Groups File Access

File downloads for authorized users

Groups File Access is a WordPress plugin that allows to provide file download links for authorized users. Access to files is restricted to users by their group membership.

  • Provide file downloads for Premium Members.
  • Allow registered users to download files from your site.

Features

  • Restrict access to downloads to authorized user groups
  • Full multisite support (WordPress network installations)
  • File management area
  • Upload files via FTP and bulk import
  • File access notifications (customizable)
  • Flexible shortcodes: [groups_can_access_file], [groups_can_not_access_file], [groups_file_info], [groups_file_url], [groups_file_link], [groups_file_visibility], [groups_file_access_service_key]
  • Limited or unlimited number of downloads per user
  • Key authentication file access

Access to files is restricted by group membership. To be able to download a file, a user must be a member of a group that is assigned to the file. If an access limit has been set for the file, the user must also have accessed (downloaded) the file fewer times than the file’s access limit.

If you want to restrict access to a file to users that belong to a certain group, create the group, add the desired users to the group and assign the group to the files that the group should be able to access. More than one group can be assigned to a file.

Shortcodes are used on posts or pages to render links to files, provide information about files and conditionally show content to users depending on whether they are allowed to access a file.

For example, the [groups_file_link group="Premium"] shortcode renders links to files that members of the Premium group can click to download the files.

Download

See the Groups File Access product page.

Documentation

See the Group File Access documentation pages.

Demo

Please visit the Demo site.

350 Responses to Groups File Access

  1. EGFS March 2, 2015 at 10:40 pm #

    I just purchased Groups File Access. I’m wondering if there is a way to assign a graphic icon to specific file types? For example, all PDF files could have a specific PDF icon for each download link. Is this possible?

    • kento March 3, 2015 at 9:28 am #

      Thanks for the suggestion, the file type isn’t taken into account in the markup generated but it’s a good idea to include that. Please see shortcodes for a styling example and options.

  2. EGFS March 2, 2015 at 10:59 pm #

    Another question about Groups File Access. Can there subfolders in the ‘groups-file-access’ folder on the FTP server?

    • EGFS March 2, 2015 at 11:04 pm #

      Is there at least an ability to assign Categories or Tags to each file?

      • kento March 3, 2015 at 12:22 pm #

        The categorization is supposed to be handled through the group assignments with this plugin. Could you please explain why you would want to assign the files to categories and/or tags, too? Maybe it’s something worth considering to add.

        • EGFS March 3, 2015 at 6:23 pm #

          Sure thing. Thanks for responding Kento. We are not using the File Access for any sort of paid download or membership activity. We are using this with an internal website for our franchise community. We have a relatively large number of file downloads (100-200) that are largely marketing and artwork files for our franchisees. The current ‘Groups File Access’ plugin does not allow for any organizing of the file download list on the visitor page side. We don’t want to use the ‘group assignments’ to provide file organization because we need that for access restrictions for the different types of franchisees that login.

          Without FTP subfolders, Categories/Tags or some type of ‘groups filter’, there is no way to make this large list of downloads more user friendly for our users to search and browse.

          I ended up going with WP Download Manager Pro (wpdownloadmanager.com) instead, which thankfully seems to work fine with the ‘Groups’ access restrictions. I think you’ve done a great job on the backend of the Groups plugins. The frontend user experience seems to be missing though.

          Thanks for your response and all of your hard work.

          • kento March 9, 2015 at 12:37 pm #

            Thanks for your feedback on that, also good to know that it works with that plugin which could be an alternative for others with a similar requirement. One note though, the group assignments also allow to categorize the files, here’s a simple example:

            – Assume a group “Downloads” that grants access to all files intended for members of the “Downloads” group.
            – Assume a group “Documents” that is used to classify files as documents. This group does not have any members, it is used to classify the files only.
            – Assume a group “Audio” that is used to classify audio files. No group members required here either.

            Now you can list files in the “Documents” group using [groups_file_link group="Documents"] and list files in the “Audio” set using [groups_file_link group="Audio"].

