When you’re starting a podcast, it’s important to consider a few things such as what podcast platform to use and also the pros and cons of them. The whole idea of podcast websites is not only are they trying to simplify the creation of a website, but they’re trying to give you a one-stop shop for hosting your podcast and your website and publishing your podcast episodes to iTunes, Stitcher, Google play, and all that, and publishing your blog post at the same time. Our top three criteria for choosing a podcast website are it needs to be Google-friendly, it should be very easy to add content on a regular basis, and it should support your primary domain or main URL because you’re building equity into your website. Read on to learn more about choosing the best podcast website and to check out our best and worst list.
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Key Factors to the Best and Worst Podcast Websites for Your Show Home Base
We’re going to talk about the worst and the best podcast websites. I think we should qualify podcast websites because we don’t mean websites that have a podcast that’s not the same thing. To say it differently, we’re not talking about criticizing any of your websites or anybody else’s website out there that has a podcast on it. We’re talking about different website platforms that you might use or choose between to build your podcast website on, to create your platform. Almost in a way, it’s podcasts websites creators and not by people. That’s why this titling was a hard thing for us. You have to be careful when you title. Everybody out there I’m sure has a website of some kind, one kind or another. If you don’t, you should get one right now.
The reality is when you’re going to start a podcast, it’s time to take stock of your website, see what condition it’s in. Is it an appropriate website to add your podcast to and your blog to, or is it time to start fresh and create a new website? Regardless of the answer to those questions, what we do want to discuss is when it’s time, what are all the platforms you can consider and what are the pros and cons of them? We’ve been experiencing this a lot lately, especially with new customers coming to transfer to using our production and some of them have come to us with websites that, some of them are in bad shape in terms of being able to expand them.
Not ideal conditions to develop a blog podcast pages too and that’s because many of you have very outdated websites. You’ve had them for a long time and it’s a lot easier to upgrade and do some things on it than it is to start from scratch. Those that are at the stage of creating from new, you’re at an advantage because you get to choose between these podcast website platforms and take a look at them and decide which ones are best. You have an opportunity to do it a little bit easier and quicker. The only thing that I do want to say is that we have a bigger list of worst podcast websites than we do best. Most people have found that it was the path of least resistance for them to make a change and continue to upgrade in the past. When you go to make this significant of a change, which is shifting a site from being informational basic only to being content driven, it’s a very big difference and a shift. There are certain website platforms that aren’t conducive to it. We should go through our top three criteria for that.
The number one, one which is super simple, is that it needs to rank really well on Google. In fact, it is the content created from your podcast that is the fuel for ranking your website on Google. If you don’t have a friendly system built into your website for creating and posting blogs and for configuring them properly for the best organic keyword phrases that you want to rank on in Google, that’s a very difficult thing to build into an old website if it’s on a certain system or if even if it’s hardcoded. I don’t want to get into the web development weeds here in any way, shape or form, but there’s a lot of old terminology to how websites were created. They used to be creative with frames. It’s like holding all your information in a little box. It wasn’t friendly to Google spiders going through. Creating a more open form website is exactly the way that WordPress does it and there are many others out there that attempt to do that, but they also have their own framework that they’ve developed to make it easier for you to drag and drop and plug and play and do it yourself. That’s what we’re talking about is there’s lots that say, “We’re super podcast-friendly,” but they’re not super Google-friendly.” That’s our number one criteria. They need to be Google-friendly.
There’s a huge difference in having a website that is very friendly to having been created in the first place and one that’s very friendly to being worked on, on a daily basis. Having content added every single day is very different than having it designed and created from the get-go. Sometimes oversimplification on the design and set up side makes tremendous amount of work on the input side of things. The content is the big issue. The content that we’re talking about in this case that has all SEO power is blogs.
I’ve even encountered a few web developers saying, “Your websites can be hardcoded and then you can have a WordPress blog for your blog,” but that blog is not on the same domain name as your hardcoded website. I want to make sure I’m clear about this right now too, because you want your blogs contained within your primary domain name that you want all the value, all the keyword benefits of that to be fueling. That’s our number three. We want it to be very Google-friendly. We want it to be very easy to add content on a daily, weekly basis, whatever your pace of podcasting is, and three, so that it’s supporting your primary domain, your main URL, your main dotcom.
