How many people subscribe to this blog?

Using the server access logs, you can get *some* insight into your RSS feed readership.

This is a part of the 100 Days To Offload challenge.

Since moving away from Vercel to a WordPress setup, I now have access to the server access logs. This means I can finally figure out how many subscribers this blog could have, approximately, by looking at the logs.

Counting from those that advertise.

Darek Kay had posted an article about this just last month, too!

For the primary feed, I counted 29 subscribers across Feedly, Feedbin, and Inoreader.

For the Articles feed, there are a further 11 subscribers from Feedly and Feedbin.

Counting raw requests.

There’s a few more that either haven’t turned up yet, or involve too much work in terms of manipulating the logs — various Miniflux clients, Nextcloud News, Tiny Tiny RSS, FreshRSS, and some other not-so-mainstream feed readers.

So, another tip was to count the number of new lines you get with your grep results:

cat access.log | grep ":\"/feed/\"" | wc -l

My access logs start at around 7pm yesterday, and it’s about 9:30am right now – this came to 1166 requests (successful, repeated checks, failed — all included) over 14.5 hours. Which is… absurd.

I made sure to exclude redirects from my old feed URL to the new feed URL. That makes the 1166 number look even more wild!

Filtering raw requests by platform.

The platforms with 29 subscribers in all made the following number of requests for the primary feed:

  • 127 requests from Feedly
  • 104 requests from Feedbin
  • 41 requests from Inoreader

And, other platforms/services/apps made, again, for the primary feed:

  • 240 requests from Miniflux
  • 400 requests from Nextcloud
  • 231 requests from FreshRSS
  • 401 requests from Tiny Tiny RSS

Got any tips to make a more meaningful interpretation from the access logs?


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