7 Best WordPress Podcast Plugins 2019

Best WordPress podcast plugins, featured image

If you want to launch a website for your podcast, WordPress is a great choice. With the best WordPress podcast plugins, you can build an affordable website complete with stylish audio players, back-end podcast management and RSS feed generation tools, plus a lot more.

To help you find the best plugin that meets your needs, I've collected seven great options. For each plugin, I'll share:

  • What the front-end podcast episode player looks like, including the options that your listeners have.
  • What back-end podcast management features you get access to, like whether or not you can generate an iTunes-compliant RSS feed.
  • Pricing information. There are some really good free options.

For best results, you can pair these plugins with a dedicated WordPress podcast theme.

Let's dig in…

Seriously Simple Podcasting

Seriously Simple Podcasting

Seriously Simple Podcasting is a popular free WordPress podcast plugin at WordPress.org. It's developed by and integrates with the Castos podcasting hosting service, but you do not need to use the Castos service to use the plugin.

It supports both audio and video podcasting and lets you use any WordPress post type to store your podcast episodes. By default, it creates its own podcast post type, but you could also tell the plugin to publish new podcast episodes as regular WordPress blog posts.

The built-in media player looks great and lets you include your episode cover photos in the player, along with helpful playback controls for visitors.

On the back-end, Seriously Simple Podcasting helps you create a configurable RSS feed that you can submit to all the popular podcast services (e.g. iTunes, Google Player, Stitcher, etc.).

For hosting your podcast episodes, you have several options. You can self-host them, integrate them with the Castos podcast hosting service, or use any other server.

A Look at the Front-End Audio Player

Seriously Simple Podcasting's front-end media player is simple, but I think it looks great. It gives listeners the option to skip backward (but not forward), change the playback speed, and/or download the episode.

It also gives you the ability to add your podcast cover image to the left of the player, which you can see in the example below:

Seriously Simple Podcasting example

You can automatically add the player for podcast episodes or manually embed it in other spots using a shortcode. You can also create playlists of episodes and embed them. And, if you have multiple separate podcasts, you can actually embed players for different podcast series on the same site.

It also comes with free add-ons to display transcripts and featured speaker boxes.

If you want to see the plugin in action, here are some real podcasts that use Seriously Simple Podcasting:

How Podcast Management Works on the Back-End

Seriously Simple Podcasting includes full back-end podcast management. You'll get a new Podcast → Add New spot where you can create new episodes. You can either upload the file directly to your WordPress site or include a link to a file hosted elsewhere. If you use Castos, you can automatically sync things, too:

Seriously Simple Podcasting interface

Once you publish the podcast, it will automatically display as a new episode on the front-end of your site. The plugin can also help you create an RSS feed that you can submit to iTunes and other podcast spots.

And, with a free add-on, you can even view integrated statistics to see which episodes perform the best.

You can also go the other direction and import episodes from an external source such as your existing Libsyn RSS feed.

Pricing

Seriously Simple Podcasting is 100% free. There's also a library of free add-ons for podcast analytics, transcripts, and more.

The only time you might need to pay is if you decide to use the 100% optional Castos podcast hosting service that starts at $19.00 per month for unlimited storage of unlimited episodes.

More Info / Download

PowerPress

Blubrry PowerPress

Blubrry PowerPress is the most popular free WordPress podcast plugin at WordPress.org. Like Seriously Simple Podcasting, it's 100% free. Instead of monetizing the plugin directly, the developer, Blubrry, makes money when people use the optional Blubrry podcasting hosting service.

Again, you do not need to use this service; it's just an option for hosting your podcasts that has a convenient integration with the plugin.

Blubrry PowerPress comes packed with features. On the front-end, you get your choice of a few different audio and video players, including Blubrry's own media player. You can use shortcodes to embed single episodes or playlists of episodes.

On the back-end, Blubrry PowerPress can help you create podcast feeds for Apple Podcasts and other spots. You can even view statistics for your podcast episodes.

