The last couple of months I have been considering Fever, an RSS feed reader application by Shaun Inman. Unlike most feed readers, Fever is a self-hosted PHP application. Meaning you’ll need your own public-facing server that is running PHP and MySQL in order to use it. At $30, Fever likely has a limited audience of web developers willing to use it.
My biggest reason to use Fever was to finally drop Google Reader, the last Google app that I used on a regular, personal basis1. As it turns out, Google started dropping Reader before I did. So, the waffling and procrastinating stopped and I bought and installed Fever this morning.
At this point I have only used Fever for about an hour or so. Overall, I’m quite pleased with it from a functionality standpoint. However, I have a hard time recommending Fever to others. While functionally, Fever is quite good, visually it is dated and not really built to spend time reading. In particular I find the body copy of feed articles to be far too small for an enjoyable reading experience.
Thankfully, this is a web app, so I can tweak styles to my liking. I dug into the application’s files and found the stylesheets. Once those were adjusted for a larger, more readable font-size, I was quite happy2.
I’m very excited to explore some of the features built into Fever. For those considering Fever as a Google Reader alternative in light of the recent closure announcement, I’d recommend first looking into other options. Although, If you have some capable CSS chops and can handle the steps needed to install Fever, I think the $30 is worth the price.