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How to Migrate your FeedBurner Feeds

Friday, April 03, 2009

Here's a simple "how-to" for those wanting to leave FeedBurner and switch to FeedBlitz's RSS alternative:

  1. Set up your first feed in FeedBlitz at RSS - New.
  2. If you have an OPML file, then go to RSS - Import and browse for the file. Pick the feed you configured in step (1) to act as a template so that all your imported feeds get your settings immediately (flares, splices etc). Great timesaver.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Correcting the prior version of these instructions, the FeedBurner OPML export will not work here as it exports the FeedBurner URLs not the feed sources (which is what you actually want). If you use the FeedBurner URLs you will end up creating a circular reference and that will make a real mess of the result.

At this point you have all your feeds set up in FeedBlitz. Now you have to start the process to leave FeedBurner (FeedBlitz is in the middle of this right now - it works as advertised).

For each of your feeds in FeedBurner:

  1. Pick it from the FeedBurner dashboard;
  2. Click "Edit Feed Details..." at the top, just above the tabs;
  3. Update the URL there with the corresponding FeedBlitz feed URL;
  4. Save, rinse and repeat.

At this point all your FeedBurner subscribers will be reading your Blitzed feed. You have to make this change before you migrate away from FeedBurner as the "Delete Feed" process sends subscribers to the URL FeedBurner has as the feed source; if you don't go through the above steps the readers won't be sent to FeedBlitz and they won't see all your new goodies and FeedBlitz won't see any readers to report.

OK, feeling brave? This is it.

For each of your feeds at FeedBurner you want to migrate away:

  1. Check you set up the feed URL to point to your new Blitzed feed.
  2. Click "Delete Feed..." just above the tabs.
  3. IMPORTANT: check that the "Use 30-day redirection" box is checked on (it is off by default).
  4. Click the "Delete feed" button.
  5. Breathe :-)

For the next 15 days FeedBurner will automatically send all your subscribers and visitors to your new feed. After that, people who still have not updated their RSS readers will get a simple, single post from FeedBurner telling them the new URL to use. 15 days later - poof, gone, readers will get a 404 file not found error. Anyone at that point who hasn't changed wasn't a real subscriber in the first place.

So you basically have 30 days to get the word out (don't procrastinate!). Once you delete the feed at FeedBurner there is work you need to do to find and update links to the old FeedBurner URL. In no particular order, then, here's what you have to do:

  • Post about the change and tell everyone the new URL they should subscribe to.
  • Update email forms and RSS links on your site with your new feed address.
  • Update third party services such as FeedBlitz, FriendFeed etc. with your new RSS feed address.
  • Update any widgets and plugins you have with your new feed URL (get FeedBlitz widgets at RSS - Promote your feed).
  • Update your blog bios, Twitter profiles, email signatures etc. with your new feed address.
  • Change your blog and web site's RSS autodiscovery links (info on this vital step at RSS - Promote your feed).
  • Update any CNAMEs and redirects.
  • Update any old blog posts that mention your RSS feed.

If you do switch to FeedBlitz we're happy you're here. You're not locked in; we have a similar process if you want to stop using us as your RSS provider. Remember that you do not have to use FeedBlitz RSS in order to use our email services. But we'd sure be happy if you chose to do that anyway!

Any questions on the process add a comment or tweet me at @phollows

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13 Comments:

Blogger Georganna Hancock M.S. said...

Excuse me? These news bits seldom make any sense to me, and this one offers total confusion.

Are you telling us that if we don't stop using Feedburner, we will lose the services we have with FeedBlitz? (For my blog, that is only the email version, because I could never understand how to do anything else.)

Or will the sign up for email continue to function for my blog? I have three flavors of feed for the same blog. If FeedBlitz can't use the multi-functional feed provided by Feedburner, will it automatically use the atom or the rss feed in the same directory?

8:26 PM, April 04, 2009  
Blogger Phil Hollows said...

No! :-) I'm saying for those want to use a different RSS service (i.e. ours) instead of FeedBurner these are the steps to take to minimize disruption.

FeedBlitz's email and RSS services are separate. Unlike FeedBurner, we don't require you to have yoru RSS feed with us in order to use our email offerings. So you can keep using feedburner for RSS and us for email. We work with FeedBurner and any other RSS.

