Should I Media Host or Self-Host My Podcast?

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StephenJondrew
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Should I Media Host or Self-Host My Podcast?

Post by StephenJondrew » Sat Feb 25, 2017 4:46 pm

This is definitely a hot topic, and one that always encourages a lot of discussion. That's why we've got this thread stickied so that people can chime in their two cents about Podcast Self Hosting vs Media pros and cons.

Please try to keep this thread about this question and not run off topic (ie. media/web host reviews). Please take a look at the bottom of this post for some other kind of related ongoing threads. Alright - reply away!

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Re: Should I Media Host or Self-Host My Podcast?

Post by podcastcoach » Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:34 pm

The problem with self-hosting is not a bandwidth issue. It's a resource issue.
I know of at least four podcasts (The Bitterest Pill, Sex Drug and Rock and Roll, and two more who have podfade) that were asked by the web hosting company to either upgrade, or leave.

A web host is designed to serve web pages, not media files. When you get hundreds of people trying to grab the same media file at the same time it can chew up all the resources of the web host server (shared hosting in this case).

Now does this mean you can't self-host? No, not at all. Does having a speed limit stop people from speeding on the highway? Absolutely not, but you are at risk of getting a ticket if you speed. If you self-host, you are at risk (especially if you get popular) of taxing the resources of your server and having to move your files. When this happens you now have a "problem" in front of a crowd (your audience) and chances are you will be wishing you had put out the money for a media host.

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Re: Should I Media Host or Self-Host My Podcast?

Post by StephenJondrew » Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:17 pm

Welcome to the forum, Dave.

Dave makes a great point about resource requirements, which is absolutely why if you're considering self-hosting your podcast it's a great idea (imo) to open a dialogue with your webhost and be upfront - see if they allow it. A little while back I did some research for a self-hosting episode of Better Podcasting and I reached out to a variety of different reputable webhosts asking about self-hosting a podcast. While many said they would allow it, there were several that also said they wouldn't. Of further importance at least one of them encouraged going to one of their next-tier plans to allow more server resources.

Of course if your host does allow you to do it, I think it's important to note show size but also potential. For example, if your show is only getting a small out of traffic, then your hosting will likely be able to handle it. On the flip side of the coin, it's important to consider growth as well.

While I personally have been self-hosting successfully since I began podcasting in 2008 (and also am not quick to dismiss self-hosting), whenever someone asks me about self-hosting their podcast, I have a fairly lengthy conversation first outlining pros/cons as just like any form of webmastering/site-building, there are extra responsibilities that come with it.
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Re: How Do You Self-Host Your Podcast?

Post by R077 » Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:58 pm

I'm not gonna self host seems like too much work lol

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Re: Should I Media Host or Self-Host My Podcast?

Post by StephenJondrew » Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:26 am

For sure, it definitely can be make for more work. For me personally, the reason I've found it so easy to self host is because I already had a website running a platform where it was easy to add in self hosting to the mix. I personally would rather maintain the exact location of where my RSS feed is so that if ever future changes are needed, I have ultimate control.

Of course, it also helps I like to do website stuff so it comes fairly easy for me. In fact, I just made some changes last month for further future proofing, but I won't nerd out anymore. :D
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Re: Should I Media Host or Self-Host My Podcast?

Post by StargatePioneer » Sat Apr 15, 2017 7:34 am

I've had several discussions online and a guy grabbed me after my Indiana Comic Con panel yesterday about using SquareSpace to host a podcast. What does everyone know about it?

I know there are limitations on the website itself. There are pros and cons to it but it seems on par with the new Libsyn sites. One thing that I noted was lacking was the fact that you could not add an RSS button to the podcast page but they did have an iTunes (yes, I know it is now Apple Pod adds) button to it.

Another issue that I haven't had time to look up is that I do not know what sort of storage or bandwidth that you are allowed.

With that said, I'm wondering if this might be a reasonable option for a hobby podcaster that gets less than 500 downloads per episode? Or maybe it's more robust than that? For those folks that do not want to mess with Wordpress but still self host is SquareSpace in the running as a viable option?


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