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Stop Using FeedBurner – Move to FeedBurner Alternatives

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Stop Using FeedBurner – Move to FeedBurner Alternatives

In 2010, we wrote our popular step by step guide on how to setup FeedBurner. A little over a year ago, we decided to stop using FeedBurner for all of our sites. Ever since we have received hundreds of questions about various FeedBurner bugs, issues, etc. In this article, we will talk about why you should avoid using FeedBurner. If you’re already using it, then we will show you why you need to stop using FeedBurner, and how you can move to reliable FeedBurner alternatives.

FeedBurner is Dead

FeedBurner is Google’s RSS feed management service that many bloggers relied upon several years ago (What is RSS?). While Google hasn’t shut it down yet, it has been rumored for quite sometime that Google is going to shut it down.

FeedBurner hasn’t seen any features or updates for as long as we can remember. FeedBurner API was taken down. They also retired the Adsense for Feeds feature. All of this happened in 2012.

So why are writing about this now – two years later?

Well because we are still getting emails from users regarding FeedBurner. In the past 30 days, our old FeedBurner setup guide received over 3500 unique visitors from search engine traffic. Since FeedBurner has no support, we have received dozens of bug reports and support requests.

We want to point all concerned users to a more up to date article.

FeedBurner Alternatives

Aside from subscriber analytics and ability monetize with Adsense, FeedBurner offered two main features that bloggers loved.

  1. FeedBurner gave bloggers a better way to display their RSS feed along with offering sharing options to users.
  2. FeedBurner offered a free and easy way for users to subscribe to your blog via Email.

Let’s take a look at how we replaced FeedBurner with alternatives that are better.

At WPBeginner, we use default WordPress feeds and manage them on our own. Using default WordPress feeds gives you the control on your feed. We recommend our users to rely on the default WordPress functionality and manage feeds on their own. Here is why:

Pretty Feed Display with Sharing Options

Google Play Newsstand

You need to understand that people don’t visit your feed URL to read your content. Instead most folks utilize feed readers like Feedly, Flipbook, Google’s Newsstand, etc. These feed readers already perform most of the tasks that FeedBurner did some five years ago.

If you are using FeedBurner for better feed display and social sharing, then you don’t need to do that anymore. However you can definitely educate your users on how to subscribe to your site.

Blog subscription via Email

A lot of users still prefer to receive blog updates via email, so it’s crucial that you replace this functionality.

While the JetPack plugin offers the closest alternative to FeedBurner subscribe via email functionality, we strongly recommend our users against using that.

Why? Because just like FeedBurner, you can’t send out exclusive updates to your subscribers. The only way to update your subscribers is by making a public post.

Since you have made the decision to do things the RIGHT way, then we recommend you start building an email list.

Professional email marketing services like MailChimp, AWeber, etc allow you to offer blog subscription via email along with giving you the full power of a robust email marketing platform. You get better analytics such as how many users opened your email, how many clicked on it, etc.

You also get higher delivery rate meaning more of your users will get your updates. Last but not the least, you get the flexibility and options.

For example, you can offer multiple subscription option (daily updates, weekly updates, etc) – see our guide on how to create a daily and weekly newsletter.

We’re using MailChimp for our site, and it’s FREE for up to 2000 subscribers.

Now that we have covered the alternatives, let’s take a look at how you can move away from FeedBurner.

Moving Away From FeedBurner

If you had been using FeedBurner’s email subscription service, then the first thing you need to do is to export your email subscribers. Simply login to your FeedBurner account and click on your feed. After that click on the link ‘See more about your subscribers’.

Manage your FeedBurner subscribers

On the next screen, scroll down to the Email Subscription Services section and click on FeedBurner Email Subscriptions. This will expand the section, and you will be able to see a link to manage your email subscribers list. Click on the link to see your email subscribers.

FeedBurner email subscribers

FeedBurner will now show you the list of your email subscribers. You will see an Export CSV link above the list. Simply click on it, and it will download your list in the CSV format. You can then import this file into an email marketing service of your choice such as MailChimp, AWeber, etc.

Export your FeedBurner email subscribers

Because we use MailChimp for our site, we will show you how the import functionality works in MailChimp. Most other providers have a similar process.

First thing you need to do is login to your MailChimp dashboard and create a new list in MailChimp.

