So you’re ready to host your podcast? Or maybe you’re looking for a better place to host your podcast episodes in 2019?
Well, this is the right place.
If you’re starting a podcast, you’ll need a podcast host to store your audio files.
We’ve put together the top podcast hosting platforms, along with some other useful services to take your podcast to the next level!
Looking for some gear? Check out the podcast starter kit guide.
All the podcast hosting sites will provide an iTunes-optimized RSS feed, along with many other useful features.
We’ll start with my top 5 recommended podcast hosting sites (and be sure to take advantage of the gift card & free month offers— just follow the link and sign up).
Buzzsprout was designed to make podcasting simple, but not limited. They have one of the best-designed dashboards I’ve seen, which lets you spend more time creating content than messing around with uploads.
They give you great statistics, a mobile-friendly podcast site, and the best Facebook sharing tool for podcasts that can be used on other social platforms as well.
One of their newest features is automatic transcriptions (that you can easily edit). Just upload a new episode and check it out for yourself.
There’s a free plan, but your episodes will only stay live for 90 days — A great way to try out this podcasting thing. Then their plans start at $12/month. Great value!
Use this link: Buzzsprout will give you a $20 Amazon gift card if you stay with one of their paid plans for 2 months!
Transistor is a cool new podcast hosting platform that lets you host an unlimited number of shows for a single price.
The included podcast stats and website are excellent — especially for being so new. I can really see these guys doing some more cool things soon.
Pricing starts at $19/month.
I had to highlight Simplecast because they’re doing some cool things. For one, their embeddable player is excellent and very smooth.
You also get detailed analytics for anyone who uses it. Here’s a little preview:
They just added a really cool sharing feature as well, take a look here for more details.
For $12/month, you’ll get unlimited uploads, unlimited downloads, advanced analytics, a website, the ability to have multiple people manage your podcast, and a bunch more.
Oh, and they have a massive update coming out right now.
Podbean has great pricing and plans for new podcasters. There is a 100MB limited upload plan for $3/month with basic stats. They also have an unlimited upload plan starting at $9/month (when paid annually) that includes advanced stats, a website, custom domains, and more.
Podbean also has their own podcast app for iOS and Android and an Alexa skill so you can use your voice to listen to your favorite podcasts.
Get a free month with this link when you sign up for an unlimited plan.
Castos Podcast Hosting has some excellent features and integrates seamlessly with WordPress. They own the Seriously Simple Podcasting WordPress plugin where you can manage your feed and upload new episodes right from WordPress.
You’ll get unlimited upload volume and download bandwidth for $15/month, along with an excellent customizable player to embed on your website.
Just for readers of Podcast Insights, you can use the coupon code PI2018 to get a free month instead of the standard 14-day trial.
Need everything in one place?
Podcast Websites has you covered.
They give you a WordPress website, website hosting, unlimited podcast hosting, domain name, 24/7 support, and more.
They also have an extensive Academy membership that can help you learn anything you need to know about podcasting.
Mark Asquith & John Lee Dumas are the founders and they care deeply about the success of podcasting.
Check out Podcast Websites here. You can use the coupon code HOSTME for $10 off per month or free podcast hosting.
More Podcasting Hosting Companies
There are many other podcast hosting companies — we’ll highlight several of them here:
I did a lot of research several years ago (mostly between Blubrry and Libsyn) before choosing a podcast host that would work well with WordPress and Blubrry came out on top, even though more “big” names recommended or used Libsyn. The main reasons were:
- the easy integration with their PowerPress plugin for WordPress
- advanced industry-leading statistics included free with your hosting plan
- “no-fault” overage — you can upload more than your monthly limit without being charged extra
Plans start at $12/month for 100MB storage upload per month.
You can also use the promo code INSIGHTS if for some reason the free month is not automatically applied.
BlogTalkRadio has an impressive list of features, one being the ability to monetize smaller podcasts (under 5k downloads per episode) with their ad network. They have live broadcast features, a built-in guest recording system and more.
Plans start at $39/month for the Studio sessions and unlimited uploads, but they also have a $12/month Lite plan without the Studio.
Fireside was created by Dan Benjamin of the 5by5 network. He and his peers create a lot of podcasts and know the industry well. Fireside is an all-in-one platform in that you get podcast hosting, a nice looking website, and podcast statistics.
The websites are well designed, but it appears there is currently one theme.
They keep things simple: there is 1 plan for $19/month — unlimited everything.
Libsyn is a host that has been around since the early days of podcasting. They are very popular and trustworthy, although their website could use an update to make them feel more trustworthy.
Plans start at $5/month with an upload limit of 50MB, although the $15/month plan bumps you up to 250MB of upload per month and basic statistics.
Here’s a few more you might want to check out:
How do you choose a podcast hosting platform?
It’s important to be realistic about your needs so you can choose a hosting company that meets them.
Do you need advanced analytics (probably not) or is ease of use more important? Buzzsprout is easiest (and saves you a lot of time) but other platforms have better analytics.
Do you need the ability to have additional team members manage your podcast or access analytics? Transistor and Simplecast might be good options.
Do you want to manage your show from WordPress? Castos or Blubrry have their own plugins.
Start a trial and test them out!
Recommended Complementary Services
You really should have your own website. You want a place to send your listeners that you own. Some of the hosting companies will provide a basic free website, which is great when starting out, but if you want more flexibility and customization you’ll need to go with your own web host.
I’m a big fan of WordPress (just use the PowerPress plugin to get your podcast feed set up). Here are my recommended web hosting companies:
Kinsta is dedicated to hosting fast and stable WordPress sites. They have an impressive client list and really useful features like staging sites and free CDN.
Their support is knowledgeable and world-class and will respond and help at all hours.
If you never want to worry about your site going down when you get mentioned on that big news site, go with these guys.
podcastinsights.com is proudly hosted with Kinsta too.
DreamHost is my “go to” for smaller (under 30K visits/month) sites. I use one of their VPS servers to host several websites and get great performance.
The web hosts above might give you a free domain name when you sign up, but if you’re like me and want an easy way to register a domain name the second something comes to you, I recommend buying from a dedicated domain name seller…
Name.com is based in Colorado (the state I live in) and I like to support local companies. They make it really easy to search for and purchase domains.
Building an email list is crucial if you want a consistent way to grow your podcast.
This is another industry where there are many different options (and I’ve tried many of them over the years).
Let me just say stop searching and sign up for ConvertKit.
Not only is the software great and lets you focus on getting things done, but their mission of helping creators is what really sets them apart.
Seriously, check out the demo and trial here (they were built for podcasters, bloggers, and all types of online creators).
Leveling & Tools
The main purpose of Auphonic is to compress and level your audio so you don’t have really loud and really soft parts. But it does a lot more:
I have it automatically send my podcast episodes to SoundCloud and YouTube, and it also saves a copy of the compressed file in Dropbox — all after my .mp3 file is properly tagged with my episode info and cover art.
Feeling generous? You can donate credits 🙂
Smart Podcast Player
Several of the podcast hosts have their own player you can embed on your website, but if you want the best-looking player out there, Smart Podcast Player is your answer. It was developed by Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income and is used by some of the largest podcasts out there. Check it out!
Other podcast “hosts”
I really consider these additional places to distribute your podcast. If you use Auphonic (look in the complimentary services section), you can connect these and have your episodes automatically uploaded.
SoundCloud has its own podcast hosting, but I just use it as another place to distribute my podcast.
I connect Auphonic to YouTube and have my episodes automatically pushed as ‘unlisted’ so I can go in and add a great description and tags before making it public. Your cover art is used as the visual for the video.
Originally published on Podcast Insights