HOW TO BUILD A PODCAST WEBSITE WITH WORDPRESS
Hey, I'm Colin Gray, founder of The Podcast Host & 10-year podcast host and teacher.
In this guide, I'll show you how to create a podcast website, as a home for your Podcast, your Blog & your Brand.
What's the Aim of the Guide?
This guide is primed to help you with one thing: creating a home for your content on the web.
We'll cover setting up a podcast website to start with, and it'll work for your podcast, your blog, your videos and your brand. Then, we'll go into detail about turning it into a podcast delivery machine, encouraging subscriptions, conversions and engagement.
Who is This For?
- You're a Podcasting beginner looking to publish your podcast
- You're an Existing Podcaster who wants to move to a self-hosted website for more control
- You're already self-hosting with WordPress, but want to really enhance your site
- You just want to set up a website for any purpose!
What We'll Cover
- Choosing and signing up for Web Hosting
- How to get a domain
- WordPress installation
- Choosing & setting up a theme for your WordPress site
- How to create your first content
- Setting up your site for Podcasting
The course comes in 3 parts.
About Our Links
I'll be talking about a lot of different resources in this course, from hosting providers to WordPress plugins. I'll be using Affiliate links for nearly all of these, which means that, if you buy, we get a small commission on the purchase. It wont cost you any extra though, and I only recommend products that we've used and love. If you use the links, it helps support this free content we put out there to help you and others. We appreciate it!
1: HOW TO SET UP YOUR WEBSITE HOSTING
What is Web Hosting?
Web hosting is nothing more, really, than a place on the web to store your own website.
Your "Web Host" stores the files that make up your site and makes them available to anyone who wants to find you. When a visitor types in your web address, your Host sends those files to the viewer's browser, and they can have a look at what you've got to offer.
Let's have a look at how we set up hosting in the video below. My preffered web hosting provider is Bluehost.
To me, they offer a great mix of value and reliability, and they're super easy to use. They help you set up a WordPress website during signup which makes things really simple.
To sign up for your hosting you can find them here: Bluehost Hosting
How to Set Up Your Hosting Account with Bluehost
The video above shows how to buy hosting AND a domain name, assuming you need both. But, it also points out where you would put an existing domain name, if you have one.
- Time to Achieve! -
Today the aim is to set up hosting and a domain name. If you have both already, that's great - jump to the next unit.
- Go to bluehost here, and sign up for hosting. You can use the video earlier in this lesson to help.
- If you already have a domain name, enter it into the bluehost shopping cart. Otherwise, choose a new domain and buy it during the hosting purchase process.
- That's it, you now have a working home for your podcasting website!
Do You Need to Know More About Domains?
Normally you’ll just buy a domain along with your web hosting, as I showed above. But sometimes you’ll already own a domain, or want to buy one elsewhere. If you want to know more about this have a look at our tutorial on web domains.
2: INSTALLING YOUR WEBSITE
In this topic it's the big step: installing your website!
Have no fear, this is really easy thanks to the tools that Bluehost offers. In fact, you'll set up your WordPress website right away, during the singnup process. Let's take a look!
Setting up WordPress During Bluehost Signup
This video shows you how to set up WordPress during the Bluehost signup process. This means you'll be ready to go, right away.
What is WordPress?
WordPress started out as a simple blogging tool – it allowed anyone to run their own blog with no technical knowledge. Nowadays WordPress is much more than blogging, but it has retained it’s simple roots and aims to allow anyone to run an entire website.
The main thing to know is that WordPress is an ideal platform for running a Podcasting website, and you’ll find that the vast majority of self-hosted Podcasts run on WordPress.
WordPress is Open Source, which means that it’s free to use, open to customisation and brings with it a huge community of users who develop new tools and support each other. You’ll start with a simple site now, but WordPress will grow with you, adding plugins, tools and themes, to create the perfect site for your small business
- Time to Achieve! -
Today our task is to end up with a working website. Follow on from the signup process and use the video above to help you to:
- Give your website and a sub-title
- Choose either a static front page, or a list of recent episodes
- Create your Contact page using the Bluehost setup template
- Choose whether to install Woocommerce or not
- Done! You now having a basic working website.
Your site isn't quite ready to podcast yet - we need a podcast plugin first. But, we'll come to that in the next section.
3: CREATING CONTENT IN WORDPRESS
Creating Your First Content
WordPress is the content management system (CMS) that we're using to manage your website. It's the most widely used CMS in the world, thanks to it's amazing combination of simplicity and power.
