RT Cunningham


RSS Feeds with Mozilla Thunderbird and SpecificFeeds

RSS Feeds I’ve had my website syndicated with Google’s FeedBurner service for the last year. I always check my RSS feeds by subscribing to them using Mozilla Thunderbird. Until today.

I can’t subscribe to RSS feeds with Thunderbird if they’re on SpecificFeeds but that’s okay. [See my update below.] SpecificFeeds doubles as a feed reader and feed syndicator. They call them “followed feeds” and “offered feeds”.

I stopped using FeedBurner because it hasn’t been updated in SEVEN YEARS and it’s no longer officially supported by Google. It’s just there.

FeedBurner still works for RSS Feeds

FeedBurner isn’t dead yet but it doesn’t matter. We don’t know when Google will decide to shut it down. Google shut down its other RSS products years ago and the only support FeedBurner seems to get is periodic maintenance by some Google employees.

It’s far better to look for an alternative than it is to rely on something unknown. And that’s exactly what I did.

I started using FeedBurner when Google acquired it and I stopped using it when WordPress started supporting RSS to e-mail. I started using FeedBurner again when I turned my website into a static website. Today, I switched to SpecificFeeds. I subscribed to my feed a few hours ago and I’ve already received my feeds by e-mail.

I’ll Still Use Thunderbird for Some RSS Feeds

A lot of WordPress sites are still pushing their feeds through FeedBurner. Until they switch to something that I can’t use Thunderbird or some other dedicated feed reader for, I’ll still use Thunderbird.

I found SpecificFeeds at a FeedBurner alternatives website. It was the only one showing that does what I want it to do. They have two premium plans, one for $1.50 a month and another for $3.00 a month. That isn’t expensive and I may upgrade my account if things start to pick up here.

I’m not concerned with feed reading options. I’m concerned with the RSS to e-mail options. I don’t know how many people still use feed readers to read RSS feeds. It seems to me that more people want to receive notifications and e-mail notifications are pretty easy to follow.


I didn’t see the option when subscribing or updating my subscription. I can indeed use a feed reader by enabling “By RSS”. The ability to receive e-mail messages, push notifications on mobile and RSS feeds makes SpecificFeeds a great service. Google could have done all this with FeedBurner but I guess they just didn’t care.

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By RT Cunningham
July 19, 2017
Web Development