So when do you need WordPress podcast plugins? Well, with podcast listener figures growing over 20% over the last couple of years, there has arguably never been a better time to jump on the podcasting bandwagon. And while you’ll certainly have a myriad of creative issues to address between now and launch, there is also the technical aspect to consider – namely, how will you present podcasts on your website?
In typical fashion, the WordPress community has responded to its own needs by developing a number of WordPress podcast plugins that enable you to launch a podcast right on your website. However, also in keeping with the traditions of WordPress, the market is teeming with options – making it difficult to make the best choice for your unique needs.
Never fear, however! In this post, we will look at seven of the best WordPress podcast plugins, aka. podcasting plugins on the market, before listing their key features and best use cases for each.
Let’s get started!
The top WordPress podcast plugins of 2018:
1. Seriously Simple Podcasting
First up is Seriously Simple Podcasting – a user-friendly podcasting solution that enables users to broadcast multiple shows from the same WordPress website.
It’s the simplicity of this plugin that differentiates it from the rest. It has a streamlined interface and a short configuration process, so you can set it up quickly and focus on recording your podcast. In short, it’s ideal for beginners.
- Run multiple podcasts from the same site – each with their own, unique RSS feed.
- Gather thorough statistics using the free stats add-on.
- Supports both audio and video podcasting.
- Podcast and Series taxonomies help you manage your podcast episodes.
- Shortcodes and widgets for displaying podcast episode lists, as well as single episodes anywhere on your site.
2. Libsyn Podcasting
Libsyn Podcasting is a renowned podcast hosting solution. Users can sign up to host their episodes, offer their listeners custom mobile apps, study statistics, and much more.
Their plugin – which is for Libsyn subscribers only – is currently in beta, but it’s still an interesting solution among the other WordPress podcast plugins. With just one four-star review on WordPress.org, there’s not an awful lot to go on yet, in terms of public opinion.
The cheapest hosting plan starts from $5 per month, so there’s room for both beginners and established podcasters. Most logically, it’s an obvious solution for podcasters wanting to use WordPress as an extension of their existing Libsyn podcast.
- External cloud hosting.
- Libsyn offers to list their subscriber’s podcasts on their podcast directory.
- HTML5 compatible media player.
- Custom mobile apps for iOS, Android, and Windows devices.
3. Smart Podcast Player
Brought to you by Pat Flynn – the acclaimed entrepreneur behind Smart Passive Income – Smart Podcast Player is an extremely comprehensive example of what WordPress podcast plugins should be, with functionality that arguably trumps all others. It includes various library display settings, playback slowing, direct downloads, and more.
Perhaps the most alluring feature of Smart Podcast Player is the level of design customization. Other WordPress podcast plugins lack truly beautiful design options, whereas we feel this is where Smart Podcast Plugin excels. For just one of many examples, it gives you a color palette for your audio track bar, making your podcast feel like a native part of your website.
- Extensive design customization features.
- Support for all MP3-based podcast feeds.
- Speed up and slow down playback.
- Automatic library updates.
- Listeners can download episodes directly from the podcast player.
4. Simple Podcast Press
Simple Podcast Press is indeed simple when it comes to configuration, but its impact upon a WordPress website is anything but.
To set up Simple Podcast Press, you simply enter your iTunes or SoundCloud URL, and the plugin will do the rest. Unique pages for each of your episodes are created, and a mobile-friendly player is inserted. This is automatically accompanied by the full description of your episode, as well as any images taken from your podcast feed. Thereafter, each time you publish a new episode, your WordPress site will automatically update.
As you might have guessed, this plugin is ideal for those with an established iTunes or SoundCloud podcast who are looking to showcase it on their website.
- Compatible with a wide-range of podcasting solutions, including iTunes and SoundCloud.
- Automatic URL shortening.
- Clickable time-stamps.
- Built-in iTunes review showcasing.
5. Blubrry PowerPress
Blubrry PowerPress boasts multiple audio and video player options, subscription tools, and a mode for quickly kick-starting new podcasting projects.
Perhaps the most intriguing feature of this plugin is the Podcast SEO feature. It enables you to specify custom episode titles for RSS feeds, and provides guidance on how to make your podcast more visible on Google and iTunes – definitely something to excite podcasters who are looking to grow their audience organically.
- Simple and advanced modes.
- Full iTunes and Google Play support.
- Integrated HTML5 media players.
- Podcasting SEO functionality.
- Simple podcast importing from SoundCloud, Libsyn, Podbean, Squarespace, or another podcast RSS feed.
6. Podlove Podcast Publisher
Current Version: 2.7.17
Last Updated: November 5, 2018
Rather than aiming to import and rely on third-party podcast platforms, Podlove Podcast Publisher has been built with WordPress in mind. It comes bundled with a subscription feature and a detailed analytics engine.
A key differentiating feature is Podlove’s custom templating system. It enables you to access every piece of code related to your podcast data, so you can modify the appearance and experience to your heart’s content.
Furthermore, the plugin’s functionality is modular, enabling advanced users to tailor the back end interface to their requirements. We think it goes without saying that this one is for podcasters who don’t mind delving into code to customize their experience.
- Ships with a subscription feature.
- Powerful analytics.
- HTML5-compatible web player with touch support.
- Chapter support to help manage episodes.
- A flexible templating system, and modular by nature.
7. Buzzsprout Podcasting
Buzzsprout Podcasting is another premium solution with a free WordPress plugin. It offers iTunes support, HTML5 players, statistics, and more.
Their free plan allows for up to two hours of podcasting a month, with hosting for just 90 days. The cheapest plan thereafter – which includes indefinite hosting – is $12 per month.
Their most expensive premium plan comes in at a hefty $24 per month, allowing for 12 hours of podcasting. Most podcasters will not plan on broadcasting as often as that, although power users may not want such (expensive) restrictions. Thus, we’d recommend Buzzsprout to those who podcast in moderation.
- External hosting.
- Simple podcast migration tool.
- HTML5 players.
- Powerful play-by-play analytics engine.
With the growing popularity of podcasting, it’s nice to know that – as per usual – WordPress has you covered. However, each of the plugins above will serve you in a slightly different way, so be mindful of which one you opt for.
To recap, here are the seven strongest WordPress podcast plugins once again, along with our recommended best use cases:
- Seriously Simple Podcasting: For beginners to podcasting.
- Libsyn Podcasting: For those who want to host their podcast outside of WordPress.
- Smart Podcast Player: For power users.
- Simple Podcast Press: For podcasters looking to expand their reach via a website.
- Blubrry PowerPress: For organic growth through SEO.
- Podlove Podcast Publisher: For a modular and customizable experience.
- Buzzsprout Podcasting: For podcasters who don’t broadcast too frequently.
Finally, if you plan on launching a new WordPress website to host your podcast, our article 10 things you need to do right after launching a WordPress site will point you in the right direction.
Are you looking to dip your toe into the podcasting waters? Know of any other cool WordPress podcast plugins? Let us know about your experiences in the comments section below!