I have been producing podcasts since 2014 and have tried various options when it comes to hosting. A year ago, I decided to switch things up and took a serious look at Castos hosting. I had also used another WordPress plugin with my podcasts but then I was lured by the free plugin, Seriously Simple Podcasting. Maybe it was the name 🙂
I ended up making the move and have been a happy podcaster ever since.
So if you are looking to start a podcast—or your seeking a host for your podcast— let me show you what you can expect. (And note: podcast hosting is separate from your site hosting and is recommended so as not to add extra work for your site server)
The Seriously Simple Podcasting Plugin
This can be used whether you use Castos hosting or not, but again, I would seriously think about it.
General Podcast Settings
As you can see here, you are going to choose from your custom post types what will be your podcast post types. Also, you have a choice between two media players, where they should be located and a bit on styling as well.
You can create a default feed. But if, like me, you have more than one podcast, you can create multiple feeds instead. Here are the settings for one of our feeds. It gives you quite a bit more control over the feed per podcast.
If for any reason you want to password protect your podcast, you can do that here. It might be for paid content, or any other reason you might want your podcast to be private.
If you need to move your podcast to another location down the road, you can set up a redirect here:
You will find the feeds for your podcast here and can also add a third-party feed service if you have one:
If you choose to host your podcast at Castos, this lets you easily connect to your account:
If you are ready to move to Castos hosting, simply submit this info and the team at Castos will personally import all your files. I can swear by this as they did it for us, which saved us a lot of headaches and time.
And if you need more, check out some of the extensions that come with this plugin. Four of these you can get free with the plugin:
- Seriously Simple Stats
- Seriously Simple Transcripts
- Genesis Support
- Seriously Simple Speakers
You can do this on your WordPress site in one of two ways. You can add them as a custom post type that is similar to a regular post. This keeps them separate from your regular posts.
Or you can create them as regular posts. Since all our podcasts are on regular WordPress posts, that is how we have ours.
In either case, you have two options on your posts for adding the podcast. First, where you will upload the podcast. If you are on Castos hosting, simply upload it here and it will reside on their hosting, separate from your site hosting.
Otherwise, you will upload it to your media library, or if you are storing your files somewhere else, like Amazon S3, then you would put the URL in here. The other information will self-populate once it’s uploaded:
If you have more than one podcast you want to have on your site, you will want to create what is called a series. Basically they work like categories with their own feed.
And whenever you create an episode or post, you can select which series it belongs to. This will ensure that it gets sent to your external podcast platforms, such as Apple Podcasts, etc.
You will also get some very good statistics on the post/episode page for that specific episode.
Or you can view more detailed stats on your site while filtering them per episode and dates.
Also, on the individual posts/episodes, you can customize the size of your episode and use the embed code.
In the general settings, you chose where to display the media player. Or it can be done with a shortcode. There is the standard compact player or, if you use their hosting, you get the option of the HTML5 Player with Album Art that looks like this:
As I mentioned before, the free plugin Seriously Simple Podcasting will work even if you don’t use their hosting. (The media player I showed you above is only available if you use their hosting as well as some other features like one-click importing, more in-depth analytics and video publishing.)
When using their hosting you can have your podcasts on your WordPress site, or you can have your own personal site via Castos hosting. The latter gives you a fully mobile responsive and a nicely designed website.
Besides the stats you see above, with the hosting you will also be able to see:
- Playback-level audience analytics. This gives you good insights by showing you the average percentage of how much an specific episode is listened to.
- Listening methods. You can see stats by app, browser, OS/Devices and listener locations.
Video Publishing and YouTube
They offer hosting for video podcasting and a plan that includes automatically republishing your podcasts to YouTube. It will convert your audio files into good looking videos and automatically publish them to your YouTube channel.
So whether you are looking for a free plugin for your podcasts or your WordPress site, or would also like to add hosting for your podcast, you can’t go wrong with Castos.