FeedBurner is an RSS feed optimization and management service which was launched in 2004, and acquired by Google in 2007. Bloggers use FeedBurner to power their feeds and make them available for everyone to subscribe to. It is sometimes preferred for serving feeds as it has detailed statistics, feed optimization options, feed publication options, and display options such as sharing buttons and much more.
For your WordPress blog, FeedBurner and Google Analytics integration is essential. Here, we’ll guide you through how you setup your WordPress blog feeds with FeedBurner.
Benefits of Using FeedBurner with WordPress
There are some significant benefits of using FeedBurner with your WordPress site or blog.
- FeedBurner makes it easy for visitors to subscribe in multiple ways, such as through email, and other feed-readers like Netvibes, Google, etc.
- It provides the statistics of your RSS subscribers so that you can analyze and optimize your blog posts accordingly.
- You can use your subscriber count from FeedBurner as a way to enhance the credibility of your site.
- FeedBurner also gives you the ability to customize your feeds through adding logos for branding, modifying headers, etc.
- It has the ability to ping various feed readers automatically after publishing your posts.
- It also integrates AdSense into your feed as a way for you to monetize it.
Besides all of that, FeedBurner has many other useful features, and it is free and works seamlessly with WordPress. For these reasons, almost all of the most popular blogs use it.
Setting up FeedBurner for WordPress feeds
Here is your step by step guideline to setup your FeedBurner:
Step 1: Setup FeedBurner to Read Your WordPress RSS Feed
- First, you need to have a Google account. Sign in to the account.
- Visit the FeedBurner service page.
- Put your website URL into the Burn a feed right this instant field and click Next. FeedBurner will automatically find your main RSS Feed. If you have SEO Friendly WordPress URL Structure, then your feed link should be something like yourdomain.com/feed/
- Choose a feed title and a feed address. Feed title will identify your feed in your FeedBurner account. The feed address is the URL where you will send your visitors to subscribe to your feed. Choose a short, distinct title and a simple URL.
Now your Feed is burned. It is the time to go to the next step.
Step 2: Configure Your FeedBurner Traffic Statistics
- After getting confirmation from step 1, you will find the options for tracking statistics about your feed while clicking the “next” button. A few stats are tracked automatically, but if you want to get as many as possible then you need to set it up yourself.
- The Clickthroughs will keep track of the number of people who click on each item in your feed.
- The Item enclosure downloads is essentially a download count, but it is used for podcast feeds. If you just setup FeedBurner for your website, leave this option unchecked.
- The I want more! option will track some extra stats such as how many time each individual item has been viewed in your feed and the total reach of your feed. If you like to have these stats, check the box.
- Now click “next”.
Now your feed is ready to accept subscriptions. Before moving on to the final step, there are some of the extra configuration options under the “Optimize“, “Publicize” and “Monetize” tabs, which also need to be configured.
Step 3: FeedBurner Optimize Settings
When you click on the “Optimize” tab in FeedBurner you will find several options on the left menu such as BrowserFriendly, SmartFeed and FeedFlare. You can set your options as you prefer, but some options are required to optimize your WordPress Blog Feed.
- BrowserFriendly – The option allows potential subscribers to view your feed and subscribe to it through their web browsers.
- SmartFeed – Automatically makes your feed compatible with other feed formats. Your visitors could subscribe to your feed using whatever feed reader they choose.
- FeedFlare – This adds social sharing links to your feed items such as “Email This”, “Share on Facebook”, etc. under the “Feed” column. You can add as many or as few sharing options as you like.
- Title/Description Burner – This option allows adding a new title and description to your feed if you do not like the default ones.
There are more options on this tab, but most are not necessary for your feed setup. If you want to know about any of them just click on them and FeedBurner will give you a summary of what they do.
Step 4: FeedBurner Publicize Settings
The “Publicize” tab in FeedBurner has some options on the left menu such as Email Subscriptions, PingShot, FeedCount, NoIndex, etc.
- Email Subscriptions – This useful option will let your feed be subscribed to via email, because there are some users who prefer to get email updates rather than using Google reader.
- PingShot – Will send a ping to notify feed readers when your feed has new content.
- FeedCount – Displays a box on your site with the number of your feed subscribers. It is one of the best social proof methods.
- Awareness API – This comes in handy if you are trying to list yourself on sites like BuySellAds because they can extract your subscriber count easily.
- NoIndex – Prevents your FeedBurner feed from being index. We recommend turning on this option. If you do not, it is possible your feed might rank higher than your actual site for some keywords since the feed is hosted on FeedBurner (which gives it a high page rank).
There are other options like Headline Animator and BuzzBoost that you can activate if you like.
Step 5: FeedBurner Monetize Settings
Monetizing your feed is another good feature of FeedBurner. It allows you to use Google AdSense. To turn this option on, login to your AdSense account and look for the “AdSense for feeds link” under “AdSense Setup » Get Ads”.
Step 6: FeedBurner Analyze Settings
When you select the Analyze tab, you will find an image like the one below because the stats are not recorded. After 24 hours you will start seeing numbers there. Use the subscriber count, clicks and other handy data to improve your blog. Check what your users like and do not like with these stats. Then focus on the type of posts that your users like and enjoy.
Step 7: Setup WordPress to Send Visitors to Your FeedBurner Feed
Your FeedBurner is now configured, but there’s one last thing to do – you need to integrate your FeedBurner with WordPress. You’ll need to create a redirect, so when visitors will try to visit yourdomain.com/feed/, they will redirect to your FeedBurner feed page. It will help you to keep track of subscribers on your blog. To redirect your feeds you can use the .htaccess file, but for beginners FD FeedBurner is one of the best plugins to do it easily.
How to Allow Email Subscriptions to Your RSS Feed
To allow email subscription you need to visit the “Publicize” tab. Here you will find a box on the left side menu for “Email Subscriptions”; go ahead and click this. At the bottom of the screen click the “Activate” button. You should see the “Subscriptions Management” page. It will provide some HTML code to add the subscription form to your website. Customize the styling of the form using HTML and CSS, or use the “Subscription Link Code” to send your visitors to subscribe to your feeds through the FeedBurner site. Do not forget to customize the email address from which subscription notifications are sent, and also the confirmation message, by using the “Communications Preferences” sub-menu of “Email Subscriptions”.
Ready to roll
Now you have setup FeedBurner and WordPress to work together automatically and your visitors are able to subscribe to your site via an RSS reader or email. You have access to useful stats about your subscribers and a subscriber count. You’re well on your way!