Podcasts have grown in popularity since its beginnings in 2007. Today, 17% of the U.S. population have listened to at least one podcast episode. This new way of broadcasting and gaining an audience is essential for anyone who has something to promote, sell or simply talk about.
If you’re thinking about starting a podcast or have already begun recording a few episodes but don’t know how to publish it to your WordPress site, this blog post is for you. Here you’ll learn about the best WordPress plugins for publishing podcasts in future or existing posts or pages.
Recording your first podcast episode does not necessarily require high-end hardware and software. While expensive microphones and premium recording software are great for putting a great show, there are more affordable alternatives that will work just as well.
Once you’ve recorded an episode, the next step would be to publish it on your site. This is where these plugins come in and make things easier for you. You’ll find each plugin is designed with the common goal of integrating podcasts into your content while providing unique features that makes it stand out from the rest. After reading this post, you should have enough information to choose a plugin that you think would give the best listening (and viewing) experience for your audience.
Before installing any of these plugins, you should already have uploaded your podcast files to your media host. If you have not done so, check out media hosting services for podcasts like LibSyn, S3Amazon or Blubrry to learn how to do this. Although you can upload podcast files to your web server, it’s not recommended because you run the risking of crashing your site when traffic spikes. It’s also easier to manage podcasts when using web hosts that specialize in them, mostly because they have support and integration with platforms like WordPress.
Ready to take a look at the plugins? Let’s get started!
Top WordPress Podcast Plugins
PowerPress is a free WordPress podcast plugin from Blubrry. Although Blubrry is a media hosting service, you don’t have to be a subscriber to use the plugin. The plugin’s well separate Simple and Advanced modes help you navigate its many features without getting confused.
In Simple mode, you are given three steps to follow: publish a blog post with your first episode, set up your podcast settings, and submit your podcast to iTunes. You can then switch to Advanced mode, where you get the full list of options.
- Support for iTunes and Google Play Music.
- Simple and Advanced modes make it easy to use.
- Includes a for subscribing to iTunes, Android, RSS or email.
- Set up for podcasting SEO.
- Migrate files from other hosting services.
- Detects audio file size and duration.
- Basic statistics are free, but advanced statistics (with country demographics, traffic sources, and distribution between devices) require a paid subscription starting at $5 per month.
- There are only three audio players to choose from and they can only be styled using CSS.
- Some features are only available to paying subscribers.
2. Seriously Simple Podcasting
Seriously Simple Podcasting is a free WordPress podcast plugin that makes publishing podcasts super simple. Its Settings page only has four tabs: General, Feed Details, Security, Redirection and Publishing. Just specify which post types you want podcasts to appear in, where the audio player goes, your podcast feed link, and you’re ready to add podcast episodes to your posts. You can create multiple podcast series with different episodes for each.
- Run multiple series of podcasts.
- Free statistics add-on.
- Shortcodes for embedding all or single episodes to posts or pages.
- Use the free add-on to style the audio player using the WordPress Customizer.
- Edit podcast feed details (title, category and author) from the plugin’s admin panel.
- You can set a password for private podcasts.
- No links to subscribe below the audio player.
- Password protection feature works only when FastCGI is disabled from your web server.
3. Simple Podcast Press
Simple Podcast Press is not a free plugin. It is a one time purchase with the option to renew each year to keep getting all the latest updates. This plugin is both a podcast player and an automation tool. It can automatically publish the podcast episodes to your WordPress site. All you have to do is enter the podcast URL for once, and the plugin will automatically fetch the latest Podcasts episodes each time you publish it.
On top of that, it also comes with a mobile-friendly podcast player (which you can use on any page on your site) that includes subscribe buttons, custom call to action buttons, and opt-in boxes below the player. Also bundled in is a toolbox of podcasting tools like clickable timestamps, clutter-free Transcripts, worldwide iTunes reviews, and much more. In case you are not satisfied with the performance of the plugin, it offers 30 days full money back guarantee.