Creating a new list for your blog's email subscribers in MailChimp

After you have created a new list, you can import your email subscribers using the CSV file you downloaded from FeedBurner. Start by clicking on the Lists menu in MailChimp dashboard and select your newly created list. This will take you to list management page. There you need to click on Subscribers » Import Subscribers.

Import FeedBurner email subscribers to MailChimp

On the next screen, click on the ‘Import from a CSV or TXT file’ option and then import the CSV file you downloaded from FeedBurner.

Once you have imported your list, you will need to create a RSS to Email campaign.

Different email marketing services will have different names for this functionality. In MailChimp, they call it RSS to Email campaign. In AWeber, they call it Broadcasts. Simply Google the “name of your email marketing service and blog RSS”, and you will find a tutorial for that.

After you have all this setup, then you can turn off your Email Subscriptions in FeedBurner, so your users don’t receive two emails. You can do this by going under the Publicize Tab in FeedBurner and click on the Email Subscriptions link in the left column.

Remember that when transitioning your email subscribers to a new email service, you might lose some subscribers, but these are inactive subscribers who you probably don’t want anyways.

Redirect FeedBurner Subscribers Back to WordPress Feed

It was common for bloggers to redirect their WordPress feed URL to their FeedBurner page. Some did it with a plugin like FD FeedBurner, while others used their theme’s built-in functionality, and the more savvy used a code snippet.

If you’re using any of the above methods to redirect your default WordPress feed, then please stop using those right away.

The best way to check if you’re redirecting your feed is by visiting your RSS feed URL:

http://www.yoursite.com/feed/

If this redirects to FeedBurner, then you haven’t fixed it.

Next, write a blog post and ask your subscribers to update the URL and possibly educate them on how they can subscribe to your site using other readers.

Important: DO NOT DELETE your FeedBurner feed. There are some sites that will tell you to DELETE your FeedBurner feeds which supposedly will redirect your subscribers, but it doesn’t. It’s a terrible idea, and you will lose your subscribers. Why?

Because when you delete your feed, FeedBurner will add a new post notifying your readers that your feed has moved. This doesn’t automatically update the feed URL on your user’s feed readers. If the user doesn’t take any action within 15 days, then you lose that subscriber forever. Furthermore after 30 days, a competitor can claim your FeedBurner URL and all the users who didn’t update their feeds will start getting his updates.

Once again, DO NOT DELETE your FeedBurner feeds.

Simply write a blog post to notify your readers to update their URLs. Educate them with resources on how they can do it.

After that simply let the FeedBurner feed die a slow death.

This way those who don’t update your feed URL in their RSS reader still continue to get new content, but all your new readers subscribe the right way.

Create Subscription Forms, Subscribe Page, and More

Now that you have created your email list and defaulted back to the WordPress feed URL, you should make appropriate updates to your site such as remove all mentions of FeedBurner URL, update your email signup forms etc.

OptinMonster Banner

For adding signup forms to your site, we recommend that you use OptinMonster. It allows you to create effective opt-in forms such as sidebar signup forms, after post forms, floating footer bar, slide-ins, lightbox popups, etc.

We’re using it on our site, and it has helped us grow our email list by 600%.

Next you probably want to create a subscribe page that shows readers how they can subscribe to your site.

Since you’re using the default WordPress feed, you have a lot of flexibility and customization options.

You can add thumbnails to your RSS feeds, add other custom content to RSS feeds, or you can entirely create custom RSS feeds.

Another neat feature that’s built-in with WordPress is category specific feeds. You can allow your users to subscribe to individual categories with category RSS feed. Read our article on how to allow users to subscribe to categories in WordPress.

We hope this guide helped you find a way to deal with the demise of FeedBurner and move on to better options. We strongly recommend that you stop using FeedBurner.

If you liked this article, then subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more WordPress video tutorials. You can also join us on Twitter and Google+.


Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi. Page maintained by Syed Balkhi.

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Comments

  1. Erin says:

    I feel like I’m missing something here. I moved away from Feedburner YEARS ago when they first announced they would not longer update the API. I moved to Feedblitz and run that feed through Mailchimp in an rss campaign.

    The issue I’m having, and how I stumbled upon this post, is that Feedblitz inserts a 1×1 pixel image in the feed and Mailchimp converts it to a 600×600 pixel image that pushes my feed content down the page. SO I’m looking for alternatives. But is having to run the WordPress Feed through an rss service even a thing anymore? Can I skip the whole rss service and run the domain.com/feed straight through Mailchimp’s rss campaign for auto sends?

    TIA!

