Easy Digital Downloads is one of the top WordPress e-commerce plugins. Designed specifically for selling digital products, it's perfect for selling downloadable documents, ebook, audio books and music. The free EDD plugin has a grid-based layout for displaying downloadable products.
Today, I'll introduce you to our Easy Digital Downloads table plugin - Posts Table Pro. It provides a flexible shortcode to list EDD products in a searchable, filterable table layout.
Keep reading to learn how an EDD table plugin can help you to sell more digital products in WP. I'll provide step-by-step setup instructions, with everything you need to create an Easy Digital Downloads product grid. There's even a video where you can follow exactly what I'm doing. Let's get started!
Why do I need an Easy Digital Downloads table plugin?
The Easy Digital Downloads grid layout includes information such as a large product image, product name, star rating, short description and link to the single download page. It's fine for many types of EDD stores, whereas others can make more sales by adding an Easy Digital Downloads table plugin.
Some WP sites are better off with the standard grid layout, while others benefit from a table view. Think about the best way to list the type of digital products that you sell.
Benefits of an EDD table layout
- Ideal for stores with lots of downloadsThe search box, column sorting and filters make it easier for customers to find the downloadable products they want.
- Create a one-page Easy Digital Downloads order form
- Supports embedded audio and video Customers are more likely to buy your downloads if they can view audio and video sample tracks. You can add embedded audio and video players directly in the Easy Digital Downloads product table.
- Add extra product data about your downloads The great thing about the Posts Table Pro table plugin is that it supports extra data such as custom fields and taxonomies. This lets you display extra product data in the Easy Digital Downloads table view. For example, you might create a custom taxonomy for 'Artist' and list it as a column in the table and/or as a filter dropdown. You could also store information in custom fields, such as an ebook's ISBN number or barcode. Again, this can be displayed as a column in the EDD table layout.
And there's more!
- More digital products per page A table-based Easy Digital Downloads product list can include far more products per page. This makes it easier for customers to make buying decisions at a glance. They don't have to scroll through multiple pages of products. The standard layout includes big images, with no option to change the image size. The EDD table view can show or hide the product image, and you can also choose the image size.
- Support for variable product prices As well as Add to Cart/Buy buttons, the Easy Digital Downloads product table automatically supports price variations in EDD. Customers can select a price option before adding to the cart.
What types of stores need an EDD table view?
Next, we'll look at some use cases. These will help you decide whether an Easy Digital Downloads table plugin is the best way to list your own products.
Digital music catalog
An Easy Digital Downloads shop with hundreds or thousands of products can benefit from a table plugin. Instead of listing the products from each category in a long grid layout, an EDD table makes it easier and quicker for customers to find music they like.
For example, they can type a keyword in the search box or click on any column header to sort and find an artist they like. They can use the filter dropdowns above the Easy Digital Downloads table to refine the list and view the specific music products they're interested in.
You can embed actual music players directly in the Easy Digital Downloads table view. Just add the WordPress audio shortcode to any field in the table and it will appear as an embedded audio player. Customers can listen to a sample music track or playlist to check they like it before buying. This is a fantastic way to increase your music sales.
Easy Digital Downloads product comparison tables
An EDD table view lets customers compare products side-by-side and make easy buying decisions. Customers can use the search box and filter dropdowns to instantly filter out the downloadable products they don't want. They're just left with the products they're interested in.
The extra data in the Easy Digital Downloads table columns makes it easy to compare products. For example, the EDD product comparison table might include columns for price, or extra product data such as genre. Customers can filter the table to find products that meet their criteria. They can then buy directly from the table, without having to visit the single product page.
Now you know why you need an Easy Digital Downloads product grid. Next, I'll give you a real-life case study so that you see it in action on a genuine website. After that, I'll show you how to set it up on your own site.
Case study - An Easy Digital Downloads table plugin for Fascinated Sound
How to create an Easy Digital Downloads product table
- First, get the Posts Table Pro plugin. It lets you create all sorts of tables in WordPress, but we'll be using it as our EDD product table plugin.
- Use the instructions in the confirmation email to install and activate the plugin. This includes adding your license key in Settings > Posts Table Pro.
- Look through the settings page and choose the ones that work best for your EDD store. DO NOT enable the lazy load option if you want to have Buy buttons in the table, as these only work when lazy load is inactive.
