RSS

How To Add RSS to Your Site

01.26.06

RSS or "Really Simple Syndication" can be used to allow people to get notified of updates to your webpage. Many blogging services have this capability built in. Viewers can then subscribe to your RSS "feed" through their browser or RSS feed aggregator (A program that will display and update your list of subscribed feeds). Learn much more about RSS feeds in Wikipedia's article.

I found some tutorials on how to creat a feed but none of them told me how to incorporate it into my webpage for easy access by viewers. So this page describes what I learned and how I added an RSS feed to my site.

Steps:

1. Write the Code

One way to do this is to write a simple xml file. You can do this with any text editor. I prefer using Window's Notepad. Follow the example, save it with a .xml name like feed.xml, and then add it to your site.

You can see below that the sample has a basic framework using opening and closing tags like item, title, description, link, and pubDate. Each article you want to post in your feed will need the tags like they are shown in the example.

Sample XML code:

Since this is "syndication," when ever you add content to your page, update your XML file with new items.


2. Add the link

You want people using any browser to see that you have added an RSS feed to your site. To do this, add one of the familiar image links to your site. These look like rss.gif and xml.gif This is a simple image link like any other. Just right click on the image you want, save it, upload it to your webpage, and add a line of code like:

You can see on my homepage that I placed the image link near the top of the page so visitors can immediately see that it is available.


3. Show RSS availabiltiy in RSS capable browsers

This was the challenge for me. I couldn't find a site that described how to do this. I looked at the source code of another site to figure it out.

To get the RSS icon Livemark to appear in FireFox, future versions of Internet Explorer, and other RSS enabled browsers add the following link to the head of your web page:


4. Spread the word

You've designed your web page. Now you've added an RSS feed. Next you need to let the world know your feed is available. Get the word out by submitting your RSS feed to tons of free feed listing services at RSS Submissions.