You’re building equity into your website. It’s backlink equity, it’s organic Google keyword equity, it’s referring domain equity. It’s members and listeners and viewers and everything. It’s like one place for them to go. When you build all that equity in one place, then it needs to do a lot of things and that’s where you need the robust accommodation of all three things that we talked about as power. It needs to do all of those things at once. A lot of new or aspiring podcasters will think, “I’ll just create a new website for my podcast and I’ll have my main website over here.” You certainly can do that and there may be very good reasons why you might want to do that, but understand that if you’re creating a completely different website for your podcast, all of that value and equity that you’re creating from the content is going to be in the new website.
They may be linked and closely related to your main website, but the new website may rise in ranking a lot higher than the old one. I’m honestly most always a fan of creating your podcast page on your blog within your existing main website so you continue to build on whatever author equity and traffic value and link value you’ve already built over time. If you want to have a new domain name, a new ‘www.WhateverMyPodcast.com’, so that you can market that and drive people into the site, you can do that and forward that domain name into the podcast page of your site. It doesn’t have to be a separate site.
You can have ingredient brands or even related different brands coming into one site. Do it properly please. There’s a proper way to forwarding it. You don’t want to point in terms of the DNS and if you don’t know what that is, then definitely don’t mess with it and talk to your tech team. You don’t want to point a DNS for two different or two or more different .coms or.co or domain names, whatever they are into the same website. That will hurt your website ranking with Google among other things. Domain name forwarding is acceptable. Essentially, forwarding it into the site that works. Usually, when you go into wherever you bought your website from, wherever you bought that URL, they have a whole way to do that and just do it properly because it can damage your Google ranking. I want to point that out.
Let’s now talk about the best and the worst podcasts websites and the reality is we’ve got a lot more worst than best on this list. When we’re talking about these website builders that a lot of them are marketing to you guys as podcasters out there, that’s the hot thing for them to do. They’ve been website creators or website builders, and people have been making websites, some of them for a decade or more. When you look at this as a website builder, they’re perfectly fine, but they’ve decided to market it by adding like a little feature for podcasters or a podcast player or a simple way to press your podcast and some things like that. They’ve just started adding some features and marketing now to podcasters. It didn’t mean that this was designed for podcasters to begin with, some of these. Our perspective from this is not as an end-user. It’s as a company that goes into hundreds of websites every week to post blogs with our done-for-you service. We do this a lot. We see the good, bad and ugly of website design and website build and website function and themes and ways to access all the information.
Let’s go with one. We’re starting with the worst, they’re not the best. Let’s take a site like Wix. This is one that we’ve come across in the history of our business. Somebody has a Wix website and they want us to create their blogs on that site and their podcast page. Wix is easy. That’s why it’s of appeal. I’m sure that it was just like, “I need something quick. It’s drag and drop. It’s a super easy platform to design a website on,” especially when you have no design skills. It accomplishes that goal, but in order to make it easy to use, especially for the lay person who has no website coding abilities, which is true, it does a great job of that. In doing that, it oversimplifies certain things. It does not have a robust library of plug-ins you can use to plug and play different key functions including configuring blog posts for SEO. They do not have a good feature set for that. Everything has to be done manually the hard way. It takes longer and I don’t think that it’s as well-done, quite honestly.
It’s harder to do it right to make sure you didn’t miss anything, to make sure it’s absolutely correct and then to make sure that you’re getting the Google power from doing all that work. The same thing with podcast players when people come to your site and if they didn’t know you had a podcast or they haven’t subscribed yet, we always recommend allowing people to play your podcast episodes right there on your website. There are lot fewer track players and podcast players available on a platform like Wix. A lot of these podcast website platforms have to create their own players so they have limited functionality. They have whatever works within their system. If you want to compare them side by side, it’s not as easy to compare them to the robust podcast players that we have out there on the majority of the websites that we service.
There are two other platforms that I think are very similar to Wix and a lot of what we just said for Wix would apply to these other two. One of them is Squarespace and the other is Weebly. I don’t think we need to belabor each of them. They have some slight differences between them, but they’re all doing the same type of thing. Trying to make it easy for you to build a website and put it out there, which it does, but it’s not so easy to integrate a podcast and blogs. They don’t let you achieve those things of blog posts and podcasts players and things like that to the best level of execution that you would want or hope for. There’s always going to be caveats, exceptions, compromise that you’re going to have to make for the way things work and the way things look. A lot of it can be the way things look. It’s the ones that’s limited in functionality or limited in Google power that we get the most concerned about.
