Is FeedBurner still relevant and useful to bloggers and podcasters? I share 8 things FeedBurner can do, and 8 things it can't or shouldn't do, and let you decide based on your needs.
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FeedBurner is for those who don't know everything
There are better ways to do everything that FeedBurner can do. But these better ways require more knowledge and sometimes money. If you can't invest either of these in the beginning, then FeedBurner may be right for you.
If you use any hosted blogging platform (like Blogger, WordPress.com, BlogTalkRadio, or SquareSpace), then you should definitely use FeedBurner.
For everyone else, it comes down to how much knowledge you have to take total control of your feed.
8 things FeedBurner can do
- Keep your feed portable/protected
- Estimate subscription stats
- Enable email subscriptions
- Keep your feed online during a website crash
- Change/override information in your feed
- Add Google AdSense
- Make a web-app-friendly feed
- Integrate with Google Analytics
8 things FeedBurner can't/shouldn't do
- Create a podcast feed with “SmartCast”
- Measure accurate download stats
- Implement 301-redirects or “new-feed-url”
- Correct some mistakes
- Fix feed problems
- Optimize your RSS feed
- Keep your feed immediately updated
- Maintain branding
If you want total control, don't use FeedBurner
FeedBurner fills a gap, but you can fill that gap better with more knowledge or hiring someone (like me) to set it up optimally for you.
Podcasting poll: Do you use FeedBurner?
More helpful posts about FeedBurner's relevance
- FeedBurner vs. PowerPress, from Dave Jackson of School of Podcasting.
- Upcoming episode from Ray Ortega of The Podcasters Studio.
Please retweet this!
Is FeedBurner still necessary for #blogging and #podcasting? http://t.co/NwEw8txg
— Daniel J. Lewis (@theDanielJLewis) July 23, 2012
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I’m with you Daniel. I still like FeedBurner and if/when I launch another podcast I’ll most likely use it again.
Yup! But I’m relying on it less and less, using it basic just for emails, subscriber estimations, and feed portability.
Exactly. That’s all I use it for as well.
Looking forward to hearing this episode Daniel. I went for FeedBurner after checking what the majority of my favourite podcasters were already using. I like the fact that you can set it up and forget about. Also, it’s a Google product so that must help with Google crawling your website and feed faster, surely?
I don’t think the feed matters much for SEO.
Just listened to the full podcast @theRamenNoodle:disqus. A very balanced opinion from you on FeedBurner. I wish the subscribers stat would be more accurate. In the first 3 weeks of my podcast it’s been up and down like a yo-yo!
I find that Tuesdays are usually the highest (so you’d see these numbers on Wednesdays).
But the more accurate way to figure out “subscribers” is to look at your media stats via Blubrry or LibSyn. This will show you how many times that episode was download via iTunes, browser, and other apps.
For podcasters Feedburner works great with WordPress and the Powerpress plugin, and saves a tremendous amount of time. Time is money. To me the pluses way outweigh the minuses.
Yes, FeedBurner works with WordPress and PowerPress, but it also overrides things that PowerPress sets and may be wasting your time or costing you more time.
How are you using FeedBurner for your podcast? Are you using its “SmartCast” feature instead of PowerPress’s iTunes settings?
When I submitted my current podcast, The Accidental Missionary, to iTunes I submitted my PowerPress feed and didn’t bother with FeedBurner.
That said, I still use FeedBurner for the free email delivery service. I find it hard to beat that service and use it on most of my sites.
Bill, you have a simple and great point! It would be totally possible for a blogger/podcaster to use FeedBurner for nothing else but their email subscription service. Everything else on their website could point the their source RSS feed.
My head was to think to consider a hybrid. I was thinking “all or nothing.”
Just listened to this episode, and loved it. Just started a podcast recent, have 9 episodes, and did turn SmartCast on. I am also using, and have fully configured, PowerPress. If I turn off SmartCast at this point, can you think of anything I might be breaking, or should the PowerPress values pick up right where SmartCast left off?
I’m wondering if doing this will cause iTunes to consider everything to have changed and thus redownload the whole episode set. I’ve seen this happen before with podcasts with a huge number of eps, and it was disconcerting, to say nothing of the disc space. But I guess if it’s going to happen, better now than later. 🙂
“Consider This” http://considerthis.ctpodcasting.com/
Make sure you have all of the iTunes information in your PowerPress settings before you turn off SmartCast. Because SmartCast rewrites what your blog gives FeedBurner, it will simply stop rewriting the podcasting part and let PowerPress’s values passthrough.
iTunes will update your podcast catalog entry, according to any changes you make in the iTunes settings of PowerPress (description, cover art, keywords, etc.). But this won’t force subscribers to redownload past episodes. The only thing that causes that is when a unique ID for each post (called the GUID) changes and then iTunes sees it as a new post. What causes the GUID to change is changing domains, replacing (but not editing) a post, posting something new, or manually editing the GUID (WordPress sometimes overrides manual GUID edits).
That’s probably more than you needed to know about GUID, but at least you know that it means your switch won’t force redownloads.
Thanks so much. Actually, I appreciate the GUID explanation. I’m a software consultant and am aware of what it is, but didn’t know that it applied to the RSS feed.
OK, I feel better now in turning it off.
Doug Payton, stats junkie
This episode is coming at a perfect time for me as I’ve had an existing wordpress site and podcast but am just NOW changing things over to be hosted by Libsyn and fed to itunes (w) Powerpress also in the mix). I HAD planned to use feedburner as one link on that chain BUT now I am reconsidering.
I own my domain so it sounds like I should just use Powerpress to generate the podcast rss feeds (I have 2 separate shows). Should anything bad ever happen to Blubrry or Powerpress (or if I wanted to discontinue using them for some reason), I would be able to have my domain do a 301 redirect and adjust things so my feed would not “die” correct?
If I can simplify things (by cutting out Feedburner) and retain the portability of my feed via the 301 redirect if need be, I am not concerned with the other items on the list of FB benefits. From my above summary, do you agree with my thinking?
Yes, you would be fine skipping Feedburner. As long as you own the domain in question, you would always be able to make a 301 redirect to a new domain if you ever switched.
I’m glad this episode’s timing worked out for you!
Thanks Daniel! Keep up the great work!
Its really a great post.I got so much to learn about feedburner.Thanks a lot for sharing great info.
You’re welcome! Are you already using FeedBurner, or just thinking about using it?
I have been using feddburners for a long time. Its really a great post. Greetings