The landscape in selling digital downloads online has changed a lot since the dawn of the open-source plugin Easy Digital Downloads (EDD). EDD is a free WordPress plugin and 30% of all top 10 million websites use WordPress (Source: WeTechs).
As WordPress is one of the most popular open-source content management systems and through its plugin store and developer community, it also offers a rich eco-system of website functionalities and solutions.
Basically, setting up your Easy Digital Download stores could be your smartest move if you are into eCommerce and have excellent digital goods ready to offer for download. Unlike WooCoommerce and Shopify that are better known in marketing physical products online, you don’t have to deal with inventory or shipping costs with EDD.
Other than these, you can also virtually sell all types of digital products via EDD (plugins, themes, templates, PDFs, eBooks, audio files, videos, eBooks, etc.) which are produced by your software engineers, web designers, or which third-parties produce with EDD.
Moreover, there are other ecommerce platforms that are also stealing the limelight in profiteering from digital ecommerce other than the EDD stores and one of these is as we know is the WooCommerce, the other popular eCommerce alternative for WordPress.
The Story of WooCommerce
We know that a lot of eCommerce store operators are more familiar with WooCommerce than Easy Digital Downloads. Introduced in 2011 without much competitors in the world of ecommerce open-source for physical products, by 2014, this popular eCommerce plugin already counted 4 million downloads (Source: codeinwp.com).
In 2015 when WooCommerce was acquired by Automattic, the number of stores that have downloaded its plugin began to grow extensively as more downloadable plugins became available. As WooCommerce is also a WordPress platform based, by 2015 already 30% of the world’s eCommerce websites were powered by WooCommerce (Source: codeinwp.com). Originally created to sell physical items, WooCommerce is now also used in marketing digital products as new plugin enhancing functions became easily available.
WooCommerce today is now one of the largest ecommerce platforms in the web that cater to large and even small online merchants. As of January 2019 it was reported that more than 61 million online sellers have already installed WooCommerce which makes up to 28% of all online stores in the world while EDD has a current installs of 2 million.
The Story of Easy Digital Downloads (EDD)
EDD launched its WordPress plugins more than 6 years ago or around the end of 2012 (Source: WordPress.org). The plugin was continuously improved as a generally licensed open-source WordPress plugin which attracted the interest of a community of developers eager to improve its functionalities that is similar to WooCommerce which have created an eco-system of plugins and developers.
Therefore, over time the EDD plugin became more reliable and was extensively tested increasing its reliability and workflow processes. Further, additional plugins were developed to enhance the functionalities of Easy Digital Downloads stores even more.
Compact but complete, EDD today can be considered as one of the best choices among vendors whenever selling digital products since this plugin was especially designed to do such.
WooCommerce vs. Easy Digital Downloads (EDD) – a Comparison
To know which of these two eCommerce platforms has the stronger features in terms of selling digital products, let’s compare what they got.
- Introduced in 2011.
- Available in 50 languages.
- Created originally for selling physical products, not digital products.
- Has more than 1000 WordPress plugins to enhance functionalities.
- Many themes to choose from.
- Large community of developers available.
- Offers a lot of payment options (Paypal, Stripe, Authorize.net, 2Checkout).
- Support smaller ecommerce stores that sell physical and digital products.
- Thousands of plugins to choose from but support teams tend to provide support only when updating plugins.
- Large established eCommerce platform which supports selling physical as well as digital products.
Easy Digital Downloads:
- Introduced in 2012.
- Available in 10 languages.
- Processes streamlined to smoothly sell digital goods online.
- We estimate that there exists more than 300 EDD plugins (Source: Research Plugins and Snippets Feb 2019 based on Easy Digital Downloads Website).
- Many WordPress Themes available.
- Generally equipped with payment methods in three ways: Amazon, Paypal, and manual.
- Very versatile in analyzing and tracking sales.
- Has built-in access area for customers for easy downloading of paid files.
- Has a quick tracking feature for the purchased downloads.
- Templates can be easily overwritten while allowing you to use its Software Licensing Add-Ons when updating plugins.
- Having the right Add-on, it can also sell physical products.
Which eCommerce Solution Should You Use when Selling Digital Downloads / Products?
If you want to sell physical goods then WooCommerce can offer the largest market possibilities to you. WooCommerce is owned and being backed down by Automattic that also manages WordPress and therefore it is continuously receiving supports and development and has the largest products for third-party extensions that can power up your ecommerce stores’ functionality.
On the one hand, EDD was primarily built to market digital products although there is now the possibility of selling physical products. It is also becoming one of the largest marketplaces for official and third-party extensions and add-ons.
Developed by Sandhills Development which is also an established name in the world of ecommerce, the main reason why many sellers choose EDD is because its developers created this solely for the purpose of selling digital products.
WooCommerce has features that don’t go basically easy with other digital products and though it’s true that both do support software license keys, lots of developers today are now preferring EDD when it comes to acquiring licensing keys and subscriptions.
To sum it up:
- For physical products, WooCommerce should be the best store model option.
- For digital products, EDD offers a lot of advantages and also its software products are fully tested and licensed.
Conclusion: Selling Digital Downloads – Go For Easy Digital Downloads
We choose EDD because this is basically more user-friendly than WooCommerce in terms of selling
If you like to add functionalities, EDD developers will support you as well and it is easy to add additional plugins to increase the functionality of your eCommerce store.
The most important thing, however, is its product reliabilities. You purchased plugins from an EDD store and you can always have your peace of mind because creators of these plugins in our experience are committed to fix the bugs and keep developing the software further. Overall, Easy Digital Downloads is a great WordPress plugin to choose and allows you to easily enter the world of digital eCommerce properly equipped.