For most serious bloggers, publishing feeds and gathering data is an important part of the work. Finding new subscribers, tracking subscriptions, learning how many subscribers return and other information about them is incredibly valuable. Feedburner has been the best option for filling this niche for a long time and it offers excellent services, but recently users have found Feedburner to be more problematic than helpful.
Many bloggers are reporting that they have received inaccurate and unreliable data from Feedburner, particularly after the Google acquisition. Subscription numbers swing erratically each day and some report that subscriptions are being reported as zero. Furthermore, some have reported that the full content of their posts are not showing to some aggregators and that it is too slow.
Feedburner has long been the standard for managing feeds but if you, like many, are growing weary of unreliable information and performance read on to learn about some of the alternatives available.
FeedBlitz began with the goal of successfully competing with Feedburner. FeedBlitz is an email newsletter and RSS publishing service. A small fee of $1.49 per month ensures that there are no ads published alongside your feeds and allows for up to 10 emails per month. The service supports full management of RSS feeds including branding, metrics and social media bookmarking. Multiple RSS feeds can be managed and real-time reports and analytics can be accessed. A splicing feature allows you to combine RSS feeds, links, and comments from different social media services. FeedBlitz also supports editing, redirecting, deleting and migrating feeds. FeedBlitz certainly has a lot to offer, making competing with Feedburner an entirely viable idea.
Feedity offers a variety of plans for different needs ranging from free to $30.75 per month. The service supports placing a widget on your website and publishing RSS feeds. An application programming interface allows users to edit the programming of Feedity to create custom feeds. In addition to publishing, the service has two interesting and easy features. One is placing a Feedity bookmarklet in your browser tool bar. Whenever the bookmarklet is clicked it automatically redirects to Feedity with the pertinent URL, which helps build RSS feeds with just one click. The other benefit is Autodiscovery, which allows web browsers and other software to find a site’s RSS feed. The bare bones basic service is free but if you’d like any of the advanced features and analytics be prepared to pay a monthly fee.
Mint is a comprehensive analytics designed to manage your site and RSS feeds. The service can track site activity including page views and unique visitors by day, week, month and year. Information can also be learned about referrers, including unique, most recent and repeat referrers. Furthermore a search filter is useful when you need to determine whether web or image searches led people to your site. A bird feeder gives data on subscription patterns for different ranges of time as well as detailed information on each feed item. What’s more, Mint uses Pepper, which are free plugins that extend the features and services Mint has to offer. With a user-friendly interface and versatility through Pepper and widgets, Mint is a good alternative to Feedburner. A one time $30 payment gives you full access to Mint, Pepper, the forum and updates.
Postrank offers a service which manages, tracks and grows your RSS and blog readership. It tracks the engagement of your blog, feeds, and social media and reports activity over time. A daily report gives page views and engagement score based on the amount and type of activity and links to other web activity related to your content, so you’ll always have fairly recent data to refer to when you need it. A ‘conversation feed’ allows you to monitor any activity and hits you get across different social media sites in one place. Page views, average reading time, social media hits and Google Analytics integration are all available with Postrank.
FeedStats is a free plugin for WordPress to track feed subscribers. There is nothing fancy about it; it simply works across multiple feed types including RSS and ATOM to keep track of the exact number of people following your blog. There are no advanced graphs or analytics, or any other capabilities for that matter. If you’re only interested in the number of readers you have and don’t want anything too complicated, then FeedStats is an excellent choice for you.
FeedCat is a free service that supports publishing of both RSS and ATOM feeds. A small button placed anywhere on your website keeps track of unique visitors and gives you control of publishing feeds to different readers and to social bookmarking sites. FeedCat allows you to track page views, visits, and people over time and also gives you the ability to see where in the world your readers are coming from. This service is comparable to Feedburner.
Subscriber2 tries to replace Feedburner’s feature of sending updates straight to subscribers’ inboxes. The WordPress plugin collects readers’ email addresses and automatically updates them when you write a new post.
About The Author
Tom Walker is a creative writer, which is really handy, especially as he spends much of his time writing about HP laser cartridges, ink and paper for a Manchester based supplier called Cartridge Save. Tom is interested in a wide range of things from gadgets to design and mostly contributes his work to CreativeCloud.
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