When creating a shop with Easy Digital Downloads, a client may want to have the featured feature. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to create featured downloads for Easy Digital Downloads.

So, how shall we do that? We will have to:

  1. Create a metabox field (checkbox)
  2. Save the field
  3. Edit the Main Query
  4. Add a new class

Creating the Featured Downloads Field

To create a featured field, we may want to create a new metabox. That would be the straightforward approach since that can be done on any post type. But, since EDD is so well coded using the WordPress Plugin API, we don’t need to do that. We will just hook our field HTML into an already existing one.

For the metabox Download Settings, there is a hook edd_meta_box_settings_fields. We will use that hook to add our field.

To create the field, we will use the EDD API. Our field will be a simple checkbox that will be true or false. Let’s now add the HTML.

The field will be saved as a postmeta of our product and the key of it will be _edd_featured. If there is a postmeta, the variable $featured will be true and the checkbox will be checked. Otherwise, if we decide to uncheck it, EDD will delete that postmeta.

Saving the Featured Field

We could also use the hook save_post to save our field but we would have to do several checks. All this can be bypassed with the EDD filter edd_metabox_fields_save.

By hooking into that filter, we are adding our own meta key. Since the attribute name of our checkbox is of the same value, EDD will be able to save it without our interference.

Editing the Main Query with Featured Downloads

To edit the query, we will have to hook into the action pre_get_posts. We will have to add our code only if we are in the main query and if we are on the archive page of the Downloads.

We want our featured downloads to be displayed first, but we also want to display other downloads. Since the featured meta key is deleted if it’s false, we will need to include downloads with and without that meta key.

Here we are adding a meta query where we want all of the downloads to be included. With the compare set to EXISTS and NOT EXISTS we are sure that all downloads will be seen. With relation set to OR, we are including both of scenarios.

We also need to order the downloads. We will set the order so that the featured downloads show first. Others will use the default ordering: publishing date (date of creation).

As you can see, we are also using the key that we have set in our meta queries to set the ordering.

Adding the Featured Class

When we have featured products, we would like to apply a different style to them. That can be something simple such as a border, a different background color or something else. By doing that, we should add a class that would define if the product is a featured one or not.

We will hook into the filter post_class to include that class.

With the variable $post we can check if the post type is a download. We will also check if that download is featured. If it is, we will add the class.


In this tutorial, we have created a simple but effective feature to our shop powered by Easy Digital Downloads. By using the filters and hooks provided by EDD, we can easily add anything we want.

If you are interested in learning more about developing with Easy Digital Downloads, I have an eBook for you. In this eBook, Easy Digital Downloads for Developers, I’ll cover more complex and challenging projects.

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Posted by Igor Benic

Web Developer who mainly uses WordPress for projects. Working on various project through Codeable & Toptal. Author of several ebooks at https://leanpub.com/u/igorbenic.

One Comment

  1. Hey. I would like to add to the specific downloads a new class for editing css via the Meta Key Toggle in EDD Submission Form. I don’t know anything about it. Could you help me?
    More specifically, I would like the user by selecting Toggle with the Meta Key assigned, could edit the css for blurring content 18+


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