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How to Set Up File Downloads for Your Site

I recently found myself hunting for a solution that would allow a visitor to click a button to automatically download a free ebook. If you need to allow your users to download files from a WordPress site, today’s post will help.

Here’s how to install and use the “Download Monitor” plugin. It’s a simple solution that will allow visitors to download any free file you’d like to make available.

  1. Go to “Plugins > Add New” on your WordPress dashboard and search for “Download Monitor”.

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  2. Click “Install Now” next to the icon for the Download Monitor plugin by Never5.
  3. Once it’s installed, click “Activate Now”.

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  4. Once the plugin is activated, select the new option for “Downloads” that will appear in the left sidebar menu. In the “Downloads” sub-menu, select “Add New”.
  5.  Give your new download a title.

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  6. Below the text editor, find the section titled “Downloadable File/Versions” and select “Add File”.
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  7. Click “Upload File”.
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  8. Find the file you’d like to include as a download in your site by clicking “Select Files”. Then click “Insert File URL”.
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  9. Make sure a new file url appears under “File URL(s)”, then click “Publish”.

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  10. Highlight and copy the shortcode for your new download.


  11. Edit (or create) the post or page you plan on using to make your download available. In this case, I created a new page titled “Free Downloads”. Then paste the shortcode for your download in the text editor in the area where you would like it to appear, then click “Update” or “Publish”.
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    (click to enlarge)


  12. That’s it! Your download should now be available on your site and will download automatically when someone clicks it.

And that’s how to enable your users to download files from your WordPress site. Thanks for reading—please let us know in the comments below if you have any thoughts or questions.

Harper Phillips

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December 28, 2020 6:27 am

I am creating a website on WordPress where there will be an Admin account and multiple users/subscriber account.
I want to be able to send a downloadable file to a specific user account so that only that user can access and download the file when he/she login (only that user will access the file)
Please advise

September 29, 2020 5:38 pm

Hello, nice post!

You could take in mind WP File Downloads as it has a lot of cool tools like the option to connect it with cloud services like Google drive in order to serve files directly from the cloud.

John Bransford
September 12, 2019 6:41 pm

Can we generate encrypted download links of files with this plugin as well as a download confirmation page? Like we insert the download link in post and when a visitor click on download button it opens a new page on my website which delivers the file to visitor. Please suggest

August 29, 2019 2:14 am

I want to add an external download URL. Can you please say, how to how to add external URL in download monitor plugin.

Vidmate Apk Download
August 20, 2019 7:17 pm

Thank you so much!!! I have been looking for over an hour for a tutorial on how to do this and I couldn’t find anything until I happened upon this fantastic article. Can’t imagine it would that be that hard to find information since most websites offer downloadable files.

Janis Wohlgemuth
August 1, 2019 5:57 pm

Thank you so much!!! I have been looking for over an hour for a tutorial on how to do this and I couldn’t find anything until I happened upon this fantastic article. Can’t imagine it would that be that hard to find information since most websites offer downloadable files.

April 17, 2019 3:48 am

HI, thanks for this. I am looking for something which generates dynamic link for the file. So that the user comes back to the webpage if he/she needs the file again. Or in simpler words, I am looking for protection from hotlinking.
Also, where would you essentially host your files if you were to offer big files? Like spread in GBs? Google doesn’t seem to help me much on this hah!

March 17, 2019 9:30 am

Thanks, man. such useful article.

Christie Flora
January 3, 2019 12:42 am

Hi there!
Thanks so much for this article! Really broke it down for me.
I just have a problem that when I’ve published my page with my downloads – it says in brackets how many times it’s been downloaded which I don’t want the public to see. How do you remove that part?

Pat bedeau
December 3, 2018 5:07 am

Hi, I have file sizes of 288 mb and my upload maximun in 20mb, do you know a solution for larger files?

February 3, 2019 12:35 pm
Reply to  Pat bedeau

Hi Pat,

Try to upload file at or I am using and they provide unlimited storage.
There are tons of websites where you can store the file and once the file(s) are stored, generate a link of that file and then post it on your own website, social media platforms (like facebook, twitter, whatsapp groups). You will be paid when the user download the file from the generated link. Nearly every website has given the rates per download, it depends on the geographic location of the user from where the click generated.


September 19, 2018 11:50 am

How about your site speed? Doesn’t it slow down the website to upload several files for download?

David Hayes
September 20, 2018 1:07 pm
Reply to  Natalie

In general files just sitting on your server (without being downloaded) has no effect on site performance. If tons of people are all downloading the same file at the same time (and it’s a big one) you might notice some performance hit.

Muhammad Talha
September 2, 2018 9:55 pm

Amazing! Thanks for Sharing 🙂

Michael Musgrove
July 13, 2018 7:05 pm

WHat’s the advantage of this plugin over the very popular and versatile Easy Digital Downloads?

May 15, 2020 10:58 pm

For starters, it’s free.

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