More and more companies, individuals, and other outlets are getting into the podcast game! But hosting and promoting a podcast is usually more work than producing the podcast itself. We’ll tell you how to build a website for your podcast on the cheap and on the fly; a lot of the methods discussed can take less than an hour!
First, what is a Podcast?
A podcast is really nothing more than a syndicated news feed for audio! Almost everyone is familiar with RSS, which syndicates HTML information and metadata such as simple images, dates, titles, and author information. Podcast feeds do much the same for audio, and are organized such that many podcast purveyors (Google, iTunes, etc.) can integrate them easily. These integrations mean that whenever a new podcast is uploaded to the feed, followers can be prompted to download it after viewing simple descriptions and other information.
Thought you could just upload your podcast on to iTunes and be done? Unfortunately, that’s not how iTunes podcasts work! iTunes effectively only provides access to podcasts hosted elsewhere. If you want to make your podcast available on iTunes, you’ll need to get hosting for your podcast!
What Do You Need for a Website?
There are just a few things you need to make a website: hosting, a domain name, and the actual code that makes up the website.
Hosting is perhaps the most significant item to discuss, because the size of your hosting plan could be limiting to your podcast! Each audio podcast can run anywhere from 5 to 50 megabytes, so being able to find hosting with enough space to accommodate many podcasts is crucial.
Hosting and domain names can often be bought together from purveyors like GoDaddy, but there’s also another solution out there: to utilize a website builder service, many of which provide hosting, domain names, and even the body of the website itself all for free.
Another consideration is bandwidth, which is the amount of digital information your visitors regularly handle. To ensure your website can handle a great deal of such traffic, it’s important to find a hosting plan with very high bandwidth allowances.
The Website Builder Method
Website builders are, essentially, paid or free website maker platforms which allow you to get a website template, hosting, and domain name all in one place. If you have never built a website before or need a website up in a very short period of time, this can represent the best option. There are several website builders which have podcasts in mind, like PodOmatic and PodBean.
Once you’ve made your account with the website builder, you browse themes or templates, selecting one that looks good according to your best judgement, and begin plugging in your own content. Text, photos, a bit about your podcast, team members, and why you decided to take the venture. When that’s done, begin uploading each podcast onto its own page, with plenty of room for descriptions about each episode. And voila! You have a podcast website.
The WordPress and Podpress Option
Want to buy your own hosting plan and have more control over your website? Then you may want to use the WordPress framework with the Podpress plugin! Though this option is often both more expensive and time consuming, it has two notable benefits. One, you have more control over your website’s content, and can easily change the look and feel of the website to update it should you desire! Two, you can easily scale up your packages, if your visitor count grows to the point where it uses a great deal of your bandwidth, or if you’ve uploaded enough podcasts that you need more hosting space.
So, once you’ve purchased your hosting and linked it to your domain name, you install the WordPress framework, and select a theme to run from many of their free options. The theme options or customization link on the WordPress backend will help you customize the look and feel of your theme.
When that’s done, head to the Plugin section and search for the plugin called ‘PodPress.’ After installing and activating the plugin, you will be prompted to begin uploading your podcast files, and to enter in your own metadata fields: which makes your podcast easy to syndicate!
Maintaining Your Podcast
Whichever method you decide to go with, adding a new podcast to your stream should be as easy and simple as creating a new page or post. All that’s left is to start marketing your podcast to gain a strong group of regular listeners!