A Look at the Front-End Audio Player

Blubrry PowerPress has a great-looking front-end media player, complete with options for listeners to:

  • Skip forward/backward 15 seconds.
  • Change the playback speed.
  • Change the volume.

You can also display your podcast/episode cover and include buttons for visitors to:

  • View show notes.
  • Download the episode.
  • Subscribe.
  • Share the episode.

Blubrry player

Blubrry can automatically embed the player for new podcast episodes or you can manually add it anywhere on your site using a shortcode. You can also add playlists of episodes, and you can even embed a player that starts at a specific point in the episode.

If you want to see the plugin in action, here are some real podcasts that use Blubrry PowerPress:

How Podcast Management Works on the Back-End

By default, Blubrry PowerPress adds a new meta box to blog posts that lets you add a podcast episode. You can enter any URL or there's a special integration for the Blubrry podcasting hosting service. You can also use a custom post type instead if you prefer:

Blubrry backend

You'll also get a separate settings area to control details such as your iTunes categories.

Once you've added some episodes, Blubrry will give you a podcast feed URL that you can submit to Apple Podcasts and other places.

Pricing

Like Seriously Simple Podcasting, the core Blubrry PowerPress plugin is 100% free.

There are two ways that the developer monetizes the plugin, both of which are entirely optional.

First, you can pay for a Premium Statistics Service to get more detailed analytics about the performance of your episodes (the free version still includes analytics). This service costs $5.00 per month.

Second, you can pay for the Blubrry Media Hosting service to host your podcast episodes. This service starts at $12.00 per month for unlimited bandwidth and 100MB storage per month.

More Info / Download

Podlove Podcast Publisher

Podlove

Podlove Podcast Publisher is another popular free option that can help you both create compatible podcast feeds to submit to Apple and elsewhere, as well as display a front-end podcast player on your own website.

Basically, you can point Podlove Podcast Publisher at any internal or external server directory, and it can detect new episodes and help you create a compliant RSS feed to submit your podcast to various services.

It also has a detailed podcast player that gives your listeners tons of options, including support for chapters, which is something that not many WordPress podcast plugins offer.

A Look at the Front-End Audio Player

The Podlove Podcast Publisher front-end player is quite detailed in the options that it gives to listeners.

On the initial load, visitors can:

  • Skip forward/backward.
  • Skip to the next chapter.
  • View the title/description.

Podlove player

Then, they can use six buttons at the bottom of the player to open different areas, respectively:

  1. A more detailed description of the episode and other information.
  2. Chapter listing, including an option to skip straight to a specific chapter.
  3. The episode transcript, including an option to search the transcript, which is really convenient.
  4. A share button, including the option to let people share at a specific timestamp.
  5. Download options in different file formats.
  6. Sound options which let them change the volume or playback speed.

So, in terms of functionality, Podlove Podcast Publisher has one of the most feature-rich front-end audio players.

How Podcast Management Works on the Back-End

With the plugin, you'll get a new Episodes post type where you can add new episodes:

Podlove backend

You can also define the upload location for your media files, which could be a directory on your own server or an external CDN/podcast hosting service.

There are also some other nice features such as the ability to create custom episode templates to control how the information related to a podcast episode is displayed.

You can also configure the RSS feed that you can use to submit to other services and view analytics for your episodes.

Pricing

The Podlove Podcast Publisher plugin is 100% free. The developer monetizes the plugin by selling optional premium support.

These premium support plans depend on how many podcasts you have and start at €39.00.

More Info / Download

Podcast Player

Podcast player

Podcast Player is simpler in scope than the previous three plugins. Rather than helping you manage and create a feed of your episodes, Podcast Player takes your existing podcast RSS feed and displays it in a nice-looking player.

It's kind of like one spot to display your entire catalog. So, if you've already figured out the RSS feed part and how to host your podcast episodes, this plugin can be a good option to just display those existing episodes on your WordPress site.

