I was late to the game, but I have been getting into podcasts a lot in the last couple of years. It started when I wanted to listen to audiobooks during my work commute. I quickly learned that supporting podcasts is much cheaper and easier to access. Subscribing to a handful of podcasts also gave me more perks. I was now part of communities of other interested people just from interacting with the podcast. Of course, that was only the case when the podcast had its own website.
I learned that without a WordPress site, it is difficult for a podcast to evolve from “casual listening.” And to be fair, this happened with podcasts that did have sites too, The problem was that they were not convenient to use and navigate. It was difficult to find archived podcasts, and there was little to no community interaction in the form of comments, chat, or forums. In short, to really grab my attention, they needed to offer more and be more convenient than clicking “Follow” on Spotify. There are a couple of podcasts that I have checked out on Spotify only, but they quickly burned through my interest. Even when I liked the content, there just was not something more tangible for me to hold onto. I did not realize that I valued the sense of identity that comes with a website until I was listening to podcasts without a WordPress podcast player.
If you are looking into hosting a WordPress podcast website, then use the table of contents below to learn more about getting started, using themes and plugins, getting started with WP Super Host, and more.
Table of Contents
What is a WordPress Podcast?
We have all been exposed to podcasts in some form. We either have a few that we subscribe to or we know people who do. At the very least, we have all heard about them. Basically, a podcast is an audio recording released online in scheduled episodes. Most music hosting services support audio podcasts, like Apple Music and Spotify. Many people listen to them specifically on these services since they keep multiple series in one place.
Instead of a strictly audio format, many podcasts are available in video on demand (VOD) format. The downside here is that these are not supported by the same music services that host audio podcasts. In this case, you need a different outlet to distribute your podcast. So where does WordPress come into play?
WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS) for websites. It is versatile, user-friendly, customizable, and has a lot of community support due to its open-source nature. That makes it a really great choice as a home base for your podcast. Both audio and video podcasts need a website where users can get access to them directly. Plus, it is the only way to showcase news, updates, scheduling, merchandise, forums, or any other content that supports your show.
Do I Need a WordPress Podcast Plugin?
By default, WordPress does not come with podcast capability out of the gate. This is not an oversight for the brand. WordPress is built to be a blank canvas where you get to define your tools and functionality. This way, you do not end up with cumbersome tools that you will never use. Plus, you get to shop around.
There is no shortage of plugins for podcasts. Some can help you figure out how to set up a podcast RSS feed in WordPress. Others are options for getting a podcast player for WordPress sites. In general, though, you are more likely to find a single plugin that can handle all of your podcast needs.
For example, Seriously Simple Podcasting is a plugin that helps you manage all aspects of podcasting. It supports video and audio podcasts. You can use the plugin to serve multiple podcasts through your website too. Each podcast gets its own RSS feed. Plus, you get the option to host players or even embed Spotify.
How to embed a podcast on WordPress
The steps to get your podcast on your WordPress site are actually very simple. First, you need to have a WordPress site and a podcast. Then, download a plugin like Seriously Simple Podcasting. The setup for the plugin will direct you to activate it on your WordPress site. Now, you will be able to see a “Podcast” menu option in your sidebar. After that, you are ready to get your podcast on your site.
In WordPress, you can navigate to that “Podcast” and select the “Settings” option on the sidebar. Then, click on the tab named “Import.” Here, you can point the plugin to where your podcast is currently being hosted. This includes if you have been hosting them yourself. Then you just click the “Trigger Import” button to make your podcasts available as resources for your WordPress CMS.
After this, you can configure your podcast functionality. This includes feed details and hosting options. You also have access to a media player that you can embed anywhere on your site. It is all available through the plugin.
Do I Need a WordPress Podcast Theme?
You might also be wondering if you need a WordPress podcast theme. While a theme is not crucial to the functionality of podcasts, the right ones do a great job of supporting them. They give you access to page layouts and designs that are better suited for podcasting. These are incredibly valuable, especially if you do not have the expertise or time to build a theme yourself.
The best WordPress theme for podcast sites
Astra is a theme that gives you access to a huge collection of pre-built designs. Many of these are geared specifically for podcasting. These give you a great jumping-off point. It also incorporates a drag-and-drop design that makes it easy to change up these templates to make them your own.
Divi is a very popular and versatile theme. The idea behind it is that you can make any kind of website easily with Divi. More than a theme, it works as a kind of overhaul of the design process. It gives you access to a visual editor that gives you user-friendly control over everything.
What is the Best WordPress Podcast Hosting?
Both your website and your podcast needs to be hosted. And while there is software like Seriously Simple Podcasting that gives you options for podcast hosting, what should you do for hosting for your website? You need to know who to pick as a host as well as what kind of hosting package to look for.
To best support your website and visitors, you need to make sure to go with a trustworthy web host. This rules out free options. Any offers for free hosting can easily spell trouble for you. This is often in the form of unwanted advertisements, data harvesting, or straight-up hacking. On the other hand, self-hosting can be a huge nightmare and disaster if you do not have the resources, time, and knowledge needed to run the hardware and software.
Your best bet is to find a managed WordPress host that can provide the speed, uptime, support, and features your website needs. That is why WP Super Host pulls out all of the stops to give you the best hosting possible at competitive prices. We combine top performance in regard to speed, bandwidth, and storage with a collection of great features.
Every website we host gets access to monitoring for uptime, plugins, and WordPress updates. And to help you get the most out of your website, we offer speed reports that include suggestions for helping increase site performance. Matched with CDN access, we do everything possible to give your website incredible speeds.
We want to give our users peace of mind, so we have automated daily backups and 24/7 support. And for your paid subscribers (and if you end up selling merchandise), we give free SSL certifications too. We pull out all the stops to give you the best possible hosting at affordable prices. So when your podcast is ready to get off the ground, look at what WP Super Host can offer you.
Podcasts are becoming more commonplace each year. Right now, there is no evidence that this is slowing down. By now, we should all realize that there is more to podcasting than just recording our voices. There is a lot of production, hosting, and other costs and effort associated with them. That is why it is incredibly important to start off right with WordPress podcast hosting.
Without a website, a podcast is easily forgotten. It is hard to associate an identity to a podcast that has no visual or interactive part. Forgetting that step can be the difference between succeeding and joining the countless others in obscurity. There is a joke that every millennial has their own podcast that nobody listens to. Make sure you are not contributing to that tired cliche.