WordPress Download Monitor is a plug-in that offers download functions, which include the ability to mask the download links and count the number of downloads of each file.
It makes offering a simple download from a blog post easy to do, and the masked links could be used outside of WordPress, eg. in an e-mail.
To install the plug-in, first log into WordPress with an administrator account.
1. Click on “Add New” in the “Plugins” section of the sidebar
2. Enter “Download Monitor” in the search box and click on “Search Plugins”
3. Find “WordPress Download Monitor” and click on “Install Now”
4. After the plug-in has been installed, click on “Activate Plugin”
5. In WordPress 3, the sidebar of the administration area now has a section called “Downloads”
6. Click on “Add New” to add a new download
7. Enter the details of the file and upload it
8. You can set the download counter manually, eg. if you are migrating from a different system, so that it does not start at zero
9. For larger sites, you might consider using mirror links to spread the server load
10. Membership sites can set an option to only allow members to download the files
There are also a number of other options that can be set, eg. tags, thumbnails, file browsing and custom fields. Save the file details when you are finished.
To insert the download link into a post, a new icon – an arrow – appears in the editor next to the media icons:
Click on this icon to insert a download link into a post. The link then looks something like this:
The link shows the number of downloads in brackets, whilst the URL it directs to has been replaced with download.php?id=x, where x is the ID number of the download.
But even that can be changed in the configuration options to a custom URL.
WordPress Download Monitor is a simple, yet powerful plug-in. It is probably suitable for most uses that you will ever want on your blog, but you do need to take some time to read the documentation and try out the options if you are doing anything more advanced than links in posts.