How to Sell Downloads for Free in WordPress

Simple Shopping Cart is a free and lightweight WordPress plugin that allows you to sell downloads from your website. You can sell any kind of digital downloads, music, e-books, audio files, video files beautifully with ease and simple configurations.

Plugin Setup

The setup is very basic and straightforward. Once you have installed the plugin simply enter your PayPal email address in the settings. When a user purchases downloads from your website the money will be deposited into that PayPal account.

screenshot showing the paypal settings in the simple shopping cart plugin menu

Download Configuration

Upload your file and a thumbnail image for it via WordPress media Uploader. Save the URL of the file and the image into a text file (It’s up to you where you want to host the files. It doesn’t have to be your website. As long as the files can be accessed via URLs you are good to go).

Create new post/page and enter the following shortcode to create a box with your downloadable file. In this example I’m using an e-book.

[wp_cart_display_product name="WordPress for Dummies" price="28.99" thumbnail="" description="Bloggers love WordPress! If you're ready to start using this free blogging software, This is just what you and your blog need to make a splash." file_url=""]

Shortcode Attributes

  • name – The name or title of the download
  • price – The price of the download
  • thumbnail – The URL of the image which will be used as a thumbnail for the download
  • description – A short description of the download
  • file_url – The location of the download

You can add another shortcode to the page which will show the content of the shopping cart.


When you view the page it should look similar to this download box (This demo was set up using Twenty Fifteen theme).

screenshot showing a demo of download using simple shopping cart

Your users will be able to add the e-book to the shopping cart and checkout.

screenshot of wordpress simple shopping cart

When the purchase is completed a confirmation email containing the download link will be sent to the customer.

If you wish to download this plugin you can do so from here. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

Disclosure: This page may contain affiliate links. If you follow one of those affiliate links and purchase something it will provide me with a little bit of a commission. This costs you nothing extra but helps maintain my site, free plugins, and themes. So I thank you for your support.

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