If you’re thinking of starting a podcast, having a WordPress site will undoubtedly help you distribute and promote your content faster. It’s a powerful open-source CMS with a massive library of plugins, including ones for podcasters. In this article, I’ll cover the five best WordPress podcast plugins.
The Rising Popularity of Podcasts
A podcast (a mix of “iPod” and “broadcast”) is a content piece in the form of audio that can be streamed or downloaded.
New episodes are typically released weekly or monthly. To keep track of new releases, users can subscribe to mailing lists, RSS feeds, or other channels.
In 2019, the number of active podcasts reached over 700,000 in more than 100 languages. This goes to show how podcasts have become one of the fastest-growing trends in online entertainment, and it’s all thanks to its vast amount of genres and easy accessibility.
For website owners, podcasts are a powerful way to attract more traffic because they can act as a bridge between the brand and the audience to create a more personal relationship.
As with any other type of content, having your own platform will give you more control over how you can distribute it. WordPress does a great job of simplifying podcast hosting and marketing with its available plugins.
Top 5 WordPress Podcast Plugins
There are various factors to consider when choosing a tool for your podcast. Here are the five best WordPress podcast plugins based on ease-of-use, features, data tracking ability, and price:
If you’re just starting out, you will want to use PowerPress to handle your audio content. Due to its simplicity, it’s one of the best WordPress podcast plugins you must consider.
Upon entering the plugin’s interface, you have to complete three steps to start hosting your podcast: configure the plugin’s settings, create a blog post for an episode, and submit your podcast to iTunes or other directories like Google Podcast, Spotify, and Google Play Music.
If you’re looking for a more in-depth configuration, you can switch from Simple to Advanced mode, where you get to manage the plugin’s media player, insert podcast descriptions, configure the RSS feed, and a variety of other settings.
PowerPress also allows you to integrate your site with Blubrry’s statistics service. This feature has two options — free for basic statistics, and a monthly subscription of $5 that includes region and world demographics, data exporting, and more.
Additionally, this WordPress podcast plugin has other unique functions, such as:
- SEO for podcasts. Help your content reaches more people by inserting custom metadata and replacing the blog post title with the episode title.
- Integration with Blubrry’s services. Host your content on Bluebrry’s media hosting and publish it straight from your dashboard.
- Multisite support. You can enable multisite by downloading and installing a single PowerPress add-on that’s completely free.
- Easy embed. Create easy embeddable links for your audience, or use shortcodes on your posts to easily add content.
- Integrated subscriber tools. The plugin provides subscribe widgets that are retina-ready, mobile responsive, and can be easily added with shortcodes.
The plugin offers all the must-have features for free. You can choose to pay for the advanced statistics or plans when you feel like the extra features are necessary.
- You can easily switch between simple and advanced modes, making it suitable for those with little technical knowledge and advanced users.
- It offers plenty of features for free.
- To explore statistics, you’ll need to create a Blubrry account and use their site.
PowerPress is versatile, has a great free version, and offers all the must-have features for a beginner podcaster while having an advanced mode with more in-depth control for veterans.
Looking for a simple way to manage and share your podcasts? Seriously Simple Podcasting’s interface offers tons of great functionality that allows deeper control over your content while keeping the process simple at the same time.
Setting up your podcast takes only a minute. Enter some basic information like the blog post types you want to host your podcast on, how the media player should look like, and a few more options. After that, you’re ready to upload and post.
This plugin’s statistics report is rich with useful information, allowing you to track how long your podcast is listened to, which episodes are doing best, and more. Plus, it will automatically detect bots to avoid false-clicks, making the data even more accurate.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are lots of unique features that make this plugin worthwhile:
- Add-on support. Aside from the statistics add-on, you can create a transcript for your podcasts and add Genesis framework support. You can also use the Speakers add-on that allows you to introduce the podcast’s participants in the description without the need to create extra users for your WordPress site.
- CDN-powered cloud hosting. You can host your files on a dedicated media hosting platform, right from the WordPress editor to improve streaming and download speed.
- Supports both audio and video podcasts. You can upload .mp4 and .mov files for video podcasts, and easily republish them to YouTube.
- Supports multiple podcasts from one site. Seriously Simple Podcasting lets you publish multiple podcasts while having separate RSS feeds on the same site. This is a great way to distribute your content to different audiences.
For a free plugin, the number of features you get to enjoy and the simplicity that comes with them really makes this plugin worthy of being mentioned.
- It’s completely free — no hidden payment for additional features.
- Automatic bot detection for more accurate data tracking.
- Hosting provided by Castos, allowing you to upload your podcast to a high-speed server without leaving the dashboard. Keep in mind that this service is aimed at advanced users and will require a subscription.
- The statistics feature requires a separate add-on to install.
Do you want to create a hub for multiple podcasts on a single site? Seriously Simple Podcasting is definitely worth your attention. It has a simple interface along with a beautiful media player, video podcast support, and great analytics tools. It’s a great all-rounder WordPress podcast plugin.
Simple Podcast Press provides simple and easy to use features for showcasing your podcast. What’s more, it goes the extra mile to offer tools that will help you grow your audience.
This WordPress podcast plugin gives you a comfortable way to add show notes and offers integration with the most popular audio hosting sites like PodBean, Soundcloud, iTunes, and many others. Additionally, you get fully customizable subscription buttons.
Simple Podcast Press offers plenty of features to help spread your podcast to the public:
- Clammr integration. This feature allows your listeners to easily share snippets from your podcast.
- Clickable timestamps. The function is great for long-form content that is divided into different sections. Just add a timestamp, name it, and users can click it to instantly jump to the desired subject.