A Look at the Front-End Audio Player

Setting up the podcast player is super simple — you just add the included block, widget, or shortcode and paste in the RSS feed to a podcast.

Then, you can customize various parts of the player using the provided options. Here's what the player looks like on the front-end with the default settings:

Podcast player example

Visitors can choose different episodes (including an option to search episodes, which I find really convenient), skip forward and backward, and share on social media.

It's important to remember that this plugin creates one unified player for all your episodes, rather than individual players for different episodes.

How Podcast Management Works on the Back-End

There's no back-end management; you just plug in the existing URL to your podcast feed. That means you'll need a separate tool to host your podcast episodes and generate the RSS feed. If you want, you could even combine this plugin with the RSS feed that the three previous plugins help you generate.

Pricing

Podcast Player is 100% free and available at WordPress.org.

More Info / Download

Simple Podcast Press

Simple Podcast Press

Simple Podcast Press is a premium podcast plugin that you can use in two ways.

First, you can use it as a standalone podcast plugin in conjunction with your existing podcast hosting service. For example, you can enter your Libsyn RSS feed to have Simple Podcast Press create a unique WordPress page for each episode and automatically add a player.

Second, you can integrate Simple Podcast Press with other podcast plugins, most notably Blubrry PowerPress. So, you can replace the Blubrry PowerPress player with Simple Podcast Press without changing your existing back-end workflow.

It's kind of the same approach as the Podcast Player plugin from the previous section, but Simple Podcast Press offers more functionality and creates separate pages/players for each podcast episode.

It includes a number of helpful features such as:

  • Clickable timestamps.
  • Easy and collapsible transcripts.
  • Automatic display of iTunes podcast reviews.
  • One-click Tweetables and a Clammr integration that lets people share audio snippets on Facebook or Twitter.
  • Customizable CTA (call-to-action) buttons to drive traffic to whatever you want to promote.

A Look at the Front-End Audio Player

Simple Podcast Press' front-end player is the big draw here, not just for its looks but for all of the other neat stuff that you get.

One of the nicest things here I think is the ability to add your own custom CTA buttons to drive people to leave reviews, subscribe to certain services, or anything else that you want to accomplish.

Visitors can also skip back (but not forward) and change the playback speed:

Simple Podcast Press example

How Podcast Management Works on the Back-End

Simple Podcast Press doesn't really include back-end management functionality. Again, it's designed to work with an existing RSS feed or another plugin like Blubrry PowerPress.

However, you can edit the individual episode pages that Simple Podcast Press automatically imports. You can also save those pages as drafts so that you can go through and make edits before publishing them.

Pricing

Simple Podcast Press only comes in a premium version. Paid plans start at $67.00 for use on a single website.

More Info / Download

Smart Podcast Player

Smart Podcast Player

Smart Podcast Player is a great-looking podcast player from Pat Flynn of the massively popular Smart Passive Income blog/podcast. In fact, Smart Podcast Player is what Pat uses for the Smart Passive Income podcast, so you're in good hands with this one.

In terms of looks, I think Smart Podcast Player has the best front-end interface. However, that's all this plugin does.

That is, it will not help you host and manage your podcast episodes. Instead, you'll need to use a different tool/service to do that.

So, if you already have a solution for podcast hosting and are just looking for the best front-end WordPress podcast player, this could be the best podcast plugin for you.

A Look at the Front-End Audio Player

Again, the front-end player is definitely the strong point of this plugin. It…

  • Just plain looks great.
  • Lets listeners skip forward/backward and adjust the playback speed.
  • Lets you embed playlists of episodes.
  • Includes a CTA for people to join your email list (this is pretty unique and seems like a great inclusion for growing your list).

It also includes multiple display options; you can create a big podcast player or pin a smaller player to the bottom of the screen. You can see both approaches below:

Smart Podcast Player example

This pinnable podcast player is quite unique and makes a great option if your site is 100% dedicated to your podcast.

There's also a more compact version of the player that you can embed in individual posts.

