How to Sell Digital Goods Securely through Google Drive

A few days ago, I came to this conclusion; How should I host a file on Google Drive and sell it through the WooCommerce WordPress plugin without letting the buyer know my Google Drive URL?

Why was I trying to hide the Google Drive file download URL? That is because of security and I want them to download the file directly instead of viewing them through Google Drive.

When you send a visitor to the Google Drive page to download a file, then they will first view those files. For example, a PDF file is readable through Google Drive without downloading. That creates many problems.

  • Your file can be reshared
  • You look unprofessional
  • They may not download your file after viewing
  • They comment on your file publicly, which can be read by other visitors
  • and so on

How could You sell your digital goods without looking unprofessional and giving them an unsecure URL?

This post will answer your question.

Step 1:

Get Google Drive Direct Download Link

I am not kidding, you can have a direct download URL for your Google Drive file. It is an effortless process.

First, get your shareable URL for your file. For Example, it will look like this (First URL)

1gu1x8AFgYewjrWVvRCIJ7ftEN1GQGG3m is your File ID.

Convert your normal file URL into this format:<ID>&export=download

Replace<ID> with your File ID

And thereafter, it will look like this: (Second URL)

When you visit the second URL, a PDF file will be automatically downloaded to your computer without any extra click.

Step 2:

Install URL Clocking WordPress Plugin (Optional)

URL clocking or affiliate URL management plugin is the same thing. The first, you have to install a URL clocking WordPress plugin. I will recommend Thirsty Affiliates WordPress Plugin. I use this plugin on my website, and it does an impressive job at clocking your affiliate link and managing it like a pro.

Now create a new affiliate link:

Install URL Clocking WordPress Plugin

Put the second URL into the Destination URL column and click the Save button.

You can also go to the Plugin setting to change the look of your URL. For example, by default, Thirsty Affiliate URL will look like<name>. You can change it in to<name>.

The final clocked URL will look like this

Step 3:

WooCommerce Integration with Google Drive

This is the last step. Go to your Product section in your WordPress Dashboard, click on Edit and scroll down to the Product Data section. Select Simple Product and Downloadable option. After that, click on Add file and put your final clocked URL.

WooCommerce Integration with Google Drive

Now update your WooCommerce product. That is it. You have just integrated the WooCommerce plugin with Google Drive to deliver a digital file to your buyer or anyone without creating any problems.

You can use the same clocked URL in other ways to deliver your file securely. I use the same process with a free giveaway product and when I am selling a digital product.

Update (Last step)

Note: This article was first published in May 2019. This method needs an extra step to work properly. Recently, WooCommerce changed the way they encode (encrypt) download URLs to secure files. Your buyer might download an auto-generated file (corrupted file) from WooCommerce or get an error message “file not found.

To resolve this issue. Go to your WooCommerce Settings in your WordPress dashboard. After that, click on Products Tabs than the Downloadable products link. Change the File download method option from Force download to redirect only. After that, click on the Save button. Now the issue will be resolved. Don’t worry, your file won’t leak or get reshared.

How is your online business going?

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See you later.