-day free trial, or scroll down and click the continue button to use the free plan.
2. Create your products in Shopify
- Go back to your Shopify dashboard and go to “Products“.
- Here, you will click the “Add your products” button. If you have already created a product, it will show a green “Add product” button.
- Now, enter your product details, including the name etc.
- Scroll down to the “Shipping” section and uncheck the “This is a physical product” box. This tells the system that it’s a digital product. This is very important.
Because it’s digital, it’s good to uncheck the “Track quantity” box too. Click “Save” once you are complete.
3. Upload your digital products & attach them
Now, to add digital products to those Shopify products that you created, all you need to do is:
- In your Shopify dashboard, click the “Apps” button that is on the left
- Click “DDA“. A new tab will open.
- Now, go to the “Assets” page
- Click the “Upload new asset” button and upload your digital products
Next, attach the file to the Shopify products
- Click on the digital file that you just uploaded (blue text)
- Enter the name of your Shopify product in the search box, select the relevant one and press the “Attach” button.
This will mean the digital file is now attached and armed. If someone purchases this product, a download email will be delivered.
4. Add the products to your WordPress site
Now, here is the fun bit! This is where you are going to add the Shopify products to your WordPress page. This one is more of a fun step for you to be creative.
- Go to Shopify and click “Apps” > “Buy Button“
- Now, click the “Create a Buy Button” green button
- Click “Product Buy Button” > select your product and continue.
- Now, customize your button to your style! You can be creative and use a few options.
You can change the colours, layout style, the cart, the button border, the text and much more.
Feel free to change the actions such as once the customer clicks the button, you can direct them to checkout instantly or just add the product to cart.
- Once you are done, click the “Next” button in the top-left of the window. If you make any style adjustments, you will need to copy and paste this code again into WordPress.
- You will be promoted to copy the code. Click the “Copy code” button.
Go to your WordPress site
Now you will want to add the code for the button on to your WordPress page.
- From your WordPress account, click on the page you want to edit.
- Place the HTML code to your page
- If you are in the WordPress Gutenberg Editor, click the
+icon > search “HTML“.
- If you are using a page builder like Elementor, you can search for the HTML block in the block section.
- If you are in the WordPress Gutenberg Editor, click the
- Paste the copied embed code for your Buy Button in the code box.
That’s exactly how you can add your Shopify products to WordPress and also allow digital products using the best protection features on the market for eCommerce.
Remember, you still need to finalise some other things, such as your payment gateways and business data in Shopify.
Set up your payment gateway in Shopify
I recommend using Shopify Payments & PayPal as your gateways. It gives users two options, and sometimes they feel more comfortable using PayPal.
You will also get the best rates this way too. Shopify Payments have the best transaction costs compared to other gateways.
- Go to Shopify
- Click “Settings” > “Payments“
- Here you can set up Shopify Payments, PayPal or any other gateway you choose.
Customize the “DDA” app
I recommend you go back to the DDA app and add some customisations to your digital product experience. You can do a lot of things! You can even prevent customers from sharing products with others.
Features & tutorials:
- PDF Stamping
- Email tracking
- Add URs as assets
- No limits on file size or type
- Set IP Address limitations
- Order bandwidth & download tracking
- Set pre-order release dates
- Update assets & notify customers
- Fraud protection
- Add download limitations
- Attach unlimited assets to products
- Use your own email to send downloads
- Email customisation templates
- Downloads show in customer accounts
- Connect your own Amazon S3
- Sell personalised digital products
Customize the download email template
The customer will receive a digital download email instantly. You can also show the download links on the checkout Thank You page if you have the Basic plan or higher. You are also able to customize the email templates to suit your brand; this is available on the Growth plan or higher.
Example of Thank You page
Here is an example of what the download links will look like after the customer has reached the Thank You page.
If you get stuck with anything, please feel free to contact us and ask anything you want! We can even provide custom plans if you are on a tight budget.
Digital products require different taxes depending on what countries you’re selling in. Please check with your local laws regarding digital goods tax. Europe is required to pay VAT in the country your customer’s billing address is in. Learn more about digital goods tax.