With FeedBurner looking like its going to be closing down, I took a look at some free or cheap alternatives to Google’s service but none of them really grabbed me. Dave from DoItWithWordPress recommended that I take a look at a free plugin called Simple Feed Stats, which can track your feed usage, add custom content to your feeds and display statistics for your subscriber count. It can track feeds in a number of ways, such as the default method by feed request, or if you are redirecting through a 3rd party like FeedBurner, it can embed an image for tracking. In this post Im going to look at installation and configuration of this plugin.
Install The Plugin
Download the plugin and in your WordPress admin, visit “Plugins” > “Add New” > “Upload” and upload the file.
Once it is uploaded, click “Activate” under the plugin and you will see it adds a new menu item under “Settings” called “Simple Feed Stats”
If you visit the “Simple Feed Stats” menu link, you will see this is your main page for the plugin which contains everything you need :
Tools & Options
You should visit this part first and you can choose which method of tracking you’d like to use, default tracking is probably what you will use unless you use in conjunction with a 3rd party service like FeedBurner, in which case you should choose Custom tracking. You can also choose to use a “custom feed count” which is essentially a way to fake your stats – you can enter any value you like if you want to make your self look more popular!
You can also change the CSS for the badge which displays your feed count and you can enter some custom content for your feed which you can place above or below it – you could use this for copyright notices or advertising etc.
To check your stats, untoggle the “Current Subscriber Count” and “Feed Statistics” to see how many subscribers you have and some more information about them :
Display Your Feed Stats Publicly
To show off your number of RSS Subscribers, you have two options – Plain text count and a badge, you also have two methods of displaying this info – via a shortcode in a post or page or a PHP snippet within a theme file. If you visit this section off the plugin page, it will provide you with the codes you can paste in :
This is a brilliant, no nonsense plugin – easy to install and a nice options page. I havent tested it outside of my test site yet so I cant comment on performance or accuracy but I think Im going to use it on WPLift and see how it does (as you can see, the FeedBurner API has stopped reporting numbers). Give it a go on your site and let us know how you get on …
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