            The files are still restricted to members of the “Downloads” group if they are properly assigned, but the listings are showing files as per their classification.

    • kento March 3, 2015 at 9:31 am #

      Thanks for asking, subfolders aren’t supported.

  3. EGFS March 3, 2015 at 12:29 am #

    Can you explain more about ‘groups_file_info’ filter? Could this be used to ‘filter’ a list of download links to only show those that have a specific word in the name or description?

    We have a large number of file downloads and I’m trying to find a way to organize them for the user. All of the questions I’m asking have to do with solving this problem.
    1) Can there be subfolders on the FTP server?
    2) Can Categories or Tags be assigned to each file?
    3) Can ‘groups_file_info’ filter be used to show a filtered list based on a word in name or description?

    If the answer to all of the above is ‘no’, then the only other questions I have are…
    4) Can another download manager plugin be used with ‘Groups’?
    5) Can I get a refund for my purchase of ‘Groups File Access’?

    Thanks for your time.

    • kento March 9, 2015 at 12:26 pm #

      Hi,

      Regarding your questions:

      #1 No, the files are handled from the single folder
      #2 No, you would use groups to distinguish between sets of files
      #3 No, this filter is not related to the files handled by GFA
      #4 Yes if it is properly integrated with Groups’ API
      #5 Please get in touch with Envato for that as they handle sales

      Cheers

  4. Mickaël LIBLIN March 3, 2015 at 8:10 am #

    Hey,

    I’ve just bought your plugin to use in my website.
    I want ti use wp-login.php like you you did in your Live Preview but when use try to connect, he arrive each time on his profil page and not to the link I’ve send him.
    Is there a way to prevent it?
    My idea is : send a link a link to specific page. I’ve put script to detect group of the user. If it’s ok, he can see link, else he must login or register. If registered, he must login. When it’s done I want my user arrive on the download page, not on his account page. You see ?
    Thanks for your help.

  5. Abimar March 5, 2015 at 6:20 am #

    Is there a way to allow user to search documents by title?

    Basically I would like to give our users the ability to do a keyword search for file names or descriptions– ideally with the search results only producing files available to the user’s groups.

    • kento March 12, 2015 at 9:50 pm #

      Thanks for asking, this is not available but it’s a good suggestion, if you have many files it would really be useful.

  6. TeamDev March 5, 2015 at 2:07 pm #

    Hi,
    I have a problem uploading zip and rar files… when I download them the files inside the archive are corrupted and don’t work anymore.
    Have you got any suggestion?
    Thanks in advance.
    Best regards

    • kento March 9, 2015 at 12:41 pm #

      Hi,

      Can you please provide access to check that? Please send admin credentials to support at itthinx dot com and include a link to your comment here.

      Cheers

      • TeamDev March 11, 2015 at 4:58 pm #

        Hi,
        are there any news about the problem?
        Cheers

        • kento March 15, 2015 at 9:57 pm #

          Yes I can confirm that this is an issue on your setup but it’s not an issue with the plugin. This might be due to a conflict with another plugin (the zip file downloaded seems to have one character prefixed at the beginning of the file). I would recommend to set up a test environment where you disable all other plugins and make sure that it works correctly with a minimum configuration.

  7. Xose March 9, 2015 at 8:42 am #

    Is there any changelog? Which changes were implemented in this last version?
    Thanks!

    • antonio March 9, 2015 at 9:34 am #

      Hi,
      you have available a changelog.txt file in the plugin zip file.
      This is:
      * 1.5.2
      - adjusted the filetype recognition to be less strict in favor of allowing file types to be recognized

      Regards

      • Xose March 9, 2015 at 9:42 am #

        Ok! Thanks

  8. Henry March 12, 2015 at 3:47 pm #

    Hi,

    I’m looking into buying this plugin, and just have a quick question. Do you guys have a email functionality where you can send updates to your groups?

    Thanks,
    Henry

    • kento March 15, 2015 at 9:39 pm #

      Hi Henry,

      Not directly through this plugin, but you can distribute news to groups through Groups Newsletters.

