Alternative RSS backend services to Feed Wrangler

Last week, I received an email from Dave Smith, the developer behind Feed Wrangler, Pedometer++, Sleep++ (and much else besides) who guested on MPU 543.

Unfortunately, he is shutting down the service to focus on his other projects, which is entirely understandable for an indie developer.

Thank you for being a Feed Wrangler subscriber. This service was created nine years ago when Google announced the end of Google Reader. Unfortunately, today I’m making a similar announcement about the future of Feed Wrangler.

I will be shutting down Feed Wrangler next year, on March 1, 2023. This date is one year since the last member was billed for their subscription. No further membership fees with be charged.

I want to make this transition as straightforward as possible for you. So I’ve worked with the excellent RSS syncing service Feedbin to provide an automatic migration path forward.

If you click this link you’ll be taken to a sign up page for Feedbin that links back to your Feed Wrangler membership. From here you can use Feedbin’s migration feature to bring over your feed subscriptions, starred articles and even synchronize your unread status. You’ll then have a 14 day free trial to get settled in.

I don’t have a business relationship with Feedbin, but reached out to ask if they would build this migration path for my users. Feedbin is the service I will use myself going forward and I can strongly recommend it to you.

Thank you for using Feed Wrangler.

— Dave

I’ve been a subscriber for most/all of the last 9 years since Google Reader packed up, using Feed Wrangler as a backend for Reeder (and other apps). Now I need to find a new service.

The obvious alternative is FeedBin, but at $5/month ($60/yr) this is more than three times the cost of Feed Wrangler ($19/yr). Alongside subscription fatigue in general - every $5 a month adds up quickly - this is quite a jump.

I recall @MacSparky discussed moving to Reeder with iCloud sync in a previous episode - I’ve not tried this yet, but would be interested to know if this is as flexible as a stand-alone RSS backend (i.e. can one hook in alternative apps, such as DevonThink?).

Any thoughts/suggestions would be most welcomed. I am somewhat surprised no-one had posted about this here already!


Feed Wrangler was quite a bargain. $5/month adds up when we keep adding services to our monthly bills. I agree 100%.

I am a Reeder user, but I have not used iCloud sync so far. That definitely is an option, though. When I replaced Feed Wrangler several years ago (I did not like the old-fashioned web frontend), I switched to FreshRSS. It is free. You have to host it yourself:

It fits my needs and works nicely. And I control my data. :slight_smile: Which is nice, too.

I am no DevonThink user, so I cannot say much about that.

Alternatives like FeedBin are not cheap, but given their success, the price might be fine for users who do not want to mess with self-hosted solutions. In the end, everything has its price for a reason.

It is amazing that Feed Wrangler was able to provide the service it has provided for such a small amount of money and for quite a long time.

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I’d 2nd FreshRSS as a viable alternative. I have it running in a docker image on my iMac following the docker compose instructions here:

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I just switched from FeedBin to FreshRSS in order to save those $5/month. Works fine, but it’s one of those “money or time, which can you spare” situations.
Of course, I had a server running anyway.

All in all it took me two hours, and it wasn’t hard work by any means.

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As @Shruggie said, it’s a worthwhile time investment
For easy of use and maintenance I’d really suggest trying the docker route, especially if you have a raspberry pi or something like that lying around. It’s very easy to start up and maintain, and usually works out of the box.

just did a test for a docker container version install time:

  • copied docker compose from docker hub (30 secs)
  • changed data directory path in the yml file to match target directory (20 secs)
  • created docker-compose.yml in the target directory (20 secs - copy paste)
  • spun up container using “docker-compose up -d” (20 secs)
  • log in to http://[your ip] and done

Everything was up and running in under 2 minutes

Of course I do have some docker experience, but always good to learn new thing :slight_smile:

Funny enough, I’m also here to suggest FreshRSS which I didn’t even know about two weeks ago. But apparently I’m the only one!

For what it’s worth, Reeder with iCloud sync was working okay for me until I got a work computer where I don’t want to use my personal iCloud account but wanted to read RSS feeds. Looking for other options, I found FreshRSS. I run it on the same server where my website lives and it took 20 minutes to set up and customize as I wanted.

I have no idea what Docker is. Anyone want to give me the 5-cent explanation of what it is and how it applies here?

on a very basic level Docker is a way to develop and run applications in a self-contained environment
This f.e. allows us to run Linux on MacOS without having to install Linux or spin up a full VM. Each container contains just what it needs to run the app, and only that app

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In threads like this, old Mac users are obligated to mention NetNewsWire. It can sync through a variety of services (including FreshRSS), but I use iCloud syncing, and it’s always worked perfectly for me. That puts both the app and the syncing at $0.

As for DevonThink, all I can say is the NNW site touts “Sharing to Mail, MarsEdit,, Notes, Messages, and so on.” I don’t use DevonThink, so I can’t say if if falls under the “and so on” umbrella. I guess it depends on whether DT shows up in your Share menu.


I use DEVONThink as my RSS subscription service and reader, thus both replacing services like FeedBin and apps like Unread.

The reader interface isn’t great, but it suffices.

It manages subscriptions well and I like having access to everything I follow within DT.

I have used Feedbin, Reeder, and News Explorer with iCloud sync. They all work great, and don’t require a subscription.

I currently use Reeder because I prefer the design, but they are all great. And NetNewsWire is free and open source.

How do you want to integrate with Devonthink and other apps.

feedbin,com has been solid for me since Google Reader shut down

I use Reeder with iCloud sync and it has been great. FYI Reeder just add Twitter, Reddit, and YouTube feeds in the latest update.

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Same here. I really like sending email newsletter to it so they show up in my RSS reader.

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I chose the Feedbin route. It was dead simple. Took me like three minutes to make the move, and it’s like nothing changed.

I was using Feedly for a while, but when NetNewsWire relaunched they telegraphed the eventual inclusion of iCloud syncing. That’s been available for a while now and it’s all I use on Mac, iPhone, and iPad without any issues. I have been interested to learn that Reeder does this now, too.

One of the differences between reeder and NetNewsWire’s iCloud sync is that reeder specifically warns you to not sync on all of your devices, but NetNewsWire doesn’t.

Reeder’s warning made me feel uneasy so I switched on NetNewsWire’s iCloud sync and it seems to be working well, so far. I used it with newsblur for ages, but my subscription is about to renew so I switched.

That sounds odd to me. What reason could there be not to? I thought that was the whole point of sync?

Feedbin is a great service that I briefly used (as a paying customer; $1.99/month?) when Google Reader shut down.

However, back then I had more confidence in the future of Feedly, so I was one of lucky ones that got a lifetime membership for $99 to help them bootstrap (first round; sold out in the first day I think).

I’m glad to see Feedbin is still around and in fact they have been more innovative than Feedly, but it’s hard to beat the/my “free” Feedly Pro.

I still use Feedly as well, though I just use the free tier, which is more or less enough for my needs. I keep looking at Feedbin, but I can’t justify the cost yet. If Feedly ever goes the Dr. Evil route, I’ll reconsider.

yes, feedly pro and pro + plans are expensive. I am not sure anyone try Leo and see whether it is worth the cost

I wrote in this post why I chose inoreader

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