If you are looking for my latest equipment recommendations for sharing sermon audio, check out my page, “Recording Church Sermon Audio.“
Where to Put It
So far, I have written about some ways to record the audio from sermons and how to get it edited and prepped for uploading. Now that you have your sermon audio all set, it is time to put it somewhere on the web.
Where your sermon audio lives is going to depend on your church’s website. Don’t have a church website? Let’s back up. Your church really needs a good website. Read how to get started at the Rio Texas Media Center. Depending on your website platform, this might be exceptionally easy or, it may take a few steps. I will break it down by website provider.
Website Platforms with Audio Uploading
If your church website it hosted on Clover, this is the easy part. They have a built-in Media Player. You can find the instructions from Clover here.
Squarespace also makes it very simple to post sermons on your website. Just insert and Audio Block onto your page and upload the file. You can find detailed instructions here.
If you are on a paid Weebly plan (Pro or above), uploading your sermon audio is once again simple and easy. If you are on a free Weebly site or on their Starter plan, you are going to have to use a third-party host and link it to your website. However, you might want to consider if it is time to upgrade your Weebly plan. If you pay yearly, for $144.00 ($12 a month), you can have a custom domain (www.yourchurchname.org), get rid of the Weebly branding, get unlimited pages and storage, add the ability to password protect pages, add site search, and get their super easy to use HD Video and Audio players. If you are already on a Pro Plan, you can find detailed instructions for uploading audio here.
E-Zekiel makes sermon audio uploads easy if you subscribe to their $29 a month Cultivate Plan. If you are on their lower-tier Emerge Plan, you will need to use a third-party host. If you are on Cultivate, here are the instructions for uploading your audio.
WordPress gives users the most options for sharing sermon audio. This blog is created on WordPress and hosted at WordPress.com. Here is the simplest way to share audio using their built-in media player.
If you want to get fancier, there are a number of plug-ins available for WordPress if you are running it on your own server or on another host. (WordPress.com does not allow uploaded plug-ins.) The image here is from one such plug-in called sermonbrowser. There are a number of plug-ins out there including Sermon Manager and PowerPress.
Did I miss your website host? Drop me a line in the comments and I will be glad to research their options for you.
If your website platform does not offer an option for uploading audio, there are other options. You can upload your audio to a third-party host and then provide a link on your website. This may work out fine if you can fit into a free plan. However, although the paid plans are affordable, for a little more money, you can upgrade your website to a platform that will include audio sharing.
Sermon Cloud is a full featured audio hosting site from the makers of ecclesia360. Your sermons will live in their cloud and will be searchable by anyone who goes to their website. You can also create links on your churches website so people can listen or download from your page. They offer a free plan that allows you to upload up to 52 sermons a year. Their paid plans start at $9.99 a month.
buzzsprout is a simple podcasting site that offers a free plan with up to 2 hours of audio uploads a month. Depending on how long your sermons are, that may be enough.The only catch is that those sermons disappear after 90 days. You can upgrade to three hours a month of audio with audio that stays online indefinately for $12 a month.
Probably the most affordable options out there for churches who exceed the limits of free plans is Amazon’s S3 cloud storage. Basically, you upload your sermons to their cloud and then create links on your website. This cloud storage is basically content-neutral, meaning you can use the same storage for all sorts of files. This makes it a little less intuitive to get started. However, once you know how to use it, it is as easy as the rest.
These are only three of the many options out there. A Google search of podcast hosts, sermon audio hosting, or audio hosting will direct you to many more. Again, these are good services if this is your only option but things will be easier if you can just upload straight to your website platform.
That is it
This is the end of this series on sharing sermon audio. This is another series inspired by emails we get here at the Media Center from churches, pastors and lay people who are looking to take the next step in leveraging technology to reach the mission field. If you need some help, stop by and see us at our website, riotexas.org/media.