      Cheers

  9. archivist March 20, 2015 at 8:16 pm #

    hello
    i need for some more details for this addon. ; how it works?
    for example i need to limit my users download count individually:
    x user: can download 30 files at all
    y user: can download 5 files per day

    can this addon do what i want?

    • antonio April 4, 2015 at 10:17 am #

      Hi,
      with the plugin you can restrict the access to files by groups, and limit by users.
      But you can not limit by time and by total count. So you can not use this for your specifications.
      Regards,
      Antonio B.

  10. Andrei G March 23, 2015 at 10:20 pm #

    Hi,

    I have lately run into an issue with the site using this plugin, that caused a major slowdown of the site not long after it was launched. It took quite a while to investigate the reason of the slowdown and the source was a field in the wp_options table of the database named “cron”.

    The contents of the field was really gigantic and what was particular about it is that most of the values were related to the Groups File Access plugin. The values contained.. that seemed to be repeated thousands of times were similar to: “a:1:{s:44:”groups_file_access_session_delete_transients”.

    I had suspected this plugin to be the cause of the slowdown earlier, but it wasn’t clear in what fashion it was affecting the site.

    To fix it, I simply deleted the “cron” field in wp_options table, but I would really like to know the reason for which this happened and how to go about preventing it.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks.

    • kento April 20, 2015 at 4:19 pm #

      Hi Andrei,

      This sounds like cron isn’t working on your site but also thanks for mentioning it because if it isn’t, the plugin shouldn’t be adding more and more jobs (although it already checks before adding them). In any case, I’ll re-check to see if anything needs to be done about that.

      Cheers

  11. Andrei G. March 25, 2015 at 11:55 pm #

    Hi,

    I wrote to you previously about the issue with plugin that caused the cron field in wp_options to be gigantic, causing a major site slowdown (with a major client).

    I can confirm now that this is indeed the case, and I believe to have also fixed it.

    The issue lies in class-groups-file-access-session.php, line 147. The check for whether a schedule exists already is bad. The function wp_get_schedule() returns false if no schedule or a string if a schedule exists. Thus, the check basically says “if !(false)” which equals true… so the line after will run basically every time.

    I have modified to be: if ( wp_get_schedule( ‘groups_file_access_session_delete_transients’ )!= false ) {

    This seems to solve it.

    For now, I have modified the plugin myself, but I’d like it to be included officially, so that I don’t have to worry about losing this fix with future plugin updates.

    Thanks.

    • kento April 20, 2015 at 4:23 pm #

      Many thanks Andrei, that seems to make a lot of sense – I’ll run some tests with your modification and add it. Great work figuring that out! :)

  12. yannick lévesque April 7, 2015 at 8:36 pm #

    Is it possible to open the document (PDF) when i clik ON the file ?

    Presently the document is DOWNLOAD in the bottom left like a download file.

    My client would like to open directly to the screen ?

    Thanks

    • kento April 20, 2015 at 4:52 pm #

      Hi,

      That depends entirely upon how the client has configured her or his browser, as this is a preference of the viewer and is normally determined by the settings used for the MIME type in the user’s browser.

      Cheers

      • yannick levesque April 20, 2015 at 5:21 pm #

        the link you generate is : http://www.simplicitesisimple.com/fr/?gfid=2 (not know by all mime type)

        Is it possible to give me some information where in the php code you start or call download with this link. I will check for open pdf link in a new window at the place of the link you generated !

        What do you think about this approch ?

        My client want automatic pdf open for the member users !!!

        yannick

        • kento April 20, 2015 at 9:38 pm #

          Hi,

          It doesn’t matter what the URL looks like, the MIME type is provided in the header of the response to the request if it’s recognized. Anyhow, if you want the link to open in a new window, you can use the shortcode like this [groups_file_link file_id="123" target="_blank"] see http://docs.itthinx.com/document/groups-file-access/shortcodes/

          Cheers

          • Greg April 21, 2015 at 1:04 pm #

            Hi Kento, I’m not able to get the files from the group file link to open in the browser preview window.
            I have checked the browser MIME type preferences and can confirm the default for opening pdf files is set to the browser preview and it works fine on any pdf document that has been added outside of group file access i.e. Media library. And have tested this with Google and Firefox
            So I would have expected that when a user is logged in and has permission to access a file they would be able to view the pdf file controlled by group file access and not to have to download it to view it.
            Please can you advise as to why pdf files added by group file access won’t open with the browser preview, but pdf added using WordPress Media library do?

