What is was like to start this website.
The podcast had an idea, an episode, a hosting platform, and was being published all over. It is most popular on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and iHeart Radio. You can find those buttons at the top or the bottom of the pages. It started to pick up steam. It was only a matter of reaching out to people and seeing if they would be willing to be on as a guest. It has really been working out well!
When this gig was still in its idea phase (when I was cashing checks and buying Teslas) it was suggested to me to have a website built. This site could be a free place where content like this could be created and housed. That seemed really daunting, overwhelming even. I decided to look around and found Anchor. They made publishing the podcast really easy and gave me a landing page that looks really nice! It worked for what it needed to, but I still really wanted to have a website regardless of how overwhelmed it felt. It also helped that I wanted to make sure and have some episodes under my belt. The goal was to make sure that I was as committed as I thought I was.
10 episodes later and here we are! You are reading this on your screen on my site. This is really exciting if I do say so, and I just did. Anyway, you should know that this was not an easy process. Let me break it down step by step so you have an idea of what to expect if you would like to do this yourself.
It Started With Some Reading...
It started with a quick google search and then a full week of obsession. I found some platforms for hosting that seemed to be legit and started to read about them. You can guess the usual suspects:
They each had their quirks, their specialties, features, tiers, and incentives to start building with them. Squarespace gave me the opportunity to build a website during the free trial and it looked beautiful. This is not a review, but maybe I should write one of those. Wix gave me the same opportunity so I started to play with both of them. Wordpress was only mentioned and after reading about them and what it takes to have a site, I felt a little more overwhelmed because I have no experience with coding.
I started to read some more and found out that Squarespace and Wix were newer in the game than other site builders, and more podcasters wanted to host on Squarespace because the site syndicates the podcast for you. That is really what you need to make the show public on platforms like Apple and Spotify or iHeart Radio. Basically that means it is an RSS feed of your show. Squarespace allows you to do this and it is yours. You are the host and responsible for all things with your show.
That was enticing and I like the idea of complete ownership. When I was playing with Squarespace, everything was seamless. Everything fell into place and was automatically optimized for both desktop and mobile automatically. Where it fell short for me was that I could not copy and paste an existing RSS feed to the site and it populate with the episodes already there. Each one had to be posted individually. That is a perk, if you will, of being a complete owner of the content.
Another drawback, however, is that the content has a limit in size. 160mb is all Squarespace provides for your podcast files. For reference, the episode where I spoke to Eric Turner is 112 minutes (one hour and fifty-two minutes), and the size of the file in my hard drive is 214mb (rounded from 213.8). My handy calculator tells me that when you take 214 (mb) and divide it by 112 (min), you get a total of 1.9 and some more numbers (mb per min). It is a high-quality Mp3 at 256kbps for more reference. Take this two-for-one formula and that will come to about 80 minutes per podcast episode that Squarespace can handle natively.
I cannot speak to whether or not you can increase the limit in the files you upload. I am not savvy when it comes to those things. So, I asked the question, "What exactly are the specifics of the boundaries to which I can operate?" Here is what I found out;
Mp3 files can be uploaded (within the 160mb) limit
The highest quality of sound that can be uploaded is 128kbps (I always upload 256kbps)
Squarespace tells its potential user that anything larger than 160mb in audio files must be imported from an external platform (like Anchor or Podbean, I use Anchor)
So there it is. Because my show is typically longer than 80 minutes per show I cannot completely host on Squarespace's website. That is a bummer because I really wanted to and did not mind the hassle of uploading each existing episode to the site. I would have been happy to because the site templates are beautiful and really easy to work with. Seriously, just look at this...
That is a clean and linear set up right there. The buttons are all uniform the page links are flawless, it is really great service. Your question is ringing in my ears, so let it be answered!
Q. "Why did you not buy-in to Squarespace?"
A. There was a deal available that I could not pass up.
Here Is More About Wix...
It really came down to value for the money. The only thing Wix did not provide, two things, are a business email with G-Suite with the plan nor did I receive unlimited storage. I do not upload the files into the media section of Wix anyway, so that really came down to the G-Suite business email. Right now I use an old email and that is working just fine. Emails come in and I know they are from Wix, or you, because my email was easily connected with Wix. So those are two drawbacks that worked themselves out.
