Podcasting: Where to host your RSS feed
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This is actually a long running debate between the two oldest podcast media hosts. On one side, Blubrry says that you should retain control of your RSS feed. On the other, Libsyn says, too much can go wrong to risk self-hosting it. Who’s right? It depends.[tweet “Should you host your RSS feed on your website or with your media host? It depends:”]
Your RSS feed is arguably one of the most important things in your podcast. If it goes horribly wrong, your show is dead. So, depending on an expert to generate and host it is a good thing, but if the host makes it hard to leave, that’s a bad thing.
Libsyn has a track record of over a decade of allowing you to move your feed anytime, for any reason, so that’s less of a concern. For people like me, though, the problem lies in the fact that they only host one feed and I upload audio for four shows a week.
That brings me to the Blubrry powerpress plug-in for wordpress. It allows me all the control I could ever want to generate multiple feeds and host them on my site. There is a problem, though.
Just like hosting media on your site is a bad idea because it’s betting against your own success. It’s hoping that too many people don’t download your file because if they do, the best thing that can happen is that your web host will shut you down. The worst is that they’ll charge you tens of thousands of dollars.
That’s less likely with an RSS feed, though because its size is measured in kb, not mb or gb. It would take A LOT of traffic to hit the same bandwidth that would raise the ire of a web host.
The third thing (that both of these solutions don’t suffer from) is to host your RSS feed with a service that doesn’t let you get it out. Imagine that you have a billing dispute, or they go out of business, whatever the case, it’s not worth the risk to lose all your audience. Make sure you can move your feed anytime, for any reason.
My advice would be to host with a media host that lets you move your RSS feed if you want simplicity. If you don’t have tens of thousands of people in your audience and have multiple shows, hosting your own is fine too. It just depends.
For more, watch the video above.
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