5 Best WordPress Podcast Hosting Services (Including Free Options)
Searching for the best WordPress podcast hosting?
There are lots of great WordPress podcasting plugins, which we’ve detailed on this blog. However, a podcasting plugin by itself usually isn’t enough, you also need podcast hosting to go with it.
Podcast hosting gives you a reliable place to store and distribute your podcast’s files. It makes sure your visitors will always be able to download the latest episodes and they won’t have to wait around for ages while doing so (speed is important for podcasts, too! Not just websites). Your hosting also provides the RSS feed that you can submit to Apple Podcasts and other podcast directories.
While you can self-host your podcast files on your WordPress site’s server if you really want to, podcast hosting usually offers a more optimized, reliable, and hands-off way to handle distributing your episodes. Most podcast hosts also build in other features, like easy access to analytics on how many downloads your episodes get and where your listeners are located.
In this post, we’ve collected the best podcast hosting services for WordPress users. Some of these options integrate with the podcast plugins that we detailed in our post, while others are just generally solid options for WordPress users.
Let’s jump right in…
5 Best WordPress Podcast Hosting Providers
Castos is a podcast hosting service that specifically markets itself towards WordPress users, which is why a lot of WordPress podcasts use the service. For example, Matt Report, WPBuilds, and BobWP all use Castos for their podcasts. Matt of Matt Report even works at Castos now.
Castos is also the company behind the popular Seriously Simple Podcasting plugin at WordPress.org. While you don’t need to use Castos to use the Seriously Simple Podcasting plugin, Seriously Simple Podcasting does have a built-in integration with Castos, which makes it super easy to benefit from dedicated podcast hosting while still managing everything from inside your WordPress dashboard.
With Seriously Simple Podcasting, you can upload podcast files inside your WordPress dashboard and have the plugin automatically add them to any post type. It also adds a user-friendly front-end audio player and lots of useful features like transcripts.
If you use the Castos integration, everything that you do inside WordPress will automatically sync to your Castos account. So when you upload a new episode in WordPress, it automatically goes to Castos for hosting. The same is true if you edit an episode’s details later on – you never need to duplicate your efforts like you would with some other hosts.
Beyond the detailed WordPress integration, Castos is also a pretty stellar podcast host in its own right.
All of its hosting plans come with:
- Unlimited podcasts
- Unlimited podcast episodes
- Unlimited downloads
- …get the idea? It’s unlimited
All the plans also give you:
- Free one-click migrations from another podcast host
- Easy pay-as-you-go podcast transcriptions (starting from $0.10/minute)
- Listener analytics by podcast and episode. See audience locations, browsers, apps, and devices
- Private podcasting – create a password-protected podcast to limit who has access. Each pricing tier has a limit on the number of people that can have access to your private podcast.
Higher-tier plans also give you features like video republishing to YouTube, more advanced analytics, video file hosting, and a Headliner Audiogram integration.
Price: Castos’ plans start at just $190 per year or $19 per month. Castos also has its own fully-managed podcast editing/production package that starts at just $75 per episode.
You can try out the podcast hosting for free with a 14-day free trial.
Blubrry is another WordPress podcast hosting service with a very popular free plugin at WordPress.org – Blubrry PowerPress.
As with Castos and Seriously Simple Podcasting, Blubrry PowerPress is a standalone WordPress podcasting plugin that helps you upload episodes to WordPress, manage your feeds, and create a front-end player with useful features like show notes and transcripts.
However, it can also help you easily integrate with the Blubrry podcast hosting service, which gives you:
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Professional analytics
- Custom embeddable player
- Free file migration from another post
One of the most unique things about Blubrry’s podcast hosting service is that it actually includes a free WordPress site with your subscription. So if you don’t already have a WordPress site for your podcast, you can get one for free if you subscribe to Blubrry.
However, Blubrry does limit how many MB of files you can upload per month. The cheapest plan only allows 100 MB per month while the top-tier plan allows 1 GB. This only applies to new uploads per month – it doesn’t apply to files that you’ve already uploaded. E.g. if you upload 100 MB in January, you could then upload another 100 MB in February (which would give you 200 MB total in your account – you just wouldn’t be able to upload more until March), and so on.
