As I mentioned before, I’ve decided to use Blogger for my podcasts’ web site, and after a fair amount of fiddling around, I think the site is good enough that I can move on.
Over the past year, I’ve been listening to and reading a lot of advice on how to start a podcast, and I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone mention using Blogger to host their podcast. Most will recommend WordPress, and for good reason. It is a better platform and is seeing far more active development than Blogger. WordPress also has a number of podcasting plugins that you can add that will presumably make it easier to publish and manage your podcasts. If you are willing to spend the money to set up a WordPress site, then I would agree that it is probably the best way to go.
My self-imposed budget for my podcast hosting is exactly zero, so I needed to find an alternative. You can get a free WordPress blog, but you are limited to how much you can customize it and add plugins, etc. What’s worse is that you are forced to display third-party advertising on your site that you have no control over. Just horrible, and certainly not something I wanted to have anything to do with!
So Blogger it is. I’ve been using Blogger since the beginning, since Pyra Labs first rolled out this tool that we could use to manage our blog posts and have the pages uploaded as static HTML via FTP to whatever web hosting we had. Good times!
I used to be far more proficient customizing Blogger templates, but they lost me when they switched to their new tempting system (somewhere around 10 years ago). But that isn’t really a problem, since the built in designer allows you to include your own CSS to over-ride the template’s. Although I’m forced to live with the HTML and structure of their templates (probably a good thing, since that could have been a major time-sink), I’m still good enough with CSS that I can get the site looking more or less the way I want.
So that’s what I did. I chose the “Simple” template and used the designer tools to customize the look and feel of the site as much as I could, which in this case meant stopping it down to the basics and then writing a handful of CSS rules to nudge things into place so it looked exactly the way I wanted.
I should also not that earlier versions of this site were for busier than the current site. I’d looked over dozens of podcast sites and made notes about all the different things I could include. The resulting layout had a lot going on, and I couldn’t help but think, given the focus of my podcast, that I was on the wrong track. So I stopped and made myself a list of what I need the site to do and then figure out how I could accomplish this with as little content or functionality. The result effort of that is what you see here.
I could spend more time adjusting and tweaking different aspects of the site, but I know I would just be procrastinating and not adding much value. I need to move forward, so I’m calling the web site done!
Next up: Audio production and publishing workflows