Podcasts have exploded in popularity in recent years, with nearly one in five US adults listening to a podcast in the last month and that figure rising every year, with an 80% rise in podcast listenership since 2013.
With the podcast bandwagon getting bigger and faster, is it time to start your own podcast? What are the technical details behind doing something like this? How can you use WordPress, and how can you find the perfect WordPress theme for podcasts?
This post will be your complete WordPress podcasting guide, starting with gear and technical details and then focussing in particular on WordPress themes for podcasts.
Before you start: get the right gear
If you’re wanting a website and accompanying WordPress theme for a podcast, you’ll need to actually have a podcast to post. We won’t cover in detail how to start a podcast or the gear you’ll need, but we will point you in the right direction.
You should start with content: the most important thing is to have an interesting, engaging podcast which listeners will want to download every week. You should nail down a couple of content-related podcast necessities:
- Main theme: what is your podcast about? This is the most important thing on the list! This should be something specific you can attract an audience around.
- Individual topics: what are you going to discuss each episode? This should all fit under the main theme. You don’t have to list all the episodes you’ll be recording when you start, but you should be able to list ten to twenty episode ideas right away. If not, your main theme may need tweaking.
- Frequency: how often will you publish episodes? Daily, weekly or fortnightly? Batches of episodes released in seasons?
- Format: what’s the structure of the show? You want the same format every episode so listeners know what to expect.
- Personnel: who’s on the show? Standard options are solo-hosted, co-hosted, interview format, or roundtable discussions.
You should also be thinking about audio quality. It’s easy to get obsessed about gear and audio quality, but here’s the secret: your audio quality must be “good enough”, but when you’re starting it needn’t be better than this.
In practice, this likely means you and any co-hosts need a good microphone. If and when your podcast takes off, you can start looking at more expensive gear. You’ll find more about gear and recording on Lifehacker and on the Podcast Host. For a great introduction to podcast gear, watch the video below from Pat Flynn, host of the Smart Passive Income podcast.
With the right gear in place, let’s move on to selecting the perfect WordPress theme for podcasts.
Criteria for choosing WordPress themes for podcasts
Being able to choose the right WordPress theme is an incredibly useful skill (we should know – we’ve been making WordPress themes since 2009). There are thousands of WordPress themes to choose from, so how do you find the best?
The most effective method for finding WordPress themes is to list your criteria, shortlist themes you like and then measure them against those criteria. For example, the best WordPress themes for podcasts will fulfill the following criteria:
- Great design! You need to like the look of the theme. This should also be responsive design.
- Effectively pitch your podcast: you need to be able to create nice looking pages explaining what your podcast is and how to subscribe.
- Podcast playback integration: visitors need to be able to listen to your podcast! This can be a simple playback button (you could even add this using a plugin), but more advanced integration is preferable.
- Good support and regular updates. If anything goes wrong, you want to know you can get help. You should expect to pay $50-100 for this annually as part of a premium WordPress theme purchase (which also includes the premium theme).
Add to these criteria anything else that’s right for you, and you’re well set. Let’s now look at some of the themes you can start using for your podcast.
The best WordPress themes for podcasts
There are thousands of WordPress themes to choose from and choosing the best can be a daunting prospect. We’ve done the hard work for you and chosen five excellent WordPress themes for podcasts that fit all of the above criteria for you to choose from.
VideoBox: the best for audio & video podcasts
If you’re creating audio or video podcasts (or even straight-up vlogging), VideoBox is literally the perfect theme to have: you can neatly embed or self host each episode at the top of each post, and add a nice description below.
VideoBox’s archives are also set up nicely for podcasts, so listeners can easily access older episodes.
The theme will automatically detect links from popular websites like SoundCloud, Mixcloud, Spotify, Buzzsprout, Radio Public, and many others. For services that are less known and not detected automatically, you can insert the available embed code manually.
Presence: flexible WordPress with awesome audio playback integration
Presence is one of our flagship WordPress themes and it’s perfect for podcasts. The theme is multipurpose but originally started as an audio theme, and thus has awesome audio playback layouts and features.
The most useful feature in Presence is its cross-page audio playback. Listeners can start playing a podcast episode on one page and keep that playback going regardless of which page they’re on. This results in awesome user experience.
Presence also features page builder support, responsive design, and immense flexibility, allowing you to get the rest of your site looking exactly how you want – or even use the theme on other websites, podcast or not.
Next steps: how to set up VideoBox for podcasts
Finding a WordPress theme is a highly personal choice and whichever theme you go with, the important next step will be setting up that theme.
Using VideoBox on your website is as easy as installing any other WordPress theme. Since all the audio and video features are integrated within the theme, the process of adding your episodes is really easy and intuitive. Moreover, the theme comes packed with thorough documentation, so you’re covered either way.
Get on with the podcast!
That’s your complete guide to choosing a WordPress theme for podcasts!
Here’s a recap of the tools, tips and tricks in this post:
- Before you start: choose the right content for your podcast.
- Make sure your audio quality is “good enough”. It doesn’t have to be perfect when you start.
- Set the criteria beforehand when looking for a WordPress theme for your podcast.
- Get the right theme! We recommend VideoBox.
- Set up your theme right by following the detailed instructions. Take the time to get this done properly.
You’re now equipped to start making the episodes and get them in front of an audience that wants to listen, so why not start now?