If 2017 was the year of the podcast, then 2018 is the year of the podcast website–here’s a collection of WordPress themes to build your perfect podcast site.
The Unstoppable Rise of the Podcast
The NPR Podcast sketch from comedy show Portlandia has all the hallmarks of peak podcasting: soft-spoken hosts, quirky background music, a Blue Apron sponsor slot. But what does it really take to create a hit podcast?
Podcast advertising has turned out to be a lucrative business, with U.S. advertising spend set to reach an eye-watering $659 million in 2020. If there’s a “podcasting bubble”, it’s not going to burst anytime soon. With so many new podcasts out there, you need more than a microphone and an RSS feed to launch your show into audio fame. Most importantly, you need a home base for your listeners to find your content: you need a website.
Making a website can seem like a daunting task, especially when you’re focusing your skills on audio production. By building your site on WordPress, you’ll have a super-customizable website that has the functionality to embed audio and create playlists, putting the listening experience first. Plus, you’ll have the flexibility to grow your website with your show by launching an online store, selling tickets for live events, featuring videos, collecting emails for your newsletter, and more.
Here’s an updated list of top-selling WordPress themes we’ve picked for podcast and audio WordPress sites.
WordPress Themes Designed for Podcasts
This WordPress podcast theme is specifically designed with podcasters in mind, so it’s simple and audio-focused. The most recent episode can be featured at the top of the home page, with an embedded media player at the very top, so your listeners can listen and subscribe as soon as they land on the home page.
The podcast episodes are organized as their own category, making it easy to create an episode archive. It’s all based on blog post format, so you can add show notes, videos, quotes, or other media. There are several color scheme options, but I’m partial to the yellow version, which reminds me of the (very well-designed) website for Radiotopia’s popular design podcast, 99% Invisible.
Castilo is one to keep an eye on; a relative newcomer at the time of writing, it’s already racked up a solid number of sales and a perfect 5 star rating. Castilo offers all that you’d need from a WordPress podcast theme–stylish presentation, integration with popular audio platforms, social channels for listeners to follow, and as an admin it offers very thorough statistics about total listens, listeners and listening sources. Keep track of how many listeners use the site’s audio player, iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, direct downloads and other sources.
This WordPress podcast theme has the best of both worlds: an eye-catching design, but not so many features that it’s overwhelming. With a list-style format, it’s a simple presentation of the most recent episodes, all playable from the homepage. There are audio embed options for SoundCloud, MixCloud, Libsyn, Podbean, Spreaker, and external audio files. This WordPress podcast theme also has a gallery for a team of four, a map of listeners, and a newsletter sign-up box.
It’s built with Elementor page builder, one of the fastest and easiest to use page builders. As with every WordPress theme on this list, it’s a responsive design, meaning your site will look just as good on an iPhone as on a desktop.
Sonus pitches itself as more than just a WordPress theme; it’s a podcast publishing platform. Upload your audio, create a post, organize with seasons and episodes, then publish! Make use of the sticky (and customizable) audio player at the foot of each page. Or publish using one of the supported plugins instead (PowerPress Podcasting plugin, Seriously Simple Podcasting, Podlove Podcast Publisher, and others).
The second WordPress podcast theme from designer ProgressionStudios on our list, the Viseo theme integrates news, comments, and video. It comes with a premium plugin called Boosted Elements, which enables functions like sliders, pop-ups, and maps.
This WordPress theme is SEO-optimized and translation-ready. I like the trendy, Spotify-style gradients in the demo version, but if you don’t, it’s fully customizable.
If you already have an RSS feed or hosting on a podcasting service, this theme will be easy to launch–there’s a built-in migration tool that transfers the feed to the website. It’s mobile-ready, works with WooCommerce, and is super-fast (with load times faster than 95% of all tested websites).
The coolest feature of WordPress theme Audioatro is the audio visualizer, which adds a visual component to playback–check out the demo of this here. It’s a unique way to make audio more visual.
This theme also has video pages, Mailchimp integration, social sharing buttons, and is mobile-friendly.
8. Remix Music
One of the flashiest website themes on our list, Remix is a vibrant, fun template. It’s geared towards music websites, which means it has audio embed capabilities. The artwork makes this theme stand out, so if you have art or graphics to showcase alongside your podcast, this theme would work well.
This theme supports playlists and podcast archives, and it’s made to work with oEmbed. With events, contact forms, video, and social media integration, this WordPress theme has all the features you might need for your podcast website.
