Display Your Feedburner Counter as Text

  • 0
  • September 11, 2009

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.


About Nicholas Cardot

It's my personal quest to enable every person that I can to unlock that dormant potential concerning their online influence. Also, I'm a geek.


  • Eric B. says:

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

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

    • Sat Chen says:

      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

      • Nicholas Z. Cardot says:

        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.

    • Nicholas Z. Cardot says:

      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.

    • Arisu says:

      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.

      • Seth W says:

        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!

      • Nicholas Z. Cardot says:

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

        • Arisu says:


          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.

      • Ron Boracay says:

        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.

        • ZXT says:

          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.

          • Andrew says:

            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.

    • Rish says:

      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. :)

  • Sat Chen says:

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

  • Ron Boracay says:

    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.

  • mukund says:

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

  • Arisu says:

    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.

    • Nicholas Z. Cardot says:

      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?

      • Arisu says:


        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!

        • Sat Chen says:

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

          • Arisu says:

            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.

        • Nicholas Z. Cardot says:

          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.

          • Arisu says:


            Thanks a lot! Actually, one of the articles from other blogs featured in your sidebar helped me out in finding the inspiration for the colors. I´ll send you the previews this monday!!

  • Display Your Feedburner Counter As Text | Blog Mixer says:

    […] Site Sketch 101 Presents Display Your Feedburner Counter As Text […]

  • ZXT says:

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

  • Seth W says:

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

  • Chris Cline says:

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

  • Klaus @ TechPatio says:

    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 :)

    • Nicholas Z. Cardot says:

      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.

  • Sat Chen says:

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


    • Nicholas Z. Cardot says:

      Sat Chen –> Thanks for the screen shot. I just changed some code so hopefully it will be fixed now. Keep me up to date if you continue to see it.

  • Bruce Teague says:

    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.

  • Andrew says:

    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?

  • Mezanul says:

    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. :)

  • akira07 says:

    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.

    • Nicholas Z. Cardot says:

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

      • akira07 says:

        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.

        • Ron Boracay says:

          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”.

  • liliansi says:

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

  • Rish says:

    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.

  • Robomaster says:

    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 =-.

    • Nicholas Cardot says:

      Robomaster –> On one hand that’s true, but on the other hand you don’t ever go wrong by being open, honest and transparent with the followers that you do have.

      • Robomaster says:

        True – after reading some of the discussion of the other commenters, I think I’ll show off my feed count no matter how many subscribers I have.
        .-= My Latest Blog Post: Chrome OS: Update from Google =-.

        • Nicholas Cardot says:

          Robomaster –> Once you have that very first subscriber, I think that you should show it off. It let’s others know that someone else enjoys the content enough to subscribe to it.

  • Robomaster says:

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

  • Jennae @ Green Your Decor says:

    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 =-.

  • Ellen says:

    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.

  • 奇闻怪事 says:

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

  • Tomas J. says:

    Where exactly can i get the feedburner id?

  • Udegbunam Chukwudi says:

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

  • Vic says:

    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.

  • Arham Sukardi says:

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

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