Futzing With RSS Feeds (Is Your RSS Feed in Jeopardy?)

September 26, 2012 · 17 comments

in WordPress

Futzing With RSS Feeds (Is Your RSS Feed in Jeopardy?)

Dealing With The Impact 
Of FeedBurner’s Problems 

A website’s RSS feed plays a vital role in the ability of many tools and services that we use to get our message shared.

While no longer the vital player it was 5-8 years ago, RSS feeds are still an important element for a site.

RSS is symbolized by the big orange logo to the right and stands for “Really Simple Syndication”, which basically just means a way for other tools to import, read and utilize your stuff. You can learn more about RSS here.

Traditionally, we needed to use an external service to create a (complex) RSS feed for our content (if we did not want to code it by hand).  

The most common RSS service today is Google’s Feedburner. However, our WordPress blogs now also produce their own built-in, pre-configured, RSS feed!  You will find that feed at – or –  http://yoururl.com/feed/rss/

Many of us have suspected that Feedburner may soon be on the chopping block of services that Google closes. The serious troubles that have afflicted Feedburner this week, including the upcoming deactivation of the API, are further signs that this service has issues.

If you use Feedburner, now is the time to consider a migration, rather than in six months when you might lose more subscribers than necessary.

There is an alternate service to Feedburner called Feedblitz which is a respectable company. However, unless you need the advanced tools that Feedblitz brings, my honest suggestion is to bring your data (feed) home.  (I like a lot of what Feedblitz offers.)

If you need Feedblitz tools that’s fine but if not, your WordPress built in feed actually works very well and is in your control (rather than some third party).  

It’s worth noting that at this time (to the best of my knowledge) Feedblitz can not add media tags (for podcasts) to your feed. However, a plugin such as Blubrry PowerPress (which I use) can let you host your podcast locally and have correctly structured media tags added to your feed. 

Many bloggers who have set up blogs in the last year have actually not configured FeedBurner (I didn’t teach it in my last big WP coaching course) and it’s potentially to their advantage now! You really want this data – and these subscribers – in your own hands if it’s feasible to do so. 

There are a couple plugins available, including a really high quality one,  that can further develop your feed should you wish something a little better styled.  Using a plugin like the mentioned one can really help to improve the shareability of your posts in your feed

Who are you using for your RSS Feed Provider?

~ Kim ~
Simple Tech Tips For Marketing

 

Related Posts By Other Bloggers:

1. FeedBurner Shutting Down?
2. FeedBurner Signs Off Twitter. Now What? Is FeedBurner Going Away? Do Not Wait to Find Out!
2. Is FeedBurner about to be closed by Google?
3. FeedBurner Officially Not Listening Any More
5. Is It Time To Let FeedBurner Burn?
6. FeedBurner To FeedBlitz Migration Guide 
7.  How I Made The Switch (Away From FeedBurner) 
8.  I Moved Away From FeedBurner
9. Why, How, and When To Quit FeedBurner

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Frithjof September 26, 2012 at 6:03 pm

Decisions decisions….
Thanks for this great update Kim! Before I read this I was planning to migrate my feed to feedblitz – when I read the first part of your post I thought: “great, I just have to remove the feedburner links” but THEN I clicked on the link to MaxBlogPress and am very impressed by the customization features. Decisions decisions :-)
Have you tried the service?

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Kim Castleberry September 26, 2012 at 7:21 pm

Frithjof, I have used Feedblitz tools for feed generation. While my main feed is not redirected there, I actually have a secondary feed there that I played with for a long while, you can take a peek at Regarding the plugin, I tested it out about six months ago, not on the new version, but I will personally be putting it back in place. I will be running it on my own feed most likely. I don’t particularly like how it displays comments (the formatting) so I won’t use that component (but I don’t use it on Feedblitz either) but most of the other tools I will be making use of. Does that help?
Kim

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Sergio Felix September 26, 2012 at 7:03 pm

Hey Kim, well you already know my stance with this, I’m currently using Feedburner but I was strongly considering to migrate to FeedBlitz since that’s where many big bloggers went to as well.

I didn’t research any further because all the cool kids were already jumping specifically to that place so if you find something else… well I’m interested.

By now, I haven’t done anything as I Google is like a spoiled little kid, sometimes they will do something and the next day they will revert it back.

So I’m just holding for now and see what happens in the near future.

