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Case Study: WordPress and Download Manager

We were approached by a client that was hosting their sound effects business on a paid version of WIX. The client records sound effects across many categories for use in TV, film, videos, audio books, video games, websites, and more. He also does freelance sound recording and audio engineering for clients that need specific sound work done. WIX seemed like a good choice for the first iteration of his web-site as the client had limited experience with building websites. However, as the business grew and changed, he felt increasingly frustrated by the limitations of the WIX framework. He was not able to make the kinds of changes he wanted to his site. The client was looking for a alternative hosting solution that would scale with his business. WordPress and Download Manager PRO ended up being the right combination for him.

Client Requirements

  • The owner had limited knowledge building websites, but was keen to learn;
  • The owner was capable of creating professional video, audio, and text content;
  • The site needs to allow customers to effortlessly download Free and Paid sound files;
  • The site requires real time payment fulfillment for paid products
  • The owner want a robust interface to build professional webpages especially portfolio pages to showcase his professional work;
  • The free and Paid audio files represented well over a terabyte (and growing) of sound files hosted on a Paid Dropbox account;
  • Audio files were to be sold/downloaded individually or as multiple files were zipped together;
  • Free Sounds were organized by categories and tags of sounds to allow easy searching;
  • Paid sounds needed special treatment to increase perceived value and encourage sales.

The Recommend Solution: WordPress Download Manager (WPDM)

Home page of Backpocketsound.com
The homepage of backpocketsound.com

After some research, we moved forward with building his new web-site using:

  • WordPress – latest version;
  • Highlight theme (including Customizr) – Pro Version;
  • Download Manager – Pro Version (WPDM) with the WPDM plugins: dropbox plugin, Stripe plugin, premium package plugin. Extended Short Codes plugin
  • CMS2CMS Connector to import exist site contact from Wix to WordPress
  • Yoast SEO – Free Version
  • Header/Footer Management system
  • Assorted other free plugins related to displaying portfolios

The initial cost for the the paid plugins and the theme was around $200 CAD plus a WordPress Hosting plan. One of the really big advantages of the Download Manager PRO with its companion Dropbox plugin is that all his sound files could remain on his paid Dropbox account and allowed him to avoid having to buy a more expensive hosting package with more than a terrabyte of storage space. The downloads happen seamlessly, without his clients, realizing the files are coming from Dropbox. There were plugins for most of the major cloud hosting services as well as most payment processing companies. Download Manager Pro also allows easy customization of the various link, page, and email templates.

Since the client had an existing site on Wix, we installed CMS2CMS plugin to migrate his content from Wix to WordPress. The migration worked, but a fair amount of effort was required to clean up the content was required. The plugin also created duplicates of most the blog posts. While he has not added the blog posts to his site for the re-launch, he has some great content ready to post in the coming weeks.

The client felt strongly that clients should be able to download his sounds, even paid sounds, as friction-lessly as possible. Download Manager PRO has a guest checkout model that only collects a minimal amount of personal information. However, WPDM will let him migrate to a full checkout process if and when he is ready. The Stripe plugin allows his clients to purchase his paid sounds with a credit card. Once the payment is confirmed the download starts immediately.

Finally, when he is ready, the Download Manager, will manage other fellow sound designers/audio enthusiasts to upload their sounds to his site for sharing. This is a potential future state of his site.

The Results

Despite a bit of a learning curve moving from Wix to WordPress, the client was delighted with the results. WordPress provides the core functionality for the site. The WordPress Download Manager PRO handled his complex requirements for managing the sale and downloading of his audio sounds. The WPDM Dropbox plugin allows him to continue to manage all of his audio files on his preferred paid dropbox account. While the client’s knowledge with building websites was entry level, using the Customizr feature of his Highlight Theme has allowed him to create and maintain professional looking portfolio pages on his own. He is now turning his attention to marketing his new site to his client base and to the larger Internet Audience using the Yoast SEO plugin (Free version for now).

You can check out the new site at https://backpocketsound.com. Make sure you check out his paid and free sounds!