- Go to the page where you want to add an Easy Digital Downloads table. This can be any page in the 'Pages' section of the WordPress admin. Get started by adding the following shortcode:
[posts_table post_type="download" columns="image,title,excerpt,cf:edd_price:Price"]
This will create an Easy Digital Downloads product table with columns for image, title, excerpt and price. The default options will be used for extras such as the search box and product count (there are options to change/show/hide these). Your initial EDD table will look something like this:
Hopefully the shortcode options I've chosen will be relevant to most of you. Next, I'll tell you how to change which columns are listed in the table.
Available columns in the Easy Digital Downloads table view
The Easy Digital Downloads product table plugin comes with a big choice of column options. Edit the EDD product list shortcode dd any combination of the following columns, in any order:
Recommended EDD table columns
image- Displays the main digital product image in the table. You can also choose the image size.
title- The name or title of the EDD downloadable product.
content- Shows the main content of the downloadable product. You can show the full content or set how many characters will appear. If you're using a page builder or custom layout for the content then this column probably won't look good in the EDD table. (It looks terrible on our own site as the layouts aren't designed to be shown in a table!) If this applies to you, use the excerpt column instead.
excerpt- The excerpt for the download. This is a useful short description that summarises the product. I'd generally recommend showing this in the Easy Digital Downloads table instead of the full product content.
cf:edd_price- The main price for the product. If you've added variable prices for the product, then the default price will appear in the table's price column.
tax:download_category- The category or categories of the download. By default, clicking on a category will filter the EDD table by that category. You can disable these links, or set them to link to the download category page instead.
tax:download_tag- This works in the same way as the 'download category' column, but with tags instead. Another useful way to group and filter download products in the table.
The Easy Digital Downloads table can also list any custom field or taxonomy as a column. For example, you can create custom fields with a plugin such as Advanced Custom Fields (ACF) or Pods. This is ideal if you want to show Easy Digital Downloads custom fields or taxonomies on the front end of your website.
You can rename or remove any column heading by adding a colon after the column name, followed by the new wording.
For example, this table will include columns for image, download title, content, and price:
[posts_table post_type="download" columns="image,title:Download Title,content,cf:edd_price:Price"]. I have renamed the 'title' and 'edd_price' columns to make them more user-friendly.
Other possible EDD product table columns
cf:edd_product_notes- If you've added special notes or instructions to appear on the purchase receipt for the product, then they will appear in this column of the table. For example, you might want to mention delivery timescales or methods here. (E.g. "You will receive the download via email within 1 hour of purchase.")
author- The WordPress user who created the downloadable product. Not relevant for most Easy Digital Downloads tables, but I've included it just in case.
date- The Publish date of the downloadable product. Again, you probably don't need this but it's there if you do. Change the date by editing the Publish date in the 'Downloads' list within WordPress.
cf:edd_variable_prices- This lists the different prices for any downloads in the table with variable pricing. As you can see from the screenshot, this isn't formatted in a very user-friendly way. The data comes straight from Easy Digital Downloads and there are no options for configuring it. You're probably better off displaying the variation prices in a button column, or just showing the default price in the cf:edd_price column.
cf:_edd_download_sales- Total number of sales you've had of each download in the table.
cf:_edd_download_earnings- Total earnings. This isn't presented in an ideal format. For example, if a product has had $27,200.54 worth of sales then this will be displayed as '27200.540000'. There are no options to change this, other than custom coding - but you probably don't need this column anyway.
cf:edd_download_files- This column shows the link of the download file(s) in plain text. (If you want to add a clickable link then you'll need to add this manually as a custom field column instead.)
How to add a 'Buy' button to the Easy Digital Downloads table
You might notice that the list of EDD table columns doesn't include a 'Buy' or 'Download' button.
It is possible to add a Buy button to the Easy Digital Downloads product table. This doesn't happen automatically, but is pretty easy to set up yourself:
- Use a plugin such as Advanced Custom Fields (free) to add an extra field to the 'download' post type. Call it whatever you like - I called mine 'edd_button'.
- Now go to the Add/Edit Download screen for the download that you want to add a Buy button for. You'll see the field that you just created lower down the page.
- In the right hand column, you'll see a 'Purchase Shortcode' field where you can copy a shortcode for the Buy button. This will look something like:
[purchase_link id="8381" text="Add to Cart" style="button" color=""]
- Copy the EDD Purchase Shortcode into the custom field you just created and Save the download.