    • WPBeginner Support says:

      Yes, you can use the default WordPress RSS feed through MailChimp’s RSS to email campaign.

  2. Ron says:

    One thing I hate about Mailchimp is that it displays my physical address and email at the final confirmation message to subscribers. I mentioned that to customer service but it’s part of the anti-spam policy. Address should be kept confidential for a variety of reasons.
    I also don’t like the captcha ….there is no way of disabling that functionality. It’s a pain and can turn people off from signing up.

  3. Candice says:

    Hi. I am 3 weeks into building my first blog on WP, haven’t thought about acquiring email lists that much as opposed putting contents in… I have downloaded this plug- in called Ultimate Social Media Plus… It also come with this prompt that ask reader to subscribe for new posts… How is things like different from MailChimp? The WP also has a widget that let’s me put a subscription box on the pages… again, how are these different from these email services you guys are talking about? I have v. little technology background, hopefully my question is not too silly. Thanks in advance!!!

  4. Dan Stafford says:

    What I’m wondering is how to replace Feedburner’s podcast listing support & pingshot services.

  5. Henning Uhle says:

    Great post. Thank you. But one thing is strange.

    Mailchimp works like a charm. I use RSS driven campaigns that send out emails to my subscribers once a day at a specific time. If WordPress RSS isn’t available at this time, no email is sent. And the Mailchimp guys informed me to use Feedburner or other RSS caching services to prevent this issue.

    And since Feedburner didn’t die, I use it as recommended by Mailchimp. Now I think about switching to Google Newsstand to have a RSS caching service that’s more future-like. But I am not sure if Mailchimp works together with it. But I will try.

    Cheers, Henning

  6. shan says:

    There is no alternative to feed burner right now. Because this is a free service. And emails never go to spam folder. If you have lot of money to burn for email subscription close feedburner service and find alternative.

  7. Alana says:

    Thank you for all of the tips! I just switched over to MailChimp and this helped a ton!

  8. andrea says:

    I switched to Aweber about a month ago. When we imported my subscribers into Aweber, there were no names, just email addresses. Does feedburner even capture first name? If not, Yikes! Not sure how I can go back and capture the names of 600 subscribers!

    • WPBeginner Support says:

      You can contact Aweber support. You may have to require all your users to confirm subscription again.

  9. Ganesh says:

    Nice post thanks for sharing feed burner information .

  10. Kady says:

    Thanks so much for this blog post! It was so helpful as I switched all my email posts from Feedburner and Jetpack to Mailchimp!

  11. Nostromov says:

    Ugh, dunno whether you guys are unaware – or, what?! FeedBurner is dead and gone… Its domains, feedburner.com/ & feedburner.org/ are parked; outside of Google, it does *not* exist any longer!..

    Perhaps updating the article, or something, would be good?? :))

    • Josh says:

      Those domains were deactivated about 5-6 years ago after Google’s takeover of the Feedburner service was completed. Feedburner can now be found at feedburner.google.com.

  12. Jennifer Harry says:

    I use newsletter plugin to send newsletters, but I have a problem understanding what to do about sending regular newsletters. I suppose I’ll just have to focus on it and get it done, but it’s difficult when you have a million other jobs to do!

  13. Lance McGrew says:

    Email subscriptions are becoming or have become old-school. Instant push notifications are the new way. Better instant gratification experience, no problem with your feeds ending up in junk mail folders. Get your subscriber’s attention even when their email client app is not open. Problem is, I am not finding a clear way of integrating instant push notifications with WordPress posts. Feedburner 30-minute push is insufficient. Boxcar2 requires user to manually type in a custom URL. No obvious way to allow subscribers to custom select what feeds or notifications they want pushed to their mobile devices.

  14. Kimm Boes says:

    Hello, I am searching for help regarding a feed issue. I recently acquired a blog, my second, and installed a new theme. I also exported the feedburner subscribers to Mailchimp and set up an RSS campaign within Mailchimp to send my new posts to my subscribers each morning. The problem is that my feed is not updating, so mailchimp is not getting the notification that new content has posted, and isn’t sending out the e-mail. As I understand it, my feed still comes from feedburner, but when I log in to that account, it shows old content, from before I acquired the blog. If I click on “resync”, it will update, but it reverts back. Can you help?

