I have seen some bloggers raise concerns in using Feedburner on their blogs for RSS subscriptions. The primary concern being the fact that Feedburner is a third party service. These bloggers fear that by using a third party service they might loose all of their subscriptions if the service ceases to exist. While this is a valid concern you should not worry too much about it. Feedburner provides a number of advantages over your regular blog RSS feed.
Benefits of using Feedburner
- Feedburner is owned by Google, a reputable company that has said it will redirect Feedburner feed to your own feed if you choose to leave Feedburner. Therefore by leaving Feedburner you will not loose your RSS subscriptions.
- Feed burner provides free email subscriptions. There are other email subscription tools such as Aweber, but, you have to pay a charge for using their service.
- Feedburner provides vital statistics such as number of subscribers, how many times a post has been viewed etc.
- Feedburner ensures that your RSS feed is made compatible to all types of RSS readers.
- Feedburner allows customization of RSS feed. For example, the ability to add dynamic elements to your feed footer.
Using the Feedsmith Plug-in to redirect your blog feed to Feedburner.
Feedsmith is a simple plug-in that will allow you to redirect your blog’s RSS feed to Feedburner. This plug-in is especially useful when your blog template retrieves the RSS feed using the function <?php bloginfo(‘rss2_url’); ?> (rss2_url is a built in WordPress variable).
In the above case you do not want to change the blog template code and hard code your Feedburner URL. So your best bet is to use the Feedsmith plug-in. Using the Feedsmith plug-in is really simple. Once the plug-in is installed and activated, Click on the Settings tab (or menu if you are using WordPress 2.7 and above) and click on FeedBurner tab/menu to view the Feedsmith plug-in page.
In the plug-in page simply fill your Feedburner address in the first text field. You can also fill in the Feedburner Comments Feed address in the 2nd text field, but this is optional. Once you are done save the changes.
From now on whenever someone requests your blog’s RSS Feed, the Feedsmith plug-in will redirect the request to your Feedburner URL.