How to Build Fast, High-Capacity Podcast Sites on the Cheap!
Originally presented at PodCamp Nashville
Many people have figured out how to record, edit and create their podcasts, but they don’t know how to easily setup a podcast website — let alone, set it up for the possibility of hundreds or thousands of people downloading it at one time. This tutorial shows you how to setup a fast, high-capacity podcast website without spending a lot of money.
A key component to this solution is Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service). S3 provides very cheap file storage and high-capacity delivery. That enables you to distribute your audio files to thousands of people at one time, but at very little cost and without slowing down the delivery of your files.
These are the items you’ll need in order to setup your podcast website. You will need to download the following software and plugins and create an S3 and Web Hosting account (if you don’t already have them) before you start the tutorial.
- WordPress (Free)
- PodPress (Free)
- Firefox (Free)
- S3Fox Firefox Add-On (Free)
- FireFTP Firefox Add-On (Free)
Step 1: Get S3 Access Key ID and Secret Access Key
Login to your Amazon.com S3 Account and retrieve your S3 Access Key ID and Secret Access Key. Amazon keeps the keys somewhat hidden, so you’ll want to look for the button that says “Your Web Services Account.” Hover your cursor over the button and then select “AWS Access Identifiers.”
You will need to copy and paste this information for later use, so go ahead and open a text editor program (TextEdit, Notepad, Word, etc…). Select the Access Key ID, copy and then paste it onto your text editor document. Repeat that step for the Secret Access Key. Save the file and keep the document open for use throughout this tutorial.
Step 2: Setup MySQL Database
If you’re using a good Web hosting provider, you will have access to an online administration for your account. Login to your account. Navigate to the MySQL database admin page and create a new database. Copy and paste the database name, server, username and password onto the text editor document. The username and password should have full access (read, write and the ability to create new tables) to the database.
Step 3: Install Firefox and its Add-Ons
Install Firefox and then the S3Fox and FireFTP add-ons.
Step 4: Setup WordPress
Open Firefox and access FireFTP. Open a new connection on FireFTP using the FTP/SFTP details from your Web hosting provider. Copy the WordPress files into the root directory of your public HTML hosting account. Rename the “wp-config-sample.php” file to “wp-config.php”. Then edit the file and enter your database details. Finally, access your website in a browser window and follow the instructions.
The best instructions for setting up WordPress (WP) can be found on WP’s website: Famous 5-Minute Install.
Step 5: Setup PodPress
In FireFTP, copy the PodPress files into the plugins directory of WordPress — located at “wp-content/plugins”. Then login to your WordPress online administration, click on Plugins and then activate the PodPress plugin.
Step 6: Copy Podcast File to S3
In Firefox, access the S3Fox add-on and login to your S3 account using the S3 Access Key ID and Secret Access Key saved on your text editor document. When you login, the first thing you have to do before you can copy files is to create what’s called a “Bucket.” The Bucket must have a unique name and will be the repository of your files. After you create your Bucket, double-click on it to open it. Copy your audio file into your bucket.
After your file is completely copied to S3, you will need to modify the access settings and then get the public URL (link). Right-click on the file and click on “Edit ACL”. Click on the “X” underneath “Read” and across from “Everyone” until there’s a green check. Then click on the Save button.
Right-click on the file again and click on “Copy URL to Clipboard”. Then paste the URL onto your text editor document. That URL is the link that will be used to publicly access the audio file.
Step 7: Write Podcast Blog Entry
Login to the WordPress online administration and click on the “Write” navigation menu item. Enter your podcast title and blog entry related to it. Then scroll down and setup the podcast details. Paste the S3 audio file URL where is says “Location”. Then click on each “Auto Detect” button to auto-retrieve and auto-fill file details. Complete any other details and then publish the entry.
That’s it! You’ve now created and published a podcast website that can handle and deliver your audio files to tens of thousands of subscribers, affordably!