Should You Host Your Podcast on a WordPress Website?
Once you’ve recorded your podcast, you’ll want to share it with as many people as possible. Powering almost 40 percent of the web, WordPress may seem like an obvious choice. However, podcast audio files are different from your typical WordPress content.
You may be wondering whether it’s even possible to host your podcast on WordPress. The short answer is, “Yes” – although the longer answer involves a number of caveats and potential third-party solutions.
In this post, we’ll explore the potential benefits to choosing WordPress as your podcasting platform. We’ll also touch on some problems you should bear in mind, and how to overcome them by using WordPress in combination with other tools and services. Let’s get started!
The Importance of Choosing the Right Platform for Your Podcast Hosting
In short, the platform you choose can make or break your podcast. Your podcast’s content may be top-notch. However slow loading times could kill your content, regardless of its quality.
Performance is important for any website, but it’s particularly important for podcasts. Podcast audio files tend to be very large. Choose the wrong platform, and you may struggle to deliver these heavy files at the speed that listeners expect.
If your podcast becomes a huge success, these large files can present another problem. Multiple large files, downloaded hundreds of times a day, can result in a hefty bill from your hosting provider depending on your package. You may even have your data transfer throttled.
What’s more, some providers have rules against hosting bulky files. By hosting your podcast on the wrong platform, you may be violating your provider’s Terms Of Service. Your hosting provider may subsequently decide to suspend your website, or even delete it entirely.
You may have no intention to turn your podcast into your main source of income. However, it’s still smart to pick a platform that gives you the option to monetize your podcast in the future. This includes options such as affiliate marketing, sponsorships, and advertising.
You’ll want your podcast to reach the widest possible audience. Choose the right platform, and it can help you build a relationship with your audience. For example, some platforms such as WordPress have built-in comment sections.
Finally, even if you create a podcast website, you can dramatically increase your potential audience by cross-posting your content to popular podcast directories. These directories include many household names, such as Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, and Spotify. If you plan to publish your podcast to these major outlets, you can save yourself considerable time and effort, by choosing a platform that features a built-in RSS feed.
Is hosting your podcast with WordPress a good idea?
WordPress is probably the most popular website builder out there, and many podcasters choose WordPress over other tools to create their podcast websites. The WordPress space is full with 3rd party podcast plugins and themes that can be exactly what many podcasters look for.
While WordPress is probably one of the top choices you should consider for your podcast website, it may slightly differ for the podcast hosting aspect. If you have a popular podcast, you’ll have many different apps and platforms fetching your RSS feed continuously, as well as (potentially) thousands of listeners who would stream your podcast episodes (audio files hosted on your server).
While some WordPress servers can handle the load, it may be a bit of a reach to keep your website host and your podcast host on the same server. This is especially true if you’re using a cheap shared hosting solution – these servers aren’t built to host podcasts. (Talking about Bluehost, GoDaddy, SiteGround and the likes)
This means that if your podcast becomes popular, or even if just a single episode is being downloaded many times, your entire server can crash. That’s why we typically recommend to separate your podcast host from your website host/server – to make sure your RSS feed and audio files are always accessible at a high speed.
Think about this – if you’re doing a regular plugin update and it breaks your site for a few minutes – the entire podcast may become unavailable, and that’s not something you should risk.
Hosting your podcast with WordPress
WordPress is a popular option for hosting all kinds of content – including podcasts – given that it powers almost 40 percent of all websites. As such, there are several factors that make WordPress a good choice for your podcast website. First, if you have previous WordPress experience, you can work with the familiar WordPress back end and front end. This enables you to focus on what really matters – creating a great podcast.
As a popular platform, many third party tracking and analytics tools integrate with WordPress. By using tools such as Google Analytics, you can gain valuable insight into your audience. This means you can cater more closely to their needs, and grow your podcast.
As an established platform, you can also choose from a range of beautifully-designed podcast themes. The Tusant theme is designed specifically with podcasting in mind.
Out-of-the-box, Tusant supports all of the major WordPress podcasting plugins, including Seriously Simple Podcasting, PowerPress, and BuzzSprout. Tusant also supports embedding content from popular platforms including YouTube and Vimeo.
Many popular podcasting directories require an RSS feed. With WordPress, you don’t have to create a podcast-only RSS feed manually, as it already features a built-in RSS feed system.
Using this ready-made RSS feed, you can submit your podcast to many popular podcast directories and applications. This can help you find an entirely new audience, while requiring minimal manual effort.
Creating a WordPress Website for Your Podcast
If you choose WordPress as your platform, you’ll have lots of podcasting plugins to choose from. However, Seriously Simple Podcasting is a popular, feature-rich plugin that enables you to place an HTML5 player anywhere on your website.
This plugin is developed by podcast hosting providers Castos, and it offers various podcast hosting plans. Selecting this provider means any content you upload to WordPress will automatically sync with your Castos account. This can save you a significant amount of time and effort. It also helps you avoid potential performance problems associated with uploading large files directly to WordPress.
When you use a plugin that connects your hosting account (like the Podcast Importer plugin), the audio files would usually still play from your podcast hosting account. Castos, for example, is also hosting your podcast on their own servers, so if you’re a Castos customer you don’t have to worry about your website server performance.
Using WordPress, in combination with a dedicated podcast hosting solution, is a popular choice for many podcasters. However, you can also use this plugin to upload episodes directly to WordPress. Alternatively, if your podcast is already published in another location, you can copy and paste each episode’s URL into Seriously Simple Podcasting. These episodes will then appear embedded on your website.
After uploading all your podcast episodes, it’s a good idea to configure Seriously Simple Podcasting’s embeddable media player. This includes specifying exactly where the player should appear on your WordPress website.
You can also customize the player itself. For example, you might choose to display album art, metadata, and Apple-specific fields. The Seriously Simple Podcasting plugin has lots of customization options that are worth exploring in detail. You can find all of these settings in the Podcast > Settings menu.
Approximately 55 percent of Americans have listened to podcasts. With such a huge potential audience, there’s never been a better time to launch your podcast. However, finding the right hosting platform is potentially overwhelming.
In this article, we’ve explored why so many podcasters choose WordPress as their podcast hosting platform. We also saw how you can launch your podcast today, using a combination of WordPress, a dedicated podcast hosting provider, and tools such as Seriously Simple Podcasting.
If you do create a podcast website, it’s important to ensure it looks its best! Here at SecondLineThemes, we specialize in creating beautiful WordPress themes that are designed specifically for podcasters.