FeedBurner Review

Learn the pros and cons of Google's FeedBurner feed management tool

FeedBurner launched in 2004 and was purchased by Google in 2007. FeedBurner is the most popular web feed management provider which enables users to quickly and easily create RSS feeds for their blogs, websites, and podcasts. Users can also track feed subscriptions, customize email subscription messages, get feed stat widgets to display on their blogs and websites, and more. Google AdSense integrates easily with FeedBurner so users can monetize their RSS feeds, too.

FeedBurner Pros

  • Ease of Use: FeedBurner is free and extremely easy to create your blog's feed using FeedBurner. Just follow a few simple steps, and you're done. The FeedBurner dashboard is easy to navigate and Google offers a help center to answer any questions you might have.
  • Promotion: The widgets and buttons that you can get from your FeedBurner dashboard to invite people to subscribe to your blog and show off the number of subscribers your blog already has are very handy and require no coding knowledge to add to your blog.
  • Universal Code: FeedBurner burns feeds using what it refers to as its SmartFeed service, which makes feeds created with FeedBurner readable through any device a person uses to subscribe to that feed.
  • Monetization: If you want to make money from your blog's feed, then there is no easier way to monetize it than Google AdSense. Of course, you're guaranteed to make money from it, but it is very easy to add AdSense ads to your FeedBurner-created feed.

FeedBurner Cons

The most common complaint about FeedBurner focuses on its unreliable analytics data. For example, users might see 1,000 subscribers one day and 100 subscribers the next day. While the FeedBurner stats seem like a goldmine of information where you can track subscriber trends, clickthroughs, breakdowns of feed readers and email services, and much more, that data changes so significantly and so frequently that many bloggers who rely on feed statistics are very dissatisfied with FeedBurner.

This wasn't always the case with FeedBurner. In the early days before Google purchased FeedBurner, subscriber numbers were considered an essential indicator of a blogger's level of success and popularity. Those subscriber numbers affected advertising rates and really meant something to bloggers and blog readers.

Today, many bloggers still use FeedBurner to create and manage their blog feeds, but they've removed the widget that shows off how many subscribers their blogs have. Many are even looking for FeedBurner alternatives, and they're willing to pay to use another tool if that tool provides accurate data. However, a new "perfect" tool has yet to debut, and there is no sign that Google plans to fix the broken FeedBurner stats anytime in the near future.

Bottom-line: Should You Use FeedBurner?

FeedBurner is used by large and small web publishers to make their content more accessible to a larger audience. Feeds also make it easy to syndicate your blog content on other websites or through other syndication providers.

FeedBurner is easy to use and offers some handy features. However, if you rely on accurate tracking data to help you make money or grow your blog's audience and traffic, then you're likely to be disappointed in the data that FeedBurner stats provide. On the other hand, if accurate data isn't important to you, then FeedBurner is a great tool to create and manage your blog's feed. The choice of whether or not you should use FeedBurner really depends on your blogging goals.