Self-Hosted Temperature Based RSS Reader: Fever°

One great aspect of Twitter over RSS is that you’re always up to date on what’s hot. Personally, my RSS feeds tend to get neglected because it’s so time consuming to read through everything when I only care about 25% of the information I find.

Fever° is a self-hosted RSS solution for better management of your RSS feeds, helping you get to the hot topics and filter through your feeds to get to the important stuff. We’ll walk through the installation process and some of the great features of this outstanding RSS reader.


Fever° is a clever take on RSS feed reading, developed by Shaun Inman. Perhaps best described straight from Fever’s website, “Fever takes the temperature of your slice of the web and shows you what’s hot.”

Fever Home

Fever Home

I’ve always been wary of self-hosted RSS reader apps but this is one that’s competitive with other top readers. Aside from the great set of features and sexy interface design, the concept behind Fever is what really sets it apart.


Fever is priced like desktop software, at $30 per license, and you can’t try a demo before purchasing. This is a potential problem for some, but be sure to watch the video demo of Fever to get a good idea as to whether this is the reader for you.

I was hesitant myself to purchase Fever, even after the video demo, simply because there are already so many great free RSS readers available. However, I took the jump anyway and so far I’m very happy with it. $30 seems a little expensive for an RSS reader, especially a self-hosted one, but the price point didn’t bother me one bit after using it for a short time.

Fever° Installation

As noted before, Fever is a self-hosted RSS reader; as such, you’ll need to ensure your host is capable of running it. You’ll first head over to and sign up for an account.

An account is required to manage your licenses, download the software to check your host compatibility and install the Fever reader.

Create Account

Create Account

Compatibility Check

Once you’ve signed up and logged in, you’ll follow the directions in the Download column to check your server for compatibility. It’s a simple matter of downloading the files, uploading to your web host, change the fever directory permissions to 777 and navigating to the boot.php file.

Compatibility Check

Compatibility Check

You’ll have to setup a database on your host and enter its corresponding settings to complete the last step in the compatibility check. If you’re unsure how to do this on your host, contact your hosting provider.

Purchase, Activate and Install

Now that you know Fever works on your hosting provider, you can purchase and complete its setup. Click the “Feed it Fever!” link shown in the screenshot above, which will take you back to the Fever website and enter the Domain Name and Compatibility Confirmation details needed to complete the license purchase.

Once you complete the Paypal payment and checkout process, you’ll be given an activation key, accessible via your account on Fever’s website. Head back to your Fever installation and refresh the page to complete activation, entering your activation code.



Once activation is complete, you’ll just need to enter your email address and desired password to complete the installation. You’ll also be able to set your temperature preference at this point, though you can change this later via Fever’s settings panel.



Import Feeds & Install Feedlet

You’re now ready to get started using Fever! If you’ve been using another RSS reader, you can import an OPML file exported from the other app. Now would also be the time to install the Feedlet bookmarklet by dragging it into your browser’s bookmarks bar.

Get Started

Get Started

Once you click Continue Fever will process your OPML file and import your feeds and folders.

Processing Feeds

Processing Feeds

Using Fever°

I won’t go through all the details and usage of Fever but I will skim over the basics. Once your feeds have been processed, you’ll be viewing your Hot feeds by default. As described by Fever, “Links from all your feeds are weighted by frequency and disposition of the linking feed, then ordered by temperature using the normal body temperature of 98.6° as a base“.

Hot Feeds

Hot Feeds

Viewing your Kindling feed category shows all of your “must-read” feeds, of which I clearly need to organize!

Kindling Feeds

Kindling Feeds

Viewing your Sparks feed category shows all of your non-essential feeds, which are also the feeds used to increase the temperature of links in the Hot view.

Other Features

Fever will automatically update and refresh your feeds list, updating your Hot view and other feed categories. Fever is also built with drag & drop capabilities, enabling you to quickly move feeds into other categories.

Drag and Drop

Drag and Drop

Of course there are many other features such as search, display settings, update settings, etc. These days a feed reader wouldn’t be complete without a mobile counterpart, which Fever doesn’t leave out and includes a quite sexy interface.

iPhone Interface

iPhone Interface

When Fever is saved as an app on your iPhone it will display as frameless.

