This post will tell you how I set up my feed for the WordPress Studiopress Lifestyle Theme that I use at Heatheronhertravels.com so that visitors to my blog can easily subscribe to receive updates via an RSS feed or by e-mail.
I’ll tell you how I activated my e-mail feed within Feedburner and ensured that it was working correctly. I’ll tell you how I did some customisation on the Enews and Updates section at the top of my sidebar and set it up so that readers could also subscribe by RSS feed through this area. This may be useful to you if you are also in the process of setting up your self-hosted WordPress blog, especially if you are using the Studiopress (previously Revolution) Lifestyle theme. This article was originally published at Heatheronhertravels.com
Activating the e-mail subscription facility in Feedburner
For my very first blog at Blogspot I had already set up an account with Feedburner. Within the same Feedburner account I now set up a second feed for my new WordPress blog at Heatheronhertravels.com. Now, after signing in to my Feedburner account, I click on my feeds on the top left of the page. I select the feed for my new blog at Heatheronhertravels.com. There are several tabs, of which I select the Publicize tab. In the left sidebar I click on E-mail subscriptions. On this page I first check that the e-mail subscription service is active by clicking on the Activate button at the bottom left of the page.
Setting up WordPress with the correct e-mail feed
Once activated, in the section called Subscription Link Code I find the box titled Preview Subscription Link. In this box is some HTML code and inside the code you will see a feed ID which looks something like feedId=2703134. This is the Feed ID you will need to set up your e-mail subscription. To set up the e-mail feed, I go to my WordPress dashboard/Design/Revolution Lifestyle Options. At the top of the General Settings is a box for Feedburner ID. In this box I paste the feed ID I have just found as described above e.g. 2703134.
Next I check that the service is working by setting up an e-mail subscription for myself. I go to the box at the top of my sidebar headed Enews and updates. In the box I register my own e-mail address and press go. I next receive an e-mail asking me to activate my subscription, which I do. I will now receive an e-mail every time I post an update on my blog and will be able to see what other e-mail subscribers see and ensure that it is working well.
Monitoring your e-mail subscriber list
Back on Feedburner at the bottom of the E-mail subscription page, you can see Total subscribers (e-mail subscribers) and if you click on View Subscriber details, you can also see who they are. You may also at this point want to change the e-mail that new subscribers receive asking them to activate their subscription. In Feedburner, go to the Publicize tabe, click on E-mail subscriptions in the left sidebar, then on Communication preferences below it. You can now make changes if you wish to the heading and text of your e-mail and save any changes.
Customising the Enews and updates section
Next I decide to change the look of the Enews and updates section at the top of my sidebar.
NOTE: Before changing any code in your templates it is always wise to take a copy (for instance in a Notepad or Word document) in case you mess it up and need to easily revert to the original.
To do this I go to my WordPress dashboard/ Design/ Theme editor. On the right under the list of Templates I select the one named Sidebar (sidebar.php).To change the heading I alter the code from
<h2>eNews & Updates</h2>
<h2>Subscribe by RSS or e-mail</h2>
Next I decide to remove the text below the header so I deleted;
<p>Sign up to receive breaking news <br /> as well as receive other site updates!</p>
I replaced it with the following code which was kindly supplied by one of the guys on the Revolution support forum.
<p><a href=”http://feeds.feedburner.com/Heatheronhertravels” title=”Subscribe to my feed” rel=”alternate” type=”application/rss+xml”>Subscribe in a reader</a></p>
You will need to replace the URL of my feed – http://feeds.feedburner.com/Heatheronhertravels with the URL for your own feed. To find out the URL of your feed, go to My feeds at the top left of the Feedburner homepage. Click on the appropriate feed (you may have more than one like me). At the top of the page click Edit feed details. Take the feed address and paste it into the code shown above.
By doing this, I have now created a link for subscription through an RSS Feed as well as subscription by e-mail. I also decided to change the name of the RSS feed link at the top right of the home page from NEWS to RSS FEED. To do this I went into the WordPress dashboard/ Design/ Theme editor. On the right under the list of Templates I select the one named Header (header.php). About half way down you will find this code;
<p><a href=”<?php bloginfo(‘rss_url’); ?>”><img style=”vertical-align:middle” src=”<?php bloginfo(‘template_url’); ?>/images/rss.gif” alt=”Subscribe to <?php bloginfo(‘name’); ?>” /></a><a href=”<?php bloginfo(‘rss_url’); ?>”>News</a><a href=”<?php bloginfo(‘comments_rss2_url’); ?>”><img style=”vertical-align:middle;margin-left:10px;” src=”<?php bloginfo(‘template_url’); ?>/images/rss.gif” alt=”Subscribe to <?php bloginfo(‘name’); ?>” /></a><a href=”<?php bloginfo(‘comments_rss2_url’); ?>”>Comments</a></p>
I simply changed the word News within this for RSS feed. You could also change the word Comments if you like.
So now I have the Subsciption section working and looking as I want. Hopefully it will also make it easier for people to subscribe by RSS Feed too and therefore increase my subscriptions.
This article is published at My Blogging Journey, but originally appeared on my Travel Blog at Heather on her travels where you can find travel tales, videos and podcasts from Europe and around the World.
You’ll also find lots of great travel stories, videos and podcasts at my travel blog at Heather on her travels.