OTOH if you want an RSS service with better support, greater control, better SEO, better social mediat integration, then consider a switch from FeedBurner and let FeedBlitz both RSS and Email. This post tells you how to move RSS services if you make that choice and are using FeedBurner currently.

9:27 PM, April 04, 2009  
Blogger Kevin said...

Phil, can you explain what the benefits are of moving our RSS serving from Feedburner to Feedblitz.

I am specifically interested in "better SEO" (none of the other aspects matter to me).

I would also be interested to know why Feedblitz wants to take over responsibility for serving of feeds from Feedburner. What's in it for Feedblitz?

Regards,
Kevin

12:26 AM, April 05, 2009  
Blogger Phil Hollows said...

Hi Kevin:

Two great questions. The SEO one I'm going to defer for now; it merits its own post. Why do we want to do this?

Because it fits in with our vision of providing automated social media marketing and the RSS piece was missing;
Because Google's utter neglect of FeedBurner provides a market opportunity that aligns with our business;
Because publishers could and should get more actionable marketing intelligence and having an integrated mail / RSS offering allows us to deliver that;
Because there should be leadership and innovation in the space and we can provide it;
Because we doing so allows us to generate additional revenue which will grow the business faster.

12:05 PM, April 05, 2009  
Blogger Phil Hollows said...

Kevin:

Done.

http://blog.feedblitz.com/2009/04/rss-and-seo-raising-bar_07.html

Thanks

Phil

10:01 AM, April 07, 2009  
OpenID Marcel Oudejans said...

What happens to my email subscribers that Feedburner is currently managing?

Do I need to export the list - & where do I import the list?

7:00 PM, April 08, 2009  
Blogger Phil Hollows said...

Mi Marcel:

For email subscribers set up your newsletter at Newsletters - New and you can import during that process or later on via Newsletters - Subscribers - Import

For RSS subscribers you follow the process outlined here: http://blog.feedblitz.com/2009/04/how-to-migrate-your-feedburner-feeds.html

7:15 PM, April 08, 2009  
Blogger Danny Brown said...

With regards this point:

* Update any old blog posts that mention your RSS feed.

A lot of bloggers have the "If you enjoyed this post, feel free to subscribe" footer on their posts.

I'm guessing you have to do this for each one.

So, that could run into the hundreds or thousands of blog posts to amend.

Isn't this a bit unwieldy?

12:03 AM, April 09, 2009  
Blogger Phil Hollows said...

Hi Danny:

That may depend on the app you use. If it's template driven it's possible that simply chaging the template will update the posts. The work does have to be done though since most visitors will end up at archives via search engines. Will look at whether there's a tool that can be built to automate this aspect of transition. If there are wordpress experts out there who'd know whether a template change is enough please LMK.

8:21 AM, April 09, 2009  
Blogger Danny Brown said...

Thanks for the update, Phil, appreciated.

It's a Wordpress plug-in so it may be that the plug-in script would just need amended and it would correct all the feeds.

I'm more curious about the people that type it in manually at the end of posts as opposed to coding their template (for example, free blog platforms as opposed to hosted ones, where you can't amend the template).

11:17 AM, April 09, 2009  
Blogger Edward Harrison said...

Phil,

I am looking to use FeedBurner and Feedlitz both together by keeping my present setup (Feed redirected to FeedBurner) but introducing FeedBlitz as the source feed for FeedBlitz. However, when I do this, it crashes my server. My thinking is there is some sort of infinite loop running.

Can you help me figure out how to make the transition WITHOUT cutting feedburner out wholesale yet.

6:24 AM, April 17, 2009  
Blogger Phil Hollows said...

Hi Edward: It's probably a recursive loop. Write to me at the support desk so we can figure this one out. We have code to break out of recursions where they're detected but it won't work for each circumstance. For example, if you're running a WP blog and have feeds redirected to FeedBurner, then FeedBLitz will also be redirected unless you update excpetions to let us read the actual source feed.

You can absolutely have Blitz and Burner in the loop; we just need to fix the config. Support's the place for that.

7:51 AM, April 17, 2009  
Anonymous guaranteed seo said...

Thanks for sharing the ways on how to do it. I have a small business and I use social media. I'm the only one who maintains it, I do the blogging, the articles, etc. And I always seek for an online advise and tips. And I find your blog so useful and helpful.

7:53 AM, February 15, 2011  

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