There are many ways of reading WordPress.com blogs and we’ve now added another: blog subscriptions.
This is a very simple way for your readers to subscribe to your blog and receive updates by email. Anyone can subscribe, whether they have a WordPress.com account or not. All you need to do is add the Blog Subscription widget to your blog and then you and your readers are ready to go.
If a visitor is logged in to WordPress they need only press the Subscribe Me! button, otherwise they can enter their email address.
All subscriptions require confirmation by the address owner, and subscriptions can be disabled at any time – the subscriber is in full control of what they receive.
HTML formatting will be used in emails, where possible, to retain the flavor of your post. This includes your images, making for attractive email photo galleries. Subscribers can also choose to receive emails in plain text, should they not have access to an HTML enabled mail client.
You can select to have an email sent each time a post is made, or to receive a daily or weekly digest of all the posts. Perfect for catching up on your reading at the weekend.
Want to keep up-to-date with all the latest WordPress.com developments? Subscribe to this very blog and get all future announcements delivered to your inbox. It really does only take a few seconds and you’ll find the form just after this text. Want to keep up-to-date without using email? Have posts sent direct to your Jabber-supporting instant messenger client, or try Readomattic to keep a list of your favourites. Remember that you can also subscribe to an individual post by checking the ‘notify me of follow-up comments via email’ when making a comment.
We’ve got a lot more plans for email so stay tuned!
Full details of the subscription feature can be found on the subscriptions support page.
- Nov 25, 2009 @ 7:45 am
- New Features
Nov 25th at 8:30 am
Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of reading a blog by email is that many people update and make corrections to a blog post after publishing it, whereas you can’t correct an email.
However, for those bloggers who very rarely touch their posts once they’ve been published, I can see how this might be a useful option to have.
Nov 25th at 8:34 am
Hm… I’ve been using Feedburner’s email subscription. Not sure how I feel about switching or having 2 different ones.
Nov 25th at 8:39 am
but it doesn’t work in Iran. its filtered!
Nov 25th at 8:40 am
Nov 25th at 8:43 am
cool…this will make me some advantages…
Nov 25th at 9:06 am
John, thanks I found the list of email subscribers in the stats. It also shows posts subscribers as 74. Does that mean my total RSS subscribers are 74?
Nov 25th at 9:14 am
fantastic… also ’cause it’s possibile to “save” an additional backup in this way! ;-p
Nov 25th at 9:18 am
Finally after a 2+ year wait !
Nov 25th at 9:26 am
This is so cool.
Bye bye FeedBurner – LOL…..
Nov 25th at 9:32 am
I won’t use this personally, for the reasons Flesh-eating Dragon, but I appreciate the option.
One thing I would find MUCH more useful though, is information about the total number of subscribers to our blogs: whether they’re going up or down is a much more reliable indicator of a blog’s popularity than mere hits, especially when you write about sexuality and gender issues like myself.
As far as I can tell, this used to be part of WordPress.com’s statistics package, but was discontinued? Why? Regardless, I don’t know why something so helpful and yet so simple to provide is not offered, and I would really appreciate it that was the next feature WordPress offered!^^
Nov 25th at 9:36 am
I’ve been using feedburner… so I’m not sure if I’ll be switching to this…
Nov 25th at 9:56 am
Just found out that there’s still no way to subscribe to individual posts via eMail in P2: Will you add this feature to the theme in future?
Nov 25th at 10:07 am
I LIKE THIS
THIS IS SO COOL
Nov 25th at 10:09 am
Well it wasn’t an option here, and I doubt it would have picked up my missing the word “mentioned” anyway.
Perhaps you could shed some light on the subscriber and RSS feeds issue(s), instead of laughing at a simple editing mistake?
Nov 25th at 10:10 am
I love it! Nice!
Nov 25th at 10:38 am
Can you advise what this stat means from my stats page please:
Don’t understand that as I haven’t enabled subscription by email on my blog. What does the 151 refer to?
Nov 25th at 10:45 am
I’m glad to hear this news. I’ll be adding the widget later today. I’m wondering how the email subscribers will appear in my stats.
