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I host my website with Bluehost and they say that I have unlimited storage and unlimited bandwidth.

As part of the terms of service I can’t store any files that do not relate to the website. For example, I can’t use it as a hard drive backup.

I spoke to a Bluehost customer service rep and he said that podcast media files do not violate the terms of service but if the files demanded too many resources on the shared hosting server they could shut down my site and ask me to upgrade.

If you don’t have a popular show is it necessary to have a 3rd party media hosting service such as Blubrry or Libsyn?

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I agree with Andrew. The key phrase to note is “if the files demanded too many resources”.

Which I guarantee they will, because of the nature of podcast apps and directory- and search engine bots pinging your feed every so often. So when you release a new episode, you’re going to get (hopefully) hundreds, if not thousands of requests for your feed and subsequently, your podcast episode(s).

Plus standard web hosts don’t include a CDN – which means, they just act as a hard-drive for storage. That means various requests from different parts of the world will be downloaded at different speeds. That means the downloads could be slow. And if the request is from a smart device that needs to play quickly, and in real-time, that’s going to be a big problem.

So in a nutshell, *do not* use your web host for hosting your files.

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It is a best practice to host your podcast files with a podcast hosting company such as Blubrry, Libsyn, Spreaker or Podbean. However, you don’t have to. Many podcasters do use their shared web hosting account to host their podcast media files with mixed results. Some get away with it without any issues and others have their accounts suspended or are asked to upgrade their accounts.

Hosting with a Media Hosting company can also give you some additional benefits. These include podcast statistics and reliable download speeds. Also Libsyn and Spreaker offer a podcast app with some of their hosting plans.

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