The Best WordPress Podcast Themes in 2020
If you’ve been thinking about starting a new podcast, or are looking to boost the online presence of your existing podcast, you may be wondering how to reach a larger audience and engage with listeners. This can be a challenge for many podcasters. In this article, we’re going to cover the best WordPress Podcast Themes and solutions. Let’s start by reviewing WordPress and the podcasting theme solutions.
Creating a dedicated website for your podcast is an excellent way to tackle these issues. To do that, you can use WordPress, which currently claims 50-60% of the global CMS market and powers about 35% of the entire web. That’s because WordPress is extremely easy to use for first-timers, while still providing plenty of enhancement options for savvy developers. In this article we’ll review the top podcast WordPress themes for 2020!
Why You Should Consider a Custom WordPress Podcast Theme
Finding and using a dedicated podcasting theme can be an important step in your design process. This isn’t because using a generic theme is necessarily bad or against the rules. Due to the added complexity of some podcasting features you may need, however, a podcast-specific theme is definitely worth exploring.
Many independent podcast owners rely on WordPress to showcase and share their productions, using a theme created specifically for podcasts. This includes hobbyists, professionals, and networks. One example is Daniel J. Lewis, a well-known podcaster, podcast industry expert, and podcast educator. Daniel is also the founder of The Audacity to Podcast where he provides insights, tools and guidance related to podcasting. It is a podcast about podcasting, in fact. His site showcases both his work and his podcast, using the Tusant WordPress podcast theme:
While any theme can be used for podcasting, thanks to popular plugins such as Seriously Simple Podcasting, PowerPress and SimplePodcastPress, not all themes are built for that purpose. This is why it’s vital to make your choice carefully, as a dedicated podcast theme could save you dozens of hours and already include all the best-practice features for podcasters.
What to Look for in a WordPress Podcast Theme Design
First, clean and simple designs can never be underestimated. A poorly-designed site could send potential listeners running to another podcast even before they try to listen to your show.
What’s more, your podcast site is a key branding opportunity. Its design should match your show’s genre or ‘vibe’ in some ways. You can use colors, images, and typography to create a seamless experience between your actual show and your website. Whatever your brand is, therefore, you’ll need to be able to customize your theme to represent your business or your podcast in the best possible way.
Another design note to keep in mind involves how you display your podcast episodes. A clean list or grid layout allows your audience access to the most recent podcast episodes, and some historical items as well. They can then choose whether they want to download those episodes, or stream them right from the page:
Ideally, your website should also display responsively on any tablet or smartphone. Mobile users account for 46.9% of all internet traffic globally. With this in mind, designing for a mobile audience can be a key way to differentiate yourself from the competition. Podcasting is highly consumed on mobile devices, when people are on the go, driving, commuting and so on, so it’s especially important for a podcast website be responsive.
4 Important WordPress Podcast Theme Features to Look For
There are a few essential elements that we think deserve attention when it comes to evaluating the best WordPress podcast themes. Understanding the following four features can help you pick out a theme that will meet all of your needs.
1. A Highly-Customizable Audio Player
While some podcast plugins have functionality that enables you to place an audio player either at the top or bottom of a post, these options are very limited. If you need to place the player within a content area, such as in a slider, archive pages, header or custom pages, you might be out of luck.
In contrast, some podcast themes include built-in audio players that are highly-customizable. You may even be able to choose from several layout options. For example, our own Satchmo podcasting theme includes a flexible audio player:
This is one of the most important features for any WordPress podcast template to have. You’ll want to be able to tweak not only your audio player’s style, but also exactly where it’s positioned on the page.
2. Robust Media Resource Support
Another major feature for your podcast theme’s ‘deal breaker’ list is support for multiple kinds of media resources. Having the option to place an embedded podcast audio or video player within your layout wherever you choose, for example, can be extremely important. There are dozens of podcast hosting companies, and it’d be a good idea to choose a theme that supports the majority of these companies. (Just to name a few as an example – Libsyn, Castos, Transistor, Anchor, BuzzSprout, Blubrry, Spreaker. There are many, many more, though.)
Since loading a lot of large audio files onto your WordPress site’s hosting server is not a recommended practice, file management is something to keep in mind. Figuring out how you want to handle the importing of content and deciding where files will ‘live’ can help you decide what themes are best suited for your show.
3. A Variety of Identifiable Subscription Options
Subscription icons are another item to add to your shopping list when picking out a podcasting theme. Ultimately, you’ll want to attract as many listeners and subscribers as you can. With icons for podcasting platform options such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, SoundCloud, and RSS site feeds, you can present lots of choices to your potential listeners:
Additionally, you might want to include an icon for a newsletter subscription form, in order to build up your email list. Your podcast audience can easily use these subscribe buttons to keep updated on future episodes. Plus, when you decide you want to look into monetizing your podcast, you’ll already have contact data for your loyal following.
4. Built-in Compatibility for Popular Page Builders
Finally, having support for a quality page builder is essential. Page builders open up a vast array of design options for WordPress users, regardless of programming knowledge (or lack thereof). All of our themes use the grid-based Elementor page builder, which makes creating content simple.
