Podcasting has exploded in the past few years. Edison Research reported that 80 million people in the United States tune in to podcasts at least once a week.
While you may be tempted to join the podcasting bandwagon by signing up for an all-in-one podcast hosting service, it means relinquishing control over how your podcast is stored, distributed, and accessed by your audience.
In contrast, self-hosting your podcast is the way to go if you prefer complete control over what happens to your show.
Self-hosting may seem complex, but it takes minimal effort and time if you do it on WordPress. We have created a comprehensive guide on how to host a podcast on WordPress so you can enjoy greater autonomy over what you’ve created. Let’s dive in.
Can You Host a Podcast on WordPress?
Yes, you can host a podcast on WordPress. The robust Content Management System (CMS) allows you to host and manage podcast episodes on your WordPress site.
You can also upload files on a podcast hosting service like Anchor and then cross-post them to your WordPress site.
After publishing your podcast episodes, you can distribute them to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, and other leading podcasting directories and apps.
How Is WordPress Podcasting Different?
WordPress is a free, open-source CMS platform that allows podcasters to create a website and host their show on it conveniently.
When all content is on one platform, the audience can easily find all the episodes they want to listen to instead of hunting around in different directories.
With WordPress, you can effortlessly and quickly list podcast episodes on your site. You can also create a built-in RSS feed system for these posts, which is why this platform remains popular among podcasters worldwide.
WordPress is especially famous for its powerful, customizable tools, such as podcast themes and plugins. And with its many themes and templates, you can easily create a beautiful podcast site that your visitors will love and engage with.
Podcast plugins such as Seriously Simple Podcasting and PowerPress will help you add new and exciting features and elements to your site.
These and other WordPress podcast plugins add different functionalities, such as setting up subscriptions, hosting multiple podcasts, tracking listener statistics, etc.
The platform’s seemingly unlimited range of themes and plugins eases the podcast hosting process regardless of your experience level. In fact, the CMS is built to streamline the workflow for new podcasters who don’t have much knowledge about web design or coding.
The WordPress admin dashboard is very user-friendly, so you don’t have to spend too much time studying it. You can focus on your creation process and promoting and building the show.
Moreover, WordPress is an open-source platform, and it is backed and maintained by a community of millions. If you have questions or concerns, you can get quick assistance and support from other users.
How to Start a WordPress Podcast
Starting a podcast on WordPress is easy. There are two simple methods to do so, both of which are outlined here.
The first method we’ll discuss requires you to upload your podcast episode to a podcast hosting service and then connect it to WordPress. Let’s go step by step.
Choose a podcast topic and title, and then decide on your recording format: interview, panel, co-hosted, or solo.
Next, buy equipment and download software to record your show. Audacity and Apple GarageBand are two popular software options for recording podcasts. The most basic recording equipment you will need is a microphone and a pair of headphones.
Then, record your first podcast episode and edit it as you wish.
After recording your first podcast episode, upload it to a podcast hosting service like Anchor. Services like Anchor provide unlimited storage, so you can easily host and transfer large audio files.
This step is crucial as a 30-minute podcast episode can be between 30 to 100 MB or even higher. Note that you may incur high fees if you exceed your website hosting service’s storage limits.
Also, website hosting services cannot quickly stream large audio files due to lower bandwidth speeds. So when a listener tries to play your episode on a basic website, they will need to wait for the web player to load it.
This leads to buffering issues and a poor experience, leading to lost listeners.
After uploading your episode to your preferred podcasting service, add episode details such as the title, description, and metadata.
If you already have a podcast on Anchor and need to build a website for your existing podcast content, create a WordPress website for free and use a podcast theme.
So whenever you publish a new episode, you will be asked to publish it to your WordPress site, too. All the new episode details will be automatically converted into a new WordPress blog post.
Follow Step 1 of Method 1 (record your podcast) and then continue with the following:
Create a WordPress website and head to the My Site(s) section. Click Settings and then Writing.
Under Podcasting, select Set Up to go to the Podcasting Settings page. Pick a category or select Add a new category to begin your podcast channel and include your posts in your podcast feed.
Once the podcast channel has been created, you can copy your RSS feed link. You can submit this link to list your show on the world’s biggest podcast directories.
Next, click Manage Details to access your Podcast Settings. You can set up or modify your channel’s settings using the Podcast Settings page.
Here are some of the details that you can configure:
- Cover image – Choose an existing image or upload a new one as your podcast cover art. To list your show on Apple Podcasts, the cover image should be JPG or PNG and between 1400 x 1400 and 3000 x 3000 pixels.
- Title – This will appear in your chosen podcast apps.
- Subtitle – This will also appear in Apple Podcasts, Pocket Casts, and other podcast services.
- Podcast topics – Categorize your podcast properly so interested listeners can quickly discover your show.
- Explicit content – Click yes if your show contains any explicit content.
- Host/Artist/Producer – You can list the names of all your podcast producers.
- Summary – Apple Podcasts and Pocket Casts display the episode and show summaries when listeners browse shows.
- Email Address – This appears in the podcast feed and is mandatory for some apps, such as Google Podcasts.
- Copyright – This information is displayed on Apple Podcasts and other podcast services.
- Keywords – You can leave this field blank as it is only used for reference.
Once you’ve filled out all relevant podcast details, scroll to the top of the page and click Save Settings.
Ensure that your site’s language matches your podcast show’s language by going to Settings and clicking on General. Only then will your show be approved by leading podcast apps.
Moreover, upload your audio files in these formats: MP3, M4A, OGG, and WAV. Avoid using OGG and WAV files if you plan to submit your show to Apple Podcasts. Spotify submissions should be only in MP3 format.
If you face any problem uploading M4A audio files, re-encode them to the same file format using audio conversion software.
To add a podcast episode using the Block Editor, head to the My Site(s) section, click Posts and Add New Post. The post’s title will be used as the episode title in major podcast networks such as Pocket Casts, Apple Podcasts, and Google Play.
Under Post Settings, choose the podcast category you previously selected under the Writing section in Step 2. You can add an episode description by writing an Excerpt if you wish. If you leave this field blank, an excerpt will be auto-generated from the post’s content.
Use an Audio Block and upload your podcast audio or link to it. Do not use audio embeds from SoundCloud or Audiomack, as Apple Podcasts cannot download audio files from those platforms.
If you need to embed a video into your podcast, add a Video Block instead of an Audio Block. Avoid embedding videos uploaded to YouTube and Vimeo, as they may not play properly. It’s best to upload videos to your WordPress site directly.
Once you’re satisfied with your podcast episode and are ready for it to go live, publish it.
Use the Podcast Player Block to publish a listing of new podcast episodes and play them on your site.
After publishing your episode, you can submit your RSS feed URL to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or any other podcast directory you prefer.
We hope you enjoyed reading our guide on how to host a podcast on WordPress and found it helpful.
Check out our website for more such guides and articles on podcasting. Happy reading!