We’re looking for a plugin which lets a user upload files in the admin UI, categorise them and then output a nice categorised list on a page with a sidebar widget to show new downloads.
We’ve spent a fair while googling and not come up with much. This one says it should do what we want, but doesn’t.
I’ve used a plug-in called Publications Archive to do much of that. The only thing it won’t do is output a sidebar widget to show new downloads, but otherwise you can upload via the admin UI, categorize uploads, and create a nice, structured and styled list on a page.
Make sure you read the issues page to track down and fix any bugs. The plug-in hasn’t been officially supported for some time, so there might be a few tweaks here and there that you’ll need to do to get it to work. Eventually I’ll get around to re-writing the system to use custom post types … but that’s several months in the future.
You can see an example of the page output here. Like I said, you can have a structured, stylized list of the documents, files, etc that you’ve uploaded.
What is it that the plugin doesn’t do for you? I ask as I’ve got the same requirement (bar the widget), and I’ve managed to get Downloads Manager to do it for me. It isn’t brilliantly written or supported, and looks like it needs some work doing to be fair.
What I found using it was that it gives you the option to offer a download link (i.e. a url with normal text in like blog.com/filename rather than blog.com/?file_id=2). On my install if I ticked this option, it didn’t work. This could be due to my setup (multiple blogs with different domain names), but regardless if I left this off, it worked fine. You also need to upload the file first, then fill out the form, and highlight the file name on the right hand side. Bit messy, but it does work thus far. Finally I had to make sure the plugin directory had write access to the file system, as this prevented both uploads (it puts them in its own directory) and changes to the table templates for the plugin.
The sidebar widget would need a little development work, as the default options for listing (i.e. showing the list of uploads) are in ascending date order, oldest first. I’m going to have a little play about with the plugin today to see if I can query the list in a custom fashion.