Podbean Podcast Hosting: We Reviewed It So You Don’t Have To. Here’s The Results.

Podbean is one of the most popular hosting companies for podcasting. They offer both free and more advanced paid plans. In this article, I’ll provide an overview of publishing with Podbean.

Read on to find out if they are right for you and what hosts might fit you better.

What Is Podcast Hosting?

Unlike typical web hosts, which focus on hosting websites, podcast hosting platforms specialize in hosting media files like podcasts.

They are built to meet the high bandwidth and storage needs that a podcast needs in order for listeners to be able to stream or download podcast episodes quickly and reliably.

What is Podbean?

Podbean is user-friendly and offers just about every service that a podcaster could need, so it’s a good option whether you’re brand new to podcasting or experienced.

Podbean’s core service is podcast hosting. All this means is that you can upload your podcast episodes to Podbean, and when someone wants to listen to them, they’ll download or stream the data from Podbean.

You’ll be able to publish your podcast to other platforms like iTunes and Google Play, but those platforms don’t host the episodes for you, they essentially just link back to your podcast host (Podbean in this case).

On top of hosting, Podbean has features to help you get new listeners, monetize your podcast, and even create a basic website.

Who is Podbean For?

Podbean offers 4 different plans for aspiring and existing podcasters.

Whether you’re just in the planning stages of a new podcast, or already have a popular podcast, there’s likely a plan that will work for you.

We’ll break down the plans further down the page.

A Brief History of Podbean

Podbean isn’t the most transparent company, so there’s not too much public information on their staff.

However, we do know that the company is based out of Wilmington, Delaware and that they’ve been offering podcast hosting since 2006.

About Podbean

In that time, over 250,000 podcasts have been hosted on Podbean.

I haven’t heard too many negative stories about Podbean, which is a good sign. So despite the lack of public information, it’s clear that Podbean is a long-standing service for podcasters who must be doing something right.

Features Offered by Podbean

As I mentioned, Podbean offers a ton of features. It’s an all-in-one platform for podcasters.

You may not need all of these features, but it’s nice to know that they are there if needed. I will break down each feature so you can see if it fits your needs.

Website Builder & Themes

All Podbean accounts come with a free subdomain of your choice, provided it’s not taken (i.e. CoolPodcastName.podbean.com).

This page contains all your podcast information, and visitors can listen to your episodes.

Podbean Site Builder

There’s not a lot in terms of content you can do beyond that, it’s not designed to be a blog or large website with many pages.

How Customizable Is Podbean?

You are, however, able to choose a theme, and then edit some basic styling options like:

  • Header image

  • Background image

  • Theme color

  • Font color

  • Link color

  • Title color

  • Font size

  • Font style

  • Podcast player presence

  • Episode count-per-page

  • Audio player color

  • Video player color

Overall, this is a good basic web presence for your podcast to live but isn’t enough to build a full web presence and business on.

Podbean Edit Theme
The theme editing dashboard of Podbean .

It’s good to get started, particularly if you don’t have web development skills (no coding involved at all), but later on you might want to migrate off.

Finally, a podcast generating revenue should have its own custom domain. You can buy one from any domain registrar, and then forward your Podbean website to it in your account settings.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Google’s SEO algorithms change and develop rapidly.

If you’re not familiar with it, SEO is the practice of optimizing your content to help people find them through search engines.

In the case of podcasts, you’re not too worried about optimizing for Google (although that’s a plus), but you do want to optimize for podcast search engines.

Podbean has their own (type in a podcast topic on their site’s search bar to test), and so do all the other major podcast directories like iTunes and Google Play.

How Do Search Engines Find My Podcast?

These search engines work based on the title and description of your podcast episodes and are pretty straightforward.

Podbean also has a basic “SEO Meta Tags” plugin, that will allow you to add basic tags for search engines.

Podbean SEO Apps

It’s not incredibly difficult to do, nor is it unique to Podbean, but it’s the minimum you should do for your podcast.

Podbean’s Mobile Application

Podbean has highly rated mobile apps on both iOS and Android.

These are designed mostly for listening but still have all the core publishing features as well.

Podbean App
The mobile app has an appealing and user-friendly interface.

You can record directly through the Podbean app (although I wouldn’t recommend it in most cases), and then upload through the mobile app as well.

Video Podcast Support

In addition to audio podcasts, certain plans on Podbean support video podcasts.

Think about it – can your podcast do without a video?

This isn’t needed for most podcasts, but depending on your topic it may be useful.

If your audience also might enjoy seeing you or your screen during episodes, it may be something to keep in mind when picking a plan.