Nov 25th at 10:50 am
Sorry John, I misunderstood. Bad day at work today…!
Nov 25th at 11:32 am
Well done guys – this is a great enhancement
Nov 25th at 11:52 am
John – thanks for the reply but I think there is a glitch here. The system may say I have 151 people subscribed to comments but I think that’s *extremely* unlikely. Possibly 151 subscribing to blog posts – though even that is higher than I would have thought, but seems absurd that 151 people would want to be subscribed to comments (unless spam bots are subscribing). This figure cannot be right.
Giving bloggers subscription stats is a great idea, but as someone higher up this thread has said, the one key figure we all want to know is ordinary RSS blog (post) subscriptions and this figure isn’t apparent. Hence many of us use (and will continue to use) Google Feedburner (which itself isn’t flawless if people end up clicking on the RSS feed in the address bar rather than the feedburner link!)
Nov 25th at 12:04 pm
Perfect for me.
Nov 25th at 12:09 pm
I’m also interested to see how this will affect stats. Please tell us more! (And I read the support page, but couldn’t find anything on stats).
Nov 25th at 12:26 pm
Are you going to release this to the community as a plugin? I know there are some out there, but I’ve not really been happy with the existing ones. Please please, pretty please?
Nov 25th at 12:32 pm
Fantastic! Well done guys, yet another way to get connected with our readers!
Nov 25th at 12:42 pm
This new feature is great. But, when can we expect integration with services like FeedBurner?
Nov 25th at 12:49 pm
So does the owner get any emails?
Nov 25th at 2:08 pm
Great job guys. this one was due since long!!
Nov 25th at 2:30 pm
@Sheri Thanks! I’m rarely surfing not logged in.
Nov 25th at 2:31 pm
That’s a great idea. I hope we can customise the widget’s message.
Nov 25th at 2:31 pm
I don’t understand the difference between 21 and 32:
Comentarios:21 subscribers, 32 subscriptions
Nov 25th at 2:52 pm
This is an excelllent idea which is quite overdue.
Just asking, will this result in some sort of decline in blog views? Meaning that the subscribers will simply receive it through email and no one visits your site.
Nov 25th at 2:56 pm
While I won’t use the feature (since I’m already using Feedburner), it is a welcome addition.
Nov 25th at 2:58 pm
Is this available on .org blogs as a plugin?
Nov 25th at 3:12 pm
i think this is a good feature, and would be easier to keep in touch with the blogs
Nov 25th at 3:25 pm
Thanks. The delivery is very fast. This has been a much needed feature for long time. .
Nov 25th at 3:25 pm
Nov 25th at 3:26 pm
Nice, I love this option.
Nov 25th at 3:46 pm
Wonderful addition. Keep ‘em rolling out!
Nov 25th at 3:52 pm
you guys just love to make life easier!
Nov 25th at 3:58 pm
Oh boy – don’t I torture my readers enough w/out becoming a constant battery on their in-box as well?
Of course, I’ll probably add it…being the attention ho I am.
Nov 25th at 4:00 pm
Yay! Happy Thanksgiving for WP bloggers! This looks like it will be much easier to use than Feedburner. I do have a question about integrating my Feedburner subscribers into the new WP widget, but I’ll go find the forum to ask that question. Excellent feature. Thanks thanks thanks!
Nov 25th at 4:11 pm
Nice and powerful feature. I don’t know why no one uses it O_o
Thank you from my mother!
Nov 25th at 4:19 pm
something i always wanted! thanks!
Nov 25th at 4:26 pm
This is a very welcome addition to what is, for my money, the best-featured blogging platform there is. Thank you, WP. I would switch my feeds from Feedburner today if it were possible for visitors to subscribe to a single category of posts, so that they receive only those posts labelled with that category. Perhaps it is already possible? Or will be soon?
Nov 25th at 4:26 pm
I’ve started using this in my blog. Although no one has subscribed to the blog itself yet, I can see in the stats page that there are some posts subscriptions. Are they the ones who clicked the box for “notify me of follow-up comments”?
Nov 25th at 5:04 pm
AND I LOVE IT!!!
omg!!! i LOVE YOU WORDPRESS!!
