I'm a Christian, a designer, and a gadget fan who lives in Cheltenham, UK.

This is my blog, a creative outlet to mess around and play with as well as a place that logs my thoughts and inspirations.

Feedburner to Bird Feeder

As I men­tioned last week I’ve made a change to the way I track the sub­scrip­tion stats here on Elec­tric Week­end. That change seems to have gone well and I want­ed to take this oppor­tu­ni­ty to out­line the sim­ple steps that made it pos­si­ble.

My Feed­burn­er set­up was prob­a­bly a pret­ty stan­dard set­up for a lot of Word­Press (WP) pow­ered blogs. I used the Feed­Smith1 WP plu­g­in to redi­rect my WP feeds to the Feed­burn­er one I had set up. This enabled me to use a nice clean url, rather than the frankly messy url that comes from a Feed­burn­er feed. I also used a Pep­per in Mint to pull in the stats gen­er­at­ed by Feed­burn­er, no need to vis­it anoth­er site to view my stats.

Seems like a good set up right? Well yes, it was work­ing for me and I had near­ly a years worth of stats. So why the change? Well recent­ly I’d got­ten a lit­tle fed up of the delay from Feed­burn­er in pub­lish­ing my stats, but I also felt that there was­n’t enough vari­a­tion in the fig­ures I was receiv­ing. Days where I post­ed received high­er fig­ures, but not sig­nif­i­cant­ly and this felt a lit­tle odd to me. I also felt I should be util­is­ing the stats pack­age I had bought a license to. Mint was work­ing very well at track­ing my vis­i­tors so why would it not work well with my feed sub­scribers?

The Move went very smooth­ly. The first step I took was to vis­it Feed­burn­er and delete the feed I had set up. I made sure to take advan­tage of a very use­ful Feed­burn­er fea­ture. When delet­ing a feed Feed­burn­er offers you the chance to have a 30 day redi­rec­tion ser­vice, so any sub­scribers who got hold of the direct Feed­burn­er feed have time to make the switch.

With my Feed­burn­er feed delet­ed I had no going back so I went about installing the Mint side of things first. The Bird Feed­er pep­per comes in two parts. The first part is the Pep­per itself which installs into the shaunin­man fold­er in the Pep­pers direc­to­ry of your Mint instal­la­tion. The sec­ond part is titled Feed­er and resides in the base lev­el of your site. After upload­ing these two fold­ers I vis­it­ed the Mint pref­er­ences to install the pep­per. After you’ve done this make sure you vis­it yoursite.com/feeder to make sure your Bird Feed­er is active.

How­ev­er that’s only half of the sto­ry. There are some steps that need to be tak­en on the Word­Press side. As with an install of Mint you need to add some code to the head­er of your site in order for Bird Feed­er to do it’s stuff. For­tu­nate­ly, just like when you are installing Mint, there is no need to go adding code to your themes files, every­thing can be accom­plished with a plu­g­in. I used a plu­g­in called WPBird­Feed­er. Installed like any oth­er WP plu­g­in I then acti­vat­ed it in the WP-Admin pan­el after I had deac­ti­vat­ed the Feed­Smith plu­g­in.

That’s pret­ty much it. Now all you have to do is sit back and let Mint do it’s stuff for you feeds, just as it does it for your hits and search­es. I’ve now been using Bird Feed­er for about week and I’ve found more day to day change, includ­ing a high­er fig­ure than I’ve ever received through Feed­burn­er, but the week­ly aver­age is very close to the dai­ly fig­ures from Feed­burn­er2.

  1. Orig­i­nal­ly cre­at­ed by Steve Smith of Ordered List it was then hand­ed over to Feed­burn­er when Steve moved away from Word­Press and just before Google bought Feed­burn­er.?
  2. As oth­ers have not­ed when they made the switch.?