Needless to say, WordPress is no more just a blogging platform. According to datanyze.com,
“WordPress is the CMS of choice for almost 23% of ecommerce websites in the Alexa Top 1 million sites.”
As ecommerce plugins like WooCommerce and WP commerce gain traction amongst the Alexa Top 1M, there is a huge demand for subsidiary plugins that are related to ecommerce business like plugins which monitor downloading of files.
In this post, let’s have a look at a couple of popular plugins for tracking downloaded files. In addition, we’ll also explain how to track file downloads without using a plugin - but rather through events which will show up on Google Analytics.
Tracking Downloaded Files using plugins
WordPress Download Manager
This is is one of the most popular file management plugins available on the WP plugin repository. It is a perfect fit for your ecommerce store if you’re looking for a feature-rich file management plugin. Its bundled with lots of features that include
- Download speed control
- Google Drive and Dropbox support to store your files
- Password protection
You can get the plugin from here: Download manager
WordPress Download Ponitor
This is an emerging file download monitoring plugins that has a very elegant user interface. Some of features of this plugin include
- IP address tracking of the users who access the file
- Tracking of number of downloads of each of your file
- Tracking of visitors’ country
Get the plugin from the WordPress repository: Download monitor
Tracking WordPress downloads without a plugin
If you are using Google Analytics on your website, you can use its event tracking functionality for tracking your downloaded files. This is a perfect choice for those who are not interested in using a fully featured plugin for monitoring file downloads, and just want to monitor a few items. If you are also looking to set Google Analytics goals along with the download event tracking - this is a perfect solution for you. Downloading of stuff such as eBooks, whitepapers, and other similar items are very good examples for using Google Analytics event tracking to monitor downloads.
Let’s look at an example of downloaded files event tracking using Google Analytics.
Imagine that you are providing an ebook file as a lead magnet and want to track the number of downloads using event tracking functionality of Google Analytics. It can easily be done by enhancing your usual anchor text html tag as follows.
<a onclick="_gaq.push(['_trackEvent','Download','PDF',this.href]);" href="https://cdn.yourwebsite.com/ebook.pdf" target="_blank">Get the ebook</a>
In the above case, ‘download’ is the event category, ‘PDF’ is event action and the ‘download URL’ is the event label.
If you are using the more recent Universal Analytics, the syntax changes just slightly to:
<a onclick="ga('send','event','Download','PDF', this.href]);" href="https://cdn.yourwebsite.com/ebook.pdf" target="_blank">Get the ebook</a>
Whenever someone access your file, you can track it from the Behavior >> Events >> Overview tab.
Have you ever used a plugin or Google Analytics for tracking your files which have been downloaded? Share your experience with us in the comments section!