Understanding Category, Channel, Post Type, Taxonomy Podcasting and MultiSite

With Blubrry PowerPress, there are many ways to syndicate multiple podcast feeds, each with advantages and disadvantages. Here is a quick outline of options:

Category and Taxonomy Podcasting

Category podcasting and taxonomy podcasting are ideal if you want to create two or more separate podcasts that are similar to each other. Both category and taxonomy podcasting use the default podcast episode box for episodes. This limits you to only one episode media file per blog post, but allows for creating multiple separate podcasts.

Category podcasting is a simple way to quickly create a mini-podcast network of similar shows and/or content.

Taxonomy podcasting, similar to category podcasting, allows for the creation of podcasts from custom classifications. WordPress categories for example is a type of taxonomy. It is common to see custom taxonomies paired with custom post types created by special themes or plugins. You can also add podcasting to native WordPress “tags” if desired.

Category and taxonomy podcasting examples

Multiple sports teams organized by category: Let’s say you’re from Cleveland and wanted to create a podcast website covering Cleveland’s professional sports teams. With category podcasting you can create categories for baseball (Indians), football (Browns) and basketball (Cavaliers). Your website will use the same branding throughout.

A technology-based podcast with special segments: Let’s say you decided to take your podcast on the road and cover an event such as CES. You can create a custom category that only includes the episodes you created while at that event. Listeners who wanted to only receive those episodes can subscribe to your CES coverage podcast category feed.

A podcast with multiple years of content: It is possible to tag each episode by year, e.g. episodes created in 2014 add a custom tag “2014.” You can then create a taxonomy podcast feed from the “tags” using the term “2014”. Now your fans can subscribe to your podcast 2014 archive and listen at their leisure.

A sermon series organized with a custom taxonomy: If your theme or plugin added a special taxonomy for organizing sermon series, you could use the taxonomy podcasting option to create a podcast feed for specific sermon series.

Podcast Channels and Post-Type Podcasting

Podcast channels and post-type podcasting allow you to create multiple podcast feeds for each silo of content you create. Unlike category and taxonomy podcasting, which rely on the primary podcast episode box, channels and post-type podcasts add additional episode boxes to each blog post, allowing you to write show notes once while syndicating multiple versions and/or formats of your podcast episodes.

Podcast channels apply specifically to native WordPress blog posts. Each additional podcast channel adds a new episode box to your blog post edit pages where you can associate different media files to specific podcast channels.

It is important to note that the default podcast is a podcast channel that is automatically set up and configured for you and uses the slug name “podcast.”

Post-type podcasting, similar to podcast channels, allows you to create additional podcasts for custom post types. Custom post types are commonly added by custom themes or plugins.

Podcast channels specific features

Podcast channels have a couple features that make them extremely useful.

Podcast channels enables you to create password protected feeds allowing specific users of your WordPress site to subscribe to your podcast.

Podcast channels can also be associated with specific post types. There can be situations where podcast channels associated to a post type have limited functionality. We recommend using post-type podcasting in most all use cases.

Channel and post-type podcasting examples

You want to distribute both an mp3 and an ogg version of your podcast: Enable podcast channels and add a custom channel called “ogg audio.” You can use the default podcast channel for your mp3 media and use the new custom channel for your ogg media.

You have a video podcast with multiple file formats: Use the default podcast channel for the main media that you want to appear on your blog (e.g. m4v). Create additional channels for the remaining formats (e.g. wmv, mov, mpeg).

A church with a separate sermon post type: It is common to create a separate custom post type to organize sermons separate from the blog. With post type podcasting, it is possible to add both a video and audio podcast post-type to the sermon post-type for syndicating the sermons as separate audio and video podcasts.

What are post-types and taxonomies?

Post-types and taxonomies are features built into WordPress that provide a way to organize your data. Under the hood, WordPress uses post-types and taxonomies to organize your data with labels you are already familiar with. For example, blog “posts” and static “pages” are both examples of post-types. Blog post “tags” and “categories’ are both examples of taxonomies. Usually a theme and/or plugin is developed specifically to add post-types and/or taxonomies for specific purposes. It is possible though to use a plugin to manually create post-types and taxonomies.

Word of caution having multiple podcasts on the same website

It is important to think about your website’s function for your specific brand. Because the site itself will have the same logo and title across all of the pages, it is important to factor in the impact of having podcasts on your website that are not related. Such podcast websites can create a conflict as well as confuse the listeners. For example, if your website and main podcast is about sports, but you have a second podcast added to your website (using any one of the methods above) about cooking, web visitors looking for the cooking podcast can be confused by the sports-themed website and content. Furthermore, such mixing of unrelated content can have additional consequences to your websites search rankings (please consult an SEO expert for your specific situation). For these reasons, we recommend separate websites for podcasts that are unrelated.

WordPress MultiSite and podcasting with PowerPress

The PowerPress MultiSite add-on plugin extends the functionality of Blubrry PowerPress into the network admin of your WordPress MultiSite network. In many cases, a better solution to having multiple podcasts is to have separate websites. WordPress MultiSite allows you to do just that with the centralized ability to manage all of these websites with master accounts.

PowerPress MultiSite podcasting example

Our best example comes from our CEO, Todd Cochrane and his Geek News Central network: With the Geek News Central network, Todd utilizes MultiSite to allow each podcast on his network to have it’s own custom domain name. From the central network WordPress install, he can control each show for each podcast.