How to create an ebook website to sell PDFs, mp3, digital products in Opencart?

In Opencart, you can easily set up an eCommerce website to sell ebooks, pdfs, music, video, software application, or other digital products and on successful completion of order, they can download the digital products directly from the download section of Opencart. The files or zip can be uploaded to the server, assigned to the product and registered customers can order them and download the files of the product and get the instant download.

Following are the steps to create digital products in Opencart, here we take an example of PDFs

Add/Upload the download file

  1. Go to Admin >> Catalog >> Downloads

    Add Downloadable product
  2. Click the blue plus button, and you will see a form where you can upload your digital assets in our example it is PDF
    Opencart PDF upload
    Enter the “Download Name”. In the Filename, click the upload and upload the PDF file, a successful message is shown and the filename is auto generated. With this auto generated filename and the upload folder is outside of the access folder, it is secured for easy access. You can enter the mask name as per your requirement, better to have the extension, where in our case is “.pdf”. It is recommended that the filename and the mask are different to stop people trying to directly link to your downloads.
  1. Click Save button, with this your download is ready to assign to the product.
    Download Added

Add product and assign the download

  • Go to admin >> Catalog >> Products >> Click add blue button 
  • Enter the Product details, like Product name, Description, Meta Tag Title etc
    Product add eBook

  • In the Data tab, enter more details of the book like Model, ISBM, Prices, Tax Class, Quantity can be 1, Subtract Stock to No, Requires Shipping to No.

** It is better to make the “Requires Shipping” to No so they don’t need to enter the shipping addresses when they order only the digital products.


Likewise, enter other details as required.

  • Now, in the Links tab, select Manufacturer, enter the Categories, Stores and the main thing is you need to add the Downloads. Start typing the downloadable product name and select the right download.
    Links Download select to sell

You can enter the Related Products, and you can enter other details as required. You can add images etc.

  • Click Save and the Product is live. You can see the product like below:
    Opencart PDF product detail

How to make instant downloads available for digital products?

There are two settings you need to set to make the instant downloads available once the order is successful or complete.

Read more: Order statuses management

First, go to admin >> System >> Settings >> Edit Store >> then Option tab >> scroll to the Checkout section where you will see the “Complete Order Status” field, and check the “Complete” option.

Complete Order status instant download

Second thing, you need to set the complete status of the Payment module to complete.

Here is an example of Paypal Payments Standard Order status, the Completed Status is selected to Complete.

Learn more: Create your own Single Instance Opencart module

Paypal Checkout Order Status

Likewise, another example is of 2Checkout payment module, you need to select Order Status to Complete for instant download:

2checkout instant download

Once, these two are set to complete then when payment is successful then the download is instantly available.

How will customers order the pdf or digital products?

Customers visit the product detail page, click “Add to Cart”, checkout, enter the details. As shipping is not required, the checkout steps will not show the shipping address section.

Checkout steps for PDF purchase

Once you entered the billing address, select the Payment Method and confirm the order and make the payments then you will see a success message like below:

order success

If the store sets the order status the customer’s order must reach before they are allowed to access their downloadable products as complete and the payment successfully will create the order status as complete then the download is available instantly.

The customer can click the downloads link on the success page, or they can click the download links in the menu or profile dashboard, and get access to their downloads.

access downloads

They can click the download and access the PDF instantly after the order is successful.

Things to consider

  • Guest checkout is not available for download products in Opencart. Allow customers to checkout without creating an account. This will not be available when a downloadable product is in the shopping cart.
guest checkout download

In this way, we can set up a digital product store in the Opencart and sell pdfs, mp3, images, zip, etc. Please don’t forget to post your questions or comments so that we can add other topics as you required. You can follow us at our Twitter account @rupaknpl and subscribe to our YouTube channel for opencart tutorials and see lists of posts for the Opencart user manual. Happy learning.

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