I want to bring up the awareness that Squarespace is one of those ones that’s marketed a lot to people who have retail stores. It just happens to be that way because it has some cart functionality to it. That is supposed to be simple and easy and there’s a couple of new ones that people have been saying and when they call us, they think that they’re going to create a website this way. Kartra is the big new one. They say, “I have a lead page as website.” That’s not a website. I want you to be aware. Squarespace is, yes. The ones that are shops in and of themselves and only the cart side of things, for others that are disconnected from it, like the lead pages where it’s a sales page, it’s not a full robust website. They don’t have plug-ins, they don’t have any of these things. It’s impossible to hook them up together.
To make a good core podcast website that then connects to stores, sales pages, to complete shops and all of those things, absolutely possible to do, but the informational site is separated or should be the starting point of everything. This is common. Big brands that we work with and help create sites for, they do that. They have their information sites and their core brand shopping sites separated for a reason because traction doesn’t happen when you connect the two because it all looks like sponsored content then.
Let’s move on now to one that I was surprised to come across. I remember doing this twenty years ago. We were creating some of our first websites in our business. I came across a completely custom hardcoded website created by a web development agency, a service provider that I haven’t seen anything like this in a while. Obviously, that’s the only way it was done twenty years ago and maybe even ten years ago, it was a lot more common. This company and I’m going to rattle off a bunch of acronyms here, different technologies that are used to create custom websites in terms of the language. This may mean nothing to a lot of you, but I’m going to rattle them off anyway.
Agencies might tell you that this is how they code or this is how they create. They’re an expert because they choose the best technology based upon the job and your particular need for your website. The different technologies include PHP, HTML, CSS, Smarty, MySQL, jQuery, AJAX, Ruby On Rails, ColdFusion, and more. The ColdFusion one made déjà vu happen for me because we had a ColdFusion website in 1999 or something or 1998 and it had benefits at the time because you could design a website and you had a backend interface that we could go into to make changes to things.
You should not knock a developer who has all of these skills and everything because you’ll use CSS, you’ll use PHP, you’ll use HTML. All of those coding things are great when you want to do something custom, when you want a break a theme or something like that and create it so that it looks better for what you need to do. Having someone on your team and having someone having your back on your website who’s got this information is great, but that’s just not the main way to create a website nowadays. It’s not the number one important thing or at least, the kind of websites that most of us need. There are always exceptions, but most of us it’s like trying to kill a mosquito with a shotgun. It just doesn’t make a lot of sense.
My point is that it’s overkill. You’re going to travel ten miles and fly in a 747. That’s the thing is like most of you are starters, most of you have starter websites. Most of you have websites that don’t have high commerce needs, high web traffic needs where they’re going to crash because you have hundreds of thousands of people’s hitting it at the exact same moment. It doesn’t work like that for most of what you’re doing. It’s a one-to-many proposition with your websites and you want that to be the case, but today’s websites are so robust that they can handle a lot of traffic and a lot of commerce before you run into problems where you need something so customized.
Here’s the problem we ran into with a potential customer is they have an existing website that they’ve had for years. It’s an informational website that don’t have a blog and they want to start a podcast and they were hoping we could do what we do with most customers and just add a podcast page and add a blog and configure the blog on their existing website. I took one look at it online and did a little analysis and I could tell, “It’s not Wix, Squarespace, Weebly or WordPress or anything. It is completely custom-coded. I even could see the company that did it.” I knew that this is going to be a difficult thing to achieve at a reasonable cost to add all the podcast functionalities and a blog to this particular website and be able to easily maintain and update it going forward. Maybe you could make some changes. It’s not the end of the world, but constantly updating it as things change, it’s always going to be something you have to go back to that big web development company to do. I didn’t recommend they do it. I recommended that they start a new website for their podcast and use what is my number one best and recommended platform to build a website on and that is these days, it’s WordPress.
