How To Set Up An RSS Feed And Use An RSS Feed Reader?

How To Set Up An RSS Feed And Use An RSS Feed Reader?


Don’t have an RSS feed (or you think you don’t) and want to learn what the fuss is all about?

We have you covered.

We introduce you to RSS’s concept, its advantages, how to set your feed, and learn the benefits of incorporating an RSS feed reader into your professional life. 

What Is RSS?

Before any practical advice on setting up an RSS feed on your website, we should discuss the nature of RSS and why you should consider it at all. Some treat RSS as an utterly outdated tech piece, but there are still pockets of active users who have never abandoned RSS. It’s an absolute oversight, then, to exclude loyal readership (those who subscribe to RSS feeds are in it for the long run, you have to keep in mind), because you either don’t know much about RSS or discount it altogether.

We’re here to fix all that, and our story begins in 1999…

RSS Technology Is Explained Below…

This story won’t be a recounting of RSS’s actual history as much as a remark on its longevity. It exists since the dawn of the Internet, and this sheds further light on its nature. RSS exists as simple text files accessible through RSS readers, and their primary purpose is to enable users to browse more than one website in one place. The RSS feed consolidates new publications into a single channel.

It’s all in the name. RSS stands for ‘straightforward syndication’ and keeps a website’s content to its most important characteristics, which helps users decide whether an article is relevant to their interests much quicker. You see, it’s all about convenience.  

The Perks Of Having RSS On Your Website

This portion of the article is dedicated to the naysayers, who think little of RSS’ utility and actively ask questions like: Isn’t this another thing I have to actively support? Will there ever be an end to the hoops I have to jump to make my website successful? Do I have to do this? 

You’ll say no. You’ll decry it as a morally outdated anachronism that should have been cycled out already. And yes, RSS has not reclaimed its previous popularity of the blogging bubble in the early 2000s. As such, you’re not obliged to do it.

But… (and there’s always a but) you’re missing out on a succession of perks. Internet users who swear by RSS are ride-or-die. They’re ready to commit to a website and its content on a daily basis through their subscription in RSS. A dedicated readership is a prerequisite to longevity on the web.

Website owners also worry about traffic. The number one goal should be having people come to your website, right? That’s why every site has a social media presence and a newsletter. The idea is to generate as many page-hits as possible to earn that sweet, sweet ad revenue. 

RSS runs against this – somewhat. Yes, it’s true that some readers will only consume your content through a reader. Yet, It’s also true that if your content is attention-grabbing, readers will click on the link for a number of reasons – leave a comment, share on social media, forward the link to friends or bookmark. 

The Perks Of Using RSS (Link To The Article On Email Managing)

RSS consolidates forum posts and articles into a single stream – convenience at a single click. RSS is especially useful for news junkies worn by the endless news cycles, and newer feed readers keep tweaking the formula for efficient news aggregation. Current features highlight emerging stories and cull duplicate news items.

RSS manages email newsletters, liberating your work inbox (and your personal one) from any fluff and junk that slows down your work process. It’s also suitable for dismantling the overwhelming barrage of posts, shares, and re-posts on social media. Certain readers allow users to subscribe to individual Twitter feeds and see all posts in chronological order. 

RSS Feeds For Beginners

Are you just discovering RSS and its potential uses in your workplace? Welcome and consider this your introduction to the basic principles and core concepts behind RSS. Gain perspective on the possibilities before you as both a runner of a website and a consumer of content.

RSS is the easiest way to browse the net and stay informed. It should be an added option for your readers whether you think RSS is popular enough to warrant it or not. You’ll understand the true convenience once when we walk you through the structure of the RSS feed, how it’s generated, and its integration into third-party clients, the so-called readers. 

What Is An RSS Feed?

RSS feeds exist behind the HTML front of your website as they’re not meant to be read by users – at least not yet, not in their rawest form. Website administrators create a list with the website’s continuously published content (articles, updates, news items) that updates as soon as a new post is released. This is what we talk about when we talk about RSS feeds. A program (RSS feed reader) then crawls over the feed for any new updates and then syndicates them for the user.

