The WordPress Podcast Website Toolkit

Episode 50 June 12, 2022 00:21:02
The WordPress Podcast Website Toolkit
WP Review
The WordPress Podcast Website Toolkit
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Hosted By

Joe Casabona

Show Notes

This episode marks the start of an important shift in the content here at WP Review — something I’ll dive more into after ConvertKit’s Craft + Commerce conference at the end of June. But suffice to say, creators, are growing wary of WordPress. I personally think that WordPress is the perfect tool for the growing creator economy, so here at WP Review, we’re going to spend many of the next episodes talking to creators about how WordPress can help them more than any other platform. And we’re going to start with a type of creator near and dear to my heart: the podcaster. 

Brought to you by GoDaddy ProGet all of the show notes, and a written to be read article over at https://wpreview.io/50

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Episode Transcript

This episode marks the start of an important shift in the content here at WP review, something I'll dive more into after I attend convert kits, craft, plus commerce or craft and commerce conference at the end of June. Uh, I haven't actually said that out loud. So it's, it's written craft the plus sign in commerce. Uh, but suffice to say. Creators. Are growing weary. Of WordPress. I personally think that WordPress is still the perfect tool for the growing creator economy. But that doesn't mean it works for everyone. So here at WP review, we're going to spend many of the next episodes talking to creators. About how WordPress can help them more than any other platform. And we're going to start with a type of creator near and dear to my heart. The podcaster. That's right today. We're going to look at the perfect. WordPress toolkit. For podcasters. Hey everybody. And welcome to Delhi. Peer review, a show that provides analysis on what's happening in the WordPress space and what it means for users and business owners in the ecosystem though, like I said, over the next few months, probably we're going to be looking at WordPress and what it means for the creator economy. So I'm excited to talk about that this episode and every episode is brought to you by GoDaddy pro. My name's Joe Casabona and today. We're going to be talking about the perfect WordPress podcast website toolkit. Let's dive into it. Well, actually, before. We dive into it. I do need to make a clip a quick disclosure. This toolkit is specifically for podcasters using WordPress. I do have a more general WordPress toolkit, which you can find [email protected] slash four five. That's where I talk through it. I also have more specialized toolkits over at creator courses.com/toolkits. Some of the tools recommended here will be from current or former podcast sponsors that has no bearing on my decision to use them. It's usually the opposite they sponsor because I am already a user of those tools. There are also affiliate links. You can find everything that we talk about here over at WP review. Dot I O slash five zero. All right now, let's get onto the toolkit. The first thing that we should do is define what we actually need. And the great thing about this list is that it looks very similar to the general freelance toolkit that I covered in episode 45. So what do we need? I'm going to skip over some of the, again, the more general stuff like backups and optimization, but we need. Hosting. An audio host and audio host plugin. We need a theme. Uh, way to build complex content. A forms plugin. A way to create redirect an email service provider and the integration for it. And subscribe buttons. So let's start with. Both sets of hosting. While you do need separate audio host more on that in a minute. You also need a good web host. And for that, I recommend nexus. I've said many times that I host all of my important sites on nexus. And that's doubly true for my podcasts. In fact, I moved how I built it, my main podcast. From a different host to nexus. Because the old host was failing. Now. Again, you have a web host, but they're not optimized for serving up audio and you don't really want to have your audio host. On your web host anyway, right? Because if one goes down, then your whole, uh, podcast goes down. But if you have a separate audio host, Then at least. They can serve the audio files to podcast players like apple podcasts. And, uh, Amazon music. So let's talk, audio hosting and the podcast plugin. You're getting a two for one deal here because the WordPress plugin I recommend is closely tied to the audio host. I recommend. They come from the same place. The audio host is cast dose. They have a nicely designed interface for you to access stats and more services, right from their dashboard. Plus they offer a number of modern podcasting features like transcripts support, private podcasting, YouTube, republishing, and much more. They're also really dedicated to the WordPress space. I think I'm automatic actually invested in them. And so they're, they're heavily embedded there. Um, part of that, or maybe because of that. They also have a fantastic WordPress plugin called seriously simple podcasting where you can easily set up your whole podcast and feed within WordPress set up multiple shows and use WordPress's native interface to upload your episodes directly to cast dos. It will also sync your show notes and your. Anything in the content editor to Casos creating a nice built-in backup. I switched to cast dose a few years ago and I've been super happy with it. It works really well, and they also run my private podcast because. It's built right in. And what I like about Casto sincerely just simple podcasting. Is they iterate