Migration RSS from FeedBurner to Feedio

Tags: rss

I was wondering: FeedBurner was acquired around 2011 by Google. Google announced that the feedburner API is going to be no longer available.

My intent to use this tool was to track how many people sign up and how many people subscribed to it. It surprised my, that feed for my blog wikimatze was still working. Time to look for alternatives and see how technology has changed.

RSS in the wild

Pages like blog.crazyegg.com mentioned 13 alternatives - but for most of them you have to pay money.

There are many wordpress plugins out there but since I'm using jekyll to build my site as a static HTML page, that is not even an alternative.

The site feedburner-alternatives.com mentions tools like feedblitz and specificfeeds.com. I tried feedblitz and created an RSS-feed of wikimatze.de but wasn't satisfied with the statistics and handling.

Than I stumbled across Danny Browns' post about if you blog really needs RSS. The author may be right that E-Mail subscribers are more open to change and that you can inform then more easier with new information (like changing the URL of your RSS feed).

I still like using RSS feed and using Tiny Tiny RSS to manage my feeds - there is even an app from which I can read new on the road. But I have also gathered positive experience with building up a mailing List for my PadrinoBook with mailchimp.com.

Why not taking both? This is what Danny Brown talks about in his post how he changed his mind about RSS. He mentioned a tool called feedio.co which should take care of this issues. I will show you some features of the tool in the last section of this article with some images.

Get your feedburner users

I made the error to link my RSS feed direct to feedburner. That means, that first all the traffic goes to the external service and second when I change the URL, my readers will not be informed about this.

First of all login to your feedburner account and follow the tab with Analyze:

Get an overview of your feedburner RSS feed

"Get an overview of your feedburner RSS feed"

Next step would be to get an E-Mail to all of your subscribers you need to click on FeedBurner Email Subscriptions :

Manager your feedburner RSS subscribers

"Manager your feedburner RSS subscribers"

The good part is: I had no subscribers so I don't need to contact anyone. The bad part: I will probably lose my 19 subscribers of my old feed. Before I go on, I'll shortly explain the ways you can use to link your RSS feed.

Ways to link your RSS feed

You have several possibilities to link your RSS-feed. The classical way is to put a link in the head and/or link it in the navigation:

<html class="no-js" lang="en">
  <head>
    ...
    <link href="/atom.xml" rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="RSS feed of Matthias Günther">
  </head>
  <body>
    <nav>
        <ul class="dropdown menu large-8 medium-8 columns" data-dropdown-menu>
            ...
            <li><a href="/atom.xml" target="_blank"><i class="fa fa-rss"></i></a></li>
            ...
        </ul>
    </nav>
    ...
  </body>
  ...
</html>

Make a RSS link in the head and in the navigation

"Make a RSS link in the head and in the navigation"

Browser like Firefox will then detect, that there is an RSS feed and will make highlight the RSS icon:

There is even a RSS icon plugin for the address bar:

Firefox plugin to detect RSS feeds in the address bar

"Firefox plugin to detect RSS feeds in the address bar"

Create a apache redirect for your atom

Let's say, that people should always signup under http://yourdomain/atom.xml and you need to track those things. A possible way would be to create a htaccess redirect and point the user to the location you like:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} !feedio [NC]
RewriteRule ^atom.xml/?$ http://www.feedio.co/@wikimatze/feed [R=302,L]
RewriteEngine Off

Decide if you want tracking or be lord over your domain. A mix between the two is also possible, let's say you offer visible RSS on your site which points to some third-party tool (like feedburner) and keep the <link href="/atom.xml" ... on your site.

But you need to be careful with your redirect: Ask the service you want to use, if a redirect is okay - not that their crawlers have problems with the loop.

Feedio

It's very easy to setup. All you have to do is to sign up with your twitter account. Your picture and bio will be taken automatically and you have to submit a link of your feed.

If there are some issues with your feed, one of their founders will help you setup your account. I had some issues with my feed, as Justin Butlion contacted my directly via mail:

Hey Matthias,

I was able to find and access your feed at http://wikimatze.de/atom.xml. There doesn't seem to be a redirect on this
feed which is ideal for us. The issue is that this actual feed has issues which you can see listed here -
http://www.rssboard.org/rss-validator/check.cgi?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwikimatze.de%2Fatom.xml. Only after the feed is valid
will we be able to crawl it.

I checked my RSS feed under rssboard.org and could see that my feed was not ready. This was also a good point to watch what formats are possible. You can get a nice overview atomenabled.org.

Feedio offers a very clean and easy subscription mechanism for your updates: It offers RSS, feedly or email:

Nice sign up interface for email and RSS

"Nice sign up interface for email and RSS"

The dashboard gives you a high-level overview of your subscribers and how many people you reach with your entries:

Nice analytics and dashboard

"Nice analytics and dashboard"

You can use a more detailed view of your articles to and see social share buttons for them:

Detail view of your articles and social share buttons

"Detail view of your articles and social share buttons"

Not so many options are editable on the profile page:

Profile page

"Profile page"

If you want become my first RSS subscribe, you can do that here.

Feedio is still in development and not everything is working - but they are planning to release new features:

  • customizable email templates - I'm still using mailchimp.com but maybe I'll switch
  • google analytics integration - I'm not using it but why not
  • Advanced reporting
  • multiple users
  • ...

They have many things on their agenda - let's see where the voyage will go.

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