Price: Plans start at $12 per month for 100 MB of monthly storage and range up to $100 per month for unlimited monthly storage.
Buzzsprout is another popular podcast hosting service that offers its own dedicated WordPress plugin.
One of the most unique things about Buzzsprout is that it offers free podcast hosting. You can upload two hours of podcasts per month for free, which is awesome if you’re on a budget. However, the downside is that it’ll only store your episodes for 90 days, which is a negative in terms of building up a back catalog. Additionally, if you want to use Buzzsprout’s built-in website creation tool, your website will have ads
However, since you’re reading about the best WordPress podcast hosting, you’ll probably prefer to use Buzzsprout’s dedicated WordPress integration plugin. The plugin automatically fetches the latest podcast episodes that you’ve uploaded to Buzzsprout and lets you easily embed them in content on your WordPress site.
However, unlike Castos or Blubrry, you won’t be able to manage episodes themselves through WordPress. You’ll first need to upload the episodes directly to Buzzsprout using the Buzzsprout interface. Then, the plugin just helps you include those episodes in WordPress content.
In addition to helping you create a podcast RSS feed that you can submit anywhere, Buzzsprout also comes with:
- Listener stats/analytics
- Unlimited storage (though you’re limited in how many hours you can upload per month)
- “Magic mastering” for an extra fee
- Episode transcription for $0.25/minute
Price: Try it out for free. Paid plans start at $9 per month to upload up to three hours per month with unlimited storage and bandwidth
Captivate is another podcast hosting service that makes a great option for WordPress users thanks to its official Captivate Sync plugin at WordPress.org.
All of Captivate’s plans come with:
- Built-in advanced analytics
- A great-looking podcast player – seriously, it’s one of the better-looking podcast players that I’ve seen anywhere
- Unlimited podcasts and episodes – there are no limits on storage
- Unlimited podcast team members
- Dedicated podcast website (or use the plugin to connect it to WordPress)
However, the one downside is that Captivate’s pricing plans limit you by downloads, whereas many of the other podcast hosting services allow unlimited downloads. The upside is that there are no feature restrictions between the plans – the only difference is the download limit.
Price: Captivate starts at $19 per month for up to 12,000 monthly downloads.
Lastly, Podbean is another popular podcast hosting service that you can easily integrate into WordPress (though it doesn’t have a dedicated plugin).
Like Buzzsprout, Podbean offers free podcast hosting, though the limits aren’t quite as generous – you can only upload up to five hours total and you’re limited to 100 GB of monthly bandwidth.
But if you’re on a tight budget, this lets you get started for free. And if your episodes aren’t that long, you’ll be able to upload quite a few episodes before you hit that five hour limit on the free plan.
On the other hand, all of PodBean’s paid plans support unlimited storage and unmetered bandwidth. The higher-tier episodes also support video podcasts.
The one downside is that Podbean doesn’t have a tight integration with WordPress. You’ll need to manually embed your podcast on WordPress, and the embedded player isn’t great.
If you’re going this route, consider pairing it with the Fusebox plugin to beef up the WordPress integration. You can add your Podbean RSS feed to Fusebox and then Fusebox will take care of giving you a great-looking player on WordPress.
Which Is the Best WordPress Podcast Hosting Service?
While all of these services have their own pros and cons, I would say that, if you’re looking for the best podcast hosting specifically for WordPress users, you should go with Castos.
Via the Seriously Simple Podcasting plugin, Castos has a tight integration with WordPress that lets you manage everything from your WordPress dashboard, while still benefiting from dedicated podcast hosting.
All the plans also allow unlimited podcasts, episodes, and downloads, which is tough to argue with from a budget perspective. If you want to try it out, there’s a 14-day free trial that you can use to test everything.
Blubrry is another good option for WordPress users because of the PowerPress plugin, but Blubrry has monthly upload limits whereas Castos doesn’t.
Do you have any questions about choosing the best podcast hosting for WordPress? Ask away in the comments!