Recently I launched a new site for a client and needed to change 5 exiting feeds to new RSS feed addresses. I searched a long time on the Google Feedburner docs looking for some information and confirmation and couldn’t find exactly what I needed. There were 3 questions I had:
- How do I change the feed address without losing my subscribers? since I didn’t want to add the addresses again.
- If I needed to add the addresses again, could I import them via CSV?
- If I can change the address, and keep my subscribers, when Feedburner runs, will it send the new posts since it last ran. or will it send ALL posts in the specific category?
Question 1 was easy. At the top of the Feedburner account page, Google says this:
You should not change “Original Feed” unless you move your original feed to a new domain or a new location on your existing server. Also, changing “Feed Address” will require you to update your feed subscribers with your new address; the previous feed address will no longer work.
After I read this sever times, I understand it means that you can change the ORIGINAL FEED address and keep your subscribers.
But, if you change the FEED ADDRESS, you’ll lose your subscribers.
Question 2 was even easier. After searching a while, I found many responses to this question from Google over the last few years saying “no, you can’t import as it would be a spam/security hole.” and I certainly didn’t want to manually enter all the addresses again, so I wasn’t going to touch the FEED ADDRESS.
Question 3 was more difficult to find. In fact, I never saw anything definite about it. So I tried some tests and changed some mostly abandoned feeds to see what would happen. Since I wasn’t confident that my tests were going to be 100% accurate, I didn’t put a lot of faith in them. But, it looked like the feed was going to send more than just the last post.
We ultimately decided that we could manage the issue of readers potentially getting several posts again in a single Feedburner email and wrote a post to that effect so the readers would get that too. So, we changed the Original Feed and waited…
After a couple hours, after dinner and after the kids went to bed, the feeds started coming in. I signed myself up for all 5 feeds we transferred and, (spoiler alert) all 5 feeds sent the last 10 posts in their respective categories, and not the only ones posted since the last feed was delivered.
Ultimately, it’s pretty easy to manage in Feedburner, but a couple things would be more helpful. Especially, if Google could remove many of the REALLY OLD posts that don’t seem to help much anymore.
If you have questions, let me know.