Display Your Feedburner Counter as Text

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Are you getting tired of all those boring, run-of-the-mill Feedburner chicklets?  I know that I am.

I love visiting professional blogs that have taken the time to integrate their number of Feedburner subscribers into their template in a way that is both unique and visually appealing… like this site.

A couple of weeks ago, I took the time to explain how to Display Your Twitter Followers as Text.  As a result of that article I received a lot of requests to explain how to do the same thing with Feedburner subscriber counts.

Step 1 – Get The Number from Feedburner

In this first step, you are going to place the code into your site that is going to contact feedburner and get the number.  It will then store it in a variable that we will display in the second step.

To begin just copy-and-paste the following code into your theme somewhere.

Be sure to replace ‘feedburner-id’ with your actual feedburner id.

//get cool feedburner count

//Initialize the Curl session
$ch = curl_init();

//Set curl to return the data instead of printing it to the browser.
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, 1);

//Set the URL
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_URL, $whaturl);

//Execute the fetch
$data = curl_exec($ch);

//Close the connection
$xml = new SimpleXMLElement($data);
$fb = $xml->feed->entry['circulation'];
//end get cool feedburner count

Step 2 – Display The Count In Your Theme

To display the number that we have stored in the variable just paste the following code into your theme in the location where you want to display the feed count.

echo $fb;

Using WordPress?  Here’s the Quick and Easy.

First, install Feedburner Circulation plugin.

Second, paste the following code into your blog’s theme wherever you want it to display.

<?php feedburner_circulation_text('feed_id'); ?>

That’s it. It might look complicated, but it’s not. Just read it over slowly and let me know if you have any questions.

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  1. September 11, 2009

    Eric B. said:

    Thanks for the tip. I don’t really like those little feedburner chicklet thingies. They’re like the hit counters of modern web design 😛

    I’ll remember this if I decide to publicly display my subscriber count when I get more subscribers (I currently have about 30 something.)

    • September 11, 2009

      Sat Chen said:

      Yea it certainly is a good idea to hide your feedburner subscriber until you get close to hundred. Nicholas when did you start showing your subscribers

      • September 11, 2009

        Nicholas Z. Cardot said:

        Sat Chen –> I agree that it is good to wait but I didn’t wait. I put my out there right away but that is only because I was very confident that it would grow very quickly. I’m really all about being transparent with people. When I started 3 months ago, it didn’t matter to me if everyone knew that this blog was brand new. Now I still work to let people know my subscriber counts, my income, my traffic levels and everything else.

    • September 11, 2009

      Nicholas Z. Cardot said:

      Eric B. –> Good. And remember that you can make your own chicklet by using CSS and puting an image of your own choosing in the background and placing the text over it. I’ve seen that come out in a very impressive way.

    • September 11, 2009

      Arisu said:

      Eric B. >>

      I now that no one wants to show their stats unless they feel there is something to show, something to be proud about.

      But 30 subscribers are something to be proud of! Don´t look at it as a number, and don´t compare it with other peoples blogs – 30 people think your blog is so good that they don´t want to miss a post.

      Also, I think that even one suscriber is good enough to encourage other people to suscribe. No one wants to feel like they´re the only one -but to join to a group of suscribers- even a little one, gives you that feeling of fellowship.

      • September 11, 2009

        Seth W said:

        I think you are exactly right… Once you get a couple put them up and show everyone that people enjoy your blog. Especially if no one is currently commenting on your blog this is a good way to show that at least your blog does get visitors!

      • September 11, 2009

        Nicholas Z. Cardot said:

        Arisu –> You make a good case. Besides isn’t every single person important?

        • September 11, 2009

          Arisu said:


          I definitely think that every person counts, and even one loyal reader is a reason to keep improving and do your best.

          It´s thanks to those first readers that you can grow up as a blogger and be more appealing to new readers.

      • September 16, 2009

        Ron Boracay said:

        30 and above figures are good start. It can be shown and you will see people jumping on the subscribers club of your blog, but, with less than 10? hmm. Much better to hide it for a while.

        • September 16, 2009

          ZXT said:

          30 is definitely okay and I think as long as you go over a single digit then its okay to show the number of your subscribers.

          • September 16, 2009

            Andrew said:

            Wow, 30? I was too embarrassed to show mine until it was 100+. I got tire of the chicklet look and removed it totally though.

            I still need to implement the text version.

    • September 21, 2009

      Rish said:

      We are almost the same. I only got about 30 subscribers in my blog. But I understand it since my blog is personal and not an informative one. What can they get in my stories then? Anyway, it is still something that we should be proud of. :)

  2. September 11, 2009

    Sat Chen said:

    I hate those feed burner chicklets. They are so annoying, and over used. Will use this if i do it right.

  3. September 11, 2009

    Ron Boracay said:

    Neat and pretty easy to use and follow. I retweeted this one.

    @Eric B – That is good, I think much better to hide your or our feedburner subscriber count until it reach hundreds.

  4. September 11, 2009

    mukund said:

    sounds interestin.. gonna try asap.. tanx for d tip..;)

  5. September 11, 2009

    Arisu said:

    Thanks for the tip! I´ll be using it on my blog 😉 -wich is almost ready for the launch –

    I love the plugin version, it´s very easy and if you have a suscribe box on the sidebar you can put it right next to it.

    • September 11, 2009

      Nicholas Z. Cardot said:

      Arisu –> That’s right you definitely can. Hey are you going to send me a screenshot of it and let me have a sneak preview of your site?