WordPress has 65% or something like that the last time I checked it. The last I knew, there was at least half of the websites on the internet were WordPress these days and they have become the standard for most websites. There are some natural reasons and logical reasons that that is. We should also be careful out there. If you’ve got a free WordPress site, there are two kinds of WordPress sites. There’s a .org and .com, so WordPress.org or WordPress.com is where you register your site. If you were to go in and log in to the backend, you’d be going into one of those two places typically. Usually, you’d be going into your website/WPAdmin or something like that, or log in if you were on the paid site of WordPress because there’s a free site.
If you’ve got a WordPress.com site, if that’s where you went to sign in, log in, you have a free site essentially because WordPress offers these blog sites for free and it’s great except that you can’t use plug-ins and you can’t use some of these add-ons. You can’t expand it way that you would like to. You can create a blog page and you can do all of that. You can’t expand it to add lots of the SEO plug-ins, lots of the podcast players. You can’t expand it to add all of these things to it without upgrading to a paid site. You can go to WordPress.com and you can get them to transfer your site over to a .org and you’ll go and buy a hosting package is essentially what you do.
I want to bring a little more basic clarity to this. What this means is WordPress was originally formed as a blog site and if you wanted a blog, a blog was usually completely separate and disconnected from your main website, if you even had a main website. There are other examples of that. BlogSpot would be one of them. If you’ve got a BlogSpot site or if you’ve got a Typepad or this older WordPress.com, it’s straight blog sites. Then WordPress as a company evolved many years ago and created the fundamental software, a real significant platform upon which entire websites can be built on that also includes a blog. That has become the absolute runaway standard of website development. You can download the software from WordPress.org, but most hosting companies that you might use to host your website, like Network Solutions or GoDaddy or Bluehost, a number of them, you can go pay for an annual or even monthly contract for hosting a website.
They’ve got the software right there. You pay for it as part of your hosting and you can build yourself a website or have someone build it for you on the WordPress platform. I want you to think of the WordPress platform like Microsoft Windows twenty years ago. It was this open architecture as opposed to closed operating systems or computers in the early days of the Mac and all that. Windows became used everywhere because it was open. Anybody could more easily write software for it, write plug-ins for the computers. It’s the same thing with WordPress and there are hundreds of thousands of plug-ins available for WordPress to achieve different functions that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel and pay a web developer to hardcode and build everything you want. It probably has been done by somebody else already.
We’re not being paid to sponsor WordPress or say anything about this. We’re trying to clarify and make sure that you understand why it’s become so big and why it is the standard here. It’s such a powerhouse. It’s hard for these other sites to compete with that. I think that the other sites, their days are numbered, quite honestly. WordPress is a wide-open, very versatile, flexible platform and a lot of people have made not only plug-ins but what they call themes, which are the visual appearance aspect of the website, but they also have some functional capabilities. Templates that can make it very easy for you to drag and drop and create your own website within WordPress. You don’t have to code anything.
You could do that if you want, but it also is customizable and this is where we are saying, having a good web developer that has some of those coding capabilities to do things that you just need to do this one or two things that’s going to make your website perfect and it’s unique. It’s something that they don’t have a plug-in for. That’s relatively inexpensive to have a code or go and make those changes for you who knows what they’re doing. In any case, there are particular plug-ins to provide podcasting functionality within a WordPress site, and also all the different aspects of a blog or let’s say even monetizing your website. There are plug-ins to integrate click funnels if you’ve got click funnels pages. It goes on and on and on.
One of the reasons why when we see that, we’ve got a WordPress.org site, we’ve got one that’s all in the right platform and we evaluate it. We look at that and say, “No problem.” That’s why our pricing structure is the way it is. We can add a page, we can add a podcast player, we can add all of the good SEO and all the things that are necessary from a plug-in standpoint, which we do standard for our clients. We can just add that. It’s going to be not a problem and it’s not going to create a safety or a privacy problem on your site because all of those things are very secure. It’s not going to break your theme. It’s not going to break your theme or your security or anything. We only use plug-ins that are proven and tested. We don’t go putting some brand new plug-in on the site without testing it and we’ll also test it on our own sites first. It’s become abundantly clear that it is much more difficult much of the time to use some of these other platforms. It takes you longer to do the work and to test it and to get it to look the way you want.
