What is PubSubHubbub and How to Implement It In WordPress

One of the most frequently asked question from content publishers (that means all bloggers, you and me alike) is “How to make sure that my feed subscribers can read my latest update the moment I publish it?” This nearly real-time technology is not really possible in the past, but with PubSubHubbub (yes, it kinda sounds dorky), it changed the whole ball game.

Simply said, PubSubHubbub (aka as PuSH in short) is publish/subscribe protocol addon to the current Atom/RSS technology. It enables your RSS subscribers to instantly receive your feed as soon as you publish your content.

What exactly does PubSubHubbub do?

Previously, when you publish a content, it doesn’t get push to the feed aggregator automatically. Instead, the feed aggregator poll your site (RSS feed) at regular interval and check if you have new content. If yes, it will then broadcast to your subscribers. With this push technology, there is often a delay in syndication and it could be several hours after your content went live before your RSS subscriber can read it on their RSS reader software.

PubSubHubbub aims to get rid of this time-delaying barrier and make everything real time. This means that as soon as you publish the content, your end subscriber will also receive it instantly. The technology is simple. Instead of the feed aggregator constantly polling your site for new content, it will now act as a hub. Whenever you publish a new content, you notify the hub, which in turn send your update to the end user.

You can watch the interesting video below for better understanding.

Sound simple, but how do I implement it in WordPress?

Feedburner way

Now, if you are using Feedburner to manage your feed, your site is already PuSH enabled. You just need to turn on the service in the Feedburner Dashboard.

Go to Feedburner and login to your account (most likely is your Google account).

Click on the Publicize tab at the top.

Publicize tab in Feedburner

On the left, click Pingshot.

Pingshot option in Feedburner

Click the Activate button to enable the service.


That’s it.
(You may also want to ensure that http://ping.feedburner.com is in your ping list)

Custom feed

If you are using the default WordPress feed rather than Feedburner, there are several plugins that you can use to PuSH-enabled your blog

1. PuSHPress

PuSHPress is the plugin used in WordPress.com. There is no configuration required. Simply activate the plugin and you are good to go.

The big difference in this plugin compared to the other PuSH WordPress plugins is that it includes a PuSH hub built in.

Download PuSHPress here

2. PubSubHubbub

Another simple plugin that requires minimal configuration.

This plugin does not implement a hub, but it allows you to select which hubs you want to ping. The default is Demo hub on Google App Engine and SuperFeedr.


Download PubSubHubbub here

3. WP Pubsubhubbub

This plugin is functionally similar to the PubSubHubbub plugin mentioned above. It allows you to specify the hubs you want to ping as well, so choosing this or the other is really dependent on individual preferences.

Download WP PubSubHubbub here

Have you started implementing PubSubHubbub in your WordPress blog?


Damien Oh started writing tech articles since 2007 and has over 10 years of experience in the tech industry. He is proficient in Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iOS, and worked as a part time WordPress Developer. He is currently the owner and Editor-in-Chief of Make Tech Easier.

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