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How to Create an RSS Feed


An RSS news feed can be used to communicate with your target audience. It is an ideal means of notifying people of new content on your website without the need for them to keep on visiting your site. You can send newsletters to your readership without having to use email and risk being accused of spamming. You will be comfortable in the knowledge that people who request your feed are actually interested in it because they have actively subscribed to it. This article will explain just how to create your own RSS news feed.

There are a couple of ways to create an RSS file, you can use an editor designed for the purpose or you can create a file using a simple text editor. The latter will require you to learn some XML whilst the former will do the hard part for you. First off I will describe an RSS file, there are several versions and I will be showing you version 2.0, the latest RSS version.

An RSS file looks just like an HTML file except it has different tags and the files end in .rss or .xml rather than .html. The file is made up of header information and item information, the item information contains the actual news items.

The first section of the file contains the header information. This states that the file is XML and which version, the encoding used and the version of RSS that you are using. This part of the file is mandatory. Next up is the channel tag, this encloses the whole of the rest of the file. This is followed by a title, description and link which explain the what the feed is about and what website it is associated with. The final part of the header is the optional image information. If you use this the software that is used to parse or read your file can display a small picture such as a logo.

Please note that in these examples I have used square brackets instead of angled brackets.

[?xml version="1.0" encoding="iso-8859-1"?]
[rss version="2.0"]
[channel]
[title]The Widget news feed[/title]
[description]The latest news on widgets[/description]
[link]http://www.widget.com/[/link]
[image]
[title]Widget News[/title]
[url>http://www.widget.com/widget.gif[/url]
[link>http://www.widget.com/[/link]
[/image]

The body of the file is made up of the news items. Each news item is enclosed in the item tag and comprises of a title, a description and a published date. The date needs to be in the format shown in the example below.


[title]Which is the best Widget to?[/title]
[description]In this article we discuss the release of several new widgets, but which is the best widget.[/description]
[pubDate]Sun, 20 Mar 2005 14:38:50 GMT[/pubDate]
[link]http://www.widget.com/the-best-widgets.html[/link]
[/item]

You can have as many items in the feed as you like