The reason I wanted to talk about WordPress first is because Podcast Websites is built on the WordPress platform. What this company called Podcast Websites has done and we’ve encountered this a lot, I think we’ve had three or four clients come to us who already have a Podcast Websites website. When I went to Podfest in February, they had a trade show booth there and I checked out the Podcast Websites offering and I can see why it’s attractive to a potential podcaster, a new up and coming podcaster. I couldn’t judge it until we had a few clients using it and people on our team and me, myself, have gone into the backend of these websites and experience what Podcasts Websites does. Now, I can speak a little more intelligently about it. What Podcast Websites does, it’s built on WordPress, but unless you understand and have a lot of experience with WordPress, you wouldn’t realize that you were on WordPress because they’ve recreated the entire user-interface of the backend, the user dashboard for creating and managing the site, for creating and posting blogs and for posting new podcasts.
They’ve created it like you’re logging into a whole different place than the backend of your site. Podcast Websites thinks it is a more user-friendly dashboard. I personally take issue with if it’s more user-friendly or not. Their whole idea is that your website is more specifically about podcasting and the content created from it including blog posts. They do allow you to create blog posts, but they’ve also made it very cookie-cutter. Trying to make it simple, they’ve limited the functionality, limited the things you can do on your own. Quite honestly, in our experience, it’s more of a pain in the neck for us to deal with than a normal WordPress website.
I’ll give you one example. There are a few plug-ins we install in every client’s website for a special podcast player, which is a paid plug-in. We pay for it. Our customers don’t pay for it, but we put it on their website. That’s a very nice podcast player, plug-in and a track player that you can do in all your colors of your brand and you can put images into it, all sorts of stuff. That podcast player which we like, it was developed by Pat Flynn who is unarguably one of the early podcasters who teaches most people and who I learned from as to how to podcast initially or at least studied. His player, I compared them all before we settled on that one, it had the most robust features, but more importantly, the best user-friendly style. It was easy to read, easy to access, easy to share stuff.
To me, it was all more about the look than the function. There are a lot of podcast track players out there that function very well, but this one it’s about the look of it and how you could customize the look of it that we liked. We’ve standardized on that and not every customer has to have it on their site certainly, but we recommend it and we put it there. You cannot search for and install any plug-in you want to, even on your own Podcast Websites website. You have to submit a request and ask permission to have a plug-in installed on the site and it takes them a couple of days sometimes we found, to be able to go install something that normally we can log in to the site and do in five minutes. It’s slowed some of the process down and it can be very frustrating.
The other thing that we’ve found that they would do is not just load a new plug-in, but the people that do it in their customer service department make an assumption that, “You’re installing this one, so you must no longer want this one,” and they go ahead and deactivate some other one, which we didn’t want them to do and it caused problems on the website. That’s just one example. There are many more where in an effort to try to simplify it and make it easy for a lay person to understand and work with, they’ve limited functionality and I would say, not streamlined the process. In fact, they’ve bottleneck the process. Do you think that it’s hurting Google ranking? I think that you can get a Podcast Websites website to rank properly on Google. I think you can. It just takes more work to get there, configure it and set it up so that it is perfectly optimized to do.
If you were using it as a podcaster, in your opinion does it mean that they may not know? They’re doing all this work, they’re loading all this content in and because they don’t have that background information that, “I should configure my SEO like this and I should do this,” because there’s no plug-in giving them hints or directionality to it. They won’t know if they’re doing it right or wrong? Their oversimplified system can lead users into a false sense of security that they’ve achieved everything they need to and for any web developer or coder to go in and help configure it properly, they can’t do everything themselves. They have to ask permission and get some gatekeepers to unlock certain things for them.
That hits on the key to this whole what’s makes the worst and the best podcast websites. There are so many things that we go behind the scenes and you have to know because we work with people who would have a thousand websites. When you work with someone who has a thousand revenue-generating websites, it all have to rank on Google, then you have this information about sometimes things aren’t configured right and you have to hack the system. You have to enter in specialty code, you have to enter in specialty plug-ins and you have to do these things to make sure that you’re getting the best results out of the Google ranking that you possibly get. It’s hard for the lay person to keep up with that. It’s next to impossible, I think. It’s very difficult.
