If you're launching or running a WordPress website for your podcast, these WordPress themes will help your podcast's branding, engagement, and make things easier for you and your audience.
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All of these themes look great on desktops, tablets, and smartphones. They do cost, but they are worthy investments in your podcast.
Any WordPress theme can be a podcast theme
Before I get into my recommendations, you need to know that your WordPress theme doesn't have to be designed specifically for podcasting. All it takes to turn a WordPress theme into a “podcast theme” is a podcast player, which you can get in PowerPress, Simple Podcast Press, Smart Podcast Player, or Cool Cast Player (new in 2016). It's also good to add iTunes, RSS, Stitcher, and Android subscription links, which some themes include, or you can add yourself with my own plugin Social Subscribe & Follow Icons.
Those two features (podcast player and subscription links) can be integrated onto almost any WordPress theme by using plugins. Then, you turn your WordPress website into a podcast website.
Now that you know that, here are my best WordPress themes for podcasters.
NEW ADDITION: SecondLine Themes designed for Podcasting
In place of Appendipity for my recommendations, I've been impressed with SecondLine Themes. They specialize in making clean, modern WordPress themes designed specifically for podcasting! They have built-in support for PowerPress and other podcast players.
SecondLine Themes also don't require an additional framework purchase like Appendipity did.
StudioPress for simple beauty and developer extensibility
Rainmaker Digital (formerly Copyblogger) makes beautifully designed themes through StudioPress. Not only do they make Genesis Framework, which has enabled many great child themes (including Appendipity), but they also create their own beautiful child themes.
The StudioPress themes are truly beautiful and I have used many on my own websites.
Some of the StudioPress themes require some basic HTML in widgets, but they provide thorough documentation and code examples that are easy to adjust to your needs.
What attracted me first to StudioPress was their wonderful framework, which allows for plenty of extensibility through custom coding. The Audacity to Podcast, My Podcast Reviews, Podcast Places, Podcasters' Society, and all of the Noodle Mix Network sites are using or have used StudioPress themes at their core, and I've been able to enhance the sites with some extra PHP.
Without knowing HTML, CSS, and PHP, you won't get a lot of customization on these themes, but every theme they offer is clean and beautiful as it is.
The StudioPress themes focus on being great themes, so most of the extra functionality you may want will require additional plugins.
Similar to Appendipity themes, all StudioPress themes are available for individual purchase, or you can join the Pro Plus Package membership (recurring fee) for access to all their themes and those from select third-party developers.
Browse and buy WordPress themes from StudioPress.
Elegant Themes for easy, beautiful customization
Maybe you want a theme that is beautiful right away, but that also gives you plenty of customization for content and basic site design—without knowing any web coding! Then check out Elegant Themes for truly elegant WordPress designs!
The two best themes from Elegant Themes are currently Divi and Extra. They both have the wonderfully easy Divi Builder built in, which allows you to create beautiful page layouts with a simple drag-and-drop interface. (Divi Builder is also available as a separate plugin to integrate with any other theme, but you get the most wonderful control if you use the Divi or Extra themes.)
Elegant Themes offers access to their themes, plugins, and updates via a recurring membership. But they also offer a reasonably priced lifetime membership plan where you pay once and get access to everything for life.
Browse and buy WordPress themes and plugins from Elegant Themes.
Themify for total control and front-end design
In my exhaustive (and exhausting) search for great WordPress themes for my own future needs, I discovered Themify.
Similar to Elegant Themes, Themify offers WordPress themes, premium plugins, and their own drag-and-drop page builder plugin. Their themes are also beautiful and highly flexible.
If you're a developer, Themify also offers super-easy hooks for further customizing your design.
Themify Builder offers the most customization of all the themes I've tested. They even offer a free Themify Flow theme for full control of your website layout templates!
Of all these great themes I've mentioned, I chose Themify for my upcoming redesign and new podcasting resources in development.
Browse and buy WordPress themes and plugins from Themify.
The best WordPress theme for your podcast
If your podcast website is not as easy as “visit website; press play,” then you may need to consider a new theme (or plugins). Focus on getting a theme that means your most top podcasting needs and then allows you to focus on your most important task: creating great content.
Look at these themes features and demos. Each provider includes a money-back guarantee. But don't obsess over your WordPress theme unless you have extra time. If you decide you would be best served by a custom theme or a professional designer or developer to tweak things for you, please email me and I'll refer you to someone I trust.
Listen to these past episodes for some more tips and ideas.
- 6 Needs for a Podcast's Website Design or WordPress Theme
- 5 Ways to Optimize Your Podcast Website
- 14 Features Your Podcast Website Needs
Never let your theme get in the way of your main thing.
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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.
I used the Divi theme to build my first WordPress website (non-podcast related but here is the link in case you want to look http://www.dvcwelcomehome.com) . I am not very website savy and I really like the way it turned out. I use Weebly for my other 2 websites and because the Divi theme was so easy I am going to move my Weebly sites over. Although I think after listening to this episode I may check out the free Themify options first. Love the podcast Daniel!
