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Just how big should your RSS button be?

By Jessica Albon

Over the weekend, we added a gigantic RSS feed button (and, also, a gigantic Follow me on Twitter button). I’m curious to hear your opinion.

Do you like gigantic RSS buttons? Do you even notice them? Do you click them to subscribe? Do you ignore them?

Me, I subscribe to RSS feeds right in Firefox, clicking the RSS icon in the address bar, so I never click an RSS image on a page whether it’s big or little. But, I’ve read that bigger RSS buttons are *always* better, so after giving it some thought, decided to go extra-extra large as an experiment. I’m a very obedient designer ;-). (I’ve discovered it’s pretty sensible to try things the “right” way first and then make it my own to see what happens.)

So if you have thoughts on the great RSS button debate, be sure to share them!



Grace Feb 2, 2009

Oh, no. Just as I finish getting my blog laid out, I read this.

I like my small RSS and subscribe-by-email button! whimper!

Jessica Albon Feb 2, 2009

Grace–Back to the drawing board already? I’d never dare suggest such a thing ;-). Seriously though, I like the RSS graphic small and tidy looking, too, so I’m hoping this test proves the RSS image doesn’t need to be gigantic.

Very Evolved Feb 2, 2009

I have done away with the icon all together on my site.

Instead I have a personalized subscription request at the end of each post. I figure those that don’t know what the icon stands for (yes they’re out there) won’t subscribe even if i have it prominently displayed.

Those that do know what it means won’t click on it and subscribe without a reason, and that reason only comes from wanting to see more of your content – not from wanting to see more of your main page.

Anyway interesting experiment – are you running a click overlay plugin so you can see visually where visitors click to see where they are subscribing through?


Jessica Albon Feb 2, 2009

Patrick–That’s a fantastic idea, to add a personalized invitation to subscribe by RSS at the end of each post. I really like how you’ve done that on your blog. In terms of keeping the RSS subscribe on the front page, my thinking there is that that’s where it’s easiest to find–so for repeat visitors who find themselves back a lot, they might think, “Oh, and look, an RSS subscribe.”

At the moment, I’m using Google Analytics’s overlay and am backing it up with CrazyEgg. So, I’m getting a pretty good view of what people are clicking on, and from which page (front page or individual post).

David | beplayful Feb 3, 2009

If I’m excited by a blog, I’ll do my utmost to find the RSS feed, even if it means guessing possible urls or typing the website into Google Reader.

If a blog is boring, I’ll never click the RSS button, no matter how humongous it is.

For semi-interesting blogs, a visible RSS button helps. If a blog doesn’t completely captivate me, I won’t search for the RSS button. But a small button in the top right is enough for me to subscribe.

David | beplayful Feb 3, 2009

Having said all that, it was extremely satisfying to click your huge RSS button.

If only it depressed when clicked, that would have made my day!

Jessica Feb 3, 2009

Hi David,

I’m delighted to hear you enjoyed the button! And that’s a great idea to have it depress when clicked. I really appreciate your thoughts on how far you’re willing to go to seek out rss feeds on sites you really like vs sites that are semi-interesting. Thanks!