If you want to see the player in action, here are some examples of real podcasts that use Smart Podcast Player:

How Podcast Management Works on the Back-End

There's no podcast management on the back-end with this plugin. That is, unlike something like Seriously Simple Podcasting or Blubrry PowerPress, you won't upload individual podcast episodes to your WordPress site.

Instead, you'll just provide the RSS feed to your existing podcast episodes, so you'll need another solution for hosting your podcast.

Pricing

Smart Podcast Player only comes in a premium version. You can either pay $12.00 per month or $97.00 per year.

More Info / Download

Libsyn Publisher Hub

Libsyn WordPress podcast plugin

As the name suggests, Libsyn Publisher Hub helps you connect to your Libsyn podcast hosting. If you're not using Libsyn, you'll want to pick another plugin.

But if you are, this one will let you publish new podcast episodes straight from WordPress into your Libsyn show. Your media files go straight to Libsyn; you just get to work through your WordPress dashboard.

A Look at the Front-End Audio Player

In addition to letting you manage your Libsyn workflows from WordPress, the plugin also includes a pretty nice front-end player that allows visitors to skip forward and backward, and share and download episodes:

Libsyn Publisher hub audio player

Of course, if you don't like this player, you could always combine your Libsyn RSS feed with one of the other plugins on this list (e.g. Smart Podcast Player).

How Podcast Management Works on the Back-End

To create a new episode, you can create a regular WordPress post and then use the dedicated Libsyn block to enter episode details and upload your media to Libysn.

You'll be able to configure everything from the block's settings, even advanced options such as scheduling a media file to go live on Libsyn at a certain time.

Libsyn Publisher hub

Pricing

The Libsyn Publisher Hub plugin itself is free. That is, you won't pay anything extra for the WordPress integration.

However, you will need to pay for the Libsyn hosting itself. Plans start for as little as $5.00 per month for 50 GB monthly storage and unlimited bandwidth.

More Info / Download

What's the Best WordPress Podcast Plugin for Your Site?

As with any WordPress plugin roundup post like this, the correct answer isn't to try and declare a single plugin to be the best WordPress podcast plugin in all situations.

Instead, it's about trying to find the best podcasting plugin for your specific situation.

So, let's run through some scenarios, starting with the front-end audio player.

Podcast plugins have come a long way over the past few years and there isn't really a “bad looking” front-end podcast player on this list. Here's how I think it shakes out, though:

  • Smart Podcast Player is my favorite audio player. It just looks so nice and professional, and I love how you can add a CTA to grow your email list. It also has the unique “notification bar-style” podcast player that you can pin at the bottom of your site.
  • Podlove Podcast Publisher gives your listeners so many options when it comes to things like transcripts, download formats, etc.
  • Podcast Player is a great option if you want one player to display all your podcast episodes, rather than creating separate players for each episode.
  • Simple Podcast Press is nice because it lets you add your own CTAs.

Again, all the other plugins are solid and there's not a “bad” audio player in the bunch — I just think these four stand out.

If you want back-end podcast management, I think the two overall best options are Seriously Simple Podcasting and Blubrry PowerPress. Both still include good-looking front-end audio players, so it's not like you're sacrificing too much on that front. Or, you could also combine them with a different front-end player such as Smart Podcast Player.

Libsyn Publisher Hub is also a solid option if you're already hosting your podcast at Libsyn (or plan to), and Podlove Podcast Publisher is also flexible — I like how you can point it at any directory and let it do its thing.

That wraps up my thoughts on the best podcast plugins — now it's over to you. Any questions about these plugins? Any favorites? Let us know in the comments!

Colin Newcomer

Colin Newcomer is a freelance writer for hire with a background in SEO and affiliate marketing. He helps clients grow their web visibility by writing primarily about digital marketing and WordPress. You can hire him to write for your website.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning that if you click on one of the links and purchase an item, we may receive a commission. All opinions however are our own and we do not accept payments for positive reviews.

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