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Migrate Your RSS Feed to Feedburner

Many of you have probably heard of Feedburner (external link), an online feed manager that tracks your feed statistics and provides other feed-related services (such as advertising in your feeds). Google recently purchased them as well, so if you are an AdSense user you may benefit from the AdSense-Feedburner integration that Google is currently working on. Lowter finally made the switch to Feedburner to manage our feeds, primarily to gather statistics on how many subscribers we have. Feedburner is certainly a very handy tool and it is easy to start using! You can read more about the benefits of Feedburner (external link) on their website to convince you to start using it. I am just going to be focusing here on how to migrate your old feeds to Feedburner.

So you may be asking yourself "What if I already have all of my subscribers pointed towards a certain URL and I don't want to point them towards that ugly Feedburner URL?" Well, it is luckily pretty easy to migrate your old RSS feeds into Feedburner without having to use that horrible, ugly Feedburner URL. In a nutshell, you move your current feed to a new URL, point Feedburner to that new URL, and finally have your feed's old URL point to Feedburner. Don't worry, it's pretty easy to do.

First, let's just explicitly state each URL used in the migration process to avoid confusion:

Desired URL
the URL you want your subscribers to see and to use
Feedburner URL
the URL Feedburner gives you
New feed URL
the URL for your actual RSS feed

I am going to assume that your RSS feed is currently located at your desired URL. Hence, in the migration process to Feedburner, the end URL for the user needs to remain the same.

Feedburner quick-create box

Okay, let's say that your current RSS feed is found at http://www.lowter.com/rss/articles, which is your desired URL that you want to continue using. First, move that feed to http://www.lowter.com/feedburner_rss/articles and then point Feedburner to that new feed address. This new feed address is a "private" feed for Feedburner's eyes only, not for subscribers. This is your actual RSS feed that syndicates content from your website. Feedburner will read your RSS feed from the new feed URL and use it to create a feed through their system. Your desired URL, at the moment, points to nothing.

Feedburner setup new feed

Now, Feedburner gives you a lovely new URL (http://feeds.feedburner.com/lowter/articles) at which to access your feed. In order to point the desired URL to Feedburner, add these lines to your .htaccess file:

Code: .htaccess

Options +FollowSymLinks
RewriteEngine on
Redirect temp /rss/articles http://feeds.feedburner.com/lowter/articles

If you are not using Apache, I know that other web servers can easily setup a temporary redirection similar to this one. Essentially, your server is now telling the RSS clients to redirect to http://feeds.feedburner.com/lowter/articles when they want to access http://www.lowter.com/rss/articles, but only "temporarily", which causes the browser to continue using your desired feed URL.

Sample RSS feed using Feedburner

Now your feed is migrated into Feedburner! In a day's time, you will have statistics about your subscribers, click through rate, etc. Feedburner also has some other cool features that you can now check out too, so make sure you explore a little!

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