The whole idea of Podcasts Websites is not only are they trying to simplify the creation of a website, but they’re trying to give you a one-stop shop for hosting your podcast and your website and publishing your podcast episodes to iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, and all that, and publishing your blog post at the same time. What they’re doing is using PowerPress, which is a plug-in for WordPress. There is a free version and there are also some paid versions or some paid features you can add to it. PowerPress is a fine tool. Essentially what it does is instead of having a hosting account on Libsyn or Podbean or Podetize, our own platform, that you would host it with your website.
When you publish a blog post, you add into that the information about your MP3 file. The web site is already configured to syndicate that to iTunes and Stitcher. The MP3 is an audio file, if you’re new to podcasting or you’re about to podcast, if you’re not familiar with that yet. Most of you may know that. When you load the MP3 file into the blog post and you write a blog post about your podcast and that part of that blog post becomes your description of your episode on iTunes and it becomes your blog on your website. You insert it all in one place. I think it’s user-friendly in that regard.
Whether you’re using PowerPress on WordPress as a WordPress site or using Podcasts Websites and you’re effectively doing the same thing, the reality is your one blog post is doing a double function, dual duty. It’s publishing the podcast and publishing the blog post and they pitch it as, “Isn’t that wonderful and simple?” To an extent it is. This is why I’m not the biggest fan of using PowerPress to publish your podcast from your own website. There are several reasons. I’m going to give you the top three. When your podcast gets to be popular and you have, 5,000 or 10,000 downloads for every episode, as soon as you publish a new episode and it pushes to iTunes and all those places, you’re going to have all of a sudden a rush of downloads coming from your website and your own website is serving that MP3 file.
That puts a lot of stress on your website server. You need to have a robust host that can handle that kind of web traffic like Podetize, like Libsyn, like SoundCloud, all of these places. The second reason I’m not a fan of it is that there can be problems. If your website goes down for any reason and it happens to everybody. Everybody thinks it’ll never happen to me, but we’ve had a number of customers including ourselves in the past, four or five years ago. We got hacked quite a few times for a while there or where you had a virus happen or a plug-in does disconnect and it causes an outage. It can happen. You can have an update to a plug-in happen that has a conflict with other plug-ins. There could be a number of reasons your website can have a problem or can go down. When that happens, that affects your ability to syndicate your podcast to iTunes, meaning you can’t publish any new episodes while the site is down. They’re not in a separate place.
The function is the podcast is being published by the blog post, by the website. If the website is down, you can’t publish a new one. If your website’s down long enough, your RSS feed will go dormant and fail to be served to iTunes and can eventually get delisted. It takes quite a while for that to happen, but I have seen it. Then the third reason is we’ve seen customers go and they have all these blog posts. Here’s a good example. Your episodes published to iTunes chronologically based on the order of the blog posts on your site, the podcast-related blog posts. We’ve had people and have an “SEO optimization company” go in and make some changes to a bunch of their blog posts to try to get them to rank better on Google.
They redate them all when they do that. They update it to a new publication date which you don’t have to do, but in this case they did that. They’re not thinking about the podcasts. All they care about is updating the blog posts and the reason they want to update the date is because there is a factor of ranking a blog post if it’s more current. If it was a six-month or nine-month or a year-old blog posts, because that’s when you publish the podcast, they want to update it and have it, “The publication date be now,” but if you do that, now, all the order of your past episodes gets messed up. It’s going to pass and syndicate to iTunes and Stitcher and Google Play and everywhere based on the chronological date.
I’ve had people have this happen to them and we do the work for them. We create their blog posts and they say, “Podetize, why all of a sudden all of my episode order messed up on iTunes?” We go in, “You’re using PowerPress to syndicate your podcast and the date order of all your episodes has changed.” Fortunately in this case, WordPress keeps a record of who changed each post when so we could see the dates that they were changed and who logged in to make the changes. They said, “I hired this firm to help me with the blog posts and make some change s.” They should have used the original publication date, only updated the post. Fortunately, we could also go in and retroactively set the publication date to a date in the past and we’re able to reorder them, to get everything looking right on iTunes, but it took quite a bit of effort. I’ve always been a fan, ever since those kinds of experiences, of separating your podcast publication and syndication from your blog posts and not have them dependent on each other because one can cause problems for the other.
