Help my readers find me again
April 16, 2010 2:00 PM   Subscribe

Can I publish a one time post to my blog's old RSS feed to alert readers of the new RSS feed's location?

My site was hacked last fall and I ended up reinstalling from scratch and, in the process, decided to changed the folder structure of my site. Whereas the blog used to be located at www.site.com/folder/blog I decided to simplify the entire site and the blog is now located at www.site.com/blog.

Some readers who are internet savvy have recently mentioned that I haven't posted anything and, since they don't visit the site and only read via RSS, assumed I wasn't posting. I would have posted something from my old site before changing the structure but it had been redflagged by Google, among others, and I didn't want to send my readers to my site if it was dangerous.

I'm considering changing my site back to the old structure due to this RSS issue, old links being broken (they redirect but it affects rankings) and a drastic reduction in my search engine rankings.

Questions:
1. Is there a way to alert RSS subscribers (some which are not public) to the new feed?
2. Should I scrap it and go back to the old folder structure?

Details:
- Running current version of WordPress on my own server
- Using Feedburner for my RSS feed (old RSS feed was only through WordPress)
- I have simple programming skills and can usually figure things out if given instructions or an example
posted by Bunglegirl to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
 
was going to suggest that feedburner would auto switch but dunno if they let you put in the old RSS link if it wasn't a feedburner one in the first place. check in their help section? is there a way to check the status of the old rss feed and try adding it to feedburner to see if that might make it possible?

i switched three blogs/feeds plus a complete domain name switch over the course of five years and finally just accepted the 'lost' subscribers as 'breakage'
posted by infini at 2:05 PM on April 16, 2010


There are a few ways to do this. One would be to add a 301 line to your htaccess file, although with Wordpress itself mucking around in that file, it can be prone to trouble.

The other is to upload an XML redirect file and place it under the address of the old feed. The format for that file is
<?xml version="1.0"?>
<redirect>
   <newLocation>http://www.example.com/blog/rss.xml</newLocation>
</redirect>
I think most feedreaders will understand this.
posted by adamrice at 2:33 PM on April 16, 2010


You can manually edit the XML file with a new entry announcing the change. Just copy an entry from the current file and change the text as appropriate. It's pretty simple to do. Then post that where the old RSS file used to live.
posted by willnot at 3:51 PM on April 16, 2010


You can permanently or temporarily redirect traffic from oldsite/rssfeed to newsite/rssfeed with a .htaccess redirect (assuming an Apache webserver).
posted by oxit at 5:25 PM on April 16, 2010


Thanks for the answers. I'm going to give these a try and will let you know what works. I've tried redirects in the past and, for some reason, they didn't work.
posted by Bunglegirl at 8:34 PM on April 16, 2010


I didn't have much luck with the coding solutions but the following seems to be working for me:

FD Feedburner Plugin for WordPress and I looked in my Feedburner settings under "Edit Feed Details..." and changed "Original Feed" to my old blog feed. I've been mucking about moving my WP install around, reinstalling from scratch etc. and an old subscriber just emailed to say that the old RSS that's been dormant for months is finally working again.
posted by Bunglegirl at 12:08 AM on June 24, 2010


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