Video podcasts are generally good if you’re trying to build a personal brand (so now people can see the person behind the voice), or for topics where body language and demonstrations are useful (although not necessary).

Marketing & Monetization

Podbean Ad Calculator
Podbean’s monetization calculator.

Starting a podcast without a marketing plan is a recipe for failure.

While Podbean won’t hold your hand and do everything for you, they do offer a few helpful features:

  • Automatic social sharing – Once you connect your major social profiles, you can tell Podbean to automatically share new episodes through them.

  • Easy embedding – You can copy and paste the provided embed code for each episode into WordPress, any social media network, or any website you own to share episodes.

  • Featured opportunities – Podbean features new podcasts in their search results to users they think would like them. This isn’t reliable, but could be a nice boost.

  • Monetization – Podbean makes it easy to add advertisements to your podcasts, even if you’re not big enough to get a sponsor. In addition, you can sell premium content, or set up a patron system on certain plans.

Analytics and Statistics

Your Podbean website comes with a decent level of analytics built-in. Higher tier plans get more advanced data.

The basic statistics show you how many downloads you get per day, as well as your listener retention rate over time.

Podbean Stats
Podbean’s analytics chart is simple to follow.

Additionally, you can use the Google Analytics plugin (free) to connect to your Podbean account if you want more.

Continued after user reviews

Podbean Reviews by Our Community

Overall Rating from 1 Reviews by Podbean Customers

Support
Quality
Features
Value

Most Helpful Reviews

Mark Hawkins avatar
Mark Hawkins awesomeshow.podbean.com
Apr 19, 2018

Podbean has an excuse for a support team. Online chat people were in educated as to how the site works, and thru their tampering deleted valuable files. No direct contact.

If you have a problem or question you are continually referred to tutorial sites that have missing steps and fail to function. They are quick to act if you threaten payment or ask for credit, but have no problem leaving problems fester for months.

Visit Host Now →

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Podbean Hosting Plans 

As mentioned, there are 4 main plans offered on Podbean.

Here’s a quick comparison table of the main feature differences and prices, and then we’ll look at who each plan is best for.

Free PlanUnlimited AudioUnlimited PlusBusiness
Price (per month)$0.00$9.00$29.00$99.00
Storage5 hoursUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Bandwidth100 GBUnmeteredUnmeteredUnmetered
Video SupportNoNoYesYes
Custom DomainNoYesYesYes
Multiple AdminsNoNoNoYes

The right plan for you will depend upon your needs.

Who Are Podbeans Plans Best Suited For?

Some offer better value than others:

  • Free plan – Best for brand new podcasters who just want to learn and don’t expect many (if any) to listen to their podcasts yet. Can always upgrade later.

  • Unlimited audio – The best plan for most solo podcasters. Has the majority of important features for a reasonable price, enough for any podcast starting off.

  • Unlimited plus – Only better than the unlimited audio plan if you need one of the few extra features like video podcasts or creating a patron program.

  • Business – The best plan once you reach the stage of needing to hire help and having multiple people working on the podcast.

One final note is what “unlimited storage” and “unmetered bandwidth” really mean. You don’t have infinite storage data of course, but you have as much as any podcast could reasonably be expected to need.

Resource Needs

As long as you’re not trying to abuse the platform, you should have more than enough bandwidth and storage.

However, note that on regular web hosts, you might run into space issues if you started hosting podcasts because they are not designed for the storage and bandwidth needs of media like podcasts.

That’s why choosing a podcast hosting service is a good idea.

How Does Podbean Work?

I set up a new Podbean account while researching for this review to make sure the platform hadn’t changed from when I last used it.

The whole process takes under 20 minutes, and there’s really only a few main steps.

1 – Pick a Custom Sub-Domain

To start with, you pick your custom sub-domain (which you can later point to a custom domain):

Podbean Default Domain
Setting up your custom sub-domain.

Within seconds, your basic site will be created with the default theme:

Podbean Basic Site
My quick set-up podcast site.

2 – Change or Customize Your Layout

Back in your account backend, you can change the layout to any one of several themes:

Podbean Themes
A variety of themes to choose from.

They all have modern designs and are responsive, which is important since many visitors may be on mobile devices.

3 – Upload and Publish Your First Episode

From there, you’re ready to upload your first episode (if you have it recorded).

After the upload is complete, you’ll be asked to decide on the:

  • Title

  • Episode description

  • Monetization options (if any)

And then you hit “publish” when done.

If you’re fast this only takes a few minutes.

