FeedBurner offers a free service for enhancing your feeds. They gather valuable usage statistics, and they can dress up your feed with lots of other features. The only trouble with it is that your feed URL becomes a feeds.feedburner.com URL. That presents at least three possible problems: First, if you already have subscribers, how will you get them to change the URL of the feed they’re accessing? Second, your branding may seem compromised if the domain for your feed isn’t yours. Third, if the feeds.feedburner.com site goes down, there goes your feed with it.
FeedBurner offers a for-pay service called MyBrand that solves the first two problems. I came up with a solution for self-hosted WordPress that handles all three. Here’s what you do:
Remember to change the URLs in the script first (unless you want to channel my content). Change “chipsquips/dgsg” to the name of your feed in FeedBurner. Change “http://www.chipsquips.com/wp-rss2-fb.php” to the URL of your wp-rss2.fb.php file.
Note, your server must have PHP 4.0.3 (4.3 on Windows) or better for this to work, and “allow_url_fopen” must be enabled.
As you can see, what we’ve done is to replace the feed that your subscribers are using with one that pumps its content from FeedBurner, and we signed up FeedBurner to pump its content from the original feed. If FeedBurner is down, we fall back nicely to directly opening the original feed.
Somehow FeedBurner is still able to distinguish individual subscribers, but it does lose the ability to recognize the user agent type. To me, that wasn’t all that important. What matters is the number of people reading and how many hits you’re getting.
UPDATE: There’s a far more excellent way to do this.