HOW TO: Start Selling Downloads from your WordPress Blog in 5 Minutes

Categories Articles, Wordpress

Selling downloads that are instantly delivered to the customer after they purchase is an easy way to earn some passive income. There’s no inventory to manage, no shipping calculations, and instant, automatic delivery means more happy customers and less support headaches.

This tutorial will show you how to add a shopping cart that gives the ability to sell and automatically deliver download products from your WordPress blog in just a few minutes.

The shopping cart plugin we’ll use is DPD-Cart Plugin released by the awesome crew at Digital Product Delivery. So you first need to make an account here (there’s a 30 days no hassle free trial) and this plugin will communicate with the DPD Storefront system via an API to automatically pull in your cart settings and allowing you to easily insert add-to-cart buttons for products to your WordPress posts and pages. All of this will be powered by a slick javascript cart that loads right in your blog.

Step 0: Add Product

You’ll need to have the products you want to sell already set up in the DPD awesome dashboard before you begin this process (you could start with a .pdf or .psd)

Step 1: Plugin Installation

  1. Download the DPD-Cart WordPress Plugin
  2. Unzip the plugin and place the entire dpd-wpcart folder in to your WordPress plugin folder at /wp-content/plugins/dpd-wpcart/
  3. Copy the whole folder, not just the files inside.

  4. Log in to your WordPress admin and enable the DPD-Cart plugin from the Installed Plugins menu.
  5. Once activated, the DPD-Cart Configuration page will be added to your WordPress Plugins menu.

Step 2: Configuration

To configure the plugin you’ll need your DPD account’s API credentials. To get them, log in or create a DPD account and go to the Profile > Profile Options page from the Dashboard.

Do you know how hard it is to take a screenshot with a mouse cursor in it?
Do you know how hard it is to take a screenshot with a mouse cursor in it?

At the bottom of the profile options page you’ll find the API Access information. These two fields, the username and API Key, are what you will need to insert on the DPD-Cart Configuration page.

Copy-and-paste time!
Copy-paste time!

Once you have obtained your API Access information, complete the following steps:

  1. Go to the DPD-Cart Configuration page in your WordPress Admin
  2. Enter your DPD username and API key in the fields provided and click the Update Options page to pull your available storefronts from DPD.
    Once you have authenticated your blog against the DPD API two new options will appear- Storefront Selection and Button Style Selection.
  3. Thats not so many options... this should be easy.

  4. Select which DPD Storefront you would like to associate with this WordPress blog.
    DPD is a multi-cart system meaning that you can operate multiple shopping carts, each with their own settings, from one account. We call these individual carts “Storefronts” and that’s what you’ll be selecting here. If you have not created any additional storefronts in your account, the default storefront will be selected automatically.
  5. Select your Button Style and click Update Options.
    The DPD-Cart plugin comes with a range of button styles already loaded. However, many people like to create custom buttons to match their blogs and its easy to add custom button styles. More information on adding custom buttons is at the end of this tutorial.

DPD-Cart setup is now complete! Lets start putting add-to-cart and checkout buttons on the blog!

Step 3: Activate the DPD-Cart Sidebar Widget

It’s a good practice to have a way for the buyer to checkout on every page of an e-commerce site. To help you accomplish this without editing theme templates the DPD-Cart plugin provides a widget that displays a “View Cart” button for your sidebar.

To enable the Cart Widget go to your Widgets page under the WordPress Appearance menu and drag the widget to where you would like it to be in your sidebar. This will output a “View Cart / Checkout” button on the frontend of your WordPress blog like so:

It's a cute little sidebar cart widget.
It's a cute little sidebar cart widget

Step 4: Create Product Pages / Posts

The DPD-Cart plugin adds an editor button to the post and page edit windows to quickly insert a product’s “Add-to-Cart” button code.

  1. Create a new Post or Page on your WordPress blog where you would like the product to be displayed.
  2. After you have typed your product’s sales copy go to the HTML editor tab, move the mouse cursor to where you want the Add-to-Cart button to appear, and click the DPD-Cart editor button.
  3. In the popup that opens, select the product you want to insert from your list of available storefront products and click “Insert Product”
Easy as 1-2-3.
Easy as 1-2-3.

A dpd-atc quicktag will be added to your blog post. When your post is published this quicktag will be automatically converted to an “add-to-cart” button using the button set you have selected:

Look!  Now your post has an add-to-cart button!
Look! Now your post has an add-to-cart button!

You’re ready to start selling!

Optional Customization Options:

The DPD-Cart plugin provides a couple different methods to customize the appearance of cart items on your blog.

Adding Custom Button Sets:

Adding custom button sets to match your blog is easy- all you need to do is create a new folder in the buttons/ folder located in the dpd-wpcart/ plugins directory and name it what you would like your button set to be called in the wordpress admin. Then add two PNG images:

atc.png for the add-to-cart button displayed in posts and pages.
viewcart.png for the View Cart / Checkout button displayed in the sidebar widget.

Name your folder what you'd like your button set to be called.
Name your folder what you'd like your button set to be called.

The buttons must be PNG format and named atc.png and viewcart.png to be properly parsed by the plugin and added to the DPD-Cart Configuration page.

Then go to DPD-Cart Configuration in your WordPress admin, select the new button set, and click the Update Settings button. The new buttons will display on all your posts and pages automatically and you don’t need to go back and edit previously made posts.

Customizing the Sidebar Widget:

Lets say we wanted to add some credit card logos to be displayed above our View Cart / Checkout button. The Cart Widget loads its layout from the following template file in the plugin directory:


You can edit this file to add content above and below the View Cart / Checkout button code inside the View Cart widget. The DPD code is wrapped in comments and includes an image link and javascript reference required to make the cart load within your wordpress blog. You should not edit the code between the html comments- changing this code could break the cart function and prevent people who want to give you their money from doing so.

To add custom text- or in the case of our example, images- you would simply insert your content above or below the DPD button code block and save the template in the same location.

Insert you code above or below the DPD code block to customize the widget
Insert you code above or below the DPD code block to customize the widget

Then on your blog your sidebar widget would be updated to look like this:

Look!  Now people know how to give you money!
Look! Now people know how to give you money!

The DPD-Cart Plugin is a quick and easy way to automatically sell downloads like website templates, graphics files, ebooks, and more from your WordPress blog. We hope this tutorial has shown you how easy it is to start selling downloads and make money from your blog!

If you have further questions or suggestions, please shoot!

Catalin is the founder of Mostash – a social marketing boutique – and he’s always happy to share his passion for graphic design & social media.

  • This kind of service is exactly what I was looking for, thanks for the detailed tutorial/information.

  • very useful no doubts. but anyway i always feel the success of selling online lies on effective marketing (a bit off topic here but i cant help it. :P )

  • Christian

    I want to sell a service via wordpress, this is not a download but a form with registration and a client database. DO you know if this can be done?

  • Thanks a lot for well written article. But I had difficult time navigating through your website because I kept getting 502 bad gateway error. Just thought to let you know.

  • ,..] is another useful source of tips on this issue,..]

  • Excellent Shopping cart with wordpress plugin. I will try to use it

  • Must try this. Thanks for the info.

  • Kira

    please fix your pics and make them visible…

  • This looks very interesting. I know some people who’ve wanted to do this but were unsure about setting up wordpress et al, though with auto-installers and so on, it’s not really become an issue anymore, plus some hosts also offer to install scripts for you. Nice post there, thought as previously mentioned, you may like to fix your broken images there.