Sag Rising

Notes to Myself

Using the Feedburner Plugin

Posted by Richard Cockrum on March 21, 2008

I'm slowly getting this blog set up the way I like it. The most recent change I made was installing the Feedburner plugin. If you care about how many people are subscribed to your feed, and how many of your subscribers are interested enough in one of your posts to click through to your site, this is one handy tool to have. This plugin automatically redirects your normal Habari feeds to its Feedburner feed without you having to make any changes to your theme's code. So how do you install it?

  1. Download the Feedburner plugin.
  2. Unzip it and open feedburner.plugin.php in a text editor.
  3. Upload the plugin to your /user/plugins directory.
  4. Log into your Feedburner account. If you haven't already done so, create feeds for your site's feeds. The default feed urls for a Habari site are http://yoursite/atom/1 for entries and http://yoursite/atom/comments for comments.
  5. One of the cool things about the Feedburner plugin is that it connects to Feedburner's api to show you your main Feedburner statistics on the Admin page. To let it do this, though, you have to tell Feedburner to let outside services have access to your feed statistics. To do this
    1. Click on the Publicize tab in Feedburner.
    2. Click on Awareness API in the left sidebar.
    3. Click on the Activate button to allow external access to your traffic data.
    4. Click the Save button.

  6. Log out of Feedburner.

  7. Log into Habari, go to your plugins page, and activate the plugin.

  8. Click the Options button.

  9. The options form that appears has two sections - Feed Assignments and Exclusions. Most of us can Ignore the Exclusions. The default information in that section has to be there for the plugin to work properly. So, unless you know otherwise, only work with the Feed Assignments section.

  10. In the Introspection and Collections boxes, put your Feedburner entries feed. For Sag Rising I used

  11. In the Comments box put your Feedburner comments feed. For Sag Rising I put

  12. Click the Save button to save your changes, then the Close button to exist the form.

  13. Witness the goodness. :)
    • Click on Admin in the menu. In the left hand side under Site Statistics you should see entries for the number of readers (subscribers) and the reach (number of people who clicked on something in your feed). If your Feedburner feed is brand new, these will be 0. Give it a few days for Feedburner to gather statistics to start seeing the number go up.
    • Log out of Habari.
    • Click on your entries feed link. You should be redirected to your Feedburner feed.
    • Click on your comments feed link. You should be redirected to your Feedburner comments feed.

You should be gold. The major problem you'll run into are mistyping your urls. Make sure you told Feedburner the correct url for your Habari feeds, and make sure you told the plugin the correct urls for your Feedburner feeds. If these all match, the plugin does a fantastic job.

One thing I didn't talk about was the Reset Exclusions button you see with the Activate/Deactivate and buttons next to the Feedburner plugin's listing on your plugins page. Sometimes we can't resist messing with things. As I said above, if you change the default Exclusion options, the plugin won't work properly and instead of seeing your feed, your visitors will get an error message of some kind. Clicking Reset Exclusions will set things right again.

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