      • September 11, 2009

        Arisu said:


        Of course I will! 😉 Actually, I have a little issue with the color scheme – I´m divided between dark chocolate brown (wich I think is yummy and homey) and green shades (fresh and vivid) – I´ll send you both!

        • September 11, 2009

          Sat Chen said:

          I think dark brown color would look better. Did you make the theme yourself? Good luck :)

          • September 13, 2009

            Arisu said:

            Sat Chen>>

            Thanks, I do think it will work out nicely with the brown scheme, but I´m gonna do another try with light brown and green.

            And no, I´m going to use Zeke Theme structure and I´ve customized all the graphic look.

        • September 12, 2009

          Nicholas Z. Cardot said:

          Arisu –> I’ll be glad to help you out and I can point you to some great resources for developing your color scheme into something that looks really nice.

  6. September 11, 2009

    ZXT said:

    I might use this one. Thanks for another great tip Nick.

  7. September 11, 2009

    Seth W said:

    I have never liked the chicklets look, just there functionality… I like the text version though and we employ it over on our blog.

  8. September 11, 2009

    Chris Cline said:

    Thanks for the tip I will have to try it out…

  9. September 11, 2009

    Klaus @ TechPatio said:

    That’s a GREAT tip for those who does not want to use the feedburner buttons (or chicklets, I think they’re called?). I don’t mind it at this time, since I don’t have such a fancy design as you do, where the button wouldn’t look nice :)

    By the way, how did you integrate your “subscription manager”-page into your design? Usually when you get to the page to unsubscribe from comments, it’s just a blank page with text, but yours are inside the site design, I’d love to know how to do that.

    Thanks :)

    • September 12, 2009

      Nicholas Z. Cardot said:

      Klaus @ TechPatio –> It took me hours to integrate it and it involved a lot of extremely advanced code editing across several files. It was hard and I don’t even remember how to backtrace every step that I took. The truth is that the creators of that module need to improve the integration features.

  10. September 11, 2009

    Sat Chen said:

    Why does it give me this error thing sometimes when I try to comment?


  11. September 11, 2009

    Bruce Teague said:

    Thanks, someday when I get more subscribers I’ll add the count and I’ll be glad not to have to show an ugly chicklet.

  12. September 13, 2009

    Andrew said:

    Thanks for this one Nick. I’ve been looking around for an easy solution for a little while now.

    Now how to do the same thing for a twitter follower count and for aweber subscriber count?

  13. September 13, 2009

    Mezanul said:

    Thanks for the tip!

    I never liked the feedburner chiklet and I know if I had used it in my site neither will my readers would have liked it.

    Using your tip will definitely help a lot in customizing the look of the feedburner subscriber count easily. :)

  14. September 15, 2009

    akira07 said:

    Ah well i think to use Feedburner chicklets is a choice of the blog owner. As for me, i prefer to put it jut like simple text as you do in this blog. Keep it like this.

    • September 15, 2009

      Nicholas Z. Cardot said:

      akira07 –> It’s definitely a matter of preference but I like to spread my opinion of style and design throughout the web. :)

      • September 17, 2009

        akira07 said:

        Anyway i think this technique also have a benefit. You’ll have more free space in your blog to be filled with for example : advertising.

        • September 24, 2009

          Ron Boracay said:

          Yet, you think again for monetizing. Hehe. Anyway, yes, its possible, but the true point here is, to show your visitor that “hey, I have a big number of readers, subscribe now and be one of them”.

  15. September 16, 2009

    liliansi said:

    Oh! Simple solution for WordPress :) Thanks! Very very nice graphic your blog…and very good content! Bye

  16. September 21, 2009

    Rish said:

    Cool tutorial. I do not like those chicklets as well. Others may take them as clickable buttons other than subscribers’ count. They are also too tiny and difficult to read especially when the colors are mismatched.

  17. October 14, 2009

    Robomaster said:

    Great tip! I think it’s usually better to not ‘show off’ your subscribers unless you have more than 100.
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: CCleaner: The Complete Review =-.

  18. November 19, 2009

    Robomaster said:

    This was just what I was lookin’ for. Thanks Nick!

  19. February 10, 2010

    Jennae @ Green Your Decor said:

    I’m trying to use this at Green Your Decor (the link attached to my name) and I keep getting this error:

    Fatal error: Cannot instantiate non-existent class: simplexmlelement in /home/.bafflers/jennae/greenyourdecor.com/wp-content/plugins/feedburner-circulation/feedburner-circulation.php on line 80

    Any idea what’s causing it?
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: Get in the Mood to Create: Daisy Janie Organic Fabrics =-.

  20. April 25, 2010

    Ellen said:

    I love blogs that use feedburner subscriptions- it gives a brief snippet of what is there so you can visit at your leisure. No clue they were called chicklets -getting an education here.
    I have been asked to participate in a blog (writing) but am up in the air about it.

  21. May 24, 2010

    奇闻怪事 said:

    Thanks for the information, this is very useful !
    .-= My Latest Blog Post: ????????????? =-.

  22. September 21, 2010

    Tomas J. said:

    Where exactly can i get the feedburner id?

  23. October 6, 2010

    Udegbunam Chukwudi said:

    It doesn’t seem to work any longer :-(

  24. October 17, 2010

    Vic said:

    Thanks Nicholas, I really observe that top bloggers display their counters in the different way and not in the boring way as seen on default counters. Your post makes new bloggers classy bloggers. You help us a lot.

  25. November 8, 2011

    Arham Sukardi said:

    Very coool, I want to try it..
    thanks :)

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