Do you have a live show or a radio station? This theme will let you create a website for your radio station, integrating with all major providers (like ShoutCAST, IceCAST, Radio.co, and Airtime). There’s a nonstop music player, a schedule, sponsors, and more; plus space for blogging and stories.
As one user says, “our station has thousands of visitors and this theme is perfect for the performance and usability”. Tried and tested!
National Public Radio (NPR) is one of the biggest names in podcasts. They organize their podcasts with a directory page, which keeps their programs organized and easy to find–which is useful, with nearly 50 podcasts in their directory!
If you have more than one podcast, or just a lot of content to organize, take a page from NPR’s book and build your site with a directory theme. MyListing is a particularly well-designed theme, with card set-up, advanced filtering, events, and more.
Using Multipurpose Themes as Podcast Website Themes
Time to think outside the box–a WordPress theme doesn’t have to have the word “podcast” in the title to be a good fit for your show! Most feature-rich website templates come with audio embed capabilities, so even if it’s not specifically marked as a “podcaster” theme, you’ll be able to play your show on your site.
In fact, with so many podcast creators doing more than just podcasts–like Gimlet Media’s launch of a film and TV division–it might be a good idea to plan for the potential growth of your (multi)media empire. Here are some WordPress themes that aren’t designed specifically for podcasts, but that would be great for a podcast website.
MagPlus is a super-popular theme with an incredibly robust feature list. It’s made with Visual Composer and has 40+ templates–like getting forty themes for the price of one. With 150+ elements like sliders, galleries, and different article layouts, you can create nearly any website you can imagine.
If you need some direction, check out their Podcast Pro demo (pictured below).
One of my favorite podcasts is The Memory Palace. It’s a show that’s hyper-focused on quality writing, and the website reflects that. There’s no fancy sliders, flashy images, or other distracting content.
If you have a podcast that’s focused on the writing or show notes, consider using a stripped-down WordPress theme, like Writing. Although text is the focus here, you can still embed audio into each post.
Some companies, like Duolingo, have opted to use Medium as a publishing hub for their podcast-related content. This is an easy option, but one without much room for growth or embellishment.
If you like the look of Medium publications but don’t like the restrictiveness of Medium’s content management system, check out a WordPress theme like Tabor. It’s SEO optimized, has Mailchimp integration, and looks professional.
A fresh, clean theme with a pastel color palette. There are fifteen demos, including a “coming soon” template that would work well for a to-be-launched show.
Business and entrepreneurship podcasts are some of the most popular podcast categories. If your business falls into this category, you need a modern, tech-focused look for your site.
Startit is built with the startup work in mind. It’s SEO-friendly, has MailChimp integration, and fresh animations, earning it the title of the “best-selling tech theme on Themeforest”.
Available on Envato Elements
If you can’t decide on one WordPress theme, or want the flexibility to switch, a subscription to Envato Elements will give you access to the entire library of WordPress themes, plus all of the digital assets to build your website, like stock photos, icons, background images, and more.
Here are five WordPress themes for podcasts that are available on Envato Elements:
Durja is a fully responsive blog theme that supports posts in text, image, audio, or video from. The background color is customizable, and it offers Google Ad support. The navigation and layout options are easy to change and make your own.
Another simple-is-better pick, with a clean background and content-first layout. It’s WooCommerce compatible and has different layout options. A portfolio gallery with lightbox audio formats means you can highlight your best episodes or create a gallery of your best audio work.
To paraphrase the creators of this theme, “you’re a podcaster, not a web designer!” Chroma was created for musicians, which means it has all the capabilities for embedding audio into your site. There’s a one-click demo installer, premium plugins, and a continuous audio player.
These days, more podcasts are creating live shows and tapings, like in WNYC’s Greene Space or Crooked Media’s Pod Tours America. If you’re getting ready to bring your show on the road, Chroma’s event and gigs manager will come in handy.
For a podcast, the “corporate page” layout (pictured below) would be a great starter template.
One of the most popular WordPress themes on Envato Elements, Videoly is, as the name suggests, a video-first WordPress theme.
Some say video is the future of media, and many podcasts have video features or special video episodes. If your podcast is a video podcast, or you have a YouTube channel to complement your podcast feed, launch your site with a WordPress template that’s designed to work with video. Don’t worry, it’s not just video - the post layouts are particularly well-designed, too.
Browse more podcaster-ready WordPress themes on Themeforest.