Nov 25th at 5:25 pm
Nice feature, but the “Subscribe Me!” button looks awful on INove
Nov 25th at 5:30 pm
It’s very nice! I added this widget since the “Blog email subscription now available” post! This is one of the best widgets!
Nov 25th at 6:33 pm
Great news. Love the idea.
Nov 25th at 6:41 pm
but non wordpress users have to create an account with wordpress right???
Nov 25th at 6:49 pm
Increasing traffic and ease of access is always a Good Thing.
Nov 25th at 8:03 pm
This is just great, many thanks wordpress.
Nov 25th at 8:19 pm
Awesome news and one I will add right now… Thank you!
By the way, I now look forward to that global translator feature being available to us – your beloved WordPress fans and family
Happy Thanksgiving to y’all!
Nov 25th at 9:19 pm
@Sheri No! when one clicks on the confirm subscription it takes to the wordpress.com login page.
Nov 25th at 10:11 pm
Thank you very good information
Nov 25th at 10:51 pm
Nov 25th at 11:27 pm
awesome! now to get some subscribers…
Nov 25th at 11:45 pm
Just thought of something. Bloggers would want to keep this widget prominent on their sidebar, but if someone subscribes to the blog, than this widget is irrelevant for them. It would technically be wasting the real estate of the page for the subscribed visitor. The widget space is actually too big for one service (an email). A drop-down list could be better, or something else.
Nov 25th at 11:50 pm
Thanks so much
Nov 26th at 12:09 am
This post and the revisions to the Support texts made today (!) raise many issues that should be answered in those Support texts and/or in this or a subsequent post:
(1) Is it true that the new additions to subscription information on the Dashboard/Subscriptions section (e.g., how many subscriptions to your blog there are) apply only to subscriptions made using the new Subscription widget ? (If the answer is “yes,” this would be a very strong reason to use the new feature instead of Feedburner.)
(2) Is there (or will there be) any way to absorb prior Feedburner subscriptions (including the list of subscribers for each blog) into the subscriber database that is managed by the new Subscription feature?
(3) Will Feedburner subscriptions continue to be supported by WordPress?
(4) The new Support texts for Subscription Management and the Subscription Management windows themselves should be augmented to make it clear what controls are for the blog owner and what controls are for the subscriber. (Controls that appear to be available to subscribers without any authorization by the blog owner, if true, are somewhat unexpected, and may be unique – thus requiring some additional explanation.)
(5) Aside from the Feedburner ability to limit subscriptions to a single category of posts (per mrash on November 25th, 2009 at 4:26 pm), is there any reason not to replace a Feedburner text widget with the new Blog Subscription widget?
Nov 26th at 12:10 am
This is a good feature, No need to use feedburner.
Nov 26th at 1:38 am
Thank you for this feature, I’ve already put it on.
Nov 26th at 2:27 am
that is really great! It’s almost like a dream came true! I’m beyond happy!
thanks a lot!
Nov 26th at 2:56 am
Love it! Thanks!
Nov 26th at 4:51 am
i like this…its cool
Nov 26th at 4:56 am
This looks like a really interesting feature – I am very tempted to implement it, but I am also concerned about implications to the statistics.
The blog stats page provides the link to see who has subscribed, but not the frequency that they are potentially being inundated with emails. I post daily, so if the person chooses immediate, or daily I can see that it could have significant impact on their inbox, and not all readers may be confident to then edit the settings for themselves.
Nor is there any option for removing a subscription (that is not your own) – I potentially see a situation where a person has decided to no longer follow the blog, (having once subscribed), and asking the owner to stop sending emails. We cannot control that, and it could easily escalate a simple situation to one where I could become accused of spamming the person, without the ability to stop it myself. Also, like the blacklist for comments, it would be good to be able to have blacklist control over who can subscribe.
I abhor spammers, so am not prepared to put myself in a situation where I could be accused of being one.
I would also like the ability to control email frequency – over-riding the end user’s selection (but only by decreasing the frequency below their option, not increasing the frequency above what they chose (see my comment about spammers)).