Looking to use Divi for the next version of my podcast’s site. Probably. I might explore another CMS entirely, but I’ve been using WordPress for nearly 10 years so I’ll be throwing myself to the sharks.
These days, I think you’d have to have an amazing reason to switch from 10 years of WordPress to something else. There are cases for it, but it’s rare.
WordPress has become a bit like Windows. It has to be most things to most people, and thus a lot of it is wasteful or bloated. I’d like to level-up my web design skills, but I’ll need someone who is a legit developer to guide me through.
Hey @Perez-Fox, just a note on Divi-I loved it too and it’s very popular or was, but it has a big issue. Ok the great look- leaves alot of code mixed in with content. So if you build a big site and ever want to change themes- it’s hard to get your content separated from the code. Google it-Divi issues- and you’ll see more detailed. So Daniel I really don’t feel good about Divi anymore and it’s what I have on my site now. Again the look is great yes but it’s moving from it that is awful. Also service on Elegant Themes seems to be going downhill- super popular and low cost so lots of customers who need help and I’ve noticed not just with my questions but also others in support often it takes multiple responses from different techs to really understand and fix the problem.
If you made pages with Divi’s Builder features and later switch themes, you can install the standalone Divi Builder plugin and then your pages won’t break.
But Daniel yes but doesn’t fix the problem, basically I think- you are still left with this code mixed content, AND they make you pay to buy the plugin-even if like me you are a member.
Basically it is like being crutches by the guy who broke your leg!
At some point you have to scrape out the nonsense or you are just carrying it (problem) forward.
We had this exact issue w/ a client site. Plus the prior developer had locked the client out of the back-end and there was no easy way for us to get access. We contacted Divi for support and they did nothing to help, told us to contact the original developer which would not provide ANY help to our client. Wound up having to go w/another theme. I didn’t like how integrated the code & content was. Nightmare to clean up or transfer!
Yeah I know, so see my reply to Daniel-they made a plugin but basically just carries the problem forward, you can switch themes and it plugin, acts like a converter. But the code is still mixed in.
Your site looks great! Since you already have Divi and you know how to use it, I think it could be the best choice for your other sites, too.
I have viewed the appendipity themes but I honestly prefer yours.The layout is really simple and friendly,you see/use what you really need and the players are easy to find.Which theme do you use ?
I created my own theme with the Genesis Framework because I have a web design background. But I’ll be switching to Themify Ultra soon, as I don’t want to keep doing my own coding.
Hey Daniel, I strongly agree with your recommendations, or at least how you’ve gone about picking them.
I used to look on Themeforest or places like that for a theme I liked the look of, and seemed to have the features I wanted. Then I’d strongly weigh support into the decision, as much as I could tell if it was good.
The problem is that after a year or two, theme technology and practices would move on and the theme I picked wouldn’t keep up, or if it was made by a ‘maker of many themes’ they’d always have moved on to new themes and only do security or major bug fixing of older themes. And, to keep various clients happy, they’d all be on different themes with their different ways of doing things. It was a lot to keep track of.
I was just about to go the framework/child-theme route (i.e.: Genesis, StudioThemes), when I ran across Themeco and X Theme. I’d strongly recommend considering it as well, as it sounds a LOT like Themify. It can also look like about anything (they have over 40 built-in demos (looks), and several complete sites, to use as starting points). It uses Cornerstone page builder, which is also a front-end editor. It has great developer hooks to edit styling. It includes a bunch of premium plugins they call extensions which are deeply integrated. And, they have excellent support (the best of any theme I’ve ever used).
But, the big thing, is that they are committed to supporting this one theme for the long-haul, so it’s more or less like a theme framework to be built on (but, I can also have a child-theme just for my customization).
And, now that I’ve found it, I’m hardly looking back… just keeping a bit of an eye out for new developments/competitors. But, it’s extremely powerful and allows me to focus on actually solving more important business / communication / workflow problems that really *should* be the point of web development!
Did you go ahead with that theme? Envato doesn’t offer refunds, so I’m very hesitant to merely try something from there.
Hi Daniel, yes, I’m pretty much standardizing on X Theme. As I mentioned, their support is excellent and they keep pushing it forward. I can only take them at their word that they are going to stick with it for the long-haul, but that seems to be what they are doing. Some of the users also started a Facebook community, and while I’m not crazy about Facebook forums, I guess it’s one of the most active on Facebook. (Some also started a Slack channel, but it’s not as active yet.)
My only business concern, is about how fast they are growing and that they are venturing into some other services like managed WP hosting. They’ve also broken off Cornerstone (their page-builder) into a stand-alone product. Both of these things are great, so long as they don’t negatively impact X Theme. But, neither are a sign they are doing something else, as they are all related.
My other concern is more general about using page-builders, as you pretty much have to redo anything done with them if switching themes in the future (though Cornerstone being standalone, I suppose, might help ease that… or at least make such a transition not have to be immediately all or nothing). But, that’s the trade-off for the rapid development advantage of a page-builder. IMO, it’s worth it.
I’ve purchased 5 copies so far, but I’ll be getting more when it comes time to switch other sites. I’m really happy with it (been using it for a couple of years now). It’s gone beyond my expectations, and the community forming around it is tops.
