Your podcast needs its own website in order to be successful. Here's how to choose the right Internet home for your podcasting needs.
1. Figure out your needs and goals
How you host your website should really be determined by what you need in order to accomplish your goals.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself.
- Do you need to sell anything from your website?
- Do you need freedom and flexibility to do whatever you want on your site?
- Do you want to manage everything about your podcast in the same place?
- How much can you afford to spend each month?
- If you're moving hosts, what do you need that your old host didn't provide?
Choosing your hosting isn't a lifelong commitment, but you'll be more likely to make the right choice when you think about these and other things before you choose the solution.
2. Choose your content-management system (CMS)
The content-management system (CMS) you choose can make it easy or impossible to meet your goals. The best answer is not always “WordPress”!
If you don't want to manage plugins and updates, but you want the familiarity of WordPress, consider PowerPress Sites or Rainmaker Platform. These are both built on WordPress and offer most of the features you could use, but they're backed with professionally optimized and managed hosting. If you need something cheaper, consider WordPress.com, but it lacks podcasting optimizations.
If you would rather try a different CMS, Squarespace has drastically improved in its podcasting support.
I can't recommend any other hosted CMS provides (Wix, Weebly, etc.), but if you must use them, manage your podcast feed with third-party hosting from Libsyn or Spreaker (and use promo code “noodle” for a free month).
If you want total freedom with your podcast website, then I recommend “self-hosted” WordPress on a shared server or better.
3. Know your “budgets”
Everything costs; if it doesn't cost money, it costs time or skill.
If you have no time, skill, or desire to manage your website backend, then consider managed WordPress hosting or another professionally hosted CMS.
If you can't afford the higher costs of professionally managed options, but you need better performance, consider running your own virtual private server (VPS) or dedicated server.
And if you simply need to get started and you're okay digging into technical stuff a little, then WordPress on shared hosting may be right for you, and at the lowest costs of anything.
When you consider your budgets, remember that it's not only money. Some hosting solutions could cost $150 per month, but they provide amazing performance and support, which might be worth it to you. Other solutions could be only $5 per month, but you have to manage some things (or everything) yourself.
4. Ask others for recommendations
When you know what you need, I recommend staying away from hosting review websites. These are often ranked based on affiliate deals. And it's usually the disgruntled customers who speak up.
Ask people you trust for their recommendations. And here's something else other people will love: ask for someone's affiliate link.
Here are my recommendations as of February, 2016*:
- Shared hosting: HostGator with promo code “noodle” for 30% off
- Managed and restricted WordPress: PowerPress Sites, Rainmaker Platform
- Managed and unrestricted WordPress: WP Engine
- VPS (managed or unmanaged): Linode or Vultr
- Dedicated server: WiredTree or HostDime
- Third-party podcast management: Libsyn or Spreaker with promo code “noodle”
- Alternative managed CMS: Squarespace
*Subject to change without notice.
5. Be patient
Starting a new website or migrating an existing one can be a tedious process. Plus, it may take a little time to become comfortable with your new hosting platform, or for the managers to get everything optimized for your site.
Please be patient with whomever you're working with. If there's a problem, give as many details as possible: steps to reproduce, expected results, errors, your technology environment, your skills, etc.
Thank you for the podcast reviews!
- Join me and Troy Heinritz for a live, free webinar on February 18, 2016! We'll share “Amazing Ways to Promote and Grow Your Podcast.” Click here to register!
Need personalized podcasting help?
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- Email feedback@TheAudacitytoPodcast.com (audio files welcome)
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This post may contain links to products or services with which I have an affiliate relationship and may receive compensation from your actions through such links. However, I don't let that corrupt my perspective and I don't recommend only affiliates.