- Now, you need to add the new custom field as a column in your Easy Digital Downloads table. To do this, add cf: followed by the custom field name, e.g.
cf:edd_button. You also need to add
shortcodes="true"to display the button correctly in the table. For example, you might change your EDD table shortcode to:
[posts_table post_type="download" columns="image,title:Download Title,excerpt,cf:edd_price:Price,cf:edd_button" shortcodes="true"]
Warning: The EDD 'Buy' buttons do not work with the lazy load option in Posts Table Pro, so make sure you disable this on the plugin settings page. If you need to list a very large number of downloads and have to use lazy load, then you may need to remove the Buy column and allow people to purchase on the single download page instead.
Now view your Easy Digital Downloads product table. You'll see the extra column, complete with a button to add the download product to the cart. If you're using EDD product variations then the variable pricing options will appear before the Buy button. Nice!
Note: The wording and styling of the buttons in the Easy Digital Downloads table are inherited from EDD and your theme. They looked fantastic straight away in the themes we tested with, e.g. Storefront. If you want to change how they look then you'll need to add some custom CSS.
Selling the EDD All Access Pass
Easy Digital Downloads has an All Access extension which you can use to sell all your downloads for a fixed discounted price. There are a couple of ways to sell this from your Easy Digital Downloads product table. This lets customers choose whether to buy individual downloads, or whether to upgrade to the All Access Pass (which means more revenue for you)!
- You could manually add a link to the All Access Pass product page or a 'Buy' button for the All Access Pass underneath the main add to cart button for each product in the EDD table.
- Alternatively, you could add a right hand column to the page with your Easy Digital Downloads table. Use it to display a widget promoting the All Access Pass.
Personally, I would recommend option 2 because the All Access Pass applies equally to all your digital downloads, so you don't need to repeat it for each one individually.
Listing EDD downloads from a specific category
You an also set your Easy Digital Downloads table to show download products from 1 or more specific categories. To do this, add
term="download_category:<term slug or ID>" to the Posts Table Pro shortcode. The following example will create a table listing downloads from the 'music' category only:
[posts_table post_type="download" term="download_category:music" columns="image,title,excerpt,cf:edd_price:Price"]
Adding filters to your Easy Digital Downloads tables
By default, your customers can use the search box or sort any column, but there are no filters. It's easy to add filter dropdown lists above the table, so I'll tell you how to do this next.
The available filter dropdowns are: categories, tags, author, or any custom taxonomy. You can add as many filters as you like.
For example, I might use this EDD product list shortcode to add filters for categories, tags and a custom taxonomy called 'Artist'.
[posts_table post_type="download" columns="image,title,excerpt,cf:edd_price:Price" filters="tax:download_category,tax:download_tag,tax:artist"]
Here's an example of an Easy Digital Downloads table with category and tag filters:
Links in the Easy Digital Downloads table
By default, the EDD product image and name will link to the single download sales page. This is where customers can see full details of the downloadable products, such as the full description and reviews.
If you don't want to link to the product detail page, then you can disable links in the Easy Digital Downloads table layout. Just add links="none" to the table plugin shortcode, for example:
[posts_table post_type="download" columns="image,title,excerpt,cf:edd_price:Price" links="none"]
Giving away free downloads
So far, we've talked about how to sell downloadable products in a table layout.
However, some Easy Digital Downloads sites like to give away free downloads. You can do this by adding EDD's Free Downloads extension. This will work with the instructions in this tutorial.
Can I hide my EDD products or make them private?
Posts Table Pro lists your Easy Digital Downloads products in a table and doesn't affect their visibility. To discover an easy way to password protect EDD download categories or hide them from public view, check out our other tutorial:
Meet EU tax law
When you sell digital products online, it's important to make sure you meet European tax rules. This applies if you sell to customers in the EU - even if you're not based in the EU yourself.
You can easily do this with the Easy Digital Downloads EU VAT plugin. This is designed to help any EDD store to charge the correct VAT to each customer and provide all the evidence you need.
Where to get the plugin
As you can see, an Easy Digital Downloads table is an ideal way to list EDD products. It's really flexible and you can choose which columns of product data to include, add filters, and more.
To create your own EDD tables, get Posts Table Pro today. Follow the steps in this tutorial and start increasing your download sales.