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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Diagnose FeedBurner Subscription Problems

Many blog owners rely upon FeedBurner, for publicising blog updates.

Feed delivery in general - and FeedBurner feed delivery in particular - are all subject to problems. FeedBurner provides the "TroubleShootize" tab, with common sense diagnostics.

FeedBurner provides some well organised feed diagnostics, in their "Troubleshootize" dashboard tab.

Login to your FeedBurner account, select the feed by name, and find the "Troubleshootize" tab.
Oh Dear, What Kind of Trouble?
Troubleshootize contains general tips and a couple of quick-fixes to try with any malfunctioning feed. And yeah, we're sticking with this tab title. For now.
Right at the top of the list:
Fouled-Up Feeds, and Quick Ways to Fix 'Em
The most common problems that affect your FeedBurner feed are:
  • The trouble: Your FeedBurner feed isn't up-to-date with your Original Feed.
    The fix: Try pinging FeedBurner using our Ping page. This action tells FeedBurner to go check your feed for updates immediately.
  • The trouble: Invalid characters or XML markup in content items, often introduced by composing your posts in Microsoft Word or embedding JavaScript code in a post.
    The fix: Check your feeds for validity problems: Original Feed Validity, FeedBurner Feed Validity. See if any errors are reported, Then, check out this help topic for removing unwanted characters from your posts if mysterious characters seem to be to blame.
  • The trouble: Connection timeouts between FeedBurner and the web server that hosts your original feed. If FeedBurner can't reach your Original Feed for any reason, we will report it as a FeedMedic item here on Troubleshootize.
    The fix: Try a ping once your website service has been restored.
Still further down the list:
The Nuclear Option: "Resyncing" your feed
As a last resort with a regular feed or a podcast, you can resync your feed. You should only resync if your feed is more than 1 hour out-of-date and pinging FeedBurner does not update it or your podcast files are not being turned into enclosures by our SmartCast service.
And just below that, the "Resync Now" button, with the advice:
Resync takes the following actions:
  • Clears our cached version and refreshes its content from your Original Feed
  • Creates podcast enclosures for items that did not previously have them and contain links to podcast content
  • Reports any feed formatting problems encountered during the resync

And we see further good news.
Frustrated? Need help solving your problem? Head to the Groups.
FeedBurner’s official Google Group is the best place to find other publishers and solve problems. Additionally, Google employees and community experts monitor discussions and participate from time to time to offer guidance. Head to the Group if none of the resources provided here on Troubleshootize give you the answers you're looking for.
Open the FeedBurner Help Group in a new window
The bottom line, you have a few options yet, if the problem involves a FeedBurner feed. The suggestions above are all affinity diagnostics, and differential diagnostics, restated for FeedBurner.

Note FeedBurner diagnostics - and general diagnostics - principles.

You should, however, keep in mind the different ways to subscribe to the blog comments, and to the blog posts.

And note the proper use of feed redirection - and of FeedBurner subscription list examination.

Consider problems with post content.

Use of MS Word, to compose and format posts, is a known problem cause. The best solution for MS Word formatting problems - when you absolutely must use MS Word - is to remove all formatting, in Post Editor - then reformat.

All FeedBurner problems won't involve subscriptions - and all subscription problems won't involve FeedBurner. When you have a problem which may involve FeedBurner, be specific about the epidemiology, and about the etiology, to increase chances of seeing the problem properly diagnosed, and resolved.

Dude, hit me with a comment!