Serve your audience directly from your site
When a former reality TV host signs an alleged $100 million deal for a podcast he started on a whim, people think about starting their own podcast.
If you’ve already got a WordPress website going, you’re already ahead of the game. You just need to integrate your podcast into your WordPress site somehow. Let’s look at the 11 best WordPress plugins for your podcast.
The free Blubrry PowerPress plugin allows you to manage your podcast. PowerPress provides you with statistics, SEO tools, and a simple way to distribute your podcast to major platforms like iTunes and Spotify. It’ll allow you to add show notes and graphics as well.
PowerPress supports most audio and video file types. You don’t need to host your podcast with Blubrry, but doing so can give you added features like IAB certified statistics, the ability to build a whole network, hosting within a content delivery network (CDN) for higher availability, and better playback for your listeners.
The SimplePodcastPress plugin provides the tools to publish your podcast on your WordPress site. It provides your site with an easy-to-use mobile-friendly player. You can also integrate clickable timestamps so your listeners can go back and listen to key points over and over.
The SimplePodcastPress plugin also provides a variety of call-to-action buttons to make it easier for listeners to interact. It makes it easy for listeners to become subscribers through platforms like iTunes and Google as well as leave reviews. You can also have them easily join your mailing list and share it with friends. The plugin comes in 3 levels of service, priced from $67 for a single license up to $147 for a multi-site license.
In the same vein as SimplePodcastPress and PowerPress, Podlove Podcast Publisher is a solid podcast manager WordPress plugin. Plus it’s free. Along with similar features to the other managers, Podlove also has chapter support, allowing you to structure your podcasts even better. You can post links directly to any point in your podcast as well.
Podlove’s flexible template system is intriguing as well. All your podcasts can be published with one visual style, and easily changed to a completely different one later. There’s no need to change them one by one.
If you’re looking for a simple way to feature a podcast on your WordPress site, without all the management features, consider the Compact WP Audio Player plugin. It’s a basic HTML5 + Flash hybrid audio player. When it’s displayed, it can be as simple as just a play button.
Use a simple shortcode to embed an audio file on any page or post on your site. It’s as simple as [sc_embed_player fileurl=”URL OF THE MP3 FILE”]. The one downfall is that it only supports .mp3 and .ogg file formats.
Reviews on iTunes are one of the best ways to gauge the success of a podcast. But it can be a pain to constantly go into iTunes to see how your ratings are going. That’s where the free iTunes Podcast Review Manager WordPress plugin comes in.
iTunes Podcast Review Manager is a back-end WordPress tool. That means it’s more for you to see than your listeners. With the plugin installed, you can check your international reviews from one spot in your WordPress dashboard.
Similar to Blubrry PowerPress, Libsyn Publisher Hub is an all-in-one podcast manager. Some of its features include advanced scheduling, episode creation, and tag optimization for Apple Podcasts amongst others.
Where Blubrry PowerPress can be used without a Blubrry Podcast Hosting account, Libsyn Publisher does require a Libsyn podcast hosting account. Libsyn’s hosting accounts start at only $5 so it may still be worth it for new podcasters.
Fusebox is a toolbox full of podcasting goodies. You’ll find it has a lot of the same features as the other podcast manager plugins we’re talking about. Where it really shines as a WordPress Podcast plugin is that it provides a transcription, even in the free version.
A lot of people host their podcasts with Buzzsprout, and it’s easy to see why. Their free account allows for up to 2 hrs worth of podcasts to be uploaded every month. You get statistics, help to get into podcast directories, and custom embeddable players for your site.
The Buzzsprout Podcast Plugin for WordPress makes it simple to share your Buzzsprout hosted podcasts within your website. It creates a new icon in your Upload/Insert toolbar for one-click access to all of its capabilities.
Castos, the makers of the Seriously Simple Podcasting WordPress plugin, state that, “The plugin will always remain free to use.”, even if you’re not using Castos’ podcast hosting service. This is great because it is very well-appointed for features and it’s seriously simple to use.
Using Seriously Simple Podcasting in WordPress, you can manage your RSS feeds and multiple podcasts from the same site. Of course, it has all the other features you’d expect like a customizable media player, playlist creation, support for video, and analytics amongst others.
If you’re not getting a dedicated podcast hosting service like Blubrry, Castos, or Buzzsprout, you’re going to want to make sure you can backup all of your episodes.
BackWPup gives you the ability to save your entire WordPress site, media included, to services like Dropbox, S3, or even FTP to somewhere else as a single .zip file. The free version will save you, and the Pro version will make it even easier for you with premium support for only $69 a year
Although not a plugin, if you’re going all-in on podcasting and using a WordPress site to support it, consider getting a WordPress theme designed specifically for podcasters.
Dixie is just one of many themes specially designed for the audio world. For just under $70, Dixie will display your episodes in the best way possible, along with increased flexibility with where you put the player.