- Tweetables. Simple Podcast Press understands that Twitter is a great platform for sharing content with the world. That’s why it allows you to turn text from your podcast’s description into a Tweetable link for easy sharing.
- Collapsable transcript. If you want to add a transcript to your podcast, this plugin allows you to do so without overcrowding the media player.
- Showcase the latest four and five stars rating from iTunes. Highlight positive iTunes reviews on your page or on any sidebar with a widget.
- Podcast playlist. Each new episode will automatically be added to a playlist. You can also place the playlist itself anywhere you want on your site.
- Automatic URL shortener. No one likes long URLs. Thanks to Simple Podcast Press, the links to your podcast will be automatically shortened to make them easier to share.
Simple Podcast Press offers three paid plans that you can choose according to your needs. For a single purchase, each plan gets the same features. The difference is in the number of sites you can use the plugin on and priority support.
Single License ($67, one site) includes one year of support. Meanwhile, the Professional ($97, three sites) and Multi Licenses ($147, 10 sites) will get a year of premium support.
- It can work side-by-side with Blubrry PowerPress and Smart Podcast Player.
- A beautiful and mobile responsive podcast media player with customizable subscribe buttons.
- Focused on growing your audience with the Tweetable, auto URL shortener, and other features.
- You have to install an additional plugin to get in-depth analytics and data tracking.
If you have the budget, Simple Podcast Press is a great choice because its sharing features make it incredibly easy to grow your audience. However, if you want to keep close track of statistics, you will need an additional plugin.
Smart Podcast Player has one of the best-looking media players out there, which will make your visitors want to hang around longer.
It was created by Pat Flynn, an entrepreneur and podcaster with tons of experience. Hence, he knows what makes a good WordPress podcast plugin.
Smart Podcast Player is very easy to set up and allows you to share your content ASAP. Let’s cover the key features:
- Integrated email capture tool. You can add an email subscription form with no added plugin, so your audience stays up to date with your content. The plugin also supports ConvertKit, MailChimp, and Aweber if you want to take your email marketing to the next level.
- Sticky media player. This feature will let visitors browse the page your podcast is on without losing track of the media player, which will be either at the top or the bottom of the screen as they scroll.
- Great media player controls. Lets visitors listen to your podcast the way they want to. The player comes with the ability to speed up or slow down a track, along with an option to skip ahead or rewind. They can also easily download and share your content thanks to conveniently placed buttons with customizable colors.
- Smart track player. Aside from the full and sticky media players, you can also add a single-track player that you can place anywhere on your site.
Unfortunately, Smart Podcast Player doesn’t have its own media hosting. However, it allows you to display content from any popular podcast directory such as iTunes, BuzzSprout, SoundCloud, etc.
The plugin costs $12/month, but it can be cheaper ($8.09/month) if you subscribe to the one-year plan. Don’t worry if you’re still not sure if this plugin is right for you, as there’s a 60-day money-back guarantee.
- A beautiful and modern-looking media player that allows you to add a custom background.
- In-depth easy to use media player controls for visitors to enjoy the podcasts any way they want.
- Integrated email list-building features.
- It doesn’t come with analytics features.
- It doesn’t have its own media hosting.
With the clean and appealing media player design that comes with this plugin, you’ll be able to capture the heart of your visitors instantly. Additionally, the wide range of controls will let visitors listen to your content the way they like it. On the other hand, the absence of analytics integration is a letdown.
So far, the plugins on this list have been meant for beginners. If you’re a podcast host that would rather get his hands under the hood, Podlove Podcast Publisher will be right up your alley.
Podlove Podcast Publisher’s custom templating lets you edit all data that governs the visuals and functionality of your podcast pages, making it suitable for experienced users that want to create a custom-tailored experience.
Here are some key features that make this plugin stand out above most others:
- Multi-format publishing. The plugin supports modern and legacy audio and video codecs, making sure you don’t need to worry about formats.
- Flexible web player. A fully HTML5 compatible web player that works perfectly with touch interfaces.
- Chapter support. You can easily display information about your episode in an easy-to-follow and convenient structure.
What’s more, it’s a completely free open-source plugin. The only additional feature you can purchase is the paid professional support.
If you don’t want to purchase the premium support, it’s completely fine, too! Drop by the forums, and the friendly community will definitely point you in the right direction.
- It’s an open-source WordPress podcast plugin that’s completely free.
- Compatible with all modern mobile and desktop browsers.
- Supports various modern and legacy audio and video codecs.
- There is no bulk-upload option, which can be an issue if you’re migrating from one plugin to another.
Overall, this plugin has most of the things a podcaster needs — from statistics, an easy and simple interface, and support for multiple formats and codecs. However, migrating data will take time, as you need to do it one episode at a time.
To improve your chances of success, it’s always a good idea to have as much control over your content as possible. As such, having your own site is a great solution! Let’s recap the five best WordPress podcast plugins based on features, price, and ease of use:
- PowerPress. Simple and Advanced modes for convenient management, and multisite support.
- Seriously Simple Podcasting. Free, supports both audio and video content, powerful analytics features with automatic bot detection.
- Simple Podcast Press. One-time purchase, supports integration with other podcast plugins, and offers great sharing features.
- Smart Podcast Player. Recurring payments, multiple feature-rich media players, and an integrated email capture tool.
- Podlove Podcast Publisher. Free, supports multiple feeds, multi-format publishing, and has an integrated HTML5 web player.
Now that you know the ins and outs of each plugin, you can make an informed decision when picking the perfect one for your site.
Do you know any other good WordPress podcast plugins that should be on the list? Let me know in the comment section below!