Saturday, 5 September 2015

Hosting a Podcast on Google Drive

When I hosted the Young Guns Show I used Amazon’s S3 service to host the audio files for the podcast. This worked well and while the podcast was going, I had no problem paying the $10–15/month that it cost me to host the files.

Since I’ve stopped recording new episodes, traffic has dropped off some, but still to this day I find myself paying $7–10/month in hosting fees for the audio files. I’m not sure where this traffic is coming from to be perfectly honest. Maybe I still get a lot more first-time subscribers than I realize, or maybe it’s being picked up by 3rd-party podcast curation and distribution services. Either way, that adds up and since I’ve stopped recording, I estimate I’ve spent about $200 hosting the files.

This finally got on my nerves and I began to look for another way to host the files. The perfect solution would have:

  • Little-to-no cost
  • Fast servers
  • No file transfer bandwidth limit
  • An easy way to manage the files

One option I looked at was Dropbox, but because of some of the issues mentioned in this article, I opted against it. Another option was to host the files on, but as I understand it, it’s very difficult to edit or remove things from there after they’ve been added, and I wanted more control.

This brought me to Google Drive, and after some digging, I discovered it to be the perfect solution.

How to Host Podcast Audio on Google Drive

Before I start, I’m going to write this with the assumption you’re working through the web UI. You can probably do all of this through the app though.

Create a new folder in your drive to host all your podcasts’s episodes. For YGS, I even opted to host my iTunes artwork here as well. Right click on the folder and select Share and then Advanced. Under “Who has access” and next to “Private – Only you can access” click Change. Select “On – Public on the web” and save your changes.

Now, upload your audio files. Once uploaded, right click on the file and select Get Link. This will provide you with sharable URL to the file that will look something like this:

Take a careful look at that URL. Everything after ?id= is the ID Google Drive has assigned to that file and is critical in accessing it in a raw, usable format. So, for this file, the ID is 0B-_jsYSK16YkYmFNSV9ybGVmelk.

Copy the ID and open a new browser tab to So, in our example case, that would be Opening that will redirect you to a much longer URL, in this case: And there you have it, your podcast audio hosted on a publicly accessible, fast server, for free.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Migrating a WordPress Site from utf8mb4 to utf8

Starting in version 4.2, WordPress will attempt to upgrade its database tables from utf8 to utf8mb4. You can read more about the change on if you’re into that kind of thing, but most of the time it won’t affect you. Most of the time.

It did affect me though. I ran into an issue where I’d built a site on a development environment running on MySQL 5.5 which supports utf8mb4, but had to launch it on Media Temple’s Grid service, which runs MySQL 5.1 and doesn’t support utf8mb4. I saw a few people recommending exporting the 5.5 database in phpMyAdmin using MYSQL40 compatibility and importing that into your 5.1 environment, but when I tried it, it messed up some serialized Beaver Builder data.

Eventually I discovered that WP Migrate DB is the way to go. The free plugin allows you to export your data with URL and file paths automatically replaced, and pre MySQL 5.5 compatibility. I ran it on the development site and got an export that I was able to import directly into the live, 5.1 environment without errors or corrupted serialized data.

I’m not sure how much of an edge case my situation is, but hopefully this is helpful to someone. Any other work arounds you’re aware of?

Monday, 1 June 2015

Edit Quick Switch

tl;dr — I made a plugin available here.

I saw a post on WP Tavern about a new plugin called Fast Page Switch that allowed you to quickly switch between page edit screens in the WordPress admin. It occurred to me that this concept could be easily taken further and allow for switching between posts, pages, and custom post types via a searchable dropdown. I turned the concept into a plugin called Edit Quick Switch and you can download it on now.

If you find it helpful, please share. Or, if you have ideas for improvement, it’s all on GitHub.

Friday, 10 April 2015


I’ve wanted to start my own WordPress theme shop for a long time… a really long time actually. On Monday I finally did it and launched ThemeBright, a theme shop that makes WordPress themes for churches. The first theme is called Restful and I’m giving away a free copy.

We’ll see how this goes, but I’m giving it my best shot.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Observations on Modern Blogging

Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of blog posts.

In fact, most of them are like this one.

One sentence per paragraph.

Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, maybe two. Like this paragraph.

As if every line was earth-shattering news that deserved a paragraph all to itself.

I understand what you guys are trying to do.

I get it.

You understand that short paragraphs are considered helpful.

You understand readers have short attention spans.

And you understand that writing long paragraphs is hard.

But I have a request.

And I’ll keep it brief.

Stop it.


It’s really annoying.