With Google’s announcement that they are canning Reader this July, I’m on the lookout for a new service to get my news and blog posts in one location. I am addicted to Google Reader and Google Plus just doesn’t do it for me. So I’ve got some time to shop around and see what’s out there.
My first real attempt at something new was with Tiny Tiny RSS and while they say installing it on a shared hosting account is not supported, I’m trying it anyway. There’s also an Android app which is very appealing to me. Using my Hostgator account that, which hosts this and other websites, was the perfect way to try this little experiment out.
What I’m using
- Hostgator Shared hosting account
- subdomain for my reader url
First, create your sub-domain
Your install of Tiny Tiny RSS has to live somewhere so I used HostGator’s subdomain tool to create a new one. I went with something similar to reader.mydomain.com with a root folder of /reader.
After that’s created, I simply FTPed all the files of Tiny Tiny RSS and put them in the /reader folder. Basically, the file index.php should have a folder location of /reader.
Second, create a database and configure it
We need a database and HostGator made it easy. On the CPanel, go to the MySQL Database Wizard and follow the steps to create a blank database with one user. Make sure to write down the database name, the user name and password for later use. I gave the user all privileges as well.
Now to configure the database, we need to import the correct schema. In the schema folder, there are two files, one for MySQL and another for PostgreSQL. Using PHPmyAdmin, I simply navigated the menus and imported the MySQL schema file. Voila! The database is now configured.
Third, Tiny Tiny RSS needs to talk to the database
OK, to get Tiny Tiny RSS to talk to your new database, open the config.php-dist file and save it as config.php. Edit this section in config.php,
DB_TYPE is the type of database you are using, mysql for me, and the rest is pretty self explanatory. For HostGator, you can leave DB_HOST as localhost. The database name, username, and password, you should have as we wrote it down earlier when we created the database.
I did not have to mess with the port number settings so I recommend not messing with this unless you know what you are doing.
Next, on line 21, you’ll see the SELF_URL_PATH definition. Put in your url that you’ll use for this. I used a value of ‘http://reader.mydomain.com’. This is the subdomain that we created earlier.
Save your edits and make sure they are up on your server.
Tweak the PHP
Now for this to work, Tiny Tiny RSS requires PHP 5.3. HostGator supports this but it defaults to PHP 5.2 on my shared hosting plan. If you have another plan, this may be different for you. Here are some helpful support articles for you.
All I did to use PHP 5.3, after reading the support article, was add the following text to my .htaccess file.
# Use PHP 5.3
AddType application/x-httpd-php53 .php
The change is almost immediate so we should be good now.
Point your browser to your subdomain and the login to Tiny Tiny RSS should show up. Login in with the defaults of “admin” and “password” and everything is ready to go. I recommend changing your password first and then you can start importing your feeds.
I’m importing several hundred feeds from Google Reader as I write this post so it does take some time. Odd thing is that I got an error when I started the import but it’s running anyway. Things look pretty good so far so let’s hope Tiny Tiny RSS is a winner.
Make sure to read Part 2.