- Automatically publishes to WordPress site.
- Provides clickable timestamps.
- Worldwide iTunes reviews.
- Integrates with Blubrry PowerPress and Smart Podcast Player.
- Supports all podcast feeds including PowerPress, Libsyn, SoundCloud, PodBean, Buzzsprout, Blog Talk Radio and more.
- Paid plugin..
4. Smart Podcast Player
Smart Podcast Player is a premium WordPress podcast plugin for presenting your podcast with a modern and interactive audio player. It was developed by professional blogger and entrepreneur Pat Flynn, who has had tremendous success with his podcast and blog.
The main feature of this plugin is the ability to change the color and style of the audio player, which is great for matching with your website’s theme. Podcast episodes are added to posts and pages with a button that’s accessible from the WordPress Visual Editor.
- Customize the audio player appearance using a shortcode builder.
- Add social sharing buttons.
- Toggle display of the Download link.
- Display all podcast episodes in a playlist or a single episode in any post or page.
- No coding necessary to customize basic elements.
- Access to support and video tutorials.
- Integration with SoundCloud.
- Works with the PowerPress plugin.
- Requires a yearly or monthly subscription (starting at $12 per month).
- Only supports .mp3 audio format.
5. Buzzsprout Podcasting
Buzzsprout Podcasting is a podcasting plugin compatible with existing Buzzsprout accounts only. In addition to its beautiful HTML5 audio players, Buzzsprout provides an easy submission process to iTunes, Stitcher, and all other podcasting directories. Once you have your episodes set up, you can insert them using the Add Media button from the WordPress post or page editor.
- Three HTML5 audio players to embed your episodes.
- Migrate podcasts from other hosting services.
- Complete iTunes support.
- Hosting is free to try with an option to upgrade.
- Fetch and embed episodes with specific tags.
- Uses Feedburner for generating podcast feeds.
- No Subscribe link or sharing options below the audio player.
- Limited to Buzzsprout account users only.
6. Podlove Podcast Publisher
Podlove Podcast Publisher is a flexible and powerful plugin for managing multiple podcast feeds in one site. This plugin can handle advanced audio files (.mp4 aac, .mp3, Vorbis and Opus) and video files (MP4 H.264, WebM, and Theora). Podcasts are shown with the built-in Podlove Web Player, which can be customized by using a shortcode or editing the template file.
- Advanced coding options for the web player.
- Handles most audio and video files.
- Free statistics accessible from dedicated Podlove dashboard.
- Includes Subscribe buttons for iTunes, Instacast and Downcast.
- Somewhat confusing setup process.
- Files are uploaded individually using a single upload directory.
- No option to fetch episodes from a podcast feed.
Which Plugin Is Right For You?
To answer the above question, you need to be clear on which features are a must and which ones you can live without.
If you’re new to podcasting, I recommend that you go with PowerPress and use Blubrry hosting to simplify the process. On the other hand, if you don’t want to fuss over a ton of settings, Seriously Simple Podcasting will be a more sensible choice. If you don’t wish to spend anything to publish your first episode and want to give podcasting a test run, it makes sense to sign up for Buzzsprout’s free plan and use the plugin for a streamlined process.
The Smart Podcast Player is optional for any podcaster, and it’s just a matter of preference whether you’re satisfied with the default audio player your plugin came with or you want something more customizable. If it’s the latter, then the Smart Podcast Player or Simple Podcast Press is a great investment if you have the budget.
However, if you are an advanced podcaster and want complete control over what type of media files you publish, then Podlove Podcast Publisher is most likely to meet your needs.
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Publishing podcasts can be a challenge, but with these plugins, the job of publishing is far less complicated. These plugins won’t take care of everything for you, but as you learn about common features and functions, you’ll know which ones you need and which ones you can go without. Don’t hesitate to try each of these plugins – if you can – to know which one works best for your podcast publishing needs.