So how about hosting on Wix? Everything I read from Wix themselves says that they will import from your hosting site (I use Anchor's free service). To review this importation of the RSS Feed, it is the simplest process ever. All you do is add your RSS feed and there it is. All the episodes are easily imported and now your site is distributing just like Apple Podcasts would! It just happens to look better. Wix has a great step-by-step process for you. You can also add more than one podcast, though you would be better off having more than one page for multiple shows. Just my bit of advice.
I tried to upload audio files to the site, and it's possible, but do not do that. It does not look good and using their Podcast Player app is easier anyway. The app is automatically installed if you choose the right template, like this one. I chose the Nomad on the Road template. I'm a simple dude.
It was just so much easier to post with Wix. They are not paying me to say that, in fact, nobody pays me right now. I like building momentum and this is a builder that maximizes wins. The little things and small touches that can be capitalized on make the experience that much easier. I was finished building what you see within hours. What took the longest was the typing. Now, that is all I need to do. Add the newest episodes to Anchor.fm and come here to put a few finishing touches on it. Done.
I almost forgot to tell you why I chose Wix over Squarespace. It was monies and value. I do not make anything off of this content and there is a lot of freedom with that. I am using my own money to back this deal. My wife tells me to keep my head on my body and she is so right. I can buy a Mansion and build a studio right now in my imagination. The point I am making is they provided me with a 50% off deal at the right time. I got the chance to choose a more expensive plan for less than I would have paid for their Combo plan. See the pic below...
I chose the pro plan. It gives me room to grow if that should happen. I have started to make connections with people that know people, so maybe? What really matters is whether or not potential sponsors have a place to go and check out the show. That leads me to the last point I would like to make.
Is a Podcast Website Worth It?
As for you, I do not know. For me, it absolutely is. Here are the questions that I asked myself before I did this, with a little help from my brilliant best friend and wife of course.
Do you really need a site for a podcast?
Why do you want one?
Why is Anchor not enough?
Have you taken out the trash?
Yes, dear. I took out the trash.
I wanted this site because, like I mentioned a few lines ago, I wanted a place people could come and see what this is all about. That is why you start on About instead of the Podcast page. I'm proud of this and want to share that with you. If you have read this already too long post to this point, thank you. It means a lot to me. This is for people that want to know more about the show, me, and to hear the episodes if they would like to. I am also super easy to reach, and you ought to leave some feedback. That would be awesome!
Why do you want one for you? That is a question only you can answer. This can be free and if you do not mind a Wix logo on your page then that may be worth it for you. I prefer not. I also prefer to own the domain which comes with buying a premium plan. This place makes it really easy and the features for writing a blog are also super easy. I like simple and minimal design. I have little experience in coding and this was perfect for me. Whether you choose to do this or not is up to you. Know that it is not too difficult.
Why is Anchor not enough? It is, actually. They have a landing page for your podcast and distribution is really easy. the landing page is nice and is branded with your show's art and color scheme. It is really nice. What makes having a site so cool is the ability to add more to the SEO of the show. I can add blogs like this. I can add more notes to the show notes and add pictures and all sorts of cool junk here! I can also add metatags (which you should know if you build a site). SEO is important and Anchor distributes your show but does not attract organic subscribers.
Did you take out the trash? Oh! You are not responsible for the trash, my bad!
First, thank you for reading this far. I have almost reached my goal of words for this post!
What a Curious Idea is a really cool hobby for me right now. I decided to build all of this so it could grow if that is where God, as He has revealed Himself to me, takes it. I have no clue if it will get very far. Maybe someday when I am buying a mansion so I can park my Tesla we can revisit this blog and giggle. What I do know for sure is this is so much fun for me. I not only love talking to people, but I really love writing like this. It is not a scholarly endeavor, nor an obligated piece of anything someone told me to do. This is just something I wanted to do and enjoy.
Thank you for being a part of the experience, my friend! If you like this and the show, subscribe to the podcast. If you would like to have the chance to subscribe to the blog, tell me here. I am going to spend the rest of my day with my wife.