            • kento May 9, 2015 at 5:51 pm #

              Thanks Greg, I’ll review the conditions for that.

  13. Julien April 15, 2015 at 6:13 pm #

    Hello,
    I just bought group file access plugin to allow specific user to download report directly from our blog.
    I don’t know how to use it, documentation is really poor.
    There is not any tutoriel to help me to setup the plugin.
    I’ve already setup a lot of different plugins and I never had to ask for some support.
    If someone from the itthinx team could get in touch with me to understand how it works, it would be great.

    Thanks

    • kento April 17, 2015 at 10:59 am #

      Hi Julien,

      There is in fact plenty of detailed information in the documentation, you must have looked at the wrong place. See http://docs.itthinx.com/document/groups-file-access/ and let us know if you have any particular doubt or question you need help with please.

      Cheers

  14. Mirko April 21, 2015 at 8:30 am #

    Hi, I am going to buy this plugin, it looks really great for my project. Before I get it, I’d like to understand how it exactly works. When a new user sign into my WP site, I don’t want him to immediately get access to the files. I’d want him to register by himself, just that, then I’ll give him access to one o more groups and notify him he’s been authorized.
    Is this how it works or could I get it working like that? Thank you so much!

    • kento April 21, 2015 at 10:23 am #

      Hi Mirko,

      I would recommend you to install Groups first before you decide. Set up a test group and try to execute the use case you have in mind – from what you say, this should be easy as you let them register and assign to a group manually. I’m suggesting this so you get an idea of how Groups itself works. If that is suitable, you can use GFA to upload files which the users in a specific group are allowed to access. As your process seems to be manual, you wouldn’t need anything else to cover this requirement.

      I hope that helps but please let me know if you have further questions. Oh also have a look at the documentation pages if you haven’t already, that is Groups and Groups File Access.

      Cheers

  15. Mirko G April 21, 2015 at 3:38 pm #

    Hi, I bought Groups File Access, it’s exactly what I needed. I’d like to integrate some download links inside my template code. I read about shortcodes and they are great for pages and posts content, but what about php code? I’m a designer, not a programmer, but understand a little. Could you please tell me what should I write to make a list appear only for the users from a given group? Thank you so much!

    • kento April 28, 2015 at 8:55 pm #

      Hi Mirko,

      Thanks for using the plugin, the easiest would be to use the shortcodes and an approach based on do_shortcode, there was a similar question here a few days ago.

      Cheers

  16. Mirko G April 30, 2015 at 9:27 am #

    Hi, I’d like to show all file a user can download, regardless of the groups. Something like:

    [groups_non_member]

    Login form

    [/groups_non_member]

    [groups_member]

    All files you can download:

    [groups_file_link]

    [/groups_member]

    • Mirko G April 30, 2015 at 9:31 am #

      Never mind, I found out: I’ll use Registered as “all files” group.

      • antonio April 30, 2015 at 2:36 pm #

        Perfect 😉

  17. Jérem May 10, 2015 at 1:18 pm #

    Hello,
    I would like to know how to create files that may be showed by all people (also not connected users) ?

    Thank you so much,
    Jérem

    • antonio May 10, 2015 at 7:09 pm #

      Hi Jérem,
      you could use the wordpress media system, using the “Add Media” button above the text editor in posts/pages.
      Regards,
      Antonio B.

  18. Jérem June 15, 2015 at 9:45 am #

    Hello,

    It is possible to allow to a group of users the possibility to upload files but without the administer management ?

    Thank you.