(sorry, forgot to switch to my business Disqus account… but it’s the same person) 🙂
It looks interesting, but also has some odd things about it. For example, it lets you add Disqus for free. Huh? Disqus is already free.
I had looked at the theme before, but I really can’t justify buying it simply to try it if I can’t get a refund.
Yes, some of the ‘extensions’ (plugins) are things you could get for free, but possibly better integrated. I’m going to figure that (Disqus) one out soon, as I hope to switch a couple of my sites to Disqus. Maybe it’s better integrated look/style-wise? I think it’s missing a few of the official one’s features like import/export (or was missing that at one point from a thread I read in the forums). So, I’ll have to compare and see which one I like best.
I also agree that I wish it weren’t an Envato theme. That’s where they started, but they don’t follow all the Envato trends (ex: they give free lifetime updates and support, instead of the 6mo or whatever Envato tried to move to).
That said, if you ever have an extra $60ish around, I don’t think you’ll be too disappointed. While I haven’t tried Divi, just from reading about them both, it would seem X Theme has more features and stuff included, if you need it.
Also… FYI, here are a couple of extensions/plugins they include that you should know about, if you don’t already:
The Grid looks especially useful for adding a podcast feed any typical WordPress page, if the theme doesn’t natively support multiple feeds w/o creating custom templates. I’m also going to play with it for WooCommerce stores, as it looks quite powerful for that.
I have a similar story to yours and we have used many Themeforest themes but had the same issues w/ them not being updated ongoing. We looked at X too and then landed with Avada and really like it. Have had it for over 1.5 years I think and no issues at all.
I’m sure there are a few similar options like X Theme, I just never got to checking them out before I was hooked. 🙂 I had a few conversations with the founders in their earlier days, and was more attracted to their business and service philosophy to start (X Theme wasn’t nearly as powerful at that point… no page builder, no extensions, etc.). Since going that route, I simply haven’t had to look elsewhere. I’m supposing that’s the same for Avada, Divi, and a few others.
The thing I somewhat oppose these days (aside from special situations and companies with deep pockets) is custom development. I think the days of mocking a site up in Photoshop and sending it off to the coders is kind of dead (or should be). Even if it’s affordable, those resources could be much better spent on marketing or expanding the functionality of the site towards business goals.
I agree, mostly. That’s why I’m switching to a builder-based theme, because my time is better spent on those other things, but I need the freedom to control my own theme.
Agreed. While there are some excellent ‘done for you’ solutions out there, from SquareSpace to Rainmaker, etc. I find many need a bit more flexibility. These versatile ‘themes’ (I’m not sure what to call them, as they are hardly themes anymore) with page-builders hit a sweet-spot in-between. They will never be quite as custom as building from the ground-up, but they also are far more flexible than some of the canned solutions.
I think of it a bit like a house. Most people end up living in a home that was ultimately designed by someone and up to code-specs, probably with finishings from ‘home depot’ but most don’t live in homes custom-designed by an architect with designer appliances and finishings.
In the Web world, it’s like a LOT of it seems to be kludged together shacks sitting on four cement blocks in a swamp. While some segment with a bunch of cash has custom designed mansions. And, the new player seems to be pre-fab suburbs. I’m aiming for that non-custom built, but still a great home… and then put the money into the right appliances and furnishings to really make it home.
thank you Daniel. You are answering questions I’ve had for awhile about my wordpress website. I want the freedom to control my own theme. I found themify which led me to you.
Great blog post! Thanks so much for the info. I am a user of Appendipity and looking to freshen up our podcast site and reading this made me realize we should stick with it. Using Podcast pro now & considering a switch to either Maron or Engine.
I do really like the features in Maron, and Engine gives a lot of flexibility.
FYI – Appendipity’s customer support stinks. They’re site says the help desk tickets will be answered within 48 hours. Nope. It’s been nearly a week and no word. I have tried to contact them through several means, and no answer. I partially purchased our podcast theme through appendipity because of your recommendation. The demo content import is not working. I cannot get anyone to answer me. Thankfully, I have the appendipity framework installed, I’ll just have to muddle through to customize. I was counting on having the demo content so I wouldn’t have a huge learning curve. Anyway, thanks for letting me vent. I also wanted others to know to have full disclosure if they were thinking of purchasing through Appendipity.
Hi Bonny, I am having the same issue. It is a shame I didn’t see your comment before purchasing the theme. I will now be contacting my credit card provider in order to get my money back.
Hi Daniel, I downloaded the Maronpro Theme following your recommendation however I’ve had trouble setting it up and the ‘support’ promised on their website is non existent. I am now stuck with a theme that I have paid for but cannot use. Has anyone else had problems with getting support from the team at Appendipity??
My suggestion for video player https://yendifplayer.com/ is the best template for video and audio player for websites…
Hey Daniel, I guess I’m a little late to this discussion, but I’m wondering about your viewpoint on Appendipity. I’ve been using it since it came out. Is there something I should be aware of with this theme? Not fond of changing it out, but always wanting to know other choices. Thank you.