[How to] Fix “0 Subscribers” Bug of Feedburner API

by: - Last updated on: December 17th, 2016

As you can see on the top right corner of Technically Personal (above the header), I have something like “767 Subscribers and Counting!!” That number is actually the coming from Feedburner. The usual Feedburner chicklet counters are boring and updated.


Few days back, I read an article on ThemeTation about How to implement Feedburner Text Counter without using any plugin whatsoever. It’s a simple and straight-forward tutorial which tweaks the Feedburner API to get the counter as a text and it worked as expected.

But then, over the next couple of days I observed that this converted text counter was showing 0 and this happened almost at the same time everyday. That is when i realized that the Feedburner counter gets reset to 0 before it gets updated with the latest value everyday. This bug is not restricted to the Text counter of Feedburner. Even the Feedburner chicklets face this issue. Normally this issue gets sorted out within a couple of hours but some times it persists and it would be embarrassing to show 0 subscriber count. The issue gets worsened if you use a caching plugin which caches the pages showing 0 subscriber count.


Have a look at the screenshot example above. Ironically, the post title of Pro Blog Design (which is one of my most favorite blogs) says “Get RSS Subscriber Count in Plain Text” and it shows 0 Subscribers (and the actual count is in excess of 4600!!)

How to Fix this 0 Subscribers Bug of Feedburner?

Assuming that you have followed ThemeTation’s approach (or something similar) to convert Feedburner Counter to Text, go to your Header.php or Sidebar.php (wherever you are displaying the Feedburner text counter) and look for the code which says

$fb = $xml->feed->entry['circulation'];

Just below this, add a line of code


Replace XXX with a number which is realistically similar to your actual subscriber count. And again look for the code which says

echo $fb

and, replace that part with this

if ($fb=="0")
echo $fc;
echo $fb;

Needless to mention that this will be within the php tags.

That is it! Whenever the feed count value comes as 0, it will be replaced with the number you have defined. No more embarrassing moments!

What you think of this trick? Do you have a better and simpler fix? Let me know!


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  1. Great post man! I will try it out too. Wish I could solve this problem with my chicklet coz I don’t have a better place for showing as text.

    Asif Istiaks last blog post..10 Live Player | Stream Mobile Media

  2. Hi. I read your post and am wondering if you could help with my problem. I have a very new website and yet have several big problems w/ Feedburner.

    I know that I have about 3 people (I know this sounds ridiculous, but I did just start my blog and I haven’t told barely anyone about it b/c I wanted to make sure that I had things working first and it is still very much in the bare bones stage) subscribed to my site via email (self, husband and a friend or two) but feedburner shows no subscribers. I think that I added feedsmith successfully yesterday and thought that was the issue, but today it still shows no subscribers.

    Also if I check feedburner / ‘publicize’, then ‘Email Subscriptions’, then ‘Subscription Management’.it shows no subscibers and though I selected the option to be notified when someone cancels his subscription, I cancelled mine the other day and got no notification. Granted, I signed up right again to see if the subscription count was working but I assume that I should have gotten a notification.

    Do you have any ideas what might be happening?

    1. it’s highly unlikely that the problem is on Feedburner’s side. Are you using a a CMS like Wordpress? Do you have an option to enter Feedburner’s URI somewhere? If so, have you entered the URI correctly?
      From what i understand, even inside your Feedburner account, it is saying 0 subscribers. If nothing works, you can try to delete and recreate the Feedburner account.