Over the last decade or so, podcasts have become all the rage, with new podcast channels sprouting up at a dizzyingly fast rate. And the growth in their popularity shows no signs of receding anytime soon. So, if you’ve been thinking of opening your own podcast channel, now’s the perfect time to start!
Why Do You Need Podcast Plugins?
If you’re looking to start your very own podcast, chances are that you’ll need a website to promote it, help it grow and reach new audiences. And like millions before you, you’ll probably choose WordPress. And why not? It’s the perfect option for launching a podcast and building an amazing looking site that your visitors are going to love.
But while WordPress is great and all, you’ll need to install the right podcast plugin first, before you can turn your attention to the creative aspects of your podcast. With changing times, you need to think about new trends that are shaping the podcast community and increasing engagement. Since WordPress is the preferred website development platform, it is more appropriate to have WordPress compatible podcast plugins so the maximum number of audience can listen to what you have to say.
Here’s a brief list of reasons why you need an appropriate podcast plugin:
- Publishing your podcast episodes
- Dedicated podcast plugins help enhance the functionality of your website
- Help your podcast reach its full potential
- Creating a user-friendly podcast player on your website where users can engage with you
- Getting useful insights through detailed statistical data
How to Choose the Best Podcast Plugin?
When deciding what plugin to use for your podcast website, there are some features that you need to look out for. Make sure that the podcast plugin you opt for does the following:
- Offers ease of use
- Shows download statistics
- Comes with a user friendly interactive player
- Supports both audio and video format
- Is mobile optimized
- Offers support for all major podcast streaming services like Google Play, iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud, etc.
- Comes with a flexible and modular design
Convinced, are we? Awesome, let’s start!
- 1 The Top WordPress Podcast Plugins of 2020
- 2 Buzzsprout Podcasting
- 3 Which Should You Use?
The Top WordPress Podcast Plugins of 2020
PowerPress by Blubrry
Developed by Blubrry, a podcast, and media hosting service, PowerPress is a free podcast plugin. Packed with a variety of features, it is truly a powerhouse of a plugin. It is very versatile and enables you to easily add your podcast episodes to your WordPress website. One of the features that I liked best about this plugin was that it allows users to switch between a simple and advanced mode, depending on their level of expertise.
The simple mode consists of only essential settings and allows users to create and publish their podcast episodes in just three easy steps. Once you have the hang of it, you can switch to the advanced mode, which offers more complicated and a wider range of features for you to work with.
- Supports both Apple podcasts and Google podcasts completely.
- Plugin’s SEO settings boost the visibility of your podcasts and ranking across Google and iTunes Directories.
- Access to an integrated HTML5 Media Player
- Other prominent features include subscribing tools, statistics, migration tools, etc.
- Advanced statistics tool provides you with statistics but is only available in the paid version.
Seriously Simple Podcasting
True to its name, Seriously Simple Podcasting, a podcast plugin from Castos, is a zero-hassle, user-friendly plugin that stands out from the average podcast plugins because of its simplicity and ease of use. It is a breeze to configure, has an intuitive, streamlined interface, and enables users to set it up quickly, making it ideal for beginners.
- It is totally free—even the add-ons for additional features like player styling, layer styling, etc.
- You can run multiple podcasts from the same WordPress website
- Users can gather detailed statistics for free to gain valuable insights
- Newly-redesigned media player supports (supporting both audio and video podcasting)
- Supports all major podcasting services like iTunes, Google Play, and Stitcher, etc.
- It features shortcodes and widgets – allowing you to tweak your website to your liking
- Also integrated with Blubrry PowerPress and Smart Podcast Player
- Offers password protection
- The Fast CGI on your hosting server needs to be disabled for it to actually work.
Coming from the popular podcasting service, Libsyn Podcasting, Libsyn Podcasting Plugin is a free plugin that enables you to seamlessly integrate an account on Libsyn with your WP website. While the plugin is currently still in beta, in my opinion, it’s a good option for those who would like to connect their Libsyn podcasts to their WordPress website.
Coming with an HTML5 compatible media player, this plugin allows you to create, upload and publish your podcast episodes and automatically generate RSS feeds for them. Additionally, you also get the option of saving drafts and scheduling posts.
- It offers the Cloud Hosting feature
- You can customize your player easily with different themes, dimensions, etc.
- You can also add download links right below the player.
- This plugin offers listeners custom mobile apps for iOS, Android, and Windows devices.
- The plugin naturally only works with Libsyn, which I honestly found quite restricting.
- While you can choose a style for your player from the given options, you do not have the option of customizing the appearance of the player yourself.
- The plugin is still in beta phase – There is a chance you might run into some bugs using it.
Smart Podcast Player
Chances are that if you are a blogger, you have probably already heard of Pat Flynn and his Smart Passive Income website, as well as its associated podcast. Coming from him is the Smart Podcast Player, a premium plugin with a custom-designed HTML5 player and a host of useful features like various library display settings, playback slowing, direct downloads, etc.
- It offers full design customization
- It includes the email subscription feature built directly into its player
- Visitors get the option of skipping forward or backward on the podcast file
- The speed control feature on the player allows visitors to speed up or slow down playback
- It includes a host of built-in social media sharing buttons
- The Smart Podcast Player is fully responsive and mobile-optimized
- Visitors can download episodes directly from the player
- You can archive podcasts using the Smart Track Player
- It only allows support for MP3 based podcasts (which is a huge downside if you ask me)
- It does not have the option of viewing statistics for user demographics and traffic source
Last on our list is another premium solution, the Buzzsprout Podcasting Plugin. Like Libsyn, this plugin, too, is only available to those who are already using the Buzzsprout podcasting service. Offering an easy to use interface, this plugin allows you an impressive amount of control over your RSS feed using tools like FeedBurner.
- Shift to Buzzsprout’s hosting service immediately using the migration assistant
- Hosting is free for the first 90 days
- You are given the option to choose between quite a few player themes
- You could embed your podcast episodes into your WordPress website quite easily with shortcodes
- It offers you the option to view and analyze the statistics for all your podcast episodes
- The Buzzsprout Podcasting plugin offers iTunes, Google Play and Stitcher support, customizable HTML5 podcast players and much more
- This plugin will automatically optimize every audio file that you upload with the industry’s standard practices, a feature that I really appreciated!
- This plugin is only meant for those podcasters who are already using Buzzsprout’s podcasting.
- The plugin does not give you an option to display a subscribe link below the player
Which Should You Use?
Having extensively used and compared the features of all of the above-mentioned plugins, I have to say that my top pick for a podcast plugin would have to be a tie between Blubrry PowerPress and Seriously Simple Podcasting. Not only are both free, but they also offer an incredible range of features that, in my opinion, beat even the premium plugins.
Seriously Simple Podcasting would be a better option for beginners who are just looking for something lightweight and easy to use to manage and publish their podcast episodes. Blubrry PowerPress, on the other hand, would be great for beginners and advanced users alike and the fact that it opens doors for your podcast’s organic growth, through SEO, shows that it is a downright winner.