It can start off very simple, but grow into a fully functioning professional website. In this lesson, we're going to learn how to use it.
To start us off in setting up your Podcasting website, we'll create a few bits of content. This will introduce people to your Podcast and help you to create more elements of the site in future.
Introduction to WordPress
The videos on the following pages will show you how to login, how to use the dashboard and how to start creating content in the form of Posts and Pages.
Before we get started, though, I want to quickly talk about the capabilities of WordPress. The system starts very simple, and a lot of it's appeal is in it's ease of use. But, WordPress has the power to create fully featured, dynamic, professional websites. In fact, it's used by some of the biggest brands out there, such as Time Magazine and The NHS, or by TV programmes like The Million Pound Drop, or even by whole countries! Check out Sweden's WordPress site.
My point is, start out simple with WordPress, but don't think you're wasting your time, only to have to upgrade later. WordPress is the choice of countries and big corporations - it's a legitimate business platform for any context.
Working with WordPress
As well as being the web host I normally work with, Bluehost also provide some great WordPress tutorials.
I'm afraid the cheese-level on these videos is off the scale, so forgive the presenter. The content is great though. They cover every aspect of working with your WordPress website.
You can find all of the videos here: Working with WordPress by Bluehost.
And here's a taster -
WordPress Login and Admin Area
Today we're going to create three pieces of content, a page and a post. These are the basic elements of content within WordPress.
Time to get your Podcast website working!
- Create a new Page for your website, and name it About the Show. Write a few paragraphs in there that describe your Podcast and what you stand for.
- Create a new Post and write up a short news story promoting the launch of your Podcast website. If the show isn't released yet, build some hype, and if it is, talk about your future plans for the show.
- Create another new page, and name it: "Contact Us". Include on this page all of the different ways people can get in touch, such as an email address, twitter, facebook and any other platform you often use. (we'll include more fancy contact tools on here later)
4: SETTING UP WEBSITE NAVIGATION
Creating a Custom Menu in WordPress
One of the most important elements of any website is navigation. After all, there’s no point in swimming in amazing content if no-one can find their way to the material.
WordPress lets you set up a custom menu, showing links to pages, posts and categories. It also allows you to input links to external websites just by entering the web address.
How to Edit Your Website Navigation
WordPress allows you very tight control over your navigation, which is very handy. This control depends a little on the Theme you’re using. Some themes include one menu, and others include many more.
The Reponsive theme includes space for 4 menus, which is one of the great things about it. You can have a Top Menu, a Header Menu, a Sub-Header Menu and a footer menu.
This video shows you how to set up and edit each of these menus, and applies to any theme you’re using. Remember, if you’re not using Responsive, then the Menu Locations will be different and there might be fewer of them, but you’ll still have at least 1.
Your task for this unit is simply to set up your first menu. For a basic podcasting website, I would recommend a minimum of 3 navigation links. That would be "Home", "About the Show" and "Contact Us". You'll add more options later, such as links to particular categories or topics within your show, but that will do as a starter.
- Create a link to Home - this is simply a link to your front page.
- Create a link to your About Page - you'll find that within the pages section.
- Create a link to your Contact Page - again, found in the pages section.
- Save the Menu, and then add it to the Main Menu location for the theme.
5: HOW TO INSTALL A PLUGIN
Installing a Plugin in WordPress
Plugins can turn a basic WordPress website into a really powerful online tool for your podcast, or even your business. Here's how to install a plugin, using the Black Studio's MCE tool as an example.
Today we’re going to make our website our own. This means adding your branding. Here are the steps:
- Add your logo to whatever theme you’re using. In Responsive this is done by editing the Header. In other themes they may have a Logo option in the Theme options.
- Change your background color or image to suit your branding. If you think the grey background suits it well already, then stick with that.
- Add the Tiny MCE Widget plugin as shown in the plugins video, and then add 1 or 2 more plugins to suit your aims. Examples are shown on the plugins page of this resource.
The next section covers: Design, Themes & Customisation.
Now that we’ve got our website set up and have the basic tools in place, how do we really make it our own?
How do we make it look good, and reflect our brand?
That comes down to choosing the right theme for you, and customising it with your own logo, your colours and some great images. It also comes down to finding the right plugins and widgets to showcase the people behind the website – you! – including things like social media, email newsletters and more.
Move on to Part 2: Themes, Design & Customisation to continue creating your own great podcast website!