Adam Tuttle

How to update your FeedBurner feed name without losing subscribers

This blog, before I bought the domain FusionGrokker.com, lived at http://tuttletree.com/NerdFusion/ -- a subfolder of my family blog. While there and operating under the title "NerdFusion," I setup FeedBurner using the same title, NerdFusion. When I bought this domain and moved my blog here, I knew I would rather have my FeedBurner URL reflect my new blog title; but I also knew from past experience that changing the FB url causes problems. Doing so abandons any and all subscribers, and after you realize that, you can't get the old url back, because it's "in use" (by whom, exactly?!) So I just left well enough alone, and until today I have been continuing to point my RSS links to the old FeedBurner link.

In my mind, this is retarded because the whole point of using FeedBurner in the first place is so that you can change your blog domain or blogging platform without losing subscribers in the process. If they have the same problem -- albeit, not exactly the same, but close enough -- then what benefit are they really providing? Ideally, they would allow you to create an alias that points back to the original feedburner url, as long as it was unique and available. Heaven forbid the easy, correct method be available though, right? This started as an informational post and has derailed into a rant.

*Cough* Back to business.

So FeedBurner has some, erm, "problems." I would really recommend that you not change your FB url.

Instead, create a new one and have your subscription links point to it. Let your old readers continue to use the old FB url. It won't hurt anything, I promise. The only down-side I've found to this, so far, is that your stats are now split between the two. I'm not much of a stats whore any more though, so it doesn't bother me that much -- which is to say, at all. Half the time I can't remember my FeedBurner password, let alone feel like checking my RSS stats.

Now, my RSS link is what it should be: http://feeds2.feedburner.com/FusionGrokker/

I hope this helps prevent people from making the mistake of changing their FeedBurner URL only to find they have kicked their subscribers to the curb.

11 responses:

Todd Rafferty

Todd Rafferty

This is where creating a symlink would have helped. You could have left the old directory, symlinked to the new rss and not changed your URL at all.

Or .htaccess could have forwarded to the new location? Does feedburner follow http code 301?
Adam

Adam

Todd, I think you misunderstood. FeedBurner will let you change the RSS source URL (My old one was domin/nerdfusion/rss.php; new one is /feeds/rss.cfm) -- the problem is that I wanted to change my FeedBurner URL from http://feeds.feedburner.com/NerdFusion to http://feeds.feedburner.com/FusionGrokker. They don't support this in any way, shape, or form (this is what I was alluding to with the talk of Alias'). The only work-around is to create a 2nd feed pointing to the same RSS source. I'm not sure if they will allow a duplicate source (I think I tried it without problems) but if not, it's as simple as creating rss2.cfm and including rss.cfm.
Todd Rafferty

Todd Rafferty

Gotcha, misunderstood. It's been a long weekend with the plague.
dalton

dalton

This thread is quite old, but apparently FeedBurner does support redirection. Check it here:
http://www.labnol.org/internet/tools/feedburner-rss-feeds-faq-problems-tips/1199/
Ann

Ann

There is a way to do this and not create a second feed.

I found myself in the same situation -- I was using blogger with one site name and decided to move to Tumblr using a different name. It is possible to set up a new feed to the new site, delete your old feed (using redirect option) and Feedburner will redirect posts for 30 days, during which time the RSS feed readers are supposed to automatically update themselves to point to the new feed. However, I didn't want to do this since I have many email subscribers, and the "redirect" solution does not work for them. All of my email subscribers would have to manually subscribe again to the new feed, which most of them wouldn't. Feedburner doesn't allow importing of email addresses from one feed to another, so that's not an option either.

I found a solution where I can keep the existing feed by making a few changes to it. First, from "my feeds", choose "edit feed details". Change the Feed Title to your new name, change the Original Feed field to your new blog site feed, and leave the Feed Address the way it is (which is still using the name of your old site). The name here doesn't matter, since no one will see it once you make one more change. Click on the button "Save Feed Details".

The problem I ran into was even after I changed the name of the feed title, when I would subscribe on my new blog site using email, the message from Feedburner still reflected my old site name. Here's how to update it to the new name.

Click on the "Publicize" tab. Click on "Email Subscriptions" on the left. Scroll down to the bottom and click on the button "Deactivate". Now, click on the button which says "Activate". Although the html code the Feedburner shows you is exactly the same, I learned that doing this updates the feed title name in the messages that it displays for people who are subscribing by email.

This way you keep one feed, have one set of stats, keep all your email subscribers, and they start getting updates from your new blog without having to change a thing.

Cheers.
Ann

Ann

Sigh...methinks I spoke too soon. While the message that Feedburner displays uses the new feed title, unfortunately the verification email that it sends out still uses the old title name. If I figure out how to fix this, I'll post it here.
Ann

Ann

OK, to change the feed title name in the verification email you go to "Publicize", "Email Subscriptions", "Communication Preferences". Here you can specify the confirmation email subject and body text.
Laura

Laura

In addition to Ann posted, you also need to click on the "Email Branding" link under "Publicize" > "Email Subscription" and change the "Email Subject/Title" field. This will change the email in the notification emails that subscriber receive each time to add a new item to your feed.
adrienne

adrienne

I screwed up, and changed my feed name. Is there anything I can do to get those subscribers?? Boo hoo.
Mark Lampkin

Mark Lampkin

Helpful stuff. Thanks.

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