WP File Download documentation


WP File download is a WordPress extension used to manages files. For more, information please visit: www.joomunited.com




Main advantages:

  • Add a file in 3 clicks from the editor
  • 4 responsive themes with icons
  • Apply a theme per category
  • Files & category AJAX ordering
  • Use WP File Download from any text editor
  • Theme display parameters
  • Update files in one click
  • HTML5 multi uploader
  • Apply WordPress user roles
  • Remote download
  • File importer from server



1.1 Install

In order to install our plugin, you should use standard WordPress installer or unzip and put all the folder in /wp-content/plugin.




Then click on activate plugin, to see WP File Download menu appear on the WordPress left menu.

WP File download is accessible from a dedicated left menu. You also have the parameters under the "Configuration" menu.


1.2 Update the plugin


In order to update the WP File Download, you can use the WordPress default updater. You can also remove and install the new version from a .zip file downloaded on www.joomunited.com. In any case, you won’t lose any content because everything is stored in the database.




Be sure to always have the latest version to avoid security and stability problem.

To update the paid version, you need to login to your JoomUnited account from the WordPress settings: Settings > General




Then use your JoomUnited account login and password. After a successful login, the button turns to blue with a text Disconnect my JoomUnited account




Then finally, you can update all the JoomUnited commercial plugins from the WordPress standard updated.




1.3 Remove or keep data on uninstall

When you remove the plugin (not an update) your files and data will remain on your server. Though you have an option to remove all data on plugin uninstall from the configuration menu.





2.1 First step in the file manager

The files can be managed from the side menu WP File Download or using the editor button, there’s no difference except you’ll be more comfortable from the left menu because the interface will take full width.

When WP File download is installed you have an editor plugin that is displayed upon your editor. Click on it to open the main WP File download view.

Gutenberg is the default editor in WordPress now, so you can take a look at 2.11 Blocks in Gutenberg



Click on it to open the file manager in a lightbox.



The interface is exactly the same from the left menu: WP File Download. I just offer a full width to manage files in a comfortable way.

The arrow on the left column will retract the left column, it can be helpful on small screen resolution

2.2 Manage file categories

In order to create a category, click on the + New orange button.




Note: A default category is already created during the plugin installation

To order categories, you need to move your mouse over the folder icon, then you can drag’n drop from top to bottom to define the ordering and from left to right to define the level. This is exactly like in the native WordPress menu system.




The category accordion manager can be expanded all sub-categories or collapsed using global parameters. To change the state you can click on the arrow buttons on the left side.




Note: The maximum level of sub-categories is seven.


2.3 Manage files

To add files in a category, choose a category then drag’n drop files in the center part or click on Select files button




Then select one or some files to upload. The uploader is HTML 5 powered so you can send big files which will be uploaded. The only limit you’ll have will be defined by your server configuration.

You can reorder your files with drag’n drop; it’s automatically saved!




Once a file has been uploaded to WP File Download, you can make a single/multiple selections by clicking on it. You can select several files by maintaining Ctrl (on Windows) or Command (on Mac). The first method to move or copy files is to use drag'n drop. Drag'n drop alone will move the files, drag'n drop + Ctrl (on Windows) or Command (on Mac) will copy the files.




You can also use the buttons on top.




Display file count in categories on admin

First, you need to enable File count option in WP File Download > Configuration > Main setting > Admin tab



Then you can see the number of files in categories on the right.




File multi-categories

When you choose a file, you will see Multi category box on the right panel. Then you can select categories for it.



2.4 Add files in your content

In order to insert a file category in your content, open a page, post or any content, click on the WP File Download button, select a category 




Then click on Insert this category button in the right column.



File category will be materialized in your article by a grey area.



Now save your content and it should be displayed on public part.
The first time you insert your category in your content, you need to save your content. Then you can manage files from this category and subcategories without saving your content. 
If you click back on the WP File download grey area in your content, then on WP File download button, you’ll simply open back your file category.

Then save your page, post... you've done, you've added a category of files (and its subcategories)




Other display options

You also have the option to insert category of files or a single file using a shortcode. In order to use shortcode for categories, you have to enable this feature in the Main setting > Admin tab.




From a category or a file view, in the right column, you will get the shortcode.






Additional options are available, like the file pagination. If you have a massive amount of files you can add a pagination.




The file pagination can be enabled and configured from the Main setting > Frontend tab.

Open PDF in browser

Finally, you also have an option to open the PDF in a new tab instead of downloading it in the Frontend tab too.



2.5 Manage single file

Manage a single file has never been as simple as a click on a file, setup options and insert it in your content.




WP File download allows you to define:

  • Title
  • Description
  • Version
  • Multi category
  • Tags (for the file search engine)
  • Cusom icon
  • Button colors (Configuration >> Single file tab)

The file will be materialized in your content with a single file icon.




A file is added as button in content:




And each file has its own direct link which you can use to share easily. You can find the URL at the bottom of the right panel.




2.6 Update a file

In order to update a file, just open WP File download, click on the file of your choice, then use the Send a new version on the right column to replace the file. 




