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How to Track the Number of File Downloads in WordPress?

Have you ever wondered how frequently your WordPress website’s files are downloaded? Tracking file downloads is like counting how many times your shared files, for example, documents are being grabbed by others. This can be super useful if you want to know how popular your files are or if you are sharing something important. 

One common need for most website owners is the ability to share files with their audience. Ebooks, software updates, product manuals, and other downloaded information are all examples of this. However, merely sharing files is just the first step: understanding how these files are interacting with your audience is equally crucial. 

For this guide, we are going to use the WordPress Shared Files Plugin. With the help of this plugin, we will show you a straightforward way to keep track of the number of times your files are downloaded. Imagine having a little counter that tells you how many times people found your files interesting enough to click that ‘’download’’ button. Now, let us dig into the simple steps to get this done.

Why Do You Need To Track Downloadable Files?

Tracking downloads is crucial for WordPress site owners because it helps them understand how popular their files are among their website visitors. By knowing how many times people download these things, you get a peek into what’s popular and what’s not. This information is essential because it tells you which files are in demand and can guide you in creating more of the content that your audience likes. 

If you notice that one file gets downloaded much more than others, it’s a sign that people like it. While, if certain files are hardly downloaded, it might be a sign that you need to improve them. Download tracking helps you tailor your website’s content to what your audience wants, making your website more engaging and valuable to your visitors. 

How to Create Downloadable Files? 

Creating downloadable files in WordPress is a fundamental skill for website owners looking to offer valuable resources such as ebooks, documents, images, or software to the audience. By providing these files for download, you enhance user engagement and facilitate the sharing of essential information. 

The Shared Files plugin offers two ways of creating downloadable files. First, you need to upload the actual file. It has a maximum upload size which is 999 MB. The URL can be displayed as a second method. Keep in mind that two alternatives cannot be combined. Therefore, if you decide to use the URL, don’t upload any files since they will be deleted right away.

  1. Prepare your file

Before you can offer a file for download, ensure it’s ready. It can be PDF, Word Document, Image, or various other file types you want to share

  1. Upload the File to WordPress 

 Log in to the WordPress Dashboard and go to the submenu of The Shared Files plugin. There you can find the “Add New” button. You need to click on that. Then “Select the file from the Media” and upload it. Don’t forget to name the file. 

File Upload on WordPress

When you have already downloaded the plugin, you can now explore the configuration that offers the plugin. 

  • File Date: This feature makes it simple to manually establish a file creation date. However, if you leave it empty, the publishing date will be selected. 
File Management Options
  • Expiration Date: Even the file that may be downloaded could have a time limit. You may give your file an air of exclusivity by placing a time limit on it. 
  • Restrict Access For Users: Using this functionality, you can simply prevent people from downloading files. 
  • Restrict Access For Roles: With this feature, you can restrict access to certain WordPress user roles. 
  • Password Protection: You may manage when and who has access to your files with this function. Only approved people are allowed to get passwords, and you are always free to alter them or cancel access. 
  • Notification Email: You may receive all the updates on the downloadable files, including when they expire or are downloaded, by entering your email address.
  • Description: You can also give a brief description and the file will be ready. This is how you can create a downloadable file.

Key Features of The Shared Files Plugin

The Shared Files plugin is a powerful tool that simplifies file management and sharing on your WordPress website. With its user-friendly interface and robust feature set, it’s a valuable addition to any site. Let’s explore some of its key features. 

The plugin offers a streamlined process for adding files to your website. You can easily input file names, select the desired files, set publication dates, and even define expiration dates. Additionally, a file description field allows you to provide context or information about each file. 

  • File Compatibility

The Shared Files Plugin supports a wide range of file types, making it suitable for various content needs. Whether it’s PDFs, Word Documents, PowerPoint Presentations, Excel Spreadsheets, images, or even YouTube videos. The plugin ensures seamless integration. You can enable or disable specific file types through the plugin settings. 

