Using WordPress.com for a podcast

Positive: It’s easy

One big thing WordPress.com has going for it is its ease of use, not only for the podcast feed, but for the website. WordPress.com has podcasting features baked right into its core, and I was actually surprised how easy it was.

Positive: Website integration

WordPress.com will manage your feed, but honestly, any good podcast host will do that. Where WordPress.com really shines is in integrating the podcast with your website. There are a lot of casual listeners who may not want to subscribe via iTunes or create a Spotify account, but would listen to an episode on your website. WordPress.com takes care of both — a podcast episode is also a blog post on your site, and all episodes are streamable online.

Positive: WordPress.com is a social network

In addition to getting listed in major search engines, WordPress.com itself is a social network where people actively seek out new content. For instance, on my podcast about movies and mental health, I’ll add hashtags to each post about the movie, director, and mental health issue we’re covering that episode. I frequently get random WordPress.com users that wander in based on those hashtags. The podcast is only a few weeks old at this point, but probably around half of our listeners found us that way.

Positive: It’s easy to make a great website

WordPress.com is a very popular platform for website creators because of its flexibility. I have a movie review site I run on the side with no podcasting whatsoever — it’s just text posts, and WordPress.com was a great choice for that. In fact, WordPress.com is a solution I often pitch to small businesses as a way to make and maintain their websites. Even if you choose to go with another podcast host, it may be worth looking at WordPress.com just for its website management capabilities.

Positive: WordPress.com makes it easy to take your data elsewhere

Site owners who create their sites using tools like Squarespace or Wix are often not-so-pleasantly surprised to find out that if they want to move to another platform, there’s no easy way to take their content with them. WordPress and WordPress.com make it easy to export your content, including all posts and pages, and move it to another WordPress installation somewhere else, or even a different content management system. In short, you own your data, and WordPress.com respects that.

Negative: WordPress plugins and custom themes are premium features

One great thing about WordPress is the wide array of plugins available for just about anything you would want to do. As I mentioned, WordPress.com is a hosted solution that takes care of some of the more technical things for you. Unfortunately, one of the features they lock down is plugin installation. This is available to users with a business plan (which, frankly, costs too much to be worth it to a brand new podcast), but users of lesser plans will be stuck with the few plugins that come pre-installed.

Neutral: Analytics are fairly basic

Note: this section has been updated to reflect changes in WordPress.com as of around July, 2019

So is it worth it?

Overall, I would say yes, I’m happy with my decision. I make websites for a living, so having a great website was very important to me, and I’m finding that a lot of our listeners are listening on our website, meaning we probably would not have them as listeners if we didn’t have that option. Additionally, having one platform to work with for both my podcast feed and my website greatly simplifies things. Is it the best podcast host? It is for some people, and it might be for you. Look at your needs before making the decision, but I’ve been happy with the service.

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Brandon Gregory

Brandon Gregory

Brandon, a technical architect in the Midwest, spends spare time writing, playing music, and daydreaming about equality and tolerance. AuthorBrandonGregory.com