Like the Twitter option, I can still untick the box if I don’t want a Twitter update when I post, it would be good to also be able to uncheck any post as it is saved, so it is not included in the email update. Some of what is written would be good via email, some is not appropriate (as it is with updates to Twitter).
Back to my concern about statistics – I could envisage a situation where, for example, 20% of my readers return daily to see new offerings. If they choose to subscribe via email, my stats take a 20% daily hit. (I currently average around 1000/day, so it is significant, if not overly large). I already miss out on getting to count those who read the blog via RSS feed – do I need to encourage more to decrease my overall statistics?
Whether or not I choose to implement this will in part be based on whether it is more valuable for me to have visitors see the other ancillary offerings on the site (I don’t have direct advertising, but I do have a “tool of the month” for example), but that is a choice I make.
Whether my site is supported at all is very much based on my visitor rate, and that has already taken a significant hit by people subscribing to the RSS feed, this is going to potentially exasperate the situation, so I am very interested to know how actual post reads is going to be managed.
Can, for example, the statistics (and the graphs) show not only site visitors (over time) but also how the reader subscriptions fluctuate as well? So if I have 200 subscribers, my visitor count shows 800 visitors+200 emails = 1000 for the day. The next day it is 800+150 (as 50 only get a weekly email for example). I don’t know what the solution is, but I’m hoping it is being given consideration.
Sorry for the ramble. It is a cool feature. Hope I can be convinced to implement it.
Nov 26th at 6:23 am
great, thanks a lot
Nov 26th at 8:29 am
Absolutely fan-bloody-tastic guys. Now, if you could work out some way of having subscribers fill in forms in a similar fashion, I’ll be sending even more ppl to WordPress.com . .that’s for sure.
Nov 26th at 8:48 am
John, is there
1: Any way we can include html code for an image in the text box in the widget?
2: Can we place the Sign Me Up in Posts or Pages like you have done in the top post here on this posting?
These would allow users to create small icons or art above the button which could attract readers to commit to the subscription. Having a “call to action” is important and I have found making it visually appealing is also important.
If you could give me some clues on this, it would be great, as a simply visual image with the button underneath could have better results, depending on the site. My readers are VISUAL (gamers) rather than readers of print in the side columns.
Yes, it’s a hassle, but hey, that is how readers behave.
Nov 26th at 9:00 am
new feature is cool…
Nov 26th at 10:19 am
Thank you, did it.
Nov 26th at 10:41 am
Thanks – great addition.
One comment though – close to what Stuart has already said: e-mail subscribers seem to get the full post, which means that they don’t then have to come to the site to read your posts (unless they want to comment). It would seem to make sense to me to restrict what appears in the e-mail to the first sentence/para/20 words of the post, followed by a ‘read more…’ link to the post itself (or, more ideally, to the site itself). This would as a ‘tease’ and thus draw people to the site who might otherwise just be content to read their e-mail…
Nov 26th at 1:01 pm
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!…I read it on Thanksgiving, no less.
Nov 26th at 1:42 pm
John, with regards to Q? #2
Including the email subscribe function/option inside a post like you have above, is this possible, and if so, how ?
This is great stuff, I’ll play with it to see what I can come up with. I presume this would apply for both fields, for WP.com subscribers and non-WP subscribers ? Correct?
The feature is brilliant and will certainly help many, and yes, I can see how the themes would dictate how a “form” could be or would need to be used etc. I trust that you guys-n-gals will keep at it, like you do with so many other cool options here on WP.com.
Nov 26th at 2:10 pm
Finally!! it is a very usuful info for me! thanks!
Nov 26th at 2:15 pm
Nov 26th at 3:13 pm
Wonderful! Thank you!
Nov 26th at 5:19 pm
this feature could get me more readers
Thanks WordPress! YOU GUYS ROCK!!
Nov 26th at 5:31 pm
always understanding, always interesting, love wp.com
Nov 26th at 7:17 pm
I give thanks! I put the widget to use right-away.
Nov 26th at 7:28 pm
All emails came in, thanks.
Nov 26th at 8:25 pm
Thanks a lot……there was desperate need for a feature like this……