The feedburner logo. Feedburner provide a free service, whereby they monitor a number of stats about your RSS feed, as well as offer a few other tweaks (Like the email subscription option we offer here). All of these services are fantastic, yes, but arguably the coolest offering Feedburner has is the little subscriber count button. But what do you do when you don’t want your readers nosing into those stats?

NB – This method will only work for WordPress users.

Why Is the Subscriber Count Button Useful?

  1. The statistic itself is a valuable one. The subscriber count tells you how many people have decided that what you write on your blog is important enough for them to read it regularly. There are many other ways of judging a site’s success, each with their own drawbacks, but for a blogger, what could be better than knowing that someone out there considers your writings to be worth reading?
  2. The statistic itself is a small one. Yes, knowing the number of subscribers is very important information, but it is still only one statistic. I don’t mind logging into Google Analytics every few days because I can access a huge number of different statistics all in one place, but logging into Feedburner just to get this one number? No thanks. You aren’t likely to want to do that very often, so having the button somewhere you see regularly is much more convenient. (We’ll leave Feedburner’s “Reach” statistic for another day)
  3. The statistic itself is a motivating one. You know the feeling? The one where you just don’t know what to write about, how to write it, or if it’s even worth the effort. There are many articles online about getting over writer’s block, but for me, the most effective has always been the ability to look over at that little orange button, and realise that people want me to write for them.

How Do I Show It To Just Myself?

First of all, you’ll need to set up the button at Feedburner. It’s very easy to do. Make sure that you’ve signed up to Feedburner already, and “burnt,” you feed. Once you’ve done that, load your feed’s dashboard, click the “Publicize” tab, and then the “FeedCount” link from the menu bar on the left. Select your display options, and finally, click “Activate” at the bottom of the page.

You will be shown a box which says, “Copy This HTML.” Copy (Surprisingly!) the HTML code in this box, and paste it into your theme’s files, wherever you want to place the button.

You now need to one line above your Feedburner code, and one line below it, so that the result looks like this:

<?php if ( current_user_can('manage_categories') ) : ?>
~Feedburner code here~
<?php endif; ?>

The button will only be shown to logged in users, with the ability to manage categories (Usually only administrators). WordPress is extremely flexible, offering countless ways to personalise your blog, e.g. Perhaps you want all authors of the blog to see the button? In that case you would change “manage_categories” to “publish_posts.”

As an example, you can see how the bottom of the sidebar on this site appears to me. (It looks just like that. I swear!)

Pro Blog Design RSS Count

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