Tech

What Is an RSS Feed? (And Where to Get It)

Really Simple Deployment saves time and makes life easier

RSS stands for Really Simple Distribution and is a simple, standardized method of content distribution that can help you stay up to date on your favorite news, blogs, websites and social media channels. Instead of visiting websites to find new posts or subscribing to websites to receive notifications about new posts, find an RSS feed on a website and read new posts in an RSS reader.

How does RSS work?

Kaley McKean/Lifewire

RSS is a way for website authors to post notifications of new content on their website. This content may include news feeds, blog posts, weather and podcasts.

To publish these notifications, the website author creates a text file with the XML file extension for the RSS feed containing the title, description and link of each post on the website. The site author then uses this XML file to add an RSS feed to web pages on the site. The XML file automatically distributes new content via this RSS feed in a standard format that is displayed in any RSS reader.

When site visitors subscribe to this RSS feed, they read the site’s new content in an RSS reader. These RSS readers collect content from various XML files, organize the information, and display the content in an application.

There is so much you can do with the RSS feed and the RSS reader. Here are some examples:

  • Follow discussions on web pages and forums without visiting each page to read the list of posted comments.
  • Follow the delicious foods prepared by your favorite bloggers and share the recipes with your friends.
  • Stay up to date with local, national and international news from a variety of sources.

What is an RSS feed?

An RSS feed consolidates information sources in one place and provides updates whenever a site adds new content. With social media, all you see is the favorite things people share. With an RSS feed, you see everything a website publishes.

To find an RSS feed on a website, look at the website’s homepage or homepage. Some websites display RSS feeds as an orange button that may contain RSS or XML abbreviations.

RSSWeather.com webpage showing an RSS icon for the RSS feed

Not all RSS icons are alike. RSS icons come in different sizes and colors. Not all of these symbols contain RSS or XML abbreviations. Some sites use a Syndicate This link or another type of link to indicate an RSS feed.

Planet Money webpage on NPR.org podcasts showing an RSS link to an RSS feed

Some sites offer lists of RSS feeds. These lists may contain different topics for a large site, or list feeds from multiple sites covering a similar topic.

The Nasa.gov RSS Feeds web page shows a list of RSS feeds on the site.

When you find an RSS feed that looks interesting, click the RSS icon or link to view the XML file that controls a site’s feed. You will use this RSS link to subscribe to a feed in an RSS reader.

XML file for an RSS feed on NASA.gov

If the site is powered by WordPress, add it /feed/ at the end of the website URL (for example, www.example.com/feed/) to view the RSS feed.

How to find an RSS link in Google Chrome?

If you don’t see the icon or RSS link, check the web page source. Here’s how to view the page source in Chrome and get an RSS link.

Open a web browser and go to a web page.

Right click on the web page and Select View page source.

NPR.org home page showing how to view the page source to find an RSS feed

choose Definitions > Meet.

NPR.org homepage source code showing how to find text on a web page

Medicine RSS and bass sign in.

Find dialog in Google Chrome

RSS samples are highlighted in the page font.

Featured RSS examples in the NPR.org homepage source code

Right click on the RSS feed URL and copy link address.

Copy the link address to the RSS feed found in the source code of a web page

Use this URL to subscribe to an RSS feed in an RSS reader.

What is an RSS reader?

Think of an RSS reader as your email inbox. When you subscribe to a website’s RSS feed, the RSS reader displays the content of that website. Use the RSS reader to view the content or access the website. As it reads each new piece of content, the RSS reader marks that content as read.

There are various RSS readers. If you prefer to read blog posts and news in a web browser, choose a free online RSS reader. If you prefer to read your RSS feeds in one app, explore different RSS feed readers and free Windows news aggregators.

A popular RSS reader is Feedly. Feedly is a cloud-based RSS reader available on a variety of platforms, including Android, iOS, Windows, Chrome and other web browsers. It also works with third-party apps. Getting started with Feedly is easy.

To subscribe to an RSS feed in Feedly on a desktop:

Copy the URL of the RSS feed.

Paste the URL into Feedly for search Check the box and select the RSS feed from the list of sources.

Add an RSS feed to Feedly on Feedly.com

choose follow.

Subscribe to an RSS feed on Feedly by selecting Follow

choose new feed.

Create a folder to organize RSS feeds in Feedly

Enter a descriptive name for the feed.

Give a folder a descriptive name to organize feeds in Feedly

choose To create.

In the left pane, select the RSS feed.

Select an RSS feed to view on Feedly

Select the content you want to read.

Read RSS feeds, save feeds to read later, and mark content as read in Feedly

Hover over the bookmark icon (Read later) or the star (Save to clipboard) to save content for later reading.

History of the RSS standard

In March 1999, Netscape created the RDF Site Digest, the first version of RSS. It was used by web publishers to display content on their sites on My.Netscape.com and other legacy RSS portals.