Another reason is, if you want to go back to one of our older episodes here on Feed Your Brand about Replays. What will happen is, is now that it’s served up, if you update the date on your website, on the blog post, but it seems like a reasonable thing to try to get better Google ranking and update that number and it gets more power for it. Then when you insert yourself into a different order in the iTunes library, now all of a sudden you’re essentially going to get treated like a rerun and they’re going to be annoyed and go, “I already heard this.”Then you piss off a few long-time listeners, subscribers. You don’t want to have that happen and that is also another reason why separating it has come to be a powerful information for us.
I’m experimenting with this new membership site and I’ve been working on it for awhile. We have the thing where we want to have our blog posts have a different date than our audio because we want the audio to be in a certain order so that you can listen to it in correct connection with everything. We’ve got a bunch of experts on the site. The experts will talk and I have topic episodes and I want to pair them together, but they’re not necessarily in the in the order that they recorded it. Everything is recorded in video and in Zoom in these office hours’ situations. I need to let them also be seen in the order that they happened on the date that they happen because somebody was like, “I miss Thursdays. I want Thursdays.” I don’t want them to air that way with somebody of us to listen.
I’ve been able to break the two and separate the two and put them in whatever order I wish by having them that way. It gives me a lot of control, especially for you videocasters who might be videocasting who want to keep the original air date that it was on Facebook or YouTube or Zoom, wherever you started it. Especially if you’ve got a big, open live group call and you want to have that date match or you want to separate the blog post or the podcast date and have it go on a different date as well. Keeping those things and having the most flexibility to be able to do that is of value. You won’t realize it when you’re starting out, but these will be things that will happen as you start your podcast and you get further along and you get a little more sophisticated and add different things that you want to do. You bring up another interesting point that however you start your podcast, it’s always more painful to change how things are configured down the road as you have more episodes because the volume of material to change over is much greater. That’s why we wanted to talk about this, especially for you aspiring podcasters that you might consider these things and hopefully do it right from the get-go.
There’s one of the thing that’s becoming an increasing trend in podcasting that Podcasts Websites and PowerPress, is not providing for and that is to be able to easily have different RSS feeds for different categories of your episodes, whether that’s seasons or you have an archive of your older ones and being able to easily move them from one feed to another. It’s a much more complicated proposition on those websites. If you’re thinking of putting out your seasons of episodes in a series of twelve or maybe you have hundreds of episodes already, but every Monday was a certain category of episode and now you want to break those off so people can listen to the Monday episodes and there’s a specific topic. Those are the areas where these different platforms are not flexible enough. How hard is it to migrate from a Wix site or any of those sites? Is it fairly easy to migrate over into a WordPress site? In reality from any one of those like Weebly, Wix, Squarespace, you’d be rebuilding the whole site. A web developer would just be copying over information from one site to another and it’s not a plug-and-play integration.
It’s not like you have a redesign or anything like that. You could pretty much duplicate what you have there in any WordPress site. Visually and functionally, sure you can and then get more. I know that WordPress.com and WordPress.org, they work together and if you need to migrate, they will do that. It’s a paid service but they’ll migrate it for you and then it happens in 24 hours. It’s fast. Even on the WordPress.org site, let’s say you have one website under certain domain and you want to move all those posts you created to a new WordPress site at a new domain, there’s an integration function built right within it. You don’t have to pay anything for it.
You point the new website to the old website as long as you have the credentials, it’ll pull the information and migrate the posts over. That’s pretty easy too. What about Podcasts Websites? At the end of the day, it’s still a WordPress site underneath it all. Can you get access to that and own that and have it be yours? You do own your stuff for sure and you have access to it. The migration functions, because it is fundamentally built on the WordPress platform must be there. I haven’t tried to do that with a Podcast Websites website yet. I’m sure it can be done, but like anything else, it’s going to be bottlenecked and we’d have to request permission and gain access and it certainly would increase the lead time to accomplish it. It probably can be done. Unfortunately, I can’t speak from direct experience on that one.
This is something that I want to make everyone aware of. Let’s say you’re going into podcasting and you’re like, “I just want to spend the least amount of money possible.” In the end, if you’re trading that off for an extensive amount of time or for limited power, limited results that you get from that, I want you to consider that twice. Because the difference in cost is not tremendous between doing it right and the difference in time is not tremendous at all. Sometimes we build websites in a couple of weeks, a whole website. It’s not like there has to be the difference between, “I need a WordPress site. It’s going to take me two months to do it.” It’s more of the information you want to put into it that takes sometimes months for you to get out and generate than it does building it.
