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.?