In addition to the usual Elementor features, our podcast themes come packaged with some extra functionality. These features have been created specifically for our WordPress podcast themes. We’ll touch on some of these as we explore the various theme options below.
4 Types of WordPress Themes for Podcasting
Now that we’ve covered the essential items that make up a solid podcast website theme, we’re going to review some of the best options that are available for WordPress. We’ve broken these down into four categories, including our own podcasting themes, free and premium solutions, and even DIY themes.
1. WordPress Podcast Themes by SecondLineThemes
Here at SecondLine Themes, we take podcasting very seriously. After working on multiple projects in the podcasting ecosystem, we become deeply frustrated with the available solutions. At that point, we understood that we had to create our own solutions from scratch, and we aimed for perfection.
That’s why we believe the best WordPress podcast themes are made here at SecondLineThemes:
One of the key differences with our themes is that you’re not limited to one specific podcast hosting service. You can use any podcast host that is available out there by importing your podcast. Also, you can host your own audio files on your WordPress server or external hosting services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), and just simply link out to the MP3 files.
Additionally, we support all the major WordPress podcasting plugins. Our themes also work well with more general-purpose plugins, such as Contact Form 7, WPForms, WooCommerce and many more. In addition, our themes are built on our own custom framework. This means there are absolutely no hidden costs, and you can rest assured that no additional purchase of a framework will be needed. We consider our themes the best WordPress podcast themes out there. You can check our Testimonials/Showcase page for live examples of podcast websites and feedback from podcasters from around the world.
2. Free Themes from the WordPress Theme Directory
There are thousands of free themes available in the WordPress Theme Directory. You can use any of them for podcasting, and even customize some of them to fit your needs:
While many of these themes offer you customizable elements and some flexibility, you may find that you’re still limited when it comes to the essential podcast theme features we’ve discussed. In order to make the most of the WordPress Theme Directory, should you choose to go that route, you’ll want to pay attention to some specific information that it provides.
For each theme in the directory, you’ll find valuable details on:
- What version number the theme download will be
- The date the theme was last updated
- User ratings and reviews
- The number of active downloads
All of these provide important knowledge that can be helpful in your decision-making process. We encourage you to read through the reviews of each theme you’re considering, and see if anyone has run into issues specifically when it comes to podcasting.
3. Premium Themes from a Marketplace
Popular theme marketplaces such as MOJO Marketplace, Creative Market and the likes are always an option for themes and templates. You can find podcasting-oriented themes on all of the above sites. If you find one you like, you might want to compare its features with our own WordPress podcast themes:
Many of the popular marketplace themes lack the flexibility required to choose your preferred podcast hosting service. That’s a key factor to keep in mind if hosting preference is important to you. Also, the majority of these are created by generic theme shops, rather than podcast-dedicated operations, so they may lack some of the specific features you’ll need.
4. Create Your Own Custom WordPress Podcast Theme
If you’re a WordPress developer, you might also consider coding a new theme from scratch for your podcasting project. There are many parent themes available that are an excellent base for developing your own theme.
Creating a custom theme is an option if you have the resources and programming knowledge required. WordPress provides extensive information on the subject, and different ways for developers to get involved through the online handbooks and Codex:
It makes sense to take the DIY route if you have very specific needs in terms of design or functionality. However, this method also involves a lot of work. You’ll need to spend time designing, coding, and testing your theme. Depending on the timeline and goals of your project, this can result in costly delays, so you’ll want to be sure before you embark on this type of ambitious project.
5 Featured SecondLine Podcast Themes for WordPress
So far, we’ve only talked about our theme options in a general sense. Now, let’s take a closer look at a few of our custom podcast themes for WordPress. We’d like to note that these are all fully-responsive themes, so your mobile users won’t be left in the dark.
Tusant is the latest WordPress podcasting theme created by SecondLineThemes, and it brings a totally different vibe to the table. This theme comes with a dark color scheme, and beautiful shades of green to highlight different parts of the theme. Plus, with the ability to support more than one podcast show on the same website, Tusant can do it all.
Tusant also comes with a built-in drag-and-drop page builder for fast page and post creation. Additionally, there is plenty of demo content loaded in, which you can use to spark your creativity. Perhaps best of all, Tusant is packed with ready-to-use podcasting plugins, and is compatible with more than 30 podcast hosting providers.
But wait, there’s more! Once you activate the theme, you’ll be able to import all the Elementor page templates you might want to use. In addition, all of our themes are fully compatible with WordPress 5.0+, so you can be sure that you’re getting a quality product.
Bolden is a WordPress theme designed with podcast networks in mind. In fact, at the time of its release, it was the very first premium theme for podcast networks available anywhere.
Even though we had created some pretty amazing themes prior to Bolden, this was the first theme we built that had the capability to run two shows on one site. In other words, we specifically designed Bolden for networks. This means individuals or companies that run more than one podcast can showcase all of them on the very same site.