Most of the websites that we build on WordPress are built within a week, as long as we have all the data, have all of the copy that you want to put into it and the images and such. It doesn’t take that long. It has so frustrated me when we’ve come across a couple of customers and we have that pay some web development company $2,500 or more to build them a WordPress site and nine months later they still don’t have a website. I’m like, “Why on earth not? Did you not give them what they needed?” “No, we gave them everything.” I don’t understand how that happens as a business, but we’ve seen it happen. There’s no reason for it to happen.
This is why WordPress is the only one on our best list of platforms to build a website on for podcast websites. That is because we have experienced it not only as a very simple three-page, four-page website, a Homepage, About Us, Podcast, Blog, all the way to a website that has 150,000 members with a membership gate. It’s like a membership community website all built on the same WordPress platform. The capabilities to meet the needs of the independent individual who doesn’t need much all the way to a company that needs a majorly powerful website with a lot of unique functionality can all work on WordPress. You can even have a website where part of it is WordPress and part of it is custom coded. Maybe your frontend sales pages are all WordPress and your blog is WordPress. It’s all under the same domain, but you still have custom coded portions of the website in the backend for unique functions. WordPress is versatile in that way so you can make it what you need it to if you have the right resource and are willing to pay them to make whatever you need that’s custom.
That’s why I sit back and say, “The fastest, easiest way to do this is also the most secure, also the most flexible and also has the best opportunity for you to rank on Google is for you to start with a WordPress website.” Then from there, it doesn’t cost you anymore. You can use free themes. Most of the plug-ins we use with the exceptional podcast player is free. Occasionally, there’s a theme that you pay for. That’s the visual aspect. Sometimes, it’s a one-time $60 or a one-time thing, but think of it like having paid a designer to design that, $60 bucks is nothing.
Thinking about going in and doing that and paying in those small ways and then when you’re ready, add these extra capabilities, add these other features and that’s the way that I think you should set out and go look at your podcast development. You want to get in there with a lowest cost, but you also want to get in there with the most flexibility that allows you to last the longest you can without having to invest again until you’re sure you’re at your maximum. I guarantee what’s going to happen is, is you go in there and you do it so cheaply and so everything free. There’s all these interactions, there’s all these hassles that happen from trying to make things work and then what occurs is that you end up stressing yourself out and utilizing all this time trying to fix problems instead of podcasting it and you will give up.
That’s the worst thing. We don’t want to see anybody give up. We don’t want this tech to be holding you back, bottlenecking you, preventing you from achieving your business goals, because at the end of the day, it’s a business tool. Now, that we’ve scared you to death about all the tech side of things, we don’t do a lot of sales calls. It’s not that thing. I want to remind you that you have this opportunity to book an appointment, have your site reviewed, do all of these things and connect with us. You can do that by going to FeedYourBrand.co and clicking inquiry in the menu. You can book an appointment right on my calendar and I’d be happy to talk with you and go over your website. Hopefully, not many of you have these problems and you’ve already got a decent website. It just needs to have a podcast page added and maybe a blog configured and you’d be good to go. Most sites that come to us are in pretty good shape and maybe some people want to make some design changes to them just because they’re ready to do that, but that’s not a big deal either.
We should have a follow-up episode where we go over what our favorite plug-ins are. We could also take a deeper dive into some of these new systems because a lot of people expand their websites with ClickFunnels and Infusionsoft integration and merchant account integration for different things. There are definitely a few deeper dives we can take into pros and cons and options there. We should invite Alexandra into that. She needs to be a part of that one because she knows more of the details than we do. Invite in the expert as always. If you have any questions about any of those things, any suggestions for what you’d like us to cover in the future episode, please reach out to us either as a comment in the blog post at FeedYourBrand.co or reach out to us anywhere in social media @FeedYourBrand. Thanks again for listening. This has been Tracy and Tom on Feed Your Brand.
- Ruby On Rails
- Network Solutions
- Podcast Websites
- Pat Flynn
- Replays – previous episode
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