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Podcasting has been around for a long time, but only recently did it blow up as a popular medium.
These days, there’s a podcast for everything. Personally, I enjoy programs for news, comedy, and business just to name a few subjects.
If you’re ready to join the wave or you’re simply getting a site online for the first time, you’ll want to try one of the plugins listed here.
These are the top plugins available for promoting and playing your podcast on your site.
If you haven’t found a great theme yet, check out our WordPress podcast themes collection for some excellent options.
WordPress podcast plugins
Four of the five plugins featured here are free, and there is one paid option included as well. Ultimately, it will come down to the features you prefer as well as the style of the audio player.
So without further ado, here are my top picks for the best podcast plugin.
This plugin has to come first in my opinion because it’s true to its name: Seriously Simple Podcasting.
You can get up and running very quickly with SSP, and the settings included strike a perfect balance between comprehensiveness and simplicity. The overall design of the plugin is great. Let me explain.
With SSP installed, you’ll have a new post type added to your admin menu for podcast episodes (like posts). This allows you to publish blog posts and podcast episodes on your site separately. However, you can enable the podcast features for regular posts if you prefer that.
SSP also creates a podcast feed for you which is very important for syndication. You can use this as the main feed people can follow to get new episodes.
As for the on-site experience, SSP uses the default WordPress audio player which works very well but is a little bit basic. There are also a handful of widgets included to promote recent episodes or even feature individual episodes in your sidebar.
Smart Podcast Player is my next recommendation because it is so different from Seriously Simple Podcasting.
This plugin is the only premium plugin included in this collection and you can tell based on its appearance. Unlike SSP’s simple audio player, Smart Podcast Player has a beautiful and highly advanced embeddable player. The shortcode system is easy to use and you can also customize the colors and other aspects of it.
Here, take another look at how cool the player is:
Content like the title, description, and tags are all readily available. In addition, visitors can browse all episodes, skip forward/backward, and there’s even a search bar to find specific episodes.
On top of this, since SPP was made by a popular internet marketer, Pay Flynn, it has plenty of marketing tools built in. It boasts it’s status on the homepage as “…the only podcast player that allows you to capture your listeners’ email addresses.”
While you certainly don’t need all of the features in this plugin to get started, it could be a cool upgrade for your site at some point.
The makers behind this plugin, Blubrry, provided tools for podcasters long before podcasting was cool. What I’m trying to say is, they’ve been in the game a long time and have earned a great reputation.
The PowerPress plugin has a ton of functionality for being a free plugin. You’ll find everything you need here. One of the features that stands out is the full support for Apple Podcasts (formerly iTunes podcasts). Your podcast feed will be perfectly optimized for Apple’s service and even SEO-optimized to rank well and reach more listeners. Your feed also works with the newly launched Google Podcasts directory.
In addition to all the features in this plugin, it also integrates with the podcast hosting and many other tools offered by Blubrry. If I were ranking these plugins based on functionality alone, this would be my number one choice. However, from the admin menus to the audio player itself, this plugin isn’t especially well-designed. If you’re okay with that and taking some time to figure out how to use this plugin, it may be the best choice for your site.
Buzzsprout offers cheap podcast hosting for its users and has a WordPress plugin available to embed their simple audio player on your site.
While you need to use the Buzzsprout hosting to use this plugin effectively on your site, it is a nice option and has accumulated strong reviews from its existing users.
The audio player itself is pretty basic but does allow you to add individual episodes to posts or embed the “large player” which includes a list of episodes available for play.
Buzzsprout also excels at syndication thanks to its full iTunes support. You’ll have no trouble getting your podcast published to the world’s largest podcast catalog.
This is another free option for publishing your podcast that claims to be a more modern approach than its competitors.
With Podlove Podcast Publisher, you’ll keep all of your files hosted on your site so you always own the content. During the setup process, you’ll be able to select a directory where you keep the episodes. Furthermore, you can pick from different content formats allowing you to publish video podcasts in addition to traditional audio podcasts.
Despite their claims of simplicity, I did find this plugin to be a little more complex than some other options. That said, it’s got an interesting design and approach to solving the technical challenges of podcasting, and they offer some pretty cool features other solutions don’t have like download analytics.
Which podcast plugin is best for you?
Out of all the plugins available for podcasting, Seriously Simply Podcasting stands out as an excellent option. Unlike other plugins that only claim to be simple, SSP stands out as an intuitive and easy-to-use choice.
If you’re looking for a plugin to add a gorgeous player to your site with built-in email list building features, nothing competes with Smart Podcast Player.
While the other three plugins could work great for your site, I wanted to highlight those two as they stand out in my mind as the best podcast plugins available.
Before you go, make sure to take a look at our podcast themes post to see some of the amazing WordPress themes available for your site.