  15. Daniel Boswell says:

    This comment thread seems a bit old but for those who are inquiring about MailChimp, the RSS to Email feature works in the free version. There are also a few free RSS email templates to chose from that have everything already set up. When going through the RSS to Email setup process, one of the steps lets you select your template. Just add your logo or your name in text on the banner, make any color changes you want, and adjust the font if you don’t like whats there, and you should be good to go.

    • Chaz DeSimone says:

      Daniel, thanks for posting even though “this thread seems old.” I need to install RSS and Mailchimp, and your two points about RSS to Email working in the free version, and that I can choose a template and make some simple customization, is the clincher for me. Thank you. (The site I’m building now is for silent films of 100 years ago– . Threading film on a 1906 Powergraph is an “old thread”!)

  16. Jim says:

    You recommend using the default WP rss feed, but it is broken and does not generate xml files that work. (WP 4.2.2)

  17. Eli says:

    Hi,
    Your blog is very good!
    Small question, I’m using with word press blog’s building and have RSS program by WP. When I’m clicking in RSS icon at my website, at Explorer internet the RSS feed is appearing well but at Chrome it’s not appearing. Why? How can I fix so it will appear also at Chrome?
    looking forward & thank you!
    Eli Kassel.

  18. Lucky Bhumkar says:

    Most valuable post. Thanks for alerting me before fall into the trap of Feedburner.

  19. Sonia says:

    I recently moved to MailChimp and now want to stop using FeedBurner altogether, but I’m afraid I have no idea how to get that done…

    Now that FeedBurner offers a permanent redirection option, would you say that deleting the feed would be an acceptable way of redirecting the feed back to the original source, i.e. wordpress, or would I still need to take additional steps even if I did that? It has been years since I started using FeedBurner and now I have no idea how to undo that. I know for a fact that I didn’t use a redirect plugin and I wouldn’t have modified the header.php file, as I have no idea how to do that…

    I am at a loss as to how to recover my feed and ditch FeedBurner… Please help!

  20. suryatejaaaa says:

    but,the problem with mailchimp is when we send the emails through mailchimp,they will go directly to promotions tab and no one will care about them..If you have any suggestion better tell me..

  21. Tri Wahyudi says:

    For me Feedburner remain useful for capturing traffic to my blog :D

  22. Lukas Brandt says:

    What about Feedpress.it?

  23. Nancy Ward says:

    I have 50 email subscribers that are listed on Feedburner and getting email updates. I also have 740 registered users that are not listed on Feedburner as subscribers and therefore not getting emails. What are my options to moving from Feedburner to another email app to incorporate the registered users?

  24. Quinn W says:

    Thanks so much for this! I do have one question – you mentioned being able to put together a campaign for either a blog category or tag in Mailchimp RSS to email. I’ve tried to do both, but Mailchimp seems to revert it every time back to my main blog feed. Do you have any insight as to why? ~Quinn

  25. Mary A. Axford says:

    My blog uses Feedburner to let people subscribe by email. Very early on (blog started in mid-2012) I could log on. However, I started getting a message to log in to claim my Feedburner account, the ID and password didn’t work. The only way I knew to try and get help was to post on a Google forum, and so far Google has ignored mine and a lot of other people’s request for help on this. Any ideas? I don’t want to force my email subscribers to subscribe via something else. Thanks!

  26. WPBeginner Staff says:

    MailChimp has a feature called RSS to Email.

  27. Kennis Wong says:

    MailChimp is not exactly an alternative to email subscription of blog posting, is it? My understanding is that you will need to manually create an email to send to your subscribers if you are using MailChimp, whereas in WordPress Jetpack, your subscribers automatically receive an email alert for any new post. I see the two services are complimentary to each other (although it could be confusing to readers if you have two separate sign-ups). Correct me if I am wrong about MailChimp though.

    • Anya says:

      The paid version of mailchimp can be programmed to pull in the RSS feed from a blog and create emails automatically. They can also be styled and branded. It’s fairly simple and it takes some testing, but it is possible.

  28. Doreen says:

    I believe I have inadvertently signed up for two feedburner accounts, but I can only find one. Can you tell me how I can find the other account so I can ditch feedburner and transfer my subscribers?

  29. WPBeginner Staff says:

    The best way to figure this out is to retrace the steps you took implementing FeedBurner and just undo them.

  30. WPBeginner Staff says:

    Go to Plugins page and see if you can find a plugin installed that has feedburner in the name or description. If you find such a plugin, then deactivate it.

    Also check your theme’s header.php file look for a line that contains your feedburner feed URL.

