Nov 192015

WordPress Simple Download Monitor Troubleshooting post provides some of the most common questions asked in the support forum with the best answers provided.

Last Updated: December 9, 2018

Latest News: I added another solution to the list.

WordPress Simple Download Monitor Tutorials

WordPress Simple Download Monitor Troubleshooting

This is a list of questions and answers to help you troubleshoot some of the most common questions asked by many users in the forum.

Q1 ) How do I force the download of the files, instead of displaying the files in the window (PDF, JPG…) without having to edit the .htaccess file?

Solution 1: The following URL Force a file to download instead of showing in the browser will help you. (Solution provided by Tips & Tricks HQ)

Solution 2: Make sure you enable the following option PHP Dispatch or Redirect.

Q2 ) I need to upload and offer downloading for some file format like MOBI, and/or EPUB files. Unfortunately I cannot upload these files (for security reasons!). Can these files be uploaded?

Answer: The error message that you receive is set up in place by WordPress core. This is done to prevent hacking into your site and to increase the security. This warning has nothing to do with Simple Download Monitor plugin.

Solution 1: You might like to check the following URL WordPress file type is not permitted for security reasons for a solution.

I have also added the code below from the URL mentioned above just in case one day the site goes down.

  1. Copy and paste the below line of code in wpconfig.php file of your WordPress installation:
    define('ALLOW_UNFILTERED_UPLOADS', true);

    Now go back to media library and try uploading the media that showed the error earlier before. If it gets uploaded successfully, you won’t need anything else. If it doesn’t, continue to the next step.

  2. Add the code below to the functions.php file of your WordPress theme and save the changes:
    add_filter('upload_mimes', 'pixert_upload_types');
    function pixert_upload_types($existing_mimes=array()){
     $existing_mimes['mp4'] = 'video/x-mp4';
     $existing_mimes['swf'] = 'video/x-swf';
     $existing_mimes['flv'] = 'video/x-flv';
     $existing_mimes['mid'] = 'audio/midi';
     return $existing_mimes;

Solution 2: You might like to check the following documentation. It includes an addon and instructions for using this addon. This will allow you to upload other file types.

Q3 ) When I upload the file and click on save, it does not save. How can I fix this?

Solution 1: Check the following Configure the PHP max_input_vars setting. These settings are sometimes available in the php.ini directive called max_input_vars.

Edit the server php.ini or in some cases you can add a secondary php.ini inside the account (domain) folder.

Configure the php.ini like this:
max_input_vars = 3000

You may need to do this via .htaccess (on a shared host for instance), use:
php_value max_input_vars 3000

Solution 2: Deactivate all your other plugins and try and upload your file again. If this works then you know there is a plugin conflict. Start enabling one by one your other plugins and carrying out a test until you find the conflicting plugin.

Q4 ) If you receive the following error message when the download button in clicked on your website. That means something is wrong with your server. It might be related to your PHP version. It might be an old version your server is running.

Fatal error: Call to undefined function filter_var() in /home/sloboda1/ on line 70

The above error is saying that the filter_var() function doesn’t exist on your site.

The function “filter_var” is a standard PHP function that should be available on all recent PHP installs. See the documentation of this function from PHP website:

Ask your hosting provider what version of PHP they are using. If they are using anything older than PHP5.4 you should ask them to upgrade it (because that means they have given you a server with very old PHP version).

(The above quoted by mra13 in the forum)

Q5 ) I want to adjust some of the settings via CSS. What do I need to do?

Solution 1: The following URL CSS Tweaks for The WordPress Download Monitor Plugin provides you with a list of options that allow you to tweak some of the settings and display features.

Q6 ) I want to combine SDM plugin with Tips & Tricks Compact Audio Player. Then I want to protect the file in the page or post. Can this be achieved?

Solution 1: You can use the compact audio player’s shortcode in the SDM plugin’s description area. Then show the SDM Download items using fancy1 template. Protect the page containing the SDM downloads using Simple Membership plugin or eMember plugin. This will allow only the members to view and interact with the player and the download buttons.

Q7 ) Is the plugin compliant with GDPR Laws?

Answer 1: Yes.

Solution 1: Here is what you can do to make it GDPR compliant:

  1. Enable the terms and conditions feature to let the users know what happens when they download the item(s). They will need to accept the terms before they can download the item. Then its it fully compatible.

Solution 2: If you are going to enable the following, disable capturing of visitors IP address and want to keep a count of the previous download log entries. Then carry out the following steps.

  1. Take a note of the count for the individual downloads.
  2. Then you can go to the logs menu and bulk delete all the log entries.
  3. Edit the download items and enter the current count in the “Offset Count” field. So any new count is added to this number (since you deleted the old log entries).
  4. Now, disable the IP address tracking so you are not tracking IP address going forward.

Q8 ) How do I modify the fancy2 format. The Download button is not required, instead I want to provide the link as the download?

Solution 1: The following support post has a solution provided by one of the users.

I will be adding more questions and answers so keep coming back for the latest.

If you have a question please let me know.


Manuel Ballesta Ruiz is a web developer, Blogger and WordPress Enthusiast.

  2 Responses to “WordPress Simple Download Monitor Troubleshooting”

  1. I have files that are behind a user login page but if I navigate to https://{domain}/sdm_downloads/ I can see the files. I cannot open them due to the login restriction, but is there a way to not have them display in this listing at all and to make sure search engines are not indexing them?

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