A few posts back, I showed how to manage your RSS feed using Feedburner.
But what if you want the flexibility to change to a different RSS feed management service? What if Google suddenly shutdown Feedburner, however unlikely?
In such cases, you’d have to get your readers to re-subscribe to your feed using your new feed address.
Also, wouldn’t it be nice if you could send people a feed address branded to your domain that looked like
feeds.yoursite.com/feedname instead of
In this post, I’ll show you how to brand your RSS feed by using FeedBurner’s MyBrand feature. While I’ll use The Hobby Blogger’s hosting provider, HostGator, to demonstrate the process, you should be able to apply this tutorial to any other provider that uses the cPanel hosting control panel.
There are two caveats. You must have a self-hosted blog. If you use a hosted blog provider such as WordPress.com or TypePad.com, you won’t be able to use MyBrand.
Setup FeedBurner’s MyBrand feature
After signing into your FeedBurner account, click on the “My Account” link at the top right of your browser.
On the My Account page, click on the MyBrand link on the left.
The MyBrand page gives you three steps. In the first step, you’re given a CNAME entry (more about that later), highlighted in yellow.
You’ll need this later when you create a CNAME record on your host. This CNAME entry assumes you’ll use a
subdomain named “feeds” at
yoursite.com, which we will.
In Step 2, enter
feeds.yoursite.com. In my case, I entered
Then click the Save button at the bottom of the page.
Creating a CNAME record
Now I’ll show you how I created a CNAME record on HostGator for my RSS feed.
For those that don’t know, a CNAME record is a way to specify a domain name as an alias of another domain name.
It’s sort of like using a post office box to forward mail to your home address. So in the event that you change your home or business address, you don’t have to fill out change-of-address forms and make sure all your friends and relatives or business clients get your new address.
We’re going to create a subdomain,
In the Domains section of your cPanel home page, go to the Simple DNS Zone Editor.
Select the domain to which you want to add the CNAME record. Then go to the “Add a CNAME Record” section. In the Name field, enter “feeds” then press your tab key. The field should autocomplete to
feeds.yoursite.com. (and, yes, there should be a period at the end). In the CNAME field, paste in the CNAME from Step 1 on the FeedBurner MyBrand page. It will look something like
xxxxxx.feedproxy.ghs.google.com. (period at the end here too), the first six characters of which is specific to your feed.
Update 2/22/2012: Entering the period at the end of the CNAME entry (at least on HostGator’s cPanel) gives an error saying, “Address must be a fully-qualified domain name.” If you get this error, just remove the period at the end of the CNAME entry.
Click “Add CNAME Record” button.
The Genesis theme framework I use allows me to easily redirect my new feed address to my feed’s FeedBurner address. In Genesis > Theme Settings > Custom Feeds, change the Custom Feed URI to
feedname is whatever’s at the end of your FeedBurner feed address, such as
Then make sure the “Redirect Feed?” option is checked. That way if someone pastes
http://www.yoursite.com/feed into their reader, it’ll point to your Feedburner feed and keep your subscriber stats accurate.
If your theme doesn’t have a similar feature, you can use something like the FD Feedburner Plugin to accomplish the same thing.
And we’re done
The Hobby Blogger’s feed icons and links now use
http://feeds.thehobbyblogger.com/TheHobbyBlogger for the feed address. If I email my feed address to someone, this is what I send to them. If I change to a different feed management service, all I have to do is change the CNAME record to point to the new service. The change will be transparent to my readers.