    • antonio June 15, 2015 at 11:29 am #

      Hi Jérem,
      with the plugin you can not do it (it’s not the purpose of the plugin).
      Maybe Frontend Uploader plugin can help you.
      Regards,
      Antonio B.

  19. Abimar June 17, 2015 at 10:04 pm #

    Automatic updates for Groups File Access?

    I see that there is new update (1.53) available for download. Is there a way to arrange automatic updates or do all updates need to be installed manually?

    If it must be manual installation, what is the best way to to do this?

    • antonio June 18, 2015 at 6:43 am #

      Hi Abimar,
      right now automatic updates are not available. In the plugin you have a readme.txt file with instructions.
      3) Update
      ==============================================================================
      If you have received or downloaded an updated version of the Groups File Access plugin, follow these instructions to update it:
      1) Backup
      --------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Back up your WordPress installation files and database.
      2) Upgrade to the new release
      --------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Upgrading requires to replace the plugin.
      IMPORTANT!
      Make sure that none of the data deletion options are checked on the "Groups > File Access" page:
      - DO NOT CHECK "Delete plugin data when the plugin is deleted?"
      - DO NOT CHECK "Delete all Groups File Access plugin data when the plugin is deactivated?"
      To update, the plugin must be deactivated, deleted and the new release uploaded and activated. These are the steps involved:
      1. Go to "Plugins > Installed Plugins", click "Deactivate" on the "Groups File Access" plugin, then click "Delete" to remove it.
      2. Go to "Plugins > Add New > Upload" and click the "Browse..." button to select the new release's zip file, and click on the "Install Now" button. After it has been installed, activate the plugin.

      Regards,
      Antonio B.

  20. Justine June 18, 2015 at 7:21 pm #

    Hi there – I’m working with WP developer and looking for a solution to do the following. Will the “Groups” plug-in support the following? The one thing I haven’t seen is any file size limitations.

    1) Must allow users to register themselves
    2) Must collect and verify user’s e-mail address
    3) Users must be “approved” by an administrator
    4) Access control must be supported on an individual user and groups of users basis, using arbitrary groups (number of groups and membership of groups)
    5) Users must be able to be members of multiple groups
    6) Access control must be supported on individual files and groups of files basis (i.e. individual files as well as entire directories)
    7) Access control must include options for read-only control, as well as completely hidden (i.e. no indication that a file exists, not just denying access to read the file)
    8) A maximum individual file size of at least 20MB. If your server implements a PHP timeout limit, it must be long enough to allow a 20MB file to be uploaded via a typical ADSL line (i.e. 768kbps upload)

    Optional features:

    1) Per-user ‘private’ areas (i.e. “home directory” or similar concept)
    2) Allow uploads by users into designated areas, restrictable via access control

    Thanks so much!

    • kento June 29, 2015 at 10:12 am #

      Hi Justine,

      Your first two points are covered by WordPress itself. User approval is not handled by Groups and access control is based on group memberships, not on an individual user basis. #5 is inherent. These points are not related to GFA, only to WordPress and/or group memberships.

      #6 GFA doesn’t support folder structures.
      #7 it prodeces 404’s by default.
      #8 depends on your PHP limits, not on GFA.

      #1b again Groups is designed for memberships and works on a per group basis, not per user.
      #2b is not supported

      Cheers

  21. Clayton June 29, 2015 at 9:57 pm #

    Something has happened to our groups file access installation. It’s been working for over a year, and now none of the links will open. All pdfs. If I click on the link in the ‘files’ list in wordpress admin Groups -> Files, none of the links work. We did update all our plugins and WordPress recently, and we also moved to a new server. Are there any server config settings that could cause the link to hang?

    • kento June 30, 2015 at 10:10 am #

      Hi Clayton,

      As you mention that you have moxed to another server, I assume that the file paths need to be updated. Please refer to the section “Moving to another Server” on the File Access documentation page. You can alternatively use the File Import facilities to do this although updating the file paths as described at the end of the File Access page is quicker and simpler.

      Cheers

Leave a Reply