  • File Folders

Organizing files becomes effortless with the ability to create file folders. This feature is particularly useful for teams and large organizations, as it promotes effective collaboration by categorizing files logically. 

  • Efficient File Search

Finding specific files is essential for productivity. The Shared Files Plugin excels in this regard with a robust search functionality. Users can search based on categories such as file name, description, and more, ensuring that they locate the exact file or document they need promptly. 

  • Front-End File Upload

Empower both visitors and users to contribute to your file repository by allowing them to upload files directly from the front end. This feature encourages engagement and minimizes the effort required for file submissions. 

  • File Sharing

For effective team collaboration, the plugin enables easy sharing of uploaded files among users with access privileges. This functionality fosters seamless communication and file exchange among your team members.

  • FTP Upload

Businesses concerned with data security can utilize FTP (File Transfer Protocol) to upload files. Shared Files gives admins and users an opportunity to upload files using FTP, whether it’s a single file or multiple files. 

  • Statistics

Gain valuable insights into your file uploads with the built-in statistics feature. The Shared Files Plugin provides accurate upload statistics and analysis, giving you a constant overview of your file and document activities. 

How to Track the Number of File Downloads?

  Whether you are running a personal blog or a collaborative project, this plugin allows you to efficiently upload, organize, and share various types of files with ease. One of its valuable features is the ability to track the number of file downloads, providing you with valuable insights into user engagement and the popularity of your shared content. 

Tracking the number of file downloads with the Shared Files plugin is straightforward and provides you with important information about the reach and impact of your shared content. 

  • After installing and activating the plugin, go to the Shared Files Plugin “Settings” section and enable the “Show Download Counter” feature, if it is not already enabled. 
Show Download Counter
  • Once download tracking is enabled, The Shared Files Plugin will start recording the number of times each file is downloaded. 
  • You can access the number of downloads through the plugin’s “Statistics” section. 
Shared Files Statistics

By following these steps you can effectively track the number of file downloads using The Shared Files Plugin in WordPress. This valuable information can inform your content decisions and help you provide more of the content that your audience finds most valuable.

Shared Files Free Offerings 

The Shared Files Plugin has Free and Pro Offerings. Let’s explore them…

  • All files may be quickly searched using the name and description fields, among other targeted file and document categories. 
  • For logged-in users, front-end file upload with the support of tags
  • Await the page with a counter and an automated download, which will appear when the countdown hits zero.
  • You can upload your desired file.
  • Get good use of high-quality 25 different kinds of SVG icons, and additional unique custom icons for various types of files
  • Uploaded files or documents quick preview in the browser
  • For videos and photos, use the Lightbox 
  • Use a great download manager, file manager, and document explorer simultaneously
  • Compatibility with WP Multisite

Shared Files Pro Offerings 

  • Search filter with categories, tags, and custom field data.
  • Different file-opening permissions for users and roles 
  • Page with a downloads wait countdown
  • More capabilities for the file uploader on the front end
  • Visitors and users can contribute files and create new categories. 
  • With only one click, FTP files may be triggered and uploaded.
  • Upload a number of files 
  • Enabling front-end file editing for any user role 
  • Both logged-in and unlogged-in users’ favorite files
  • Media Library Files Must Be Active 
  • You can group the files
  • Alternatively, include a separate URL for the file and monitor downloads. 
  • You will receive a notification via Email each time a file is downloaded or uploaded.
  • Date-stamp a file’s expiry 
  • Limit the number of each file download
  • Files should be visible in site search results.


The ability to track the number of file downloads in WordPress provides website owners with a valuable tool for understanding user engagement, content popularity, and the impact of their digital assets. With the right plugin, like the Shared Files plugin, this process becomes both accessible and insightful. 

If you follow the steps that we have outlined in this guide you will seamlessly implement download tracking on your WordPress website. You can make data-driven decisions, fine-tune your content strategy, and constantly enhance your user experiences when you have access to download statistics. As you unlock the potential of download tracking, your website becomes not just a platform for sharing files but also a resource that responds to the needs and preferences of your audience.