Yes, Joomla ecosystem is alive and as an evidence, I'm proud and happy to present you Download Counter, my new plugin developped for Joomla 4.
In this article, I'll explain you why and how I've created this plugin. And maybe it will gives few ideas to some of you... ;)
Download Counter - Free plugin for Joomla 4
Why I've imagined Download Counter?
As usual, all starts from a specific need.
For this website, I wanted to change the way my visitors downloaded my free Joomla extensions. If you know me, you know that I love simple and minimalistics things. I wanted to make this download process as easier as possible for my users, which means:
- Less clics as possible: once the visitor is on the page of one of my extensions, he should be able to download it in 1 or 2 clics maximum. No more.
- Light as possible: my previous download system was built with 2 extensions (madness) and of course, it was too "heavy" (too many files). To make it light and simple, I had imagined something different.
- No registration required: very honestly, I hate so much developers who demand a registration for downloading a free extension. This kind of process kills the user experience and I close the page immediatly when I have to fill such form. NO WAY!
With such requirements, I've started to imagine something different for my Joomla 4 website. Yes, it could be a simple button with a link to download a file but I also wanted few features:
- A single extension: because it's easier to maintain and lighter with less files as possible
- A download counter: because it can be interesting to display this detail on frontend
- Limit the download to registrated users: in some cases, limiting the download to specifics users can be useful or needed
How I've created this new extension for Joomla?
Before starting to code anything, I had first a look at the JED. Yes, it's better to check before if someone has already did what I was needed.
And yes, the perfect extension I was looking for was there, listed on the JED! All the features I was needed were available. Sadly, it was only for J3 and not for J4.
I've contacted his developer - Yagnenok - to ask him if he planned to upgrade this plugin to J4. As I never had any reply from him, I've sent him a second message to ask him the permission to fork his plugin for J4. No reply at all. Moreover, his website is inaccessible now.
Sometimes, you're lucky and you don't need to spend hours on a project because the job have been done earlier by someone else. Here, I want to credit Yagnenok, the previous developer, who did most of the job.
So, it was much simple and faster than I've imagined at the beginning and few days later, my plugin was 100% functional on J4.
Because the features of this extension are useful to me, I've decided to release and share it with the Joomla Community who might also need it too.
And because I want to spread the Joomla love, Download Counter - like all my Joomla extensions - is free of charge. For you, for all and for ever.
How Download Counter works?
Very basically, the plugin aims to display a link to download a file and a counter to display the number of downloads.
The file to download can be anything: a picture, a .zip archive, etc. anything you want. You upload your file in a specific folder of your Joomla installation and indicate this folder in the plugin parameters.
Every time someone download the file, the counter automatically increments and displays the total download number.
Of course, there are some interesting options like:
- customize the download link: you can easily add some CSS class to turn the link into a button
- limit the download to specifics visitors based on ther user group
Let's have a look to Download Counter parameters:
As you can see, Download Counter is really simple but enough powerful to make you smile everyday.
If you use this free plugin, I only ask you to take few minutes to post a positive review on the JED to help this extension to get more visibility.
And if you love very much this plugin, a Paypal donation would be appreciated :)
Because I strongly believe in Joomla, because Download Counter is free and easily customizable, I hope this plugin will be use on many projects.
I also hope that abandonned Joomla 3 extensions will be saved and forked by talented developpers who have the same positive vision of the future as me.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to post in the comments section below. I'll reply you shortly.