WP File Download: Files and Categories

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 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. 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 fifteen. Of course, there is no limit of the folder numbers.


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 use the buttons on top where you can download files also.




You can also order all the files from a category or by clicking on the column title then save the ordering. For example, here I've ordered files by size. Once you made the ordering you’ll at the right side, in category options the Ordering fields become green.
You have also the option to click on the column title to order file by:
  • Type
  • Title
  • File size
  • Date added
  • Date modified
  • Version
  • Hits
Note that: On frontend, the files ordering in sub-categories will be the same as the parent ordering.
The column top right option checkbox helps you to clean the backend interface to focus on the main files parameters you have; ie show only file title and version for example.

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.



4. Add a category 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)




Please go here if you are using Gutenberg editor.


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.



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)
  • Custom icon
  • Button colors (Icons Builder >> 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.




Please go here for more information about the single file block design.

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.

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" onlyDisable "Edit category" option, because users would not 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 enabled 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

Furthermore, a user can give permission for a category or a file if the "Edit permissions settings" option is enabled in his user role. Then he can select a user for a category or multi-users for a file as the previous step.




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)


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 > Shortcodes. 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 do not login, a login form will be appeared before uploading files.




If the Visibility of the category is Public. That's done! 

However, if you want to set some selected user groups to upload files on the frontend you should set 2 permission for them; here is "Author" for example:

  • Visibility: at the selected category, choose "Private > Author".
  • User roles: at Author section, enable "Edit own category" option.




10. Shortcode generator

You will see Category Shortcode Generator at WP File Download > Configuration > Shortcodes 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
  • Show categories

After choosing those options, the shortcode should be, e.g: [wpfd_category  show_categories="1" order="created_time" direction="asc" number="10" ]


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


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 the Browse Files button to choose your file.