I recommend using WordPress for your website, whether you’re a podcaster, blogger, or anyone else looking to consistently reach an audience.
See our recommended WordPress hosting companies – along with special offers just for our readers!
WordPress is great in its stock form, but there are many plugins that add functionality or extend existing functionality.
I’ve tried hundreds of different WordPress plugins in many different categories, and this list is a personal recommendation based on what works best, which ones are well supported, and which plugins get your site running fast.
If you are looking for a WordPress podcast plugin to create an RSS feed or find an embeddable player, just go to the Podcaster Plugins section.
These WordPress podcasting plugins will help you set up your podcast on your WordPress site.
Seriously basic podcasting
The Seriously Simple Podcasting (SSP for short) plugin makes it really easy to set up and manage your podcast from your WordPress blog dashboard.
You can manage multiple shows, view stats, configure add-ons for featured guests, logs, and more.
They are owned by Castos podcast hosting so they are easiest to use if you host with them, but you are not obligated to do so.
The plugin itself is free – you only have to pay for the podcast hosting. It has over 550,000 downloads and over 180 5-star reviews as of January 2020.
PowerPress is a great way to set up your RSS feed for your podcast if you plan to have your feed built on your WordPress site. It was created by Blubrry and if you use their hosting you can use their responsive player on your episode pages.
It has over 1 million downloads and is a nice solution for managing everything from your WordPress dashboard so you don’t have to log into multiple platforms to create your podcast.
You can also get a podcast feed from any podcast hosting company.
Fusebox Podcast Player
Do you want one of the most beautiful players in the world? Check out Fusebox (formerly Smart Podcast Player).
It has a playlist player, a single episode player, and a sticky player that appears on every page of your website.
You can choose which and where to display them.
Fusebox also has options for collecting email addresses, clickable timestamps, and more.
Also, they have great support and the documentation should need any help.
List structure & contact forms
Building an email, a list, and engaging with your podcast listeners is one of the best ways to grow your show.
I’m a big fan of these plugins for podcasters and bloggers.
I’ve bought or tested at least 4 other email opt-in software and plugins and OptinMonster has completely smashed them. It’s not the cheapest but I guess you get what you pay for! You’ll need the Pro version to get exit intent and mobile-specific popups, but these are crucial features, so just go with it.
This is where you get OptinMonster.
ConvertKit is an excellent email service provider that focuses on bloggers and later on podcasters. They have a WordPress plugin that allows you to customize the forms displayed on your website.
WPForms is a drag-and-drop form builder that you can use for contact forms, email capture, payment, and anything else you need a form for. It’s also from the same team as OptinMonster!
OneSignal is a push notification company that is 100% free. Sign up and grab your WordPress plugin to get everything set up.
I use SendGrid to email myself when people fill out the contact form. With some web hosts and contact forms, you may encounter problems where messages are not delivered. SendGrid fixes this.
Analytics, SEO, Links and Ads
You need to set up Google Analytics for your website. It’s super easy with MonsterInsights. Even if you already know how to install your analytics tracking code, MonsterInsights makes it really easy to enable advanced features like ecommerce tracking, AMP, click tracking, Google Optimize and more.
Lasso is a brand new WordPress plugin that will take your link management to the next level.
From a single dashboard, you can easily update links across your entire site, see where you’re missing monetization opportunities, add great-looking ad boxes, and more.
I just replaced Pretty Links (below) with this one and it’s totally worth the $19/month (you can save 2 months if you also prepay the year).
Get the lasso
Pretty Links lets you create short links so you can just mention an easy-to-remember URL on your podcast that redirects to the actual page you want to send it to. It could be an opt-in page, an affiliate link, or just a number to send to your show notes page. I use this everywhere.
Rankmath is the best SEO plugin for WordPress. Just use it.
Ad Inserter is a really powerful plugin that allows you to add (ad) code that can be inserted manually or automatically on your website. There are a variety of options that allow you to paste code into specific paragraphs, into widgets, and more, depending on your device. Really useful even if you don’t want to use it for advertising.
Social Warfare allows you to add social sharing buttons to your WordPress site. Sure there are other plugins that can do this, but Social Warfare has advanced Pinterest sharing functionality, keeps your site up and running really fast, and is quick to set up. I used to use other tools for this, but this is so much better.
Backup and security plugins
I used to use both of these plugins, but since I switched to Kinsta hosting, they handle backups automatically and have a much more secure platform.
Securing your website is crucial. Many web hosts create a backup of your site, but it may require contacting support or any number of other hoops to retrieve it. I recommend you to play it safe and make your own backups as well.
BackWPup is really easy to use and you can set a regular schedule so you don’t have to think about it. I send weekly backups to Dropbox and my website’s server.
Keep hackers and spammers out with WordFence. It’s kinda scary to see how many times people try to log in to your site after installation, but you’ll be glad you did!
Website Speed Plugins
A fast web host specializing in WordPress (like Kinsta) is the most important factor, but these plugins will help reduce load times even further.
ShortPixel compresses your images so they are much smaller. This makes them so much faster to download. Images usually make up the majority of your website, so this has a big impact on load times. It even reduces the size of PDFs. Try it for free, subscribe, or get 30K images for $20 like I did.
WP Super Cache
Caching reduces the load on your server by showing visitors cached files. Also, everything loads very quickly because there are no queries to send to your database.
Confused? Just get WP Super Cache and enjoy! By the people who also make WordPress.
Disqus Conditional Strain
Disqus is one of, if not the most popular third-party commenting plugin for WordPress. DCL replaces the official plugin and makes the comments section load as soon as people scroll down, saving additional loading time. It also supports shortcode so you can type comments anywhere you like.
Site Builder Plugins
Divi Builder is a WordPress plugin that offers you a ton of functionality when it comes to editing your pages and posts. It’s part of the Elegant Themes package, which also includes WordPress themes and some other great plugins.
Check out the demo to see if it’s right for you.
Beaver Builder is another great plugin and framework that you can use to build your own website the way you want.