Easy Digital Downloads version 2.4 was released yesterday, so we’ve compiled an Easy Digital Downloads 2.4 review to show you what’s changed and been added in this major version.
We’ll go over the changes you’re most likely to see within your store, and changes that developers can use while building on Easy Digital Downloads.
Easy Digital Downloads 2.4 focuses on refining key reporting features. CSV Exports for payment history and file downloads can now accept date ranges and are more performant because exports are batched (which will prevent your server from timing out during long requests). Reports also improve the analytics you can access on your store, as a new “Category Earnings” report has been added, and you can also display tax exclusive reports.
There are also changes to payment methods and some behind-the-scenes work going on to make it easier for developers to build on Easy Digital Downloads.
One of the biggest changes in version 2.4 is the addition of another free core payment method: Amazon Payments. This lets you launch an EDD store with something other than (or in addition to) PayPal Standard. Amazon Payments is an off-site payment method that will open a pop up window that lets customers use Amazon to complete their purchases.
Customers can pay with any payment method saved in their Amazon account to make checkout easy and frictionless. Note that your server must be using PHP 5.3 or newer to use the Pay with Amazon button at checkout, so you may want to check this with your hosting provider.
EDD 2.4 also adds a new report to the admin: Earnings by Category:
This report can show you a list of total sales by downloads category in your store, as well as monthly averages.
The Category Earnings report also shows you the sales and earnings by percentage for the categories in your store. This can let you see what percentage of sales or revenue each category drives in your EDD shop.
The earnings and sales reports have also been tweaked. In Easy Digital Downloads 2.3, you could view each report, but they would include order totals. You can how exclude tax from these reports.
The core exports have also been updated with a couple very neat changes. First exports are batched, which means that they don’t happen in a single request. Records are broken up into batches so that the request doesn’t time out on your site before it’s completed, making it possible to export larger groups of data without massive server resources.
You can also export by date range, which was not previously possible. In Easy Digital Downloads 2.3, you could export payments or downloads for a one-month period only. You can now set a custom start and end date to export exactly the data you need.
Easy Digital Downloads 2.4 includes some changes that will be of interest to developers as well. The REST API now leverages endpoint versioning so that major changes can use a new version while still supporting the previous version of the API. Here’s how this works for non-developers:
Let’s say you have an ebook that you’re subscribed to updates for, so it can be updated with new content. You write up a report, indicating the page number that your referencing. This ebook can be updated at any time, so your report may become outdated as the book changes. This is what the old API was like.
Now imagine you’re writing a report on the ebook, but it has editions (like an old text book) — first edition, second edition, etc. You can safely reference page numbers in the second edition, because any updates will be bundled together and released as a third edition. At this time, you can update your report to use the new edition, but you’re safe without an immediate update because you’ve indicated you’re referencing the old edition.
This is what endpoint versions do: they tell code which “edition” or version of the API to use, so that the API can include major changes without breaking your code, giving you a chance to update your code when possible.
There’s also a new filter that developers will find useful: the edd_download_redirect_to_checkout filter. This can let you filter the add to cart redirect, so you can choose when to redirect to checkout and when not to (depending on which download is being added).
I really liked the improvements to reporting and exports, which let you get the data you need to make decisions for your store. Earnings by category can show you which download collections drive the majority of your revenue and average monthly sales, while better payment history exports can let you do any custom reporting via your accounting software.
The inclusion of Amazon Payments is also great to see, as Amazon (so far) seems to be more seller-friendly than PayPal, and it provides another trusted brand with which customers are used to paying.
You can already upgrade to Easy Digital Downloads 2.4 to check out your new reports and sign up for Amazon Payments to start using it 🙂 .