FeedBurner on Your Terms
There have been a smattering of posts over the past few months where people have avoided using FeedBurner for their feeds because they're afraid of being "locked-in" to FeedBurner. Now, it pains me to see people not using FeedBurner, so I wanted to list a number of strategies that publishers can employ so that they can leave FeedBurner just as easily as they can try FeedBurner.
For the following examples, I have used my blog's feed, which has a FeedBurner url of http://feeds.feedburner.com/eric.
1. Use an HTTP temporary redirect
This is the first thing we usually recommend if you, as a publisher, have access to your HTTP server configuration. Basically, you make one of your URLs do a temporary redirect to your FeedBurner URL. If you ever want to stop using FeedBurner, you can just remove that redirect and your subscribers don't have to do a thing. Some details on how to do this with Apache and other servers can be found here. You can use this method to seamlessly transition your readers to a new FeedBurner feed as well ... you just have to avoid the "infinite redirect" problem. Please see this post for more information.
As an example, I use a redirect with my "main" feed URL at http://www.burningdoor.com/eric/index.xml.
Tip: if you're using the Browser-Friendly service, put your "front door" (i.e., non-FeedBurner) feed address in the field called "Original Feed URL". That way, all of the subscription mechanisms on that page will use your original feed URL instead of the FeedBurner URL.
2. Use a PURL
If you don't have access to your the server configuration to use the redirect method, you could always just create a PURL, which stands for a Persistent URL. It's really just a configurable, redirectable URL. So, you could set one of these up, advertise it as your feed, and point it to your FeedBurner feed. If you ever want to stop using FeedBurner, just point the PURL to somewhere else.
3. Use partner domain mapping
We recently introduced FeedBurner Partner Pro, which allows you to map one of your domain names to one of FeedBurner's servers. The practical effect is that the feed, as well as all of the supporting links and stylesheets, all map to your domain. This is another great way to keep complete control of your feed.
As an example, my feed is also available at http://feeds.luntfamily.com/eric. Notice how all of the links point to this domain.
4. Embrace the burn
A final option is just to use the FeedBurner URL: we've invested a lot of time and money into building a service that is reliable and always available. Many, many users have decided that they want the feed URL to be the constant as they move blogging platforms. We see a lot of posts like "I've decided to move to a WordPress blog, but if you subscribe to my feed then you don't have to do a thing". Since publishers can easily change the source of the FeedBurner feed, you can change publishing engines without forcing your audience to subscribe to a new URL.
If the day ever comes where you want to leave FeedBurner, however, you can always use the "shutdown redirect" option that we detailed in our post entitled Ciao, FeedBurner. We'll redirect requests for the feed off of FeedBurner, so you can rest assured that you will always have an exit path if you need it.
I hope that helps clear things up. If you can think of other ways that FeedBurner can help publishers keep control over their URL, please let us know by stopping in the forums.