Coding BloggerBuddy a couple of months back let me find out about some stuff that are common as a practice but i had no idea of. One example is the complete redirect of a blog’s feed to FeedBurner. According to some marketing and SEO masters out there one shouldn’t provide multiple ways to subscribe to one’s blog as this somehow is not good for business. I am not sure why, except for the fact that through FeedBurher you can track many stats about your readers. This being said i have seen this around the blogosphere, many blogs completely redirect their “/feed” that WordPress provides to FeedBurner using the .htaccess file. If that is not done the proper way it may damage your feed syndication.
Here is what happens. Let’s say someone wants to subscribe to my blog here. All he has to do is add the trailing “/feed” in the end of the URL. For all the posts the subscription URL is “http://www.stratos.me/feed”. The beauty of WordPress in this area is that any posts page can be syndicated. That is homepage-categories-searches-tags etc. All those pages, by simply adding the “/feed” on the end are served out as RSS. And when you add it on a single post it syndicates the comments. Now, all these must be familiar to you. But what you don’t know, or haven’t noticed is that when adding the .htaccess redirection to FeedBurner, it screws out things for everything else except the main feed. Have you tried syndicating a category? A single post’s comments? Nothing of those can be used any more except the main feed. Now, why would you want to cripple this wonderful feature that WordPress provides?
I know that one strong reason you guys do it is tracking the stats from FeedBurner. Well, i would definitely prefer installing a local stat tracker that supports feeds (and you know how much i examine plugin usage) like StatPress rather than destroying this feature. Many of your readers, knowing that you are running WordPress, might try to use it and get caught by surprise.
One more problem i noticed out there is suffix append and feeds. Here is what i mean. You all must have seen a blog that most probably uses a caching engine (such as WP-Super-Cahe) and decide to add a “.html” suffix on the end of the URL. For instance, this post could be “that talk about Google and what one does to please her). Well this is another practice that creates problems. Adding the suffix destroys the syndicating possibilities for the single post. What i mean is that you can’t syndicate the comments of that post by appending the “/feed” on the end (after the .html). If you do that you will end up with a 404.“. There is no actual HTML that has this post. There is a cached version of it, like an HTML, but not actually one. It is deleted and regenerated every now and then. This practice is followed to make links even more prettier and nicer for search engines (remember
Those things are points i wanted to tell all of my readers that i found out by visiting many blogs (some of my frequent readers too). What you can do to fix it is either not do it at all, or, if you want to do it then a more specific .htaccess file should be created. One that is designed for your domain and watches out for those pitfalls. But is it really worth the trouble?