RSS feeds are coded in XML (Extensible Markup Language) and cut down the website’s content to its most important parts necessary for the RSS reader. The whole point is to streamline the reading experience, so you lose a lot of the body of the articles. You’re able to skim over a high volume of articles in one go. In the early days, RSS feeds featured a title, a link, and either a brief summary of the article or a small excerpt. This was truer in the past than now, because modern RSS readers incorporate media files and allow access to the full article and everything in it. This also includes images, video files, audio files, and working embedded links to other sources. 

How To Create An RSS Feed?

The good news is you might never have to learn how to code your own RSS feed. Granted, you have to be hosted on the big publishing platforms – WordPress, Blogger, LiveJournal, Movable Type, Radio – as all build-in RSS feeds into their sites. These feeds automatically update with new posts as they’re being published on the website, thus offering a level of automation that makes life a lot easier. Moderators can further install RSS plug-ins for the very purpose of monitoring a discussion in the comments in real-time.

Custom-built websites are left to the wolves metaphorically speaking. Owners have to roll up their sleeves and create an RSS feed from scratch. Thankfully, XML is an uncomplicated language to pick up even if you have no prior coding experience. You have to familiarize yourself with only a handful of tags, and the Internet brims with tools to assist.

An RSS feed demands the creation of two nodes. A static channel that sits at the top (think of this as your site’s calling card) and then a node for the individual published items. Upon completion, run your code through a validation tool like FeedValidator (you know, make sure everything runs smoothly under the hood), and you’re done. 

How To Use RSS Feeds And Integrate Them Into Other Applications?

RSS readers and aggregators have automated the subscription process and feed browsing. Current models support search functions, which not only seek out specific topics on the Internet but also website feeds. Therefore, you’re able to add and remove subscriptions entirely through the reader. Each RSS reader employs varying tools and features for integration.

Manually, you can subscribe to feeds via following the large RSS icon on a site’s homepage or through the RSS link button alongside the social sharing buttons.  

How To Choose An RSS Feed Reader? (Link To How To Select)

You might encounter RSS spoken of today as a distant relic unearthed by an archeologist, but that’s not an accurate take. The market today thrives with an abundance of options for RSS feed readers. You’re in a position to readily alter the way you consume the sites you love depending on a variety of parameters, and you have a long list of tools to test before arriving at the perfect reader. 

No pressure, though. This isn’t a matter of life or death, and many professionals opt for a combination of two readers (or more, if they’re feeling particularly adventurous).

Before we push you off into the deep end, let’s go over what you have to choose from.

Types Of RSS Feed Readers

RSS readers come in three broad categories, and though the core use isn’t any different from reader to reader, it’s in how you access and curate your feeds that’s specific:

  • Web-based RSS feed readers – the predecessors to all RSS readers. Their strength is utility as you open up a tab next to your email, and there’s your feed – all in one convenient place. You don’t have to install any software on your devices;
  • Apps RSS feed readers – we live in a mobile world, and although you can access browser readers on your mobile, why not upgrade to an application. Apps have superior features and performance, and it’s a great asset to be always tapped into your feeds wherever you may go;
  • Browser-extension RSS feed readers – the evolutionary link between web-based readers and apps, and naturally stands in the middle terms of features and performance. You do need to install an extension, but you’re still very much based in your browser. 

The Best RSS Feed Readers In 2020

You can never err with a classic. Available on Android, iOS, and Windows Phone, Inoreader hands readers the reigns to their feed with many filters, advanced search tools, and support for multiple layouts. Its seamless adaptability is what draws users in, and pro accounts are packed with additional features.

If you’re more attuned to the 24/7 news cycle, a news feed reader is what you need, and Newsblur is the reader for you. This application ticks off many of the expected and desirable boxes. It finishes off with specific tools like view content as initially published, a recommendation algorithm that learns from your reading habits, and keyboard shortcuts.

Feedly has been in the game for a long time and has stayed in step with modern UI design. You benefit from excellent support and affordability for pro accounts with more features to explore. It not only supports feeds for news and blogs but also YouTube and podcast subscriptions.



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