Sermon plugins are mostly crap. Yes, crap. There are a few free versions that you make work for a church, but being that the media section of a website is one of the most highly visited sections I don’t think free podcast plugins that are clunky to use and ugly to look at are going to provide the best user experience for visitors unless you have the know how and toolset to make it look great.
When I was searching for podcast plugin solutions a few years ago I went through three free plugins before I found Series Engine. This is an affiliate link, so I’d really appreciate it if you used it when you purchase! Thanks!
I wrote a bit about it earlier this year, but I made a quick video demonstrating how to add a series and an individual message.
As far as podcast plugins go, this one scores a solid 90% for me. Here are a few MUSTS for me:
1) Podcast Plugins MUST be masters of disguise.
Series Engine has some pretty robust settings that allow you to make it blend in with your site. The only thing that still shows from Series Engine is a graphic or text (your choice) that says the plugin’s name as branding. To hide it, I just make the graphic text the same color as my background. Other than this small brand everything else blends with your design. You can find these podcast plugin settings in Settings > Series Engine.
2) Podcast Plugins MUST have Free Updates Forever
An annoying thing about a lot of the best plugins is that you have to pay a yearly subscription to use them. For example, I like the Smart Podcast player, but you end up paying a yearly fee to use it that cost just as much as the Series Engine for a one time purchase.
3) Podcast Plugins MUST Make Podcasting Simple
This is of course what makes it the best for churches. In other podcast plugins you have to take the feed, put it through a feed burner, and submit it to google. With this podcast plugin you can create multiple podcasts (think youth podcasts, main service, conferences, etc) all from the WP dashboard.
Hey guys! I am a church leadership and creative guy living in the Atlanta area with my awesome wife and two kiddos. I've worked on staff with a number of churches as well as traveled full time as a conference speaker. Now, I work full time at The Reach Company helping ministries and businesses tell their story and make an impact online.
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Hey Andrew, Thanks for the great overview! I’m debating whether this is the direction I should go for a church website that I’m developing.
I’m curious whether you can just upload the podcast without the video, as this church doesn’t frequently have video recordings.