WordPress.com feature request: External syndication feed provider support
A while ago, WordPress.com took down the ‘Feed Stats’ module that used to help the users see traffic the blog’s feed was getting and the break up in terms of the various clients. Going by the responses (210 comments on that thread), it was something that was missed by quite a few and it was a page I used to heavily rely on.
Ever since Google Reader started the practice of reporting subscription numbers in its User Agent header, a lot of other web-based clients have started doing the same (I had checked it against our internal server logs and a majority of them do the same) and it was a good way of seeing actual and sustained usage in terms of the feeds. While the Feed Stats module never reported subscription numbers, it still used to give us a fair idea about how much the usage used to be, even if was not exactly uniques or absolute uniques.
Now, it is entirely possible to use something like Feedburner to do it, but the problem is that since the free WordPress.com offering does not allow for template editing, you can’t point the autodiscovery links elsewhere other than the WordPress.com feed. Moreover, even in cases where you can edit the templates, clients that are looking at the old feed URLs need to be served a 301 redirect to point to the right URL, which is not possible right now.
Even though Matt has commented that the feature may return someday, it is very important for people who track their traffic closely to have this information and making this feature available would make our lives considerably easier and WordPress.com that much better.