If you have been hosting your media files as file for download only at Libsyn and using PowerPress to generate your RSS feed using those files, migrating from that process can be difficult. Luckily, the Libsyn Publisher Hub WordPress Plugin offers a more automated way to handle this type of migration.
This tutorial assumes the following:
- You currently have a WordPress site
- You currently have a podcast
- Your podcast is setup using PowerPress for the RSS feed and…
- Your media files are hosted at Libsyn
Let’s get started!
With your Libsyn account setup and your Libsyn Publisher Hub plugin installed, the first step is to import or sync the content. This process will grab all the stuff (images, titles, descriptions, feed configurations, all that stuff) from your RSS feed, and it will look at the media file hosted at Libsyn, and intelligently determine that they belong to the same episode. It smushes the two together, to create a single episode with titles, descriptions, art, media, etc inside Libsyn.
From your WordPress Dashboard, select Libsyn Publisher Hub –> Import Feed.
The plugin will automatically detect your PowerPress feed and will give you a table view of the posts/episodes it found.
Notice the Episode Link column. The links found there are the permalinks for each post. Clicking on them will show you the post on the front end of your site.
When you are ready, scroll to the bottom and hit Import Local Feed .
The import will begin to run. The page will refresh several times, and will continue to refresh until the process is complete. This will take several minutes, the larger the feed, the longer it will take to complete. Be patient, and allow time for the process to finish.
Notice the Feed Import Status. This will say Processing while the process is ongoing. If the import completes successfully, it will say Successful (as you can see below). If it does not, it will say Failed. In those few cases, reach out to our support team (email@example.com) for assistance.
The Episode Link column will also change, showing the link as unavailable initially, then pending download, and then available. This is the act of the content updating in Libsyn.
At this point, nothing has changed on your WordPress site. The only thing that has changed is your files for download only in Libsyn have been converted to episodes with metadata attached.
Checking Our Work
The plugin will give you a list of all the episodes it pulled, and you can click on ‘available’ to test the media served from Libsyn. If you wish, you can also double check the episodes inside Libsyn to make sure all looks well. This can be done under Content –> Previously Published and just spot checking that all the posts have titles, instead of being named by the file name. This tells you the file for download only has been updated to an episode.
Changing Over the RSS Feed
The next step is to redirect your PowerPress RSS feed over to your Libsyn feed. This updates iTunes/Apple Podcasts, most other apps and your subscribers to pull from your Libsyn feed going forward. We recommend the Redirection plugin to do so.
Once the Redirection plugin is installed and activated, please go under Tools –> Redirection.
You will see a list of any redirections you may already have (if this is a fresh install, you won’t have any in the list), and the ability to add a source and target URL for a new redirect.
Enter the URL to your PowerPress feed. This should be the URL in PowerPress that you submitted to iTunes (it is possible to setup multiple feeds and/or category feeds in PowerPress so be sure the URL you are redirecting is the URL for the show you are trying to migrate).
This is the URL for your show feed in Libsyn. Generally, it will look like this:
Then hit Add Redirect.
Using pair Networks Managed WordPress Hosting
If you are hosting with our Managed WordPress hosting solution at pair Networks, you will have a Varnish plugin installed an activated on your site. Make sure to clear the Varnish cache. Do not run an additional caching plugin with Varnish, as it can cause conflicts between the two for caching management and with Varnish caching, it isn’t necessary.
Next, a New Feed URL tag needs to be entered into your Libsyn RSS feed. To do so, follow these steps:
- Log into your Dashboard
- Select Destinations
- Select Libsyn Classic Feed
- Scroll towards the bottom and select Advanced Options
- Enter the iTunes redirect tag in the Extra RSS Tags text box:
Replace “http://www.myfeedurl.com/rss.xml” with whatever the URL of the feed you will be using (Libsyn) is.
These redirects, the 301 redirect and the new feed URL tag need to remain in place for a minimum of 4 weeks per iTunes/Apple Podcasts specifications (it doesn’t hurt to leave them in longer). This ensures all your subscribers have a chance to update when their app of choice next refreshes your show in their listing.
Changing to the Libsyn Player
The last piece to this process is to update all the players on your existing WordPress posts to use the Libsyn player. The Libsyn Publisher Hub makes this easy, with a one click button that will update your posts for you.
Go back under Libsyn Publisher Hub –> Import Feed. Scroll to the bottom of the page and find and hit the Add Libsyn Player to WordPress Posts button.
A dialog box asking you to confirm this is what you want will appear.
Hit Add Libsyn Player. Give the system a moment to run this process. Depending on how many posts you have, this process may take a moment or so to complete. The page will refresh and load properly once the process is done. If, at this stage, you were to look at one of your existing posts, you will notice there will be a double player on the post.
This is normal, do not worry! This is actually expected.
This is the point at which PowerPress should be deactivated. In your WordPress Dashboard, go under Plugins –> Installed Plugins. Locate PowerPress in the list, and hit Deactivate.
You do not have to delete PowerPress yet if you don’t wish to, just make sure it is deactivated. Once you do, the player on your posts will appear correctly.
My Posts In Libsyn Are Already Episodes
If you have been publishing episodes in Libsyn, and in PowerPress, with both using your Libsyn media files, you can still run through the above process. Note, however, that the metadata (titles, images, descriptions, etc) will be overwritten with whatever you have in PowerPress. If this is not what you want, please reach out to our support team for assistance.
Once you’ve updated your player on your site, you may wish to clear your cache or clear Varnish again, as well as clear your browser cache, if you don’t immediately see the player updates you expect to see.
Your complete migration is done! If you need any assistance along the way or after, feel free to reach out to our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org.