Thanks in part to its 23% year on year growth as in industry in 2015-16, podcasting has solidified itself as an extremely valuable niche. Approximately 21% of Americans over the age of 12 have listened to a podcast in the last month, which is…pretty dang impressive, to say the least. So, if you’ve been looking to start a podcast, there’s no better time than now.
And if you are looking to start your podcast, there’s also no better CMS than WordPress. While many people will listen to your podcast on their own device, it’s still important that your podcast has a website as its home. Thanks to a variety of plugins and themes, podcasting with WordPress couldn’t be easier.
So whether you’re launching a podcast website from scratch or looking to add podcasting functionality to your existing WordPress site, keep reading to learn all about the best WordPress podcast plugins.
1. Blubrry PowerPress Podcasting Plugin
Blubrry PowerPress is the #1 podcasting plugin for WordPress. From creating iTunes compliant files to beautiful syndication buttons, Blubrry PowerPress does it all. Best of all, PowerPress is totally free!
Here’s some of the awesome stuff you can do with PowerPress:
- iTunes compliant podcast feeds
- HTML5 media player so people can listen directly on your site (see the Matt Report example above)
- Shortcodes and widgets that help drive subscribers
- Easy to add show notes and descriptions (which are automatically added to syndication services)
- Podcast statistics – add Blubrry’s podcast statistics directly to your WordPress dashboard
- Easy migration from other podcasting plugins
- Lots, lots more. Seriously, PowerPress is very feature rich.
PowerPress is also very well documented, which makes set up and use easy even for WordPress beginners.
2. Seriously Simple Podcasting
True to its name, Seriously Simple Podcasting provides a free, lightweight way to syndicate your podcasts on WordPress. But while it is lightweight, that doesn’t mean it’s light on features.
Seriously Simple Podcasting creates a syndication compliant feed for your podcast. If you have multiple podcasts, it can generate separate feeds for each podcast. It also supports audio and video and creates custom post types for both a series homepage and individual podcast episodes.
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Here’s everything you’ll get with Seriously Simple Podcasting:
- Compliant podcast feeds for iTunes, Stitcher, and more
- Can run multiple podcasts from one WordPress site
- Basic stats for your podcasts
- Custom post types for podcast episodes and series
- Shortcodes and widgets to display podcasts
- Play episodes via WordPress media player (not an ideal solution – the player is seriously ugly when compared with other podcast plugins)
Seriously Simple Podcasting also includes a growing library of free add-ons to extend its functionality even more.
3. Smart Podcast Player
Smart Podcast Player is a premium podcasting plugin from Pat Flynn, the guy behind Smart Passive Income. Given the success of his podcast, you can bet that Pat knows a thing or two about podcasting.
That knowledge shows in Smart Podcast Player, which allows you to embed beautiful podcast players with a variety of features. I’m not kidding about the beautiful part, either. Smart Podcast Player has the absolute best design of any podcast plugin on this list.
Not only is the player beautiful, it also includes podcast essentials like skip and playback speed buttons.
Here’s everything else Smart Podcast Player can do:
- Includes full library player or single episode player
- Makes binge listening easy by connecting your episodes together
- Built-in social sharing
- Easy color customization to fit your design
- Mobile friendly
- Allows for easy downloading and subscribing
Though it’s not free like the previous two plugins, Smart Podcast Player is worth the $8 per month fee for serious podcasters. You can preview a live example of the plugin at the Smart Passive Income podcast section.
Podlove is a free plugin which helps you create multi-format feeds that are compatible with all major podcast services. It also comes with an HTML5 web player that works on all devices, including touch screens.
If you divide your podcasts into chapters, you’ll be happy to know that Podlove comes with full chapter support (see example above). The plugin also comes with download analytics so you can gain insights into your listening audience.
5. Simple Podcast Press
Simple Podcast Press is another premium option for adding podcast automation functionality to WordPress. The plugin can either function all by itself or in conjunction with plugins like Blubrry PowerPress or Smart Podcast Player.
All you need to do is enter your existing podcast feed and Simple Podcast Press will automate everything. It will automatically create pages for all of your episodes, complete with a player and description.
Whether you already have a podcast plugin or are looking for a full solution, Simple Podcast Press is a great option for automating your publishing. Prices start at $67 for a single-site license.
6. Libsyn Podcasting Plugin
I hesitated to include the Libsyn Podcasting Plugin on this list because it’s been in “Beta” for months now despite having not been updated in over 5 months. But because of how big Libsyn is as a podcast publishing platform, I’m adding it here as a resource for any podcasters who are already married to the Libsyn platform.
The plugin allows you to publish your Libsyn podcasts directly from WordPress to save you some time. So again, not a standalone plugin, but a helpful tool for Libsyn users, nonetheless.
7. BONUS – Appendipity Podcast Themes
Appendipity is a WordPress theme developer who exclusively creates podcast-focused themes. If you’re not satisfied with just a plugin, they’re a great way to turn every aspect of WordPress into a podcasting machine.
Appendipity currently has 7 different podcast themes, all of which are built on and require the Genesis framework.
All of Appendipity’s themes are designed to integrate with existing plugins like Blubrry PowerPress or Simple Podcast Press. They also integrate well with email marketing services to make it easy to build a podcast-promoting email list.
If your site is 100% focused on podcasts, you might want to consider using one of these themes in conjunction with one of the other podcast plugins on this list.
Wrapping Things Up
Whether you’re adding a podcast to an existing site or creating a WordPress podcasting site from scratch, these plugins provide you with all of the functionality you need to get your site off the ground and start broadcasting your podcast to the world.
If I had to pick my absolute favorite plugin, it would be Pat Flynn’s Smart Podcast Player. The player is gorgeous, functional, and pushes listeners into your entire podcast library to keep them listening.
But if you’re not quite ready to pay that $8 per month fee, Blubrry PowerPress and Really Simple Podcasting are both great free options. Between the two, I would recommend Blubrry PowerPress first, because I think the Really Simple Podcasting player lacks too much in the design department.
Have you used one of these WordPress podcasting plugins? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!