quickly. So they build out features. Uh, as quickly and nimbly as a small team can as only a small team cat. Now. Uh, now that the hosting stuff is out of the way. Let's talk about the theme and I think you'll probably know what theme I'm going to recommend. It's cadence and the pro plugin that gives you cadence pro. Cadence has quickly become my favorite theme so much so that nearly all of my sites use it at this point. In fact, I recently switched how I built it to use cadence from Astra. It's versatile, it's fast and it's, well-designed some of my favorite features include color palettes. So you can have different color schemes to easily pull from depending on the content you're creating, especially good. If you are. Hosting multiple podcasts or you have a podcast and then like a video series that you want to differentiate. Uh, they have elements, which allows you to dynamically add in content at certain points, like after the third paragraph or before the title. Without having to write your own functions with hooks. This is great for let's say episode specific. Opt-ins. On your show notes page, you can have an opt-in based on the episode topic to get people to sign up for your mailing list. And then there's support for woo commerce LearnDash and other big word press plug-ins. Adding in this support used to be a pain, but cadence makes it easy. And this is really important and especially good. If you want to expand your podcast and your podcast website to include Merck a course or a membership. They even have site templates. Uh, that are great starting points. If you want a good podcast site that stands out without too much effort, cadence is a great pick. But I do have an honorable mention here. I'm going to mention second line themes because they specialize in podcast. Themes like podcast WordPress themes. And they integrate with Casos meaning that if you're just starting out second line themes could give you a headstart on a well-made podcast site. Even if you don't really know all of the features you need yet. Uh, but an important note here, these themes work best with Ella mentor. I'd even go so far as to say that they require Elementor. But second line themes, doesn't say that they make the claim that it can work with any page builder or the block editor. In my experience, I have not been able to get a site that looks like their demo site without element, or though. Uh, speaking of complex content though. Uh, you do need something for building complex content. Most people want a page builder. I like Kadence blocks. This plugin includes a slew of additional blocks for Gutenberg and the block editor, which make it as close to a page builder as I've seen. And while there are a few kinks I've been able to create beautiful page layouts using just the block editor. Thanks to cadence blocks. And you want a way to build complex content so that you can create more engaging episode pages, a page or pages that include good show notes, subscribe buttons, share buttons. Opt-ins maybe a nice guest or interviewee or host section and more. All right. And the, I guess the last or next kind of podcast specific. Piece of the toolkit is subscribed by ends, and I'm going to recommend a podcast subscribe buttons for this. From the makers of second line themes. This is a fantastic little plugin. It allows you to create a set of buttons to help people subscribe to your podcast wherever they listen. And the list of services. Or a list of styles, I guess, that they include is vast. They include all of the well-known ones like apple podcasts and Spotify and Amazon music, Google podcasts. But they also include the niche ones that aren't as well known things like, uh, let's say good pod or, or listen notes or, uh, we're pod chaser, I guess pod chaser is pretty big at this point, but it's not one of the big four or five. They include a big list. So I use this on all of my podcasts sites and it allows you to create again, reusable sections. I have subscribed buttons so that you can include them on show notes page or even a dedicated subscribed page this is a great way for people to move from your site to their favorite podcast app with minimal effort and it's a must have for your podcast website. Okay, now let's move on to the forums plugin. I'm going to mention here and recommend gravity forums. One of the main websites features missing from WordPress core is forms. And for good reason. And the WordPress forums landscape is vast. Competition is stiff. While I've waffled over the years, I always find myself going back to one forms, plugin above any other, and that's gravity forums. In my opinion, there's nothing more stable, more flexible or more versatile. I now I should, uh, I should say, as a caveat here. That ninja forms did just simplify their pricing to look a little bit more like gravity forms. So this may change in the future and ninja forms does have a free option where gravity forms doesn't. But. I think that gravity forums is still the best. Need a contact form. Perfect. Need a membership registration form. They have that too. I need a sponsorship inquiry form gravity quorums can do it. This one forms. Plugin can do basically anything you need a form to do at an affordable price. This is why I keep going back. Heck, I even created a full course about it for LinkedIn learning. Now let's move on to the, maybe a lesser thought of features. I think that we need for a podcast website. Starting with creating redirects, which I recommend the plugin redirection. Now you might be thinking, why is a redirect plugin, a must have for podcast sites. There are two reasons for me. One is easy to speak. Show notes page. You can visit this site. Or this episode's show [email protected] slash five