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Podpage has some features that podcasters will really appreciate, including lots of cool automation. But the awkward editing process really brings down the experience – as well as the appearance of your site.
Podpage is a relatively new website builder designed to help people promote their podcasts. Its big claim is that it will help you build a podcast website in just five minutes. So: is it true?
Well, sort of. If you have an already-established podcast, Podpage’s automation features will save you a lot of trouble when it comes to adding new episodes. But when it comes to templates and customization, you may run into some trouble getting your site to look just right.
Podpage’s free and paid plans are available worldwide, but some features (like its automatically-imported reviews) are only available in the US right now. And it only supports English, too.
Podpage only offers around a dozen templates, which might not seem like a lot at first. But because all the templates are (obviously) designed for podcasts, you actually have just as many (or more) niche-specific options as you’d find on any other website builder.
The main draw is that all the templates connect directly with your RSS feed. So when you’re setting up your site, Podpage pulls in your podcast content and displays it in each of its templates – which makes choosing between them a lot of fun!The outcome varies from podcast to podcast, but there’s a reasonable chance that you’ll find a template that’s almost ready to publish.
Another cool feature is that all Podpage’s templates come mobile-ready,so you don’t have to fiddle around with a separate mobile editor. And they’re all built with accessibility in mind, so visitors with disabilities (visual impairments, for example) will have no trouble finding your content.
One big downside to all these automations is that your layout options are pretty limited. On top of that, some customization options – like CSS editing and custom footers – are only available with the Pro plan.
In terms of features, the templates are all pretty similar. They’re based around Podpage’s core functionality of promoting podcasts, so the homepage always features a header, links to individual episode pages, and a navigation bar, for instance.
Sometimes this can be nice: for example,if you have the Pro plan, your homepage will automatically include reviews imported from Apple Podcasts and a section for hooking new listeners.
Design-wise, the templates don’t vary much. The favored look seems to be a simple, clean layout. But hey – at least you won’t have to wrestle with your template to make it work for your podcast, the way you might if you use a more generic template on an all-purpose builder.
I have to admit, Podpage does a great job of identifying and addressing podcasters’ pain points when it comes to website building. Here’s some of the unique features that I think could really reduce your workload and help you engage listeners.
No matter which plan you’re on, your Podpage website will automatically update every time you post a new podcast to your RSS feed: it’ll create a new episode page with a link from your homepage. Whether podcasting is your main money-maker or your side hustle, this feature will save you a lot of time.
Listeners who like to talk as much as your podcast host can leave you voicemails on your website. You can also download the voicemail audio if you want to add it to an upcoming podcast. This comes in handy if you like to feature listeners’ questions or comments on your show. With the free plan you can receive 20 voicemails per month, while the Pro plan gives you unlimited voicemails.
Let me make one thing clear: Podpage doesn’t have a whole lot of integrations. Although it does have some good ones for tracking traffic to your site, letting listeners leave comments, and emailing your subscribers.
And when it comes to taking people’s money, Podpage has you covered. It’s got eight different integrations for accepting donations through your website, including PayPal, Patreon, Glow, Buy Me a Coffee, and GoFundMe. (You can also use Patreon to set up a membership program.)
And if you sell merchandise on the likes of Amazon or Etsy, Podpage has some storefront integrations that can help you promote sales and generate income. These are only available to Pro plan subscribers, though.
It’s Strong on SEO
What Podpage lacks in template flexibility, it makes up for in SEO tools. I’ve already mentioned that Podpage sites are automatically mobile-ready and accessible for visitors with disabilities. But they also come with readable URLs, another feature that’s great for SEO – and your visitors.
Podpage also puts a big emphasis on structured data, schema, and meta tags. Don’t worry, this doesn’t require lots of web savvy or even much effort on your part! Your dashboard will list some simple steps you can take to improve this aspect of your SEO, and you can decide how much you want to do from there.
According to Podpage, most of its websites have a Google SEO score of 100. That sounded awfully high. So, to test this claim, I ran websites from its customer page through Google Developers’ site tester.
All six sites scored between 91 and 99 on SEO –and they scored pretty well on accessibility, too. Not perfect, but still pretty impressive, especially considering that SEO is the tool you need for your podcast to get found on Google.
It’s also worth noting that if you use Apple Podcasts, the Pro plan has a couple of special features you can take advantage of. For example, you can add a native display banner at the top of your page so iOS users can launch your Apple podcast directly from your site. You can automatically import listener reviews from Apple, too.
I’ve already talked about how Podpage automatically pulls content from your podcast feed through to your template. All you have to do is enter a link to your podcast and you’ll have a great starting point for your website. However, it gets harder from there.
A Clunky Editor
Using Podpage’s editor doesn’t require any technical knowledge and it’s not that hard to learn – but it’s a little awkward!
From the dashboard, you have to click into the page and section you want to edit. Then you have to preview your changes in a new tab. And you need to refresh this tab every time you make an edit.
It makes the design process time-consuming, and it means that edits can go wrong, too. So if you know you’ll have to make lots of changes to your template, you might be better off checking out another website builder with a more intuitive editor.
I already talked about how Podpage populates your template with your linked podcast, imports listener reviews, and creates episode pages automatically. But Podpage also has some other handy automations up its sleeve.
For example, when you create your first blog post, Podpage will automatically create a main blog page, with a button in your site’s navigation menu. Similarly, if you create a donation page, Podpage will automatically add donation buttons throughout your website.
Podpage also pulls other stuff through from your RSS feed, like podcast categories, subscribe buttons, and podcast links.
As a new website builder, Podpage’s support system is pretty sparse. There’s no FAQ or forums, although there are some useful blog posts on different Podpage features and a Facebook group.
There’s not many ways to contact the support team either. A live chat box appears throughout its site, but there’s no contact page, phone number, or dedicated support email available. However, I did manage to spot an all-purpose ‘info’ email address in the footer.
So, to test the quality of Podpage’s support, I sent a couple of questions through those two channels.
The live chat showed that nobody was online. But as it didn’t mention any hours of operation, I went ahead and submitted a question. In just under 90 minutes, I got a response.
To be honest, the response wasn’t particularly enlightening – or enthusiastic. A few hours later, I sent an email about e-commerce features to see if that channel worked better.
This time, I got a reply in less than 10 minutes. Turns out the reason Podpage doesn’t mention e-commerce on its site because its Storefront feature is still in beta mode.
But once again, the response was super short – in fact, it seemed like it was just dashed off as quickly as possible. I had to send a follow up question to ask which plan supports its storefront feature.
While I appreciated the (relatively) speedy answers, Podpage’s service reps definitely could have been more helpful.
Podpage Offers a Decent Free Plan
Podpage has five pricing plans, and they all offer pretty good value for money.
You can use the free plan for as long as you like. And it gives you access to much of Podpage’s core functionality – including automatic updates, voicemails, social media buttons, and links to all the places your podcast is hosted.
However, this plan severely limits your site structure: you can only have a homepage, an about page, and episode pages. Your site will also be hosted under the Podpage.com domain and feature a Podpage badge.
If you want a website that features your own branding, you can remove the badge and connect your own custom domain for just a few bucks per month with the Basic plan. This won’t give you access to any extra features, though, and you can only pay annually (not monthly).
If you want to add a blog, include reviews, accept donations, or create a contact page (or any other custom pages, for that matter), you’ll need to sign up for the Pro plan. This plan also allows you to add videos, transcripts, and search functionality to your episode pages.
You can sign up monthly for the Pro plan if you want, although you’ll save 20% by paying annually. The signup process is straightforward, too, although you can only pay with Mastercard, Visa, or American Express.
Note: Podpage gives you a taste of the Pro life by giving you access to all these features during your first week as a free user. It’s definitely fun to test them out – but just make sure you know what’s included in the free plan. Otherwise, you might invest time in setting up Pro plan pages just to lose access to them after your first week.
Finally, if you need to run a whole podcast network, Podpage has a plan for that, too. You’ll get all the same features as the Pro plan, but you’ll be able to host dozens of different podcasts in one place.
Pricing depends on how many podcasts you’re hosting. Right now, there’s a set plan for hosting up to 25, and Podpage will be launching another plan for larger networks soon.
Cancellations & Refunds
Canceling your plan is fairly easy to do, which actually surprised me since Podpage’s policy is kind of vague. When I clicked Cancel from within the dashboard, I was directed to send an email.
Once again, I got a quick response and I received a full refund.
Podpage is a solid option for podcasters who don’t want to spend a lot of time building or maintaining a website. If you can get your content to pull through correctly, it’s quite convenient. I love the fun voicemail feature, too.
However, Podpage also has a lot of issues which I found annoying. It’s editor is painful to use and doesn’t offer much room for customization. And if you’re not on the Pro plan, you’re pretty limited in the types of pages you can create.
There’s also a serious shortage of marketing tools – and there’s no way to set up your own e-commerce store if you ever want to sell merch on your site. So an all-purpose website builder like Wix might be a better choice if you want to turn your podcast into a serious money maker – especially if customizing your Podpage template doesn’t go to plan.
Is Podpage expensive?Podpage offers a free plan, as well as a Basic plan that costs just a few bucks. However, if you want to add a contact page or a blog for your site, you’ll definitely need its pricier Pro plan. This plan could be good value for money if it has everything you need and you can get your design adjustments to work correctly. (You can also check our latest website builder coupons for available discounts.)Which is better, Wix or Podpage?Wix sits at the top of our list of the best website builders in 2021, so there’s no doubt that it beats out Podpage. It offers tons of features, apps, templates, and a much more intuitive editor. It’s a great platform for all kinds of users, including podcasters. Its free podcast player app allows you to add your podcast to any template. Wix also has more handy tools for driving listener engagement – plus, there’s a free plan. For more information, check out our expert Wix review. Should I make a website for my podcast?Definitely! Websites are a great way to promote your podcast and stay in touch with your subscribers.
You can use contact forms to stay in touch with listeners and grow your email lists. You can use your blog to publish additional content in between episodes. Your website will appear in search results too, which can help more people discover your podcast.