12 May WP File Download Review – File Manager from JoomUnited
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If you’ve used WordPress, you’ve likely come across the need for a file manager at one point or another. If you’ve used Dropbox or Google Drive, then you’ve definitely gotten used to their easy user interfaces, simple designs, and powerful functionalities. While WordPress does have a decent file management system for media and basic uploads, it falls short in a lot of ways in terms of actual file management.
Well, good news. The folks over at JoomUnited designed a plugin that helps you manage files directly within WordPress and share them with your end users, even integrating seamlessly into Dropbox and Google Drive. The plugin installs like a normal plugin, but don’t be fooled, it is much more than that. Beautifully designed and packed with features, this plugin takes file management to the next level.
Today we are going to take a look at the WP File Download plugin from the company. Let’s jump right in.[wp-review]
Before we dive too deep into features, integration, and functionality, let’s first outline the price of the plugin. The WP File Download is not free like some other plugins, but in a bit you will see why. Unlike limiting the features and locking down the things you actually need, JoomUnited just went with a paid pricing structure from the start.
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There are three versions of the plugin available to users:
- Tier 1: Outright purchase – limited support ($24)
- Tier 2: 6 month support – Personal ticket ($29)
- Tier 3: 1 year support – Personal ticket ($39)
As you can see, there isn’t much of a difference between the pricing levels of the plugin. For an upgrade from limited support to 6 months of personal ticket support, it is only $5. To extend that support to an entire year, you’ll only pay $10 more. In the world of constant upsells and bait and switch schemes, it is definitely refreshing to see such an affordable, transparent deal available to WordPress users.
Overall, the pricing on all three tiers of this plugin is incredibly affordable. More often than not, a plugin this powerful can cost much more, so the pricing is structured with users in mind, making it available to users of all types. For this, we give it 5 stars.
Now that we’ve gotten the pricing conversation out of the way, let’s dive right in and see what you’re paying for. No matter which version of the plugin you choose, you’ll be delighted to discover just how much this plugin can do.
- Drag’n Drop interface
- Editor interface
- AJAX navigation
- Remote download
- Design and layout
- Download stats
- Access limitation
- File preview
- Full text search
- SEO optimized
- Multi-lingual ready
- Import files
- Addon features
- Plugin update
- WordPress framework
- Easy upload
- User role editor
- Flexible search engine
- Google Drive – This plugin integrated directly into Google Drive, allowing users double way sync from Google Drive to WordPress
- Dropbox – Like the Google Drive integration, this plugin also integrated with Dropbox, giving users instant file sync between WordPress and Dropbox
As you can see, this plugin is packed with features that will make booking appointments much easier than you can imagine. What truly sets this plugin apart from others in the industry, however, is that is focuses on a niche market. This plugin focuses on business owners and freelancers that are hourly-based person-to-person services that are provided upon appointment.
Because of the way this plugin is set up, and the unique niche it operates in, we gave this plugin a 9.5. Not for everyone, but if it applies to your niche, you can definitely count on Salon Booking as a solid backbone to managing your business.
Reliablity & Ease of Use
Straight out of the box, we noticed that the plugin was very well designed and customer ease of use was one of the top priorities when JoomUnited designed this plugin. From a design and functionality standpoint, the plugin is very simple and easy to use on both the frontend and backend.
From a public, user-facing perspective, the plugin is incredibly simple and easy to understand. Intuitive features like one-click file uploads, clickable breadcrumbs, and a side folder navigation make knowing where you are at all times very easy. When we were navigating around the syste, we never got lost or confused on where we were or how to do something.
As you can see from the screenshots, the interface is simple to use and easy to understand. Uploading files is even easier, and can be done with just one click. Even the most novice users will have an easy time understanding this.
The plugin is not only easy to use from the public-facing side, but also from the backend admin user. JoomUnited made features such as arranging themes, managing users, and actually implementing the plugin incredibly easy.
Actually activating the plugin is pretty simple, and is done like any other WordPress plugin. Managing users is simple, and changing the look of the file manager is as simple as changing the pre-made styles by selecting the desired theme. In addition, file management is pretty straightforward as well, as you can see in the screenshot below.
Here’s a few screenshots from the view of the admin. You can obviously tell that using the plugin will be as easy as it looks:
Overall, the user and admin were both in mind when the company designed this management platform, and it is not only easy to use, but also very easy to navigate and understand. If you want to integrate additional file management services like Dropbox and Google Drive, however, things get a little more complicated.
If you want to connect the plugin to Dropbox or Google Drive for two way syncing between the file management services and WordPress, things get a little complicated. It will take a little bit of technical knowhow to get these integrations completed, and it is definitely not for the novice blog owner.
While this is a really cool feature, we are still a little hesitant about security. WordPress is incredibly vulnerable to attacks and loopholes, especially if you are using an outdated version of the CMS. While we haven’t directly used this feature, be sure to absolutely know what you are doing and understand the risks before you share all of your sensitive data with 1. the cloud and 2. cross-platform.
Take a look at the following videos for a step-by-step integration tutorial for Dropbox and Google Drive.
Google Drive Integration Guide
This video will walk you how to integrate the plugin with Google Drive
Dropbox Integration Guide
This video will walk you how to integrate the plugin with Dropbox
We have to give this section a solid 5 stars because of how dang easy the plugin is to use and understand. While things get a bit complicated when you dive into integrations, that’s to be fully expected when adding that level of functionality.
The last area that we took a look at is the support available to plugin users when they choose this file management solution. JoomUnited took a unique approach to support, and we don’t see it often.
The company offers both pre AND post-sale support, allowing users to make an informed decision before and after they buy the plugin. Have a question about integration? Find out before you buy. Have an issue after you buy and install the plugin? Ask away!
The pre-sale support comes in the form of a forum, which acts as a huge knowledgebase for all sorts of questions, both past and current. This is definitely helpful, and it ensures that users know exactly what they are purchasing before they buy it.
Post-sale support also comes in the form of a ticket system, which users must purchase. The basic version that costs $24 does not come with this support, so if you have a problem, you’re pretty much on your own minus the forums and FAQ. However, as we discussed above in the pricing section, you can upgrade to 6 month or 1 year support for an additional $5 or $15 respectively.
In our opinion, the plugin is powerful as it is, and upgrading is worth every penny, especially if you are going to choose the advanced features like many do.
We are rating support a 4/5 simply because many other companies offer support for free, on every version of their plugins. This pricing structure is unique, but it would really be nice to get support standard.
Overall, the WP File Download plugin by JoomUnited is a great solution for managing and sharing files with users in WordPress. The plugin comes at a few different price points, but all of them are packed with features that will make sharing files with users easy, intuitive, and elegant looking. If you are looking for a platform to share multiple downloads with users, then this plugin is most definitely for you.