4 – Your Podcast Is Ready To Be Listened To

From there, visit your subdomain and you’ll see your podcast’s RSS feed at the top. Copy this down somewhere, it’s what you’ll submit to all the popular podcast apps like iTunes.

Here’s a detailed guide to the most popular places to submit your podcast.

Security

Podbean doesn’t mention security much on their website and doesn’t have any backup options.

That’s a bit concerning for a host, and if you don’t keep your own backups, you should consider a different host.

Customer Support and Guarantees

Customer support is not a focal point of Podbean, but their platforms and content are decent.

They have both live chat and ticketing (email) support.

But by far the best resource is the Podbean knowledgebase, which contains hundreds of articles and video tutorials to help you overcome problems.

Podbean Support Center
Podbean offers an array of customer support avenues.

If you’re on the “business” plan, you also get priority support.

Self-Help Section

Podbean have a total of 9 self-help support categories, all of which contain support articles for clients.

These categories are:

  1. Video Tutorials

  2. Getting Started

  3. Advertising

  4. Podbean Podcasting Basics

  5. Podbean Advanced Features

  6. Monetizing

  7. “More” (an accumulation of video tutorials and starting guides)

  8. Podbean Android App

  9. Podbean iOS App

With a speck of resourcefulness, most queries are bound to have a half-decent answer somewhere among the 100+ articles.

Money Back and Uptime Guarantee

Not having an uptime guarantee is a worthy point of concern for a host.

There’s no mention of a money back guarantee on Podbean’s site, but in their Terms of Use, it’s clearly stated that all new customers have a 7-day grace period where they can be refunded if unhappy.

From their perspective, you should try the free plan first to see if Podbean is right for you, and by the time you buy a plan, you should be confident if it’s good enough for you.

Finally, there’s no uptime guarantee, so if your site does go down (which may not happen), you won’t be compensated.

Pros and Cons of Podbean

Podbean offers podcast hosting for podcasters of all levels and is reasonably priced.

If you’re looking for podcast hosting, here are the major pros and cons of Podbean in my opinion.

Pros

  • Easy to use

  • Makes it simple to create a basic, attractive podcast web page.

  • Monetization options built-in.

  • Can easily be shared on social media and added to podcasting apps like Google Play and iTunes.

Cons

  • No backups (as far as I can tell)

  • Minimal security features

  • Limited refund period and no money-back or uptime guarantee.

  • Your podcast site will have limited functionality (compared to something like WordPress).

Alternatives to Podbean

While I think Podbean is a solid podcast host, there may be a better one for you to consider based on your personal situation.

Here are 3 alternatives to consider along with their simplest paid plans side-by-side:

Podbean A2 HostingBlubrryLiquidWeb
BandwidthUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited10 TB
Podcast Player EmbeddingYesNoYesNo
Podcast AnalyticsYesNoYesNo
Price (per month)$9.00$3.92$12.00$59.00

A2 Hosting

A2 Hosting is mainly a web host, but also offers podcast hosting. This makes them ideal for integrating your podcasts into WordPress or another content management system.

A2 Hosting
A2 Hosting offers a variety of user-friendly solutions.

They have a 99.9% uptime commitment, anytime money back guarantee, and great security measures.

Blubrry

Blubrry is another popular and established podcast host like Podbean. They offer WordPress integration and other powerful features.

Blubrry
Blubrry isn’t feature-less either.

However, it’s also more expensive for most.

LiquidWeb

LiquidWeb is a premium web host that offers immense storage and speed. Although they’re not designed for podcasts specifically, their plans can easily handle serving one. However, they are more expensive.

LiquidWeb
LiquidWeb’s plans are more suited for those in need of premium resources.

It’s the best option if you have a podcast already generating money, and you want to grow a website alongside the podcast.

Conclusions

When I started up a podcast years ago, I was overwhelmed by everything, and Podbean is likely the simplest solution to get your podcasts hosted.

Overall I’m happy to recommend Podbean to new podcasters in particular, although it’s still a good option for experienced podcasters looking to quickly get another one up and running.

If you’d like to give them a shot, start with the free plan and see if you agree with my review. Click the button at the right to go check out Podbean.

Extra content by Dale Cudmore. Edited by Marko Csokasi.

Most Popular Podbean Hosting Plans

Advanced Unlimited Audio Unlimited Video
Disk Space 100GB Unlimited Unlimited
Bandwidth 100MB Unlimited Unlimited
Price $3 / mo
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About KeriLynn Engel

KeriLynn has worked as a freelance writer for various websites. She is an advocate for domestic abuse victims and has way too many hobbies.

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