You can change file format, size or whatever, all will be detected and the file will be replaced. The plugin includes a versioning system, each time you update a file, an old version is stored and listed above.




Then you can restore an old file version or delete old file version.

2.7 File access and management limitation

WP File download has a lot of tools to limit the file visibility and management for admin. First, we need to make a distinction between:

  • File visibility = who is able to see and download the files on the public side
  • File management = who is able to add, remove, edit files and categories


File access/visibility

With WP File download you can limit the category of files visibility by WordPress user group. Open a category of files, make it private by selecting a user group or a single user, then click Save Settings button, you're done.




You can also limit the file visibility on single file for few users, so the users selected will be the only one to see the file.

In order to use this feature, you should enable Single user restriction option at Configuration > Main Setting > Admin tab.




You can set the visibility on a category for single user. That means when the Visibility option is set Private, only this user can see the category on frontend.

E.g: "Manager" user can view the "New category user" category on frontend.




File management

The file management is defined by WordPress user roles that have the possibility to execute some specific actions. All the users in a User role will have the same authorizations regarding file management.
To configure the access use the menu WP File Download > Configuration > User Roles:




After the user is logged in, he will have his group privilege to manage files.


Manage personal user file repository

WP File Download allows you to create and let your WordPress users manage their own files repository because you can define, as an admin, who own a category of files.

The first step is to set up in the user's user role to: "Edit own category" only. Uncheck "Edit category", because users would be able to edit all existing categories in this case. The other privileges are not mandatory, depending on what you want to allow.




Then you can create a file category for your users, or if "Create category" is checked in his user role, he'll be able to do that himself. Then, from the file category you've created, you can define who owns the category and therefore who'll be able to edit it.
You can assign one user owner per category.




Note: the category owner setting must be activated from the global plugin configuration


2.8 File download statistics

WP File download got a download statistic dashboard accessible through the menu WP File Download > Statistics



The dashboard will help you to get details on the downloaded files on your website. On the top part, there's a chart and you can filter by

  • File category: include one or several categories
  • Single file: include files one by one in the statistics calculation
  • Download per users: select users downloaded files
  • Filter by date range (date when files have been downloaded)


Files download statistics with filters and custom event for Google Analytics tracking


At the bottom of the page, you got the detail of the file downloaded + a search engine to filter the results.

Furthermore, you can export the download statistics as a .csv file by clicking on the Download icon below the Apply Filter button.

The download statistics can be completed by Google Analytics event tracker (must be activated through the plugin parameters)


2.9 File Upload Form

From the public side of your WordPress website, you can allow users to upload files in a pre-defined category. First, access WP File Download > Configuration > Search & Upload tab. Then choose a category where you want users to upload files.




Then copy and paste the shortcode in your text editor and an upload form will be displayed on frontend.




Users should login to be able to upload their files. If users does not login, a login form will be appeared before uploading files.




2.10 Shortcode generator

You will see Files shortcode generator at WP File Download > Configuration > Single file tab.




A shortcode generator is available to load a custom selection of files. Shortcode options/filters are:

  • Category: select one or all categories
  • Ordering: ordering, type, title or description, size, version, date or hits




  • Ordering direction: Ascending/Descending
  • Max file number

After choosing those options, the shortcode should be, e.g: [wpfd_category id="11" order="created_time" direction="asc" number="10" ]


Note: If Category is All, the theme will be default theme.


2.11 Blocks in Gutenberg

You can show your files or categories in Gutenberg editor now. These two WP File download blocks are WP File Download Category and WP File Download File.

In order to display a category in Gutenberg editor, clicking the WP File Download Category button in the Widgets section. There will be a dropdown menu appears, then you select the category you want to show on frontend.




It's similar to a file, clicking the WP File Download File button in the Widgets section. After that, you press on the Browse Files button to choose your file.





3.1 Included themes

Themes can be applied per category or defined in the global configuration, it’s up to you. Go in the WP File download plugin and click on Configuration menu > Main Setting > Frontend tab.

If you select Theme per category to “No” the default theme defined below will be loaded in all categories of files.




In this case, the default theme settings defined on the right side will be loaded.




If you select “Yes” the themes can be changed in each category with all options. This is not recommended if multiple users have admin access to category.





Default theme preview



Tree theme preview




GDD theme preview


Table theme preview




3.2 Custom icon

From WP File download Main settings > Frontend tab, you also have an option to activate the possibility of defining a custom icon per file. It's pretty handy to display an overview of the doc for example.




3.3 Create your own theme

WP File Download allows the creation of custom themes. From the Configuration > Clone Theme, you can duplicate a theme based on an existing model.




Once your theme is created you'll have a new theme folder added on your server and the theme will be added in WP File Download configuration




The location of the new theme folder where you can edit file theme is: /wp-content/uploads/wpfd-themes/.

From version 4.3.28, new clone themes are stored at /wp-content/wp-file-download/themes/




Your new themes won't be touched on plugin update. If you want to remove a theme, just remove the theme folder from your server.

When a custom theme is removed, if some file categories are using it, there's an automatic process to fallback to the default WP File Download theme

3.4 File category multiple downloads 

First, you need to enable Download category in WP File Download > Configuration > Main Setting > Frontend tab.