Final Thoughts

Fever° seems to be the app that will revive feed reading for me. I love it’s interface design, usability, iPhone optimized interface and overall concept of “Hot” feeds. I’ve been a long time user of Google Reader and haven’t quite found another web app enticing enough to permanently make the switch, until now.

For some people a self-hosted feed reader won’t really be an option, but I particularly like the fact that it’s self hosted because I have even greater control over it and who might be peering over my shoulder (ie. Google). Other’s might find the $30 price point, especially for an app you have to install yourself (not that it’s difficult), too high. After getting into the app, I can certainly say for myself that I am happy with the price point for what I get in return, though I can see that for many people a lower price point will be favorable. Overall, Fever° is a killer web-based feed reader that I’ll be recommending frequently.

I’d love to hear your thoughts or questions on Fever°, so leave us a comment below. Thanks!

  • David Anderson

    I use Feverº and love it. I couldn’t dream of going back to anything else. I just wish that the iPhone app weren’t so sluggish. I emailed Shaun and he said that he has no plans to make a native iPhone application, but that several developers were working on iPhone Feverº clients. I’m quite excited, and hope they are released soon.

    • Jarel Remick

      Hmm, doesn’t seem sluggish to me. I’m on an iPhone 4 though so maybe that makes a bit of a difference. I’d definitely love to see a native client though.

    • Dennis Tang

      The guys who made Ashes app (native iPad app for Fever) are planning on releasing a version for iPhone as well. Can’t wait!

    • Jamison

      And Reeder for IOS integrates with Fever.

  • Leslie A Joy

    While I like the idea of items being picked out for me as being “hot” for some topics-like news, I’m not a fan of it for everything. Some of the best blog entries I’ve read are smaller and would have been overlooked using a service like that.

    • Jarel Remick

      Fever is still meant to be used like a typical RSS reader so you shouldn’t miss those important feeds.

  • Nafis

    The best ever feed reader in my opinion, which just happens to be an open source self hosted feed reader is managing news.

    here is a demo of managing news:
    if you guys want a demo of the back end of managing news, i can give you an account for my installation at

    • Jarel Remick

      That looks like a very nice reader. We may have to do a review or comparison. Thanks!

  • Mozgovvert

    I think the price is too much for this.
    I’m using Eventr now, social rss reader, where you can subscribe to delicious feed posts, other users faved. It’s in public beta now.

  • Acacia

    Looks fantastic, but I’m really bummed out by the lack of user account handling. I’d be more than happy to pay another 10-20$ as a plugin for the ability to add another 5-10 users on the same installation. I’m hosting my family and having to set this up on three different installs sounds… Yuk.

    • Jarel Remick

      Yeah, I would agree. I would actually like to see this as an app that’s available to the public without the need for self-installation or hosting.

  • Joshua

    Fever has really great support for keyboard navigation and in many respects is as well thought out as a good desktop app. I rarely navigate using the mouse at all.

    I also wouldn’t mind having a more generous license so I could let my wife try it out, but otherwise it’s hands down the best feed reader I’ve used.

  • Josh

    Being a mint user and owning several licenses I know Shaun makes some quality stuff and I have looked at fever on several occasions but find it too hard to justify the price of $30 for something that is a want not a need especially when there are so many completely free alternatives.

    I’m currently loving helvetireader greasemonkey script for google reader and also use feedly a lot. To consider fever it would have to be more like $10-$15.

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  • Suleiman Leadbitter

    I love Feverº I really do, well worth the money in my opinion. I just add any and every relevant RSS feed to any site and it just helps bumping up whats hot. The only downside I can think of is the iPhone App. It’s basically quite poor. It’s sluggish and has to be online which sucks for me as I use the underground. I look forward to the iPhone apps coming out soon for it :)

    Also those with a Mac check out ChillPill :) (I’m not sure of any Windows/Linux alternatives, sorry).

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  • Robert Goldman

    As far as I can tell, it looks like on export you would lose all your starred items, and all the items that were tagged as “read” in Reader will come back. Not ideal. The ideal Google Reader replacement would preserve this information, reading not just OPML, but also those mystery JSON files that come with google reader export….