A few months later, Netscape simplified the technology and renamed it Rich Site Summary. Shortly after AOL took over Netscape and restructured the company, Netscape stopped participating in RSS development.

In 2002 a new version of RSS was released and the technology was renamed Really Simple Distribution. With this new version and the creation of the RSS icon for the Mozilla Firefox browser in 2004, RSS feeds have become more accessible to web visitors.


See more

What Is an RSS Feed? (And Where to Get It)

Really Simple Syndication saves time and makes life easier

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication, and it’s is a simple, standardized content distribution method that can help you stay up-to-date with your favorite newscasts, blogs, websites, and social media channels. Instead of visiting sites to find new posts or subscribing to sites to receive notification of new posts, find the RSS feed on a website and read new posts in an RSS reader. 

How RSS Works
Kaley McKean / Lifewire

RSS is a way for website authors to publish notifications of new content on their website. This content may include newscasts, blog posts, weather reports, and podcasts.

To publish these notifications, the website author creates a text file with the XML file extension for the RSS feed that contains the title, description, and link for each post on the site. Then, the website author uses this XML file to add an RSS feed to web pages on the site. The XML file automatically syndicates new content through this RSS feed in a standard format that displays in any RSS reader.

When website visitors subscribe to this RSS feed, they read the new website content in an RSS reader. These RSS readers collect content from multiple XML files, organize the information, and display the content in one application.

There’s a lot you can do with an RSS feed and an RSS reader. Here are just a few examples:

Follow discussions on web pages and in forums without visiting each page to read the list of posted comments.
Keep up-to-date on the tasty foods your favorite bloggers dish up and share recipes with your friends.
Stay current with local, national, and international news from several sources.
What Is an RSS Feed?

An RSS feed consolidates information sources in one place and provides updates when a site adds new content. With social media, all you see is the favorite stuff that people share. With an RSS feed, you see everything a website publishes.

To find an RSS feed on a website, look on the site’s main or home page. Some sites display their RSS feed as an orange button that may contain the acronyms RSS or XML.

Not all RSS icons look alike. RSS icons come in different sizes and colors. Not all these icons contain the acronyms RSS or XML. Some sites use a Syndicate This link or another type of link to indicate an RSS feed.

Some sites offer lists of RSS feeds. These lists may include different topics for an extensive website, or list feeds from many websites that cover a similar topic.

When you find an RSS feed that sounds interesting, click the RSS icon or link to display the XML file that controls a website’s feed. You’ll use this RSS link to subscribe to the feed in an RSS reader.

If the website is powered by WordPress, add /feed/ to the end of the website URL (for example, www.example.com/feed/) to view the RSS feed.
How to Find an RSS Link in Google Chrome

If you don’t see the RSS icon or link, examine the page source of the web page. Here’s how to view the page source in Chrome and get an RSS link.

Open a web browser and go to a web page.

Right-click on the web page and choose View page source.

Select Settings > Find.

Type RSS and press Enter.

The instances of RSS are highlighted in the page source.

Right-click the RSS feed URL and select Copy link address.

Use this URL to subscribe to the RSS feed in an RSS reader.

What Is an RSS Reader?

Think of an RSS reader like your email inbox. When you subscribe to the RSS feed for a website, the RSS reader displays content from that website. Use the RSS reader to view the content, or to go to the website. As you read each piece of new content, the RSS reader marks that content as read.

There are a variety of RSS readers. If you prefer to read blog and news posts in a web browser, choose a free online RSS reader. If you’d rather read your RSS feeds in an app, explore the different free Windows RSS feed readers and news aggregators.

A popular RSS reader is Feedly. Feedly is a cloud-based RSS reader that is available on a variety of platforms including Android, iOS, Windows, Chrome, and other web browsers. It also works with third-party apps. Getting started with Feedly is easy.

To subscribe to an RSS feed in Feedly on a desktop:

Copy the URL of an RSS feed.

Paste the URL in the Feedly Search box and select the RSS feed from the list of sources.

Select Follow.

Select New Feed.

Enter a descriptive name for the feed.

Select Create.

In the left pane, select the RSS feed.

Select the content you want to read.

To save the content to read later, hover over the bookmark icon (Read Later) or the star (Save to Board).

The History of the RSS Standard

In March 1999, Netscape created RDF Site Summary which was the first version of RSS. It was used by web publishers to display their website content on My.Netscape.com and other early RSS portals.

A few months later, Netscape simplified the technology and renamed it to Rich Site Summary. Netscape quit participating in RSS development soon after when AOL took over Netscape and restructured the company.

A new version of RSS was released in 2002, and the technology was renamed to Really Simple Syndication. With this new version and the creation of the RSS icon for the Mozilla Firefox web browser in 2004, RSS feeds became more accessible to web visitors.

#RSS #Feed


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