    Lastly, check your theme’s functions.php file. Look for a code block with your feedburner feed’s URL in it.

    • Jacqueline says:

      The only Plugin I see referencing feedburner is WP Subscriber Form. Currently it is deactivated. I’ll be honest and say I have no clue as to how to find my .php files, much less edit them. I’m a serious newbie to this stuff, and I appreciate any help.

  31. Jacqueline says:

    I found this post exactly one day after implementing Feedburner. Ugh! I’m very new to blogging and the technical stuff, i.e., editing files, FTP, CSS and the rest. Can you please help me put everything back in order? I can find no way to redirect my feeds back the way they were two days ago. I would appreciate any help!

  32. WPBeginner Staff says:

    I can understand the issue with sharing your real address. But you also have to give that when you’re registering your domain name.

    Unless you bought private registration or WhoIsGuard, then anyone can find out your address.

    We’ve seen a lot of bloggers simply put their house address for their MailChimp Email.

    I wish I can give you a better solution, but that’s about it. You can use JetPack but again you run into the same restrictions. With FeedBurner you were at the mercy of Google, and now you will be at the mercy of Automattic.

  33. Hangry All The Time says:

    Thank you for the article. Just what I was looking for online.

    I am a new blogger and at this point have nothing to sell on my site (no income). While I understand that MailChimp is free to use, I will need to submit a physical mailing address to comply with anti-spam laws. That means that I will need to rent a PO Box which is a cost I don’t want to take on now. Other plugins/services for email subscriptions don’t ask for this information, but I realize they have their own limitations.

    Any advice on how to proceed?

  34. Heather Solos says:

    Transparency, I work for FeedBlitz.
    Native RSS Feeds do work well in most new readers, that said, services like ours have additional features, like the ability to measure the RSS audience and the ability to ad advertising to the RSS feed, creating an additional source of passive revenue.
    We also make it easy to your own static ads to your RSS feeds.
    We also have live support during business hours.
    I would be happy to answer any questions you may have about the service.

  35. just passing by says:

    Feed Demon. ’nuff said

  36. WPBeginner Staff says:

    You don’t need to add any code to your RSS feeds. The default WordPress feeds work out of the box. However, if you feel that you need to add something to your RSS feeds, then there are plugins that will let you do that. For example, WordPress SEO will let you add content that will appear below each post in your RSS feed.

    As we mentioned in the article, you will not be deleting your Feedburner Feed. So you will not loose those subscribers and they will continue to receive updates from your site.

    • Heather Solos says:

      To add to this, do not delete your FeedBurner feed as that allows someone else to step in and claim your extension. Your subs that didn’t move their subscription likely won’t notice that the feed has gone quiet, until one day someone steps into your old extension with something exciting like adult content or pill shilling. I’ve seen it happen many times.

  37. Doreen says:

    This is a helpful and timely post, as I’ve been thinking about moving away from Feedburner for quite some time. The main thing holding me back is Feedburner has been showing my number of subscribers as 1 for quite some time (and yes, I’ve been following the steps you outlined) and I know this is not the case. Getting help from them is next to impossible, so I’m not sure how I can rectify this. Any advice?

  38. Abhisek says:

    I’m currently redirecting my feeds to feedburner. I have some questions …

    After stopping the redirection /feed/ will out put a XML formatted feeds ?

    Feedburner is working just fine and my users havent complained, do i really need to move to default wordpress feed ?

    Why do you think feedburner will ever shutdown ?

    If i switched to default wordpress feeds, then do i have to maintain it myself, adding codes via a custom plugin ?

    Are there any good plugins available for customizing wordpress defualt feed ?

    I have a asubtantial number of subscribers of RSS feeds, which I do not want to loose. So, please guide in me.

    Thanks.

    An Avid Reader.

    • Nostromov says:

      Yeah, as IF you were -ever- going to get a reply (in teh comments, hear). In any case, as you must’ve been sure to notice, FeedBurner is (pretty much?!) history.

      & yes, there is n0 easy, automated, alternative – as everything else *must* be manually maintained, updated and so on. Using plugins will ofc., at some point, come to a dead-end, as they gotta be the correct version – for your updated CMS.

      It’s kinda (hehe) crazy that there aren’t (much!) easier ways to handle (all) this, today. Everything had gotten so (!) advanced & yet, we’re rarely given something usable, of-out-the-box, when it comes to (web) scripting… Ah, well. ;-$

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