In hosting a podcast, you have two choices: doing it yourself (self-hosting) or outsourcing it (external hosting).
Let’s try to keep this simple. It boils down to the balance between completely owning your own website or having someone else run it for you.
If you own it, you have much more control and a lot more flexibility in how you run the site. But, you also have to do a bit of work in maintaining the site, keeping it updated and probably spending a chunk of money on setting it up in the first place.
Web Hosting – Between $5 and $10 per month
Media Hosting – Between $15 and $100 per month, depending on options.
Self hosting takes a bit more setup, but it isn’t difficult to do, so don’t be put off. The benefits it offers are worth the effort in many situations. The setup doesn’t require any technical background, just using really simple tools provided by your web host. I have a set of step by step instructions on how to do it in my free Podcasting Websites course, so if this is the option for you, then head over there.
If you have someone else run your site, it means you’re subscribing to a service which provides externally hosted spaces on their own site. This makes things very easy. There are no setup costs, and all maintenance and updates are taken care of for you. You give up a bit of control and flexibility, but in a lot of situations that’s worth the trade.
External Hosting – Between $15 and $100 per month, depending on options.
It’s not as easy to provide a ‘This is the best approach’ with hosting as it depends on a few different things. Instead, in true programming style, I’ll do some If…Then suggesting. Eg, If you’re in this situation, then this will probably suit. Here goes.
If you already have a website, then the best option is nomally to add the podcast to that site. This keeps listeners on your own space and keeps everything on-brand. It’s very easy to do this if your current site is running on WordPress, and, if not, you can usually set up a WordPress sub-site specifically for the podcast.
If you’re starting anew, but the podcast is for a business, then you’ll want branding and control. That means having your own domain name and full control over the site. With that control you could set up a shop, run a mailing list or use other methods of monetisation. So, the solution here is self-hosted, and investing some time in setting up a professional podcasting website from the start. Remember, my podcasting websites course takes you through the whole process of setting one up.
If you’re a hobby podcaster with a passion, then you most likely want to keep things simple and easy, and not worry too much about control and flexibility. You just want to talk, and grow your audience. That means using external hosting and letting someone else take care of the details.