This theme comes with the functionality you need to create individual show pages, and display podcast episodes in multiple layouts across your website. Bolden also works perfectly for single podcast shows, while supporting all the essential theme elements we discussed earlier.
Next up, Gumbo brings a beautiful home page slider to the table, and can expertly showcase both embedded content and videos. We designed Gumbo as a dark, modern, and clean WordPress podcast theme. It can also help you display all of your podcast episodes from a variety of categories, in a well-organized fashion.
What’s more, the easy theme settings on offer can help you customize this theme to look however you like. Gumbo also supports embedded media from various sources such as YouTube, Vimeo, SoundCloud, Podbean, Spreaker, MixCloud, and more.
Satchmo was the first WordPress podcasting theme we created. Therefore, we’ve had lots of time to put plenty of thought into its features and design. Satchmo was created first and foremost as a clean and minimalistic theme, with an emphasis on black and white colors.
Of course, we also built Satchmo with podcasting in mind throughout the entire development process. You can easily add episodes of your podcast to any part of your site, using a built-in audio player. The single post layout also supports players in the hero section, and right above or below the main content.
In terms of SecondLine theme lineage, Dixie followed Satchmo and became one of our most popular themes. It has all the same great features as Satchmo, but with a different, bolder style and design. Dixie also features page templates for showing off your podcast’s hosts, since your faithful listeners will want to get to know the real you.
We created Dixie to be a clean, yet ultra-modern and colorful WordPress podcast theme. It supports multiple audio players on a single page, and also enables you to display players on single posts.
How to Get Started With a SecondLine Theme for WordPress (In 4 Steps)
Now that we’ve reviewed several excellent podcast themes, let’s pick one and take a look at how to install it on your WordPress website. All it takes to get you up and running with a SecondLine theme is four easy steps.
Step 1: Purchase and Download the SecondLine Theme of Your Choice
The first thing you’ll need to do is visit our pricing page. You’ll find several options and pricing levels there. These range from single theme purchases for $69, or access to all of our themes for $139. Either includes support and updates for a year:
Alternatively, if you want to have your cake and eat it too, you can go all in and get our Lifetime Access option. This includes unlimited lifetime access to all of our themes, along with support and updates for life.
Once you purchase your package or theme, you’ll be directed to download the theme’s .zip file. You’ll need this for the next step, so make sure you take note of where you’ve saved it on your computer.
Step 2: Install Your Theme in WordPress
Next, you’ll navigate to your WordPress administration dashboard. There you’ll find the Appearance menu. Once you locate and click on that, you’ll see the Themes sub-menu option:
When you click on Themes, you’ll be taken to the themes management page. You’ll have the option to choose from a previously-installed theme or add a new one by selecting Add New:
On the next screen, you’ll see that you have the option to Upload Theme. Since you’ve already downloaded your premium SecondLine podcast theme for WordPress, you’ll want to click on the Upload Theme button, and navigate to the .zip file you saved earlier:
Once you’ve selected the correct file, you can click on Install Now. You will be able to see whether the installation went off without a hitch, or if there are any issues you might need to look at before proceeding:
Your final item in this step is to Activate your theme. This option will appear after all the relevant files have been installed.
Step 3: Import the SecondLineThemes Demo Data
SecondLine themes have a lot of valuable demo content available for you to use. You’ll have to import this separately, however, after your theme is installed. After you activate your theme, you’ll be taken to an installation wizard where you can install plugins and content:
The last part of this process is to import the demo content. This content will help you get familiar with the layout of the theme you’ve selected. You can simply edit and replace the demo content with your own for a fast setup process, or use it as a springboard for creativity.
Step 4: Post a Podcast Episode
At this point, you’re ready to navigate to the Podcast > Add New menu item. Once you click on Add New, you’ll be taken to a page that should look familiar. It’s similar to the regular WordPress editor, but with some extra options at the bottom:
Below the title and content area, you’ll have lots of settings you can play with. You can include an image gallery, paste in an external embed code from a variety of podcast hosting platforms, and more. This is also where you’ll find a lot of the important customization features for your post.
For example, you can assign your podcast episode to a show. The Tusant theme featured in this demonstration has options to display more than one show on a single website. So you can choose a parent show for your episode:
This is also where you will upload your audio or video file, if you’re not using an embed code from an outside host. Once you’re done with your adjustments and settings, you can preview your podcast episode post before publishing it:
Once you’re satisfied with your post, you can publish it and relax as your adoring fans like and share your podcast masterpiece.
Choosing the perfect WordPress podcast themes can be an overwhelming task. There is a lot to consider before taking the leap. Fortunately, here at SecondLineThemes we have you covered with not only the best podcast-specific themes, but also a wealth of information and experience to share.
When picking out the right podcast theme for your show, you’ll want to look for:
- A customizable audio player
- Robust media resource support
- Support for a variety of podcast hosts
- Out-of-the-box compatibility with popular page builders
With regular theme updates and exciting plans for future releases, you won’t want to miss any of the podcast theme action going on at SecondLineThemes. We recommend taking a tour of our own SecondLineThemes shop!