Over the past few months, we’ve been collecting a lot of important feedback from our customers. You’ve had a lot of positive things to say, but also have offered suggestions in key areas where we could improve. We also heard from some of you that have voiced very clearly about elements of the UI that were confusing, or perhaps difficult to use.
Today, we’re pleased to announce some major updates to FeedPress. Starting with a big cleanup of the both the public facing and user facing portions of the website. One of the biggest things that we wanted to tackle right off the bat, was some of the confusing navigation. What we discovered was that certain features that existed in the product, weren’t immediately obvious in terms of accessibility. We have moved some things around, removed some redundant and non helpful menus, and have renamed many areas to add clarity. Features that you thought we didn’t have, such as integration with third services such as Dropbox, Mailchimp, and Campaign Monitor, are now more noticeable. Under your account settings, you’ll also find it easier to get to your subscription options (My Account > Billing > Plans). We’ve made a bunch of changes in this area to make it more clear as to what each section is really for.
The onboarding process a lot easier for people setting up an RSS feed for the first time. It’s important that we never assume anyone using FeedPress has a lot of experience in this area, so the changes we made will help those unfamiliar with RSS. There are too many improvements to list, but you’ll also find links to more tutorials so you don’t have to hunt for them, and we now allow you to import newsletter subscribers right on the feed creation stage. There are safeguards in place to notify you if something does go wrong with your feed after you’ve set it up. FeedPress has a pretty good sanitization system to remove unsavoury items, but sometimes truly broken feeds just need to be fixed.
There are even small, but important touches, such as notifying you in-app that there may be a problem with one of your feeds.
When you visit your feed management page, you will see a big change here, and it’s for the better. In comparison to the old page, which wasted a ton of white space, we highlight your feed’s subscribers and mention how many people subscribe to your newsletter (if you’ve set one up). Other data that previously never presented itself was your top most popular RSS reader clients. You had to go to the RSS Readers page to previously check what clients were looking at your feed, but now you get a sense of who the big ones are, right on your dashboard.
If you enable podcast support for any feed, we no longer will confuse you with our old “RSS Readers” page. You will now see a “Podcast Clients” section which will list all of the podcast clients fetching your feed. Changing this was small, but we feel it will make it much clearer to podcasters.
One of the advantages of going premium, is that you can have a fully whitelabelled service so that your readers or listeners never see FeedPress branding. Previously we allowed you to use your own domain name instead of defaulting to feedpress.me/MyAwesomeWebsite. There was a limitation which wasn’t particularly sexy, in that your feed alias name would show up in the URL.
For example, if my domain name was myawesomewebsite.com, my feed URL may have looked like feed.myawesomewebsite.com/myawesomewebsite. By default, we now remove the feed alias name so that you can just display your subdomain. There is also more flexibility in that we now give you complete control over your hostname configuration. The old page has been replaced with a new interface, as seen below.
Making changes to your feed, such as changing the title or truncating entries, was something you had to do in your own CMS previously. Under Settings > Your Feed you will now see options truncate your entries, add UTM tags, specify linked post titles, and even update your feed title. These were some highly requested features, and we hope you enjoy them.
Browser Friendly Feed Page
Nobody likes seeing raw XML when clicking the RSS button on your website. Unfortunately, browsers like Firefox, Chrome, and Safari all choose to handle this differently. Whilst some display raw XML, others may just tell you to install an RSS reader in order to see the content. This is not an easy problem to solve, but today we’re really excited to say that when someone visits your feed page, they will now see an optimized webpage with a preview of posts, as well as an option to subscribe to the RSS. This was a fair bit of work, but we feel this will be a much friendly option for people trying to subscribe to your content.
Supporting the big social networks, such as Twitter and Facebook is important, but did you know we also support clever services such as Buffer and App.net? With all of the options available, you can get your content out to just about any place that matters now. On a per service basis, we even try to grab any post image you have and send that to Twitter, Facebook, and App.net. You can configure those options as you see fit once you authenticate your account. We really like including image previews from our post, as that really makes our timeline look pretty and calls the readers attention.
One thing that is close to our hearts, is being a multi-language service. At FeedPress, Maxime and I have English and French backgrounds, so we wanted to at least offer the service in those two languages. We’ve had some fantastic and generous help from our customers to help translate FeedPress, but we need more contributions. We have built a translation tool that makes it super easy for anyone to update strings of text. For our website, we currently offer English and French versions, however, for the newsletter feature, we offer translations in German, Japanese, and Portuguese. If you would like to help us in translating FeedPress, please get in touch.
We figure our service speaks for itself. If you really like FeedPress, chances are, you’re likely to tell other people about it. As of today, we will reward you by automatically adding one free month of premium membership for every friend you refer who also signs up as a premium member. Once your referral pays their premium account, you will both get one extra month for free. You can find out more by going to our affiliation page and grabbing your referral link.
We thank you all for providing such vital feedback to us. We’ve made lots of change to both the front and back end over the past few months, but we’re not stopping there. We will continue to improve FeedPress and will endeavour to delight you with a solid service and stellar customer support. If you’re still on the fence about switching from FeedBurner, today’s a great day to make the switch.