Your RSS subscribers are special. They’ve taken the time to add your site to their feed, because they want to read your content. But not only do they want to read it, they want to be notified whenever you have new posts. You should thank them, not limit what they can view in RSS.
I can’t count how many times I’ve gone through the following routine:
- Find an interesting site
- Subscribe via RSS
- See they only show excerpts to RSS readers
- Go a few weeks / months rarely clicking through to full posts
- Never visit the site again
Why? Because the author has created too much friction for me to read their blog. It should be your privilege that I am subscribed to your blog. It is likely that I’m not only subscribed, but also one of your biggest advocates. I’m your marketing department. I share your stuff, yet you limit me in RSS. Why? For a pageview? An ad impression? Ugh. If it’s that damn important then insert an ad in the RSS (WordPress SEO will let you do that easily). If you’re worried about scrapers, the same solution will solve that too.
I can’t say what the statistics are, but I know for a fact that I visit the blogs I’m subscribed to via RSS far more than blogs where I am not. Why? There are constant reminders in my feed that they’ve published new content. And personally, I click through to the website pretty often (probably 25% of the time), usually to see what kind of discussion is going on in the comments, but sometimes just so I can experience the read in the way the site intended. You may say 25% is low, but I’d say it’s a heck of a lot higher than never, which is what it will be when I’m not subscribed any more.
If you are so worried about a few pageviews from allowing full RSS feeds, then I’d bet you’re doing it wrong to start with. Quit milking your best customers for everything they’re worth.
Just try it. Maybe you’ll be surprised and it either a) doesn’t hurt or b) helps your pageviews.
Please enable full text RSS feeds. It’s the right thing to do.