For as long as I have used themes and written about them in the WordPress space, there has been a spot for niche themes, that is, themes built for a specific industry or type of business. Although many of them can be used in diverse ways, they do have their advantages for owners of niche-focused WordPress sites because they give you the layout, look and tools to fit your unique needs.
Gumbo: A WordPress Theme for Podcasts
Unless you have been living in a cave, you know that the podcast industry is booming. Over the last few years we have seen yet another resurgence in this medium and podcasting is going stronger than ever. While competition is growing, so are the opportunities. As I have always said with blogs, not everyone should have a podcast. But there are clear benefits attached to having one; it all depends on your own goals.
SecondLine has four themes built specifically for podcasters. In this post, we take a look at one of them, Gumbo. Here is a shot of the homepage from their demo.
Not only can you have a single or several shows featured at the very top, you also have the option of adding the hosts of your show as well as featured guests. And, of course, a prominent spot for subscriber options.
I will take you through the options you will find in the customizer. We will also take a quick look at the plugins that come with the Gumbo theme. You will see in the screenshot the recommended plugins.
You can also import demo content if you wish.
Gumbo Theme Options in the Customizer
As you can see here, there are several options in the customizer that allow you to modify the look, feel and content of the theme.
The header has seven options you can work with.
Many users are looking for more control and flexibility in the header area and this theme does not disappoint. As you can see, within each option, there is quite a bit you can do.
In addition to being mobile-responsive, the Gumbo theme gives you more control over the options for display. This is a critical piece, seeing how many users listen to podcasts via a smartphone or tablet.
There are more options around styles and the body (content) of post and pages:
If we look at each of these, we see that they are primarily focused on text and colors with a few added options.
Moving on to something more podcast-specific, they have a nice default media player.
This theme supports multiple audio sources and plugins, such as PowerPress, Seriously Simple Podcasting [Castos], Libsyn, SoundCloud, YouTube, BuzzSprout, etc. Speaking of YouTube, it also supports videos for video podcasting or even vlogging.
You have the option of using the default player or, if you choose, the custom player from the service or plugin you are using.
Like most themes, there are footer options as well.
Again, here are some font options, as well as choices for the number of footer widgets you want to show.
Building Your Pages with Elementor
When you install this theme, you also get the free version of the page builder Elementor. Since this plugin is so robust all by itself, I am not going to walk you through every option. But as you can see, the homepage is built using Elementor, and each specific area of the homepage can be edited if you want to make any changes. For example, here is a screenshot for the Show Host section when editing it in Elementor.
I have touched on these, but I am revisiting to highlight what stood out as I looked at this theme.
As I shared at the beginning of this post, the homepage is styled to fit perfectly with a podcast site. Having done a total of five podcasts over the years, I have always incorporated them into our existing site. But if you have the opportunity to build it out on a separate site, that is even better. This homepage pulls in and features content that is critical to the success of your podcast.
Single Episode Pages
If you look at the episode posts, the player and its related tools are front and center, which is exactly what your listeners are looking for. You can also add show notes, transcripts or any other content in the body of the post.
The Gumbo theme also has some unique ways of displaying episodes on a page. You can see your choices here.
This option is more of a standard list but includes the player in the archive page vs. the other layouts.
Great if you want to give your listeners an option to choose specific categories upfront:
Another option with three-columns:
And the default archive page with sidebar:
Media Player Layout Options
As noted in a previous screenshot, each episode page has the media player at the top of the page. Depending on whether you are using audio or video, you have eight options.
Starting from the top right, you can have: Standard, MixCloud, SoundCloud, External MP3 File, Audio Playlist, Vimeo Video, YouTube Video, and Local Hosted Video.
The Gumbo theme is truly a theme built with the podcaster in mind. With the ability to work with any of the podcast plugins and layout options that provide listeners easy access to your podcasts, it’s worth your time to explore its features. You can learn more about the Gumbo theme here or check out all four of their podcasting themes.