zero. Thanks to a redirection plugin. And then easy to speak sponsor and affiliate links as well. If I mentioned any of the affiliate links here, they would look like the same thing. WP review.io/ let's say convert kit. Redirect plugins. Make this possible. And the latter of these two is especially important. If you want to monetize your podcast, you don't want to be trying to speak. These very hard URLs that no, one's going to remember. You want memorable, easily speakable URLs. And while I've tried a bunch of redirect plugins. There's honestly, no better option than redirection. It's free. It's a well-made plugin that automatically tracks four oh fours. Allows grouping and exposes its function via an API for customization, which is how I can easily generate my episode. Show notes, page URLs. For how I built it. All right, let's talk about email service provider or ESP, uh, integration. I recommend convert kit. You need to build your mailing list. I generally recommend podcasters, make it the one and only call to action. To join the mailing list, but you can kill two birds with one stone. Make the call to action. Your show notes page, using a redirection plugin for an easily speakable URL. And then having a newsletter opt-in form there. I use convert kit and they happen to have plugins for both the WordPress. And gravity forums using their plugin. I can automatically insert an opt-in on posts and pages. Their integration with gravity forms allows me to create custom forms that connect to the convert kit service. And using cadences themes or Keenan's themes elements. I can even insert shortcodes to have them add it anywhere on my sites. Not just at the bottom of posts or pages. So I recommend, I think that, uh, redirection and gravity forums with convert kit is a good 1, 2, 3 punch. I know that one, two punches the thing, but. The three tools that I'm, I'm recommending that can all work together really nicely. Uh, now let's talk about the rest of the tool kit. Rounding out. The toolkit are plugins that I think are also important, kind of a popery of podcasts, plugin helpers. So, uh, But I'm also kind of open to other options here. I think that you should have something that falls into these categories, but not necessarily these exact plugins I'm naming. Uh, the first is Yoast SEO for search engine optimization. Yoast is the big fish and the longest standing WordPress SEO plugin. If you're a podcaster, you should leverage their helpful tools. To make sure search engines are seeing your episodes that really helps with discovery and growth. Number two is block Meister. It's a block pattern, plugin builder. Uh, or a block pattern builder. Uh, that you can use without code it's perfect for creating show notes, templates, subscribe areas, and more. This plugin is free and basically a must use at this point. Script plus social sharing for share buttons. I know that you can add social media and sharing buttons with the block editor now, but script plus social sharing is such a lightweight rock, solid plugin that I much prefer it over everything else. It doesn't use any of the social media sites scripts as the name implies and even has an SVG option. It accomplishes its mission of adding social sharing buttons without any bloat. Admirably. And this makes it easier for your listeners to share specific episodes with their social following, which is another great way to increase discovery and growth for your podcast. Finally. Thirsty affiliates pro. If you want to make some money, podcasting affiliates is a great way to do it. You won't make a ton of money, but the barrier of entry is definitely the lowest and thirsty affiliates. Pro is great for managing affiliate links, but it's also just a fantastic auto linker. If there's texts, you always want pointing to a link. Check this plugin out. You don't even need to use it for affiliate links, but you can use thirsty affiliates pro. Because again, it'll auto link that text. So let's say that you mentioned. Nexus or any of the tools I've mentioned here? In a transcript. Instead of going through that transcript and having to add your affiliate links, thirsty affiliate pro will automatically do it for you. And that's the last of the tools. So let's look at the full toolkit. Hosting we have nexus audio hosting is Casto sun there. Plugin series symbol podcasting. The theme I'm going to recommend cadence pro, but there's also second line themes. The builder is going to be cadence blocks pro for forms, gravity forms for subscribe buttons, podcast, subscribe buttons. And then we have the redirection plugin. ESP integration with convert kit. And our popery of plugins, Yoast, SEO, block, Meister, social script, sharing, or script plus social sharing. And thirsty affiliates pro. So there you have it. Everything I would use for my WordPress podcast website in 2022, these tools are meant to help make the site building process easier while still giving you flexibility. Sure. You can set up a website on pod pages a lot faster, but you're also going to be. A lot more handcuffed. Only being able to do the things that pod pages is deemed you can do. With WordPress, you can do a lot more. So did I miss any important features for podcast websites? Let me know. Maybe I'll do a follow-up episode. But that's it for this episode of the WP review. Thanks so much for listening to get even more WordPress insights and to subscribe to this show, head over to WP review.io/five zero. That's also where you can find all of the show notes. And if you liked this episode, share it with a friend, especially a podcaster. Thanks to godaddy pro for sponsoring until next time i'm joe casabona and i'll see you out there

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