Safely using FeedBurner

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

So you have some feeds and you want to track subscriptions using FeedBurner.

The problem?

FeedBurner is a great service and probably will stay that way since it was recently acuired by google. However, it is still a 3rd-party service and that’s somthing you should always be worried about.

You see, when someone subscribes to a burned feed, they will be pointing the agregator to: <>. This means that you will loose all of your subscribers if any of the following happens:

  • FeedBurner goes down, closes shop, or starts charging an outrageous fee. (unlikely)
  • The person who set up the account forgets the password, or becomes a disgruntled employee. (possible)
  • A better service comes along and you decide to switch. (very likley)

The solution

The simple solution is to have users subscribe to a feed on your domain.

  1. Create a folder structure for the feeds – like: /feeds/news/ and /feeds/videos.
  2. In each folder create an index page using you favorite server-side language – index.php, index.cfm, etc. This gives us added flexibility. We can even change the language at a later date!
  3. Use this page to mirror the FeedBurner feed. below is an example in ColdFusion. In PHP you will want to look into cURL:

-  This is a placeholder for a feed.
-  Make sure to link to the folder and not this .cfm page for even more flexibility.
-  Created:   2008-04-09 Gabriel McGovern
-  Modified:

<cfhttp url="">


Check out the feeds we offer for Portland Community College. Each is being run through FeedBurner, but you subscribe to a URL in our domain. If we decide to change services - all we have to do is update the index page. You as a subscriber would never even have to know.

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