Tracking FeedReaders with Shortstat

by @jehiah on 2005-06-17 21:45UTC
Filed under: All , Articles , PathStats , PHP

A post by Pete Freitag got me thinking about finally tracking my RSS feed in ShortStat, and thus in my PathStats plugin.

Now I’ve done just that!

Currently I track my RSS feed through an image taged in my feed, which allows me to see when a user views my feed (not when the feedreader checks my feed). This method is only as accurate as the number of feedreaders which support the image property in rss feeds, but I believe that covers a large number of them (and it certainly includes bloglines).

In the past I used a image from site-meter, but I wanted to track it through PathStats so this php file does just that. It also alows you to use any image =)

First: Adding the image to your feed. This is what I use in wp-rss2.php in my outdated version of WordPress. This code goes in the <channel> section of your feed.

    <title><?php bloginfo_rss('name') ?></title>
    <link><?php bloginfo_rss('url') ?></link>

Next step is setting up a feed.php file in your shortstats folder which will log the view, and redirect to the image of your choice. This feed.php files is available in PathStats 1.2

You will neeed to edit the pathstats.configuration.php file with two pieces of information. The “url” you want to log a view as (probably the same as your feed url), and the image you want to display (for me it’s a 1x1 transparent gif)

$PathStats['feed_url']          = "/feed/rss2"; // url you want logged when people read your rss feed
$PathStats['feed-redirect']     = "/images/pixel.gif"; // image you want to redirect to (display in rss readers)

Thats it go check out the current stats to see for yourself ;-)


This was rolled into PathStats 1.2, and the configuration sections above have been updated to reflect that.

As I realized, seeing the path people take after reading my RSS feed wasn’t quite what I was looking for. So, I added a Page Chart section to PathStats which lets you see a per-page chart of hits ranging back 160 days!

now thats cool If I do say so myself.

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