Then you will see Download all button above each category in the frontend.




Note: It does not work with the Cloud categories.

3.5 File selection download

First, you should enable Download file selection option at WP File Download > Configuration > Main Setting > Frontend tab.




On frontend, you can select some files, then click on Download selected button.




Note: It does not support downloading files from Cloud server.


4.1 Parameters


To access to WP File Download parameters, go in WP File Download > Configuration > Main Setting.




There are 3 tabs inside the Main Setting: Admin, Frontend and Statistics.

Admin tab:

  • Allowed extensions: The file format you want to authorize on your website to be uploaded
  • File history count (0 to 100): WP File Download stores history of files when you update them in order to restore them later. Setup the number of versions to store per file
  • Max upload file size: The max file size for upload
  • New file category position: When creating a new file category, it can be added on top or the end of the list
  • Category owner is adding a user as Category owner 
  • File count is the number of files beside each file category name
  • Single user restriction gives access to a file/a category for a single user (to pick up from Wordpress users)
  • Close categories: If you want to open WP File Download with the categories tree closed or opened by default
  • Display shortcode in category: to load a category of files in editor
  • Show files import: Display a file importer that browse your server to import files in WP File Download categories
  • Use WYSIWYG editor in the file description
  • Add remote file: Remote file is the possibility to add a downloadable remotely hosted file
  • Admin file list theme: select theme for backend
  • Delete all files on uninstall: The data delete action on uninstall (see 1st chapter)




Frontend tab:

  • Extensions to open with viewer: Use the file preview and on which file type
  • Open PDF in a new browser tab instead of the Google drive viewer
  • Use viewer: possibility to preview the files. Use the Google viewer, not all format can be previewed
  • SEO URL: The root URL suffix for all the downloadable files
  • Date format: Date format for upload & update file dates
  • Theme per categories: Activate or not the possibility to define a theme per file category otherwise, the component will use the theme from the option below
  • Default theme per category: If theme per category is set to No above, select a theme to apply to all your categories by default
  • Download category allows users to download all the files from a category as a global .zip file using a button. Not applicable to cloud file categories
  • Download file selection: Users can make a file selection using checkboxes them download them as .zip file. Not applicable to cloud file categories
  • Custom icon is uploading a custom image or icon for single files
  • Pagination number is the number of files per page
  • Load the plugin on the frontend in page builder





Statistics tab:

  • GA download tracking is the activation of Google analytics download tracking
  • Track user download (what file is downloaded per user account). If you're making available your file in EU region, you may add some notice related to the GDPR for your customers.
  • Statistics storage: Define the duration of the download statistics storage. Note that Forever option may generate huge database tables.




Right side option setup defines the theme design setup. Note that those theme parameters will be loaded automatically if you choose not to activate theme per category.




4.2 Search engine

In order to take a short code for Search function, you should go to WP File Download Configuration > Search & Upload. A dedicated search engine is available from the parameters. You can generate a shortcode from the parameters and insert one or several search engines where you want. When you select a category for "Search in this category" parameter, the search function will only search files inside this category and its subcategories.

E.g: [wpfd_search catid="10" cat_filter="1" tag_filter="1" display_tag="searchbox" create_filter="1" update_filter="1" file_per_page="5"]




Parameters of the search engine:

  • Search page: the default page loaded when a search query is launched
  • Plain text search: allows you to search inside the content of the documents like PDF, Word files
    (You should click on Build Search Index button when using 1st time or rebuild whenever you want)
  • Filter by category: load the category tree as a filter
  • Search in this category: select the category to search on frontend
  • Exclude categories from search: Exclude a selection of files categories from search queries
  • Filter by tag: you can add tags to your files (and manage tags from the WPFD tag menu)
  • Display tag as a checkbox (for few tags) or as Search box with predictive typing (for a massive amount of tags)
  • Filter by creation date: add a date range selector as a filter
  • Filter by update date: add a date range selector as a filter
  • File per page: number of files per page in the search results


Here is the preview of the search engine with all parameters activated:




4.3 File Importer

WP File download has a unique file importer available for WP. To enable it you should go to WP File download > Configuration > Main Setting > Admin tab. Then set “Show files import” to Yes.

Note that the importer will be only available in WP File download in the backend for security reason because it will display all server folders.

Then on the right part of your screen, you’ll see the listing of your server files with 3 tools that allow you to Select, Unselect and Import files.




To import files, choose the category on the left part then select the desired files and click on the Import button


WP File Download includes an Email notification system. It can be triggered on:

  • New file upload
  • File edition
  • File removal
  • File is downloaded




The HTML of each notification is accessible through the Email configuration, menu: WP File Download > Configuration > Email notification > Email notification editor




You can set Email notification will be sent to those or not:

  • File owner
  • Category owner
  • WordPress admins
  • The additional email; for example: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,...




There are some supported tags you can use in the Email content: {category}, {receiver}, {username}, {website_url}, {file_name}. The tags will be replaced dynamically for all your users; ie: {file_name} will becomes myfile.zip.
And you can set up SMTP for your email in Email notification > Mail Option