WordPress has made it incredibly easy to add audio (and video) to your website — especially when just a few short years ago you pretty much had to jump through hoops to offer sound and moving pictures to your site visitors.
Note: This tutorial is for you if you’re still using the Classic Editor. If you’ve updated to Gutenberg, stay tuned!
What Is an Audio File?
An audio file can be music, or someone talking, or any combination of the two. A podcast is a type of audio file.
Audio files come in different formats. (Think about documents you can save in Microsoft Word, for example — you can save as .docx, .doc, .txt, .rtf.) The audio format we’re most familiar with today is mp3. Others include:
How to Upload your Audio File
If you just have one or two audio files, the simplest way to add them is using WordPress’ own Media Uploader. It’s a similar process to uploading an image.
#1. Insert your cursor in the edit window of your page or post where you want to add the audio.
#2. Click the Add Media button
#3. Choose the audio file to upload
#4. Fill out the Attachment Details — Title, Caption and Description
#5. Select the Attachment Display Settings
Which Attachment Display Settings Should You Choose?
When you embed your audio file, WordPress automatically inserts an audio player within the page or post. This is the best choice most of the time.
Here’s what the media player looks like.
When you link to a media file, your page displays a clickable link. When the reader clicks on it, a video player opens on a new page and begins playing the file.
When you link to an attachment page, your page also displays a clickable link. When the reader clicks on it, though, he goes to a new page with another clickable link that starts the audio in another new page. I can’t think of any good reason to select this option!
If you want a different Media Player, there are lots of plugins to choose from.
A Word of Caution
Just because you can upload your audio files to WordPress doesn’t mean you should.
If you just have a few on your site, it probably won’t be a problem. But if you have lots of site visitors coming and listening to lots of audio files, it could end up slowing WordPress way down, or using up all the bandwidth your hosting company allows.
If audio will play a large role on your website, you should find a faster, less expensive place for the files. There are several good options, but that’s the subject for another article.