Sergio
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Kim Castleberry September 26, 2012 at 7:18 pm

With most Google tools there is an advantage to staying with them but that’s simply not the case with Feedburner. It does not improve your SEO, does not improve your reliability, does not improve compatibility and the stats are notoriously highly faulty and highly incorrect. So the convenience in staying is that of not having to migrate. I definitely agree with you about the spoiled kid approach but I imagine if they provide a “new” tool in six months that all existing users AND all non users would have valid migration paths. Since the API is going offline that implies that even their own users would have to jump through hoops. I agree though about keeping your eyes open.
Kim

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Sadie-Michaela Harris September 29, 2012 at 5:39 am

Hello Kim

Oooh la la great timing, I was just being asked about the issues with Feedburner the other day in Mari’s Inner Circle group. I’ll report back over there and share the link to this post with Emma and the rest of the community!
Thanks again enjoy the weekend :)

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Kim Castleberry September 29, 2012 at 10:10 pm

Thanks Sadie, you’re the best as always sweetie <3 Emma dropped by and mentioned that you had shared the post with her as well. All of these services sometimes feel like a constantly moving target!
Kim

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EmmaLBurford ( September 29, 2012 at 9:32 am

Thank you Sadie for pointing me to this post as this is exactly what I had heard on the grapevine and I will be looking at FeedBlitz and taking on board Kim’s great tips – love your blog!

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Kim Castleberry September 29, 2012 at 10:09 pm

Thanks Emma, appreciate the kind words. It always seems like a neverending game trying to keep up with all these companies that can’t seem to decide if they are coming or going!
Kim

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Jupiter Jim September 30, 2012 at 9:28 am

Kimberly,

very helpful article. The problem with using the WordPress feed is that when you click on that feed link in a Google Chrome browser, you get a screen full of text and NOT the feed. That’s the way it used to be anyways and that’s why I switched to feedburner. Definitely gonna check out the FeedBlitz but looks like it’s not free like feedburner.

Thanks for sharing this information.

~ Jupiter Jim
Jupiter Jim invites you to read…WordPress Infographic — The Best CMS, Content Management SystemMy Profile

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Steve Borgman October 2, 2012 at 8:56 pm

Jupiter Jim, I’m curious as to whether you are going to switch to Feedblitz, or whether you’ll weather the Google Chrome problems. I do wonder, though, whether Wordpress will remedy this issue now that Feedburner is going on the fritz.
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Sarah Arrow October 1, 2012 at 10:29 am

Like you I’ve stopped teaching / adding Feedburner to client’s sites. I’ve been moving more towards list building and using the feed to update the email subscribers rather than those who prefer to read via RSS reader. Maybe it’s just me, but there’s something more intimate about email when compared to a feed reader.

I’m looking at Feedblitz, but I’ll also check out your plugin recomendation.

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Jupiter Jim October 2, 2012 at 10:25 pm

Sarah,

I am so with you on this! The average Joe and Josephine does not check their RSS feed on a regular basis but they do check their email! Hello?
Jupiter Jim invites you to read…WordPress Infographic — The Best CMS, Content Management SystemMy Profile

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marquita herald October 1, 2012 at 5:23 pm

Bah humbug :-( I have seriously tried to ignore this issue, but now I’m thinking maybe I need to shift it higher on the priority list. I checked out the ‘high quality’ plugin you linked to above and it does look good. If I’m going to have to do this I might as well ramp up the service. You know what I’m thinking of – not just the blog but a-l-l those directories out there in the world that are using my Feedburner RSS feed. I have never made a change like this before, so maybe with any luck the ‘migration’ process will work so that those all won’t have to be updated individually – ugh! Thanks for the heads up.
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Carolyn October 4, 2012 at 7:00 am

Hi Kim, I’m still debating what to do about this, but I appreciate your sage guidance. My inclination was to join others in hopping on the Feedblitz bandwagon but you’re right, having my RSS feed subscribers in the hands of a third party just didn’t seem right. Now that you’ve discovered a solution to the Chrom issue, I’m thinking that migrating to the Wordpress feed might be the way to go.

I agree with your comments in your webinar yesterday, it’s difficult to believe that Google wouldn’t want to use the data contained in the RSS feeds, so I’m still thinking that they may have something else up their sleeves with RSS feeds.
Carolyn invites you to read…InstaEDU: On-Demand Tutoring for Instant Homework Help!My Profile

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trav November 12, 2012 at 11:05 am

If we “bring the feed” home, are there ways to track the number of subscribers? I really have enjoyed that metric as I’ve migrated my feeds in the past.

Thanks for this info, I’m looking into FeedBlitz. . .

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Kim Castleberry November 13, 2012 at 12:01 pm
Clare March 27, 2013 at 5:22 pm

hi Kim,
I am building a new website for my health consulting business and dropped by to check out how to handle my new RSS feed and thanks for your great advice here. I won’t bother with feedblitz and use my wordpress RSS feed.

I will let you know how it goes.

Clare

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