Blog Tech : Google Reader Alternatives

June 17, 2013
Google Reader will be retired on July 1st. Have you found a replacement yet? If not, you still have two weeks. And to help, here's a guide with a breakdown of some of the other RSS readers out there that I've tried along with my two cents.


Bloglovin' is already quite popular amongst bloggers and I signed up for a Bloglovin' account around the same time I started my blog. They've implemented a simple process which makes importing your Google Reader feeds quite easy. While I do use Bloglovin', I've never really been fully sold on it as you can't display/read full posts on there which is something I hope they'll eventually change. They offer an extension for Google Chrome as well as mobile versions for iOS and Android. If you use Bloglovin', be sure to follow rolala loves here.


Feedly is alot like Google Reader only with a more visually graphic interface which you can customize to your viewing preferences. Migration is a snap. You just login to Feedly with your Google Account and it will seamlessly sync your Google Reader with Feedly, preserving all your folders and starred items in the process. It took a little getting used to but Feedly has grown on me and it's good to know that they've already upgraded their servers in preparation for July 1st. One feature I really like is that you can preview a post while in it and even leave a comment from there. Feedly offers extensions for Chrome, Firefox and Safari along with mobile versions for iOS and Android and since it's cloud-based, any changes made in one version sync across instantly. 


The Old Reader is true to it's name and resembles the old Google Reader. While less visually appealing, it gets the job done. Migration is a little more involved as you actually need to manually import your Reader subscriptions but that's actually not as hard you it sounds and I've included instructions on how to save your files below. While it retained my folders, I did lose all my previously starred items which was a bummer but I feel like I can zip through my feeds quicker on it for some reason and it's easy to organize them too. Currently web based only, they are working on a mobile version that should be rolled out soon. 


Bloglines is a feed reader that's actually been around even longer than Google Reader. It's now powered by Netvibes which offers it's own feed service that is essentially the same in look and functionality. Migration is via file import which picked up all my folders but not my starred items. It starts off in a dashboard like layout but the display is customizable so I played around with it and was able to set it up to look alot like Google Reader. I like it's organization abilities as well as the fact that you can save items to read later. It is web based only which is abit of a drawback but Netvibes offers mobile versions for iOS and Android.


Smashing Reader is simple and straightforward with a Google Reader-like interface minus the sidebar. You can migrate your information by signing in with your Google account or uploading a file >While it's nice and clean looking, it's pretty much no-frills without any real customization or organizational abilities. Your feeds are listed alphabetically in a drop-down menu up top. This is a web only basic reader.

Another option worth mentioning is Flipboard ifyou like to catch up on your feeds on a mobile device. I use it on my iPad and the way it's set up feels like you're flipping through a lovely magazine. You can also stay up to date with your social media accounts on there. 

These are just the ones I've personally tried but you can find a more comprehensive list with many other options here. Feedly is my favorite of these followed by The Old Reader. I'll probably continue using them both for the time being before settling on one. I'm also interested in checking out the new reader that Digg has been developing.

No matter how you decide to follow your favorite blogs/sites after July 1, I would strongly recommend that you save a file of your Google Reader subscriptions. Here's how.

  • Make sure you're signed into your Google account and go to Google Takeout
  • Select "Choose Services" and choose "Reader"
  • Click on "Create Archive" to save your files
  • When they're ready, just click "Download" to save them as a ZIP file onto your computer. Once you extract them, the key file is the one named "subscriptions.xml" as that contains all the vital data that you will need if you switch to another reader in which you will have to import your feeds so make sure you back that file up.

I hope you've found this helpful. Please feel free to share it. I'd love to know what you're using and how you're liking it.If you're using a reader that I haven't mentioned here, please let me know. And no matter what you use, make sure you stay connected with rolala loves. And you can always follow via email, or friend me on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter as well. Thanks for reading!

Image via Feedly
32 comments on "Blog Tech : Google Reader Alternatives"
  1. This is great!! I follow blogs on bloglovin, it's so much easier for me to keep track of what I have read and what I haven't yet!! A shame the google thing is changing, it will cause a havoc for many, but I guess there is nothing we can do about it. I hope you have a great week doll x

  2. Hellooooooooo Rowena!! So good to finally have some extra time to read and follow up on my favourite blogs! How are you?! Thank you so much for your sweet comments and feedback! Obviously, I'm ready for negative ones too .-))) Just be kind!

    p.s. Gosh! I had no idea that they were retiring google reader....hmmm. why?

    Hugs and kisses to you my friend!!

  3. Didn't know there were so many alternatives! Wow... I switched to bloglovin' as soon as I heard the news a couple of months ago and really love using it. x

  4. Super great guide!! I too had no idea there were than many options! I've been using bloglovin' for a long time now and love it. (:

  5. Hi Rowena, thanks for the guide, I actually didnt know the other ways despite bloglovin:) I usually use it since is so easy and fast! Hope you are doing well my dear, big kisses and happy Monday! xo

  6. You rock Rowena! I agree with your comments, though haven't tried the last few services for myself. I have a feeling Feedly will be my primary reader and didn't realize you can comment from within Feedly! I don't love the limited view on Bloglovin' and like old Reader as well. I'll definitely be sharing this post on my Facebook blog page!

    Chic 'n Cheap Living

  7. Finally, someone that explains it all! Really great post Rowena. I joined Bloglovin and have been using it. I think I'll join Feedly too as a backup. HaHaHa I'm awaiting the day of judgement! :D

  8. Well, I guess I've settled with Bloglovin so my feeds show there :) Can't afford to lose y'all :)

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  9. What an excellent post! Why are they shutting down GFC? Don't see anything wrong with it! Sigh, guess I'll have to convert soon! x

  10. I love bloglovin' but haven't tried feedly and some of the others you have mentioned here. Sweet of you to explain the pros and cons of all the options on your list. I'm pretty much following you everywhere. Thank you so much for taking the time to explain. :)

    Heel in Mint

  11. I know I am so glad I didn't work it, I started my blog less then a year ago and used Bloglovin right out of the gate.

    Ali of

    Dressing Ken

  12. I love Bloglovin to follow everything in one place!

  13. Thanks so much for all this great advice and tips, I am on Bloglovin but from this post, I think I might try Feedly, sounds like a functional tool!

  14. Good information!!!
    Have a good week, dear Rowena!! g+ and like for you!:)))

    Besos, desde España, Marcela♥

  15. this is extremely helpful! thank you for compiling and sharing!

  16. Whaa, I'm overwhelmed by the change but glad you wrote this Rowena. I've been hearing good things about feedly so I think that's what I might switch to.

    xo Mary Jo

  17. OMG! I almost forgot about the july1 google reader extinction. Using bloglovin but hate to use it. I think ill try feedly coz usually im on mobile

    just me

  18. I was just going to use Bloglovin since it's the only one I'm really familiar with ... thanks for breaking everything down, Rowena! I'll have to check out some of the others quickly and make a decision! Hope all is well, sweetie ... hope you're enjoying the first of summer! xo ~S

    SANDY M Illustration

  19. I use Feedly and Bloglovin' and love it! Thanks for sharing this info. Wishing you a lovely week Rowena. :)

  20. So funny Rowena.. I was just reviewing my options today. I'll go with Bloglovin and I will also back up my current subscribers. I will follow your directions:) thanks for all the help!


  21. This is such a great post , well I am all for Bloglovin .

    Meghan Silva's Blog

  22. It's a very nice and interesting information. I forgot about the july1 google reader extinction. Using blogovin now.

  23. Great post lady - I really have to start thinking about this...

  24. THANK YOU!!!! I've been looking for alternatives, and it's nice to have them all in one place!

  25. thanks a lot for dropping by my blog and for the lovely comment...
    really liked your post...

    would you like to follow each other on GFC and bloglovin...!!

    keep in touch,

  26. Yeah, I basically switched over to Bloglovin' as soon as I heard about Google Reader leaving us but I didn't put much thought into alternatives so this is useful.

  27. Great blog! Would you like to follow each other?

  28. Thanks for your kind visit doll, hope your week is going well :)

  29. I'm already using Bloglovin. And I'm following you too.;) Hope you're doing fine, babe. No, strike that, hope you're doing terrific!!:)

  30. I'm so confused with all the options that I think I will just stick with Bloglovin'.

    Following you on there! ;)

  31. What a cute Happy Retirement illustration :) I will def miss Google Reader bec I am so used to it, but when one door shuts ... another one open ... helloooo Bloglovin. Still gettign used to Blogloving (I'm not a gal that like changes so even the list location on the right vs left throws me off EEK, but getting used to it). THANK for the recap, I was considering Feedly too. Tough choice. Have a beautiful day!

  32. I'm a big fan of Bloglovin'- helps keep me in line (more or less) with the blogs I follow.


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