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How to Track and Manage WordPress File Download

How to Track and Manage WordPress File Download

At present, the blog contents can be of the great variety. In addition to the traditional textual posts, photo galleries, videos, profiles, product listing and many more, you can also offer many other things to your visitors, among which the download links for ebooks, PDFs, Word Documents, files, digital items and many more are really appreciated by most people.

Offering these valuable downloads is pretty simple, but the hard part is how to monitor them. In this case, we’d like to introduce the easy methods about how to track and manage WordPress file download with much ease.

Method One – Track the File Download using Google Analytics

In most cases, you may use Google Analytics to track the daily visits and the referral traffic of your site. But actually, you can also leverage it to track how your offerings are downloaded by your visitors.

Firstly, you need to have a Google Analytics account. Then, you can enter the dashboard of Google Analytics and click the Admin link at the top location of the whole screen and the Goals button afterwards from the View column.

Goals Button

Now, you can create the new goal. This practice requires you to enter the Goal Descriptions and Goal Details.

  • Goal Description – This part firstly requires you to enter the goal name for the better management. As for the goal type, you have 4 options to choose. But this time, you need to choose Event.
  • Goal Details – In this part, you need to set the event conditions for Category, Action, Value and Label. The Category condition allows you to group different downloads for the overall tracking. The Action condition is the actual call-to-action result you are looking for. In this situation, you should enter Download. The last two conditions are not necessarily required, but offer the additional information for this new goal.

Create New Goal

After completing all the fields and settings, you now can click the Save button to have the new goal created successfully. Here, do not forget to turn on the Recording option for this goal from the Goals page.

Next, you need to insert the below coding stuff into your website for the activation of the download tracking. Here, you need to replace the values within the brackets based on the values you have entered into the Goal Details.

Track Event Code

That’s it. Now, you can check how many people have downloaded your items by clicking Behaviors > Events button in the Google Analytics dashboard.

Track Event

Method Two – Track the File Download using WordPress Plugins

If you do not want to monitor your file downloads using Google Analytics but inside your website for the great convenience, you can consider the use of Simple Download Monitor plugin. However, if you choose this method, you cannot create and add the download links to your site in a manual way, but should use the Add function of this plugin.

Before creating the downloads, you firstly need to go to its settings page. Here, you need to uncheck the boxes that will hide the download count, only track the downloads from some special IP addresses and disable all your download logs.

In addition, you can choose the color for the download button among 10 options.

Simple Download Monitor Settings

Now, you can add the new downloading item by clicking Downloads > Add New. Here, you firstly should enter the title and the description for your downloading item. Note that for the better description, you are allowed to insert some media contents.

Next, you can move down to the Upload File, and then, click the Select File button or enter the file URL directly.

Before clicking the Upload button, you need to make some further adjustments and add some further information of this item. For instance, if you upload an image, you can scale it for the better dimensions and crop it with the proper ratio. Even, you can determine the thumbnail setting of this image.

Edit Image

Then, you need to enter the extra information, such as the title, alternative text and description of the downloading item. Also, you can determine the alignment and the size for the thumbnail.

Download Item Information

Now, you can publish this download and enter the page that you are going to showcase the download button. Here, you can click the SDM Download button in the Visual Editor, and then, choose the item title from the drop-down list, decide whether to include the fancy box and determine whether to open the download link in a new window. After that, you can hit the Insert SDM Shortcode button.

SDM Download Button

Also, you can display it in the sidebar by using the shortcode, which can be found at the Edit Download page from the Shortcodes section.

Now, you just need to wait a few days and track the downloads by clicking the Downloads button. Here, you can clearly check how many times your item is downloaded by your visitors.

Download Count

Even, you can check the IP and country of these people by clicking the Logs button.