A Year After Reader – Feed Wrangler Wins for Me

It has now been a year since the demise of Google Reader. Immediately after it was discontinued I purchased a copy of Fever and installed it to my web server, declaring it the winner in my search for a new RSS back end. Well, after a few months of Fever, I began to grow tired of it. The biggest frustration was how slowly it performed. Refreshes would take minutes at a time. The product also does not seem to be a priority for its creator, who has said as much on Twitter.

So next I went to the behemoth that is Feedly. I had played with their service before the Reader discontinuation and though it was interesting. And they were not only faster than my Fever install, but they directly integrated with IFTTT. The website could be weird at times but I didn’t use that often anyway.

Honestly I may have just stayed there, but then they got stupid. In December Feedly decided to begin hijacking links, directing shares to Feedly instead of the authors original page. Not cool. 1 Next.

Then I tried Feedbin. It has a slick web app, performs well, and doesn’t do sketchy things with shared links. I think it is a terrific service. But then I tried Feed Wrangler.

It’s probably odd that I wasn’t using this already since it was the winning service for most of the nerd crew. Much like Mailbox made me give up on email folders, Feed Wrangler did for RSS. The smart streams concept convinced me. Rather than group a whole bunch of feeds together, I now arrange by topic, regardless of the feed. I find that this method allows me to make better use of the torrent of news I have coming in. I am pressing “Mark all read” much less frequently.

Its fast, reliable, and only $19 a year. The only downside is the website. To say its pedestrian would be an understatement. Light, yes. Simple, yes. But about as uninteresting as a website can get. I appreciate the simplicity, a Feedly style layout would be the wrong direction, but would love some nicer fonts and more pleasing layout. Not a big deal though as I rarely use the website anyway. Their API is very well supported by some stellar RSS clients. Sadly no IFTTT support directly, but the you can overcome this using started articles and the RSS channel.

Feed Wrangler's Smart Streams have really improved my RSS reading experience.
Feed Wrangler’s Smart Streams have really improved my RSS reading experience.

A plus to Feed Wrangler is that it includes podcasts. That’s a whole other article. I am not yet using Pod Wrangler as my client, but their syncing back end is intriguing.

So after bouncing around many different services I think I finally found one to settle down with.


  1. They did change course after being called out, but the damage was done. I no longer trust them. Fool me once… 
A Year After Reader – Feed Wrangler Wins for Me was last updated May 8th, 2014 by Michael Truskowski