WordPress plugins can make your podcast website even better. Here are the best plugins from 2015 I think podcasters should consider.
This episode is brought to you by Social Subscribe & Follow Icons. It's the best WordPress plugin for bloggers and podcasters to make it easy for visitors to subscribe to your content and follow you on social networks.
- Libsyn Podcast Plugin (free, upcoming)
- Smart Podcast Player (premium)
- Simple Podcast Press (premium)
- Social Subscribe & Follow Icons 1.2 (premium)
- Social Warfare (premium)
- No Longer in Directory (free)
- WP Featherlight (free)
1. Libsyn Podcast Plugin (free, upcoming)
The most annoying part of using Libsyn with WordPress would be either a lack of control, or a cumbersome workflow.
Libsyn's new and free “Libsyn Podcast Plugin” simplifies this. You create your post in WordPress, upload your media to Libsyn from the WordPress post editor, and then Libsyn uses the meta information in your post for the Libsyn podcast RSS feed.
This WordPress plugin is best for podcasters who are already using Libsyn's RSS feed and aren't already using PowerPress. In fact, Libsyn Podcast Plugin and Blubrry PowerPress are not compatible—but they're so redundant that you wouldn't need both, anyway.
There's not currently an easy migration tool for moving from PowerPress (or another podcasting plugin for WordPress) to Libsyn, but the Libsyn support team will be able to guide you through some steps for your situation.
Libsyn Podcast Plugin replaces Libsyn's own OnPublish feature for WordPress. OnPublish for other networks will still work, but it's unnecessary for WordPress because Libsyn Podcast Plugin publishes from WordPress to Libsyn. OnPublish is designed to publish from Libsyn to other destinations.
When you publish with Libsyn's plugin, a Libsyn player will be automatically embedded in your post.
Libsyn's WordPress plugin also includes a basic playlist player widget.
At this time, the plugin is still in limited beta testing. I would only recommend this if you're not already using PowerPress or you use the Libsyn RSS feed.
Here are Elsie Escobar and Krystal O'Connor demonstrating Libsyn Podcast Plugin.
Which RSS feed is best to use? Read these couple blog posts for more information.
- Why you may WANT to host your own podcast RSS feed
- Why you may NOT want to host your own podcast RSS feed
This requires a Libsyn hosting account. Use promo code “noodle” when you sign up to get the rest of this month and all of next for free!
2. Smart Podcast Player (premium)
While you're thinking about something outside of the PowerPress ecosystem, consider Pat Flynn's Smart Podcast Player.
I think this is the most beautiful podcast player available. The individual episode player is intuitive, and the playlist player and clean and thorough.
However, Smart Podcast Player does not currently integrate with PowerPress. You would have to manually edit all of your past episodes to fully switch to this player. But it works great if you generate your RSS feed from outside your website (like Libsyn's).
3. Simple Podcast Press (premium)
Coming back to more integrated WordPress plugins for podcasters, Hani Mourra's Simple Podcast Press combines a good-looking player, loads of features, and easy PowerPress integration.
Simple Podcast Press is packed with great features!
- iTunes, Stitcher, download, and custom buttons to appear below each episode player
- Email opt-in below each player or in a custom location
- Collapsible transcripts
- Short episode URLs (potentially replacing Pretty Link Pro)
- “Latest episode” widget
- Timecode-jumping bookmarks
- Podcast reviews inside WordPress (potentially replacing or augmenting My Podcast Reviews)
If you create your podcast feed from somewhere other than your own website, Simple Podcast Press can easily import all of your episodes from iTunes or an RSS feed.
PowerPress users don't have to redo old posts, because Simple Podcast Press easily integrates with PowerPress and can change all past and future players with just a couple clicks.
Use my promo code “noodle” to save 25% on any Simple Podcast Press license.
4. Social Subscribe & Follow Icons 1.2 (premium)
This is the WordPress plugin I created for bloggers and podcasters. Version 1.2 is finally coming out and it supports re-ordering your networks—the most-requested feature.
Social Subscribe & Follow Icons gives you scalable icons for popular podcast apps and social networks. You can place these in widgets, pages, and posts. “Feature” a network and it turns it into a button with custom text.
The price goes up when 1.2 launches on July 18, but use promo code “JulyUpdate” July 18–31, 2015 to save 20%!
5. Social Warfare (premium)
This is my new favorite plugin! Social Warfare is the best social-sharing plugin I've seen! (This serves a completely separate need from my Social Subscribe & Follow Icons plugin.)
I've previously used and generally been unhappy with several other social-sharing plugins: ShareThis, AddThis, Social Sharing Toolkit, Digg Digg, Shareaholic, and more. Social Warfare provides the right features to make social-sharing more powerful on your site!
Currently, Social Warfare supports Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. That's not an impressive list by itself, but Social Warfare does amazing things with that short list—stuff that no other single plugin does.
- Customize the image, title, and description for Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ (usually a 16:9 ratio image).
- Customize the tweet message—I've wanted this for years!
- Create easy and attractive “click to tweet” embeds for quotations from your post
- Customize the description and image for Pinterest (usually a 2:3 ratio image)—no other social-sharing plugin does this yet (other than a Pinterest-only plugin)!
Switching from Shareaholic to Social Warfare also reduced my webpage sizes by 200 KB and decreased my load speed by as much as 1.5 seconds!
It's clean, it's fast, it works great on mobile, and Social Warfare integrates easily with pages, posts, and custom post types.
6. No Longer in Directory (free)
This is the kind of plugin you would almost never think of needing, but it's extremely helpful!
Free WordPress plugins are great, but they are sometimes abandoned by their creators. That's where No Longer in Directory helps. This will check all of your installed plugins and let you know what plugins you have that are—as the name implies—no longer in the WordPress plugin directory.
It's an easy and fast way to see which of your plugins have not been updated in a long time. This helps you know which WordPress plugins may need to be replaced or could be causing compatibility issues.
7. WP Featherlight (free)
This WordPress plugin is so new that it's only not even to version 1.0, yet! WP Featherlight turns images into attractive “lightboxes” when you click on them.
Thanks to the No Longer in Directory plugin, I discovered the jQuery plugin I was previously using for lightbox effects hadn't been updated in years. At the same time, I saw WP Featherlight praised for its speed, simplicity, and lightweight efficiency.
Thank you for the podcast reviews!
- Get the new Social Subscribe & Follow Icons! Use promo code “JulyUpdate” after the price goes up to save 20% in July, 2015.
- Register for Podcast Movement with code “noodle” to save 10%. If you'd like to join me for a meetup, text “PM2015” to 33444.
I can help you launch or improve your podcast
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Find more podcasts about technology on the Tech Podcasts Network.
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- The Productive Woman: Productivity for busy women
- ONCE: Once Upon a Time podcast
- Welcome to Level Seven: Agents of SHIELD and Marvel’s cinematic universe podcast
- Are You Just Watching?: Movie reviews with Christian critical thinking
- the Ramen Noodle: Family-friendly clean comedy
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