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6 FeedBurner tweaks to spruce up your WordPress feed delivery

FeedBurner is by the primary mode of RSS feed delivery for websites and blogs. htpcBeginner is no different and our posts are delivered right to your Inbox or Reader through FeedBurner. In this post, let us look at a few FeedBurner tweaks to spruce up your feed delivery and also make the best out of your RSS feeds. Recently, we showed you how to get FeedBurner subscriber count using PHP, which you can then display as simple text or record to a database. This post will focus on a different aspect but in general will require you to edit your website or blog’s configuration files. You may also need access to your .htaccess file for some of the FeedBurner tweaks. Without further delay, let us start tweaking your RSS feed delivery through FeedBurner.

feedburner tweaks

Accessing your Default WordPress Feeds

Wordpress provides feeds as rss, rss2, rdf, or atom. You may access these feeds using the links below:

http://domain.com/?feed=rss
http://domain.com/?feed=rss2
http://domain.com/?feed=rdf
http://domain.com/?feed=atom

If WordPress permalinks is enabled, you can access your feeds using the links below:

http://domain.com/feed/
http://domain.com/feed/rss/
http://domain.com/feed/rss2/
http://domain.com/feed/rdf/
http://domain.com/feed/atom/

Now that we know how to access the WordPress feeds let us start implementing the FeedBurner tweaks.

FeedBurner Tweaks

If you have not setup FeedBurner for your blog, head over to FeedBurner’s Website to set it up.

1. Redirect WordPress Feed to FeedBurner

The first thing you want to do after setting up feed burner is to automatically redirect all WordPress feed links listed above to FeedBurner. To accomplish you will have to edit your .htaccess file that is present in the root directory of your blog. Edit it and add the following lines to the top (important) of it:

<ifmodule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} !FeedBurner [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} !FeedValidator [NC]
RewriteRule ^feed/?([_0-9a-z-] )?/?$ http://feeds.feedburner.com/htpcBeginner [R=302,NC,L]
</ifmodule>

Note that Apache’s redirect module needs to be enabled. Also, do not forget to change http://feeds.feedburner.com/htpcBeginner to your FeedBurner feed link. Restart your Apache web server, and all your feed links should now go to FeedBurner automatically. If you are hosting with a service provider then you will have to save the .htaccess file and wait for the changes to be applied.

2. Add Featured Image to RSS Feeds

This is one of favorite FeedBurner tweaks. FeedBurner content by itself looks dull. You can spruce it up by adding a featured image, which may also attract more visitors. In order to achieve this, you will have to edit functions.php located in your theme folder (/wp-content/themes/themename). Add the following code block to it.

/** Image in RSS feed */
function featuredtoRSS($content) {
global $post;
if ( has_post_thumbnail( $post->ID ) ){
$content = '' . get_the_post_thumbnail( $post->ID, 'thumbnail', array( 'style' => 'float:left; margin:0 15px 15px 0;' ) ) . '' . $content;
}
return $content;
}
add_filter('the_excerpt_rss', 'featuredtoRSS');
add_filter('the_content_feed', 'featuredtoRSS');

This should now take the set featured image of each post and add it as featured image to its RSS feed content.

FeedBuner Tweaks
FeedBurner Feed Featured Image

3. Exclude Categories

If you do not want posts in certain categories to be delivered through RSS feed you can exclude. In such case your WordPress feed link would look something like this:

http://www.domain.com/?cat=-123&feed=rss2

The cat=-123 part excludes category id 123 from being included in the feed. You may then use this feed link to setup your FeedBurner feed. If your FeedBurner is already setup then you may edit the source feed and provide the new feed from above. If you prefer not to mess with FeedBurner you may simply add the following code to your functions.php to achieve the same result.

/** Exclude Category in RSS Feeds */
function myFeedExcluder($query) {
 if ($query->is_feed) {
   $query->set('cat','-123,-124');
 }
return $query;
}
add_filter('pre_get_posts','myFeedExcluder');

WordPress will not filter out category ids 123 and 124 from the feed output.

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About the author

Anand

Anand is a self-learned computer enthusiast, a part-time blogger, and a Food Scientist by career. He has been blogging since 2010 on Linux, Ubuntu, Home/Media/File Servers, Smart Home Automation, and related HOW-TOs on htpcbeginner.com and smarthomebeginner.com.

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