Do you need a podcast host?


Discover all the tools and tech you need to get your podcast started. Plus get access to my weekly podcasting tips delivered straight to your inbox!


Can you house your show on your website or do you need a podcast host?

The quick answer to “Do you need a podcast host?” is YES!

Unless you know how to whittle your own RSS feed (which most of us don’t), you’re going to need a podcast host to make sure every episode of your show gets from your computer into people’s ears.

What is a podcast host?

A podcast host is the middleman between you and your listeners.

It’s the place where you’ll store all your podcast episodes and when you upload your first MP3 it’ll generate an ‘RSS feed.’

You can find this in the back end of your podcast host and it’s the thing you submit to podcast directories so they know your show exists and can display your episodes in people’s podcast app.

Your host is also the place you’ll see all of your show analytics.

Podcast stats don’t paint a perfect picture but they do give you important information that will help you make decisions about your content.

Podcast stats explainer


How does your podcast get into the podcast apps?

There are three things you need for a podcast to make its way to your audience…

  1. An MP3 file – this is the format you’ll save each episode in so you can upload it to…
  2. A podcast host – the website where you upload audio of all your episodes as well as your show description, artwork and any other information that’s displayed in podcast apps
  3. RSS Feed – this is what you submit to podcast apps (Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify) so each new episode of your podcast is delivered straight to your subscriber’s / follower’s app as soon as it’s released

What is a podcast RSS feed?


What podcast apps should you submit your show to?

Ideally, you want to be in all of them but at a minimum, you want to make sure your podcast is in the major apps and can be listened to on iPhone and Android phones.

That means it should be in these ones…

Apple Podcasts

Google Podcasts


Then as many others as you can be bothered submitting to (you’ll find a very comprehensive list of podcast apps here, thanks to the good people at Podnews).

There are some apps that pull podcasts from directories like Apple Podcasts so your show might appear in some places you didn’t submit to but it’s always good to check it’s in as many apps as possible.

How to submit your podcast to Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify


A note on free podcast hosts

When you’re starting out and you don’t want to spend a lot of money I understand why a free podcast host might sound appealing.

While your choice of host is ultimately up to you, one of the things I’d say about free podcast hosts is to make sure you read the Ts & Cs thoroughly because if you’re not paying with cash you want to make sure you’re not paying with something else i.e. your intellectual property.

There have been problems with free podcast hosts in the past refusing to let users move old episodes of their show to another host or making changes to show notes without their approval.

Wherever you house your podcast you need to have complete control over the content because it’s your IP and no one should be able to mess with that.

So make sure you know what you’re getting into before you start uploading your audio.

Got a burning podcasting question you’d like answered? Send me an email.

Want to start your own podcast but need a little help?  Download my “How To Start A Podcast” guide or sign up for my online podcasting course, PodSchool.

  1. Michelle Johns says:

    Hi Rach
    I followed you and use Whooshkaa, but they’ve been taken over by Spotify. Wondering what you’re moving to, and is the transfer an easy process.

    1. rcorbett says:

      Hey Michelle, I’d suggest looking at Omny or Libsyn to see which of those is right for you. Any new platform will have instructions on how to transfer your show over and the process should be relatively simple. The thing to watch out for is if you’ve got any embed codes in articles on your website as the codes will be wrong so you’ll need to replace those. Whooshkaa has sent an email to all users allowing them to transfer over to Megaphone and the process is very simple but I’ve not used Megaphone before so I can’t tell you what it’s like as a platform. However, Whooshkaa has worked to make sure all embedded players auto redirect to the new ones so that means if you transfer from Whooshkaa to Megaphone you don’t have to replace embedded players. That was important for me because my podcast episodes are all embedded in articles on my website so that would have been a massive job to replace them all. Also remember that when you move somewhere new your stats don’t come with you so you want to download a csv file of your podcast statistics so you can keep track of what your lifetime downloads have been. Hope that helps! Rach.

  2. Kate says:

    Hi Rachel~
    I’ve seen some links on google search with the idea that podcasters can use their Google drive for storing their audio files with an rss.
    Also, my website is being launched via Squarespace which offers a website with podcast hosting.

    Wondering what your thoughts are on these???

    1. rcorbett says:

      Hey Kate, I always recommend using a podcast-specific host because these platforms are designed exclusively to host podcasts. They’re also more likely to be IAB certified which is important if you want to make sure your stats are measured accurately according to industry standards and comparable with other podcasts in the market. I can understand why different companies are looking to step into podcasting because everyone wants to start a podcast so it’s an additional feature to attract people to their platform but I would always advise going with howt that’s specifically made for podcasting. Hope that helps. Thanks, Rach

  3. Marta Gonzalez says:

    Have you heard about Buzzsprout? What do you think about them?

    1. rcorbett says:

      Hey Marta, I’ve not used them personally but haven’t heard anything negative so if you like their features and it seems like the right platform for you, go for it!

  4. Small says:

    Hi! Can you host your own podcast and distribute.

    1. rcorbett says:

      Hey there, As I mentioned in the article you don’t want to house your MP3s on your website so I’d advise going with a trusted podcast host. Rach

  5. umnia says:

    Hi! What do you think of do it all apps like Anchor?

    1. rcorbett says:

      Hey Umnia, Anchor has had a few too many hiccups for me so at this stage I don’t recommend it as a host but if it’s right for you, great. You should always choose the host you feel has the best features for you. It’s also essential you own your RSS feed so you can move your show to another host anytime because the content is yours. Rach

  6. Grace Odumosu says:

    I have created a podcast for my job it is not for profit. Are there any hosts specifically for that?

    1. rcorbett says:

      Hey Grace, Not that I’m aware of. Really, your host is just the link between you and your podcast directories so they’re more focused on tech than content. Rach

  7. Dinora Marquez says:

    Hi Rachel, if you’re an Australian creating a podcast. Which host platform will be better to use? if that makes a difference at all.

    I’ve look at your choices but I am still confused in which one to get :/

    1. rcorbett says:

      Hey Dinora, Your location doesn’t matter too much it’s really more about the features you’re after and your budget. Libsyn has been around since the beginning of podcast time and they’ve got a basic plan that can be good if you’re starting out and you can grow with the platform which is good. I use Whooshkaa for my podcasts because I think their tech is great but any of the ones listed in the article will be fine. Rach

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Discover all the tools and tech you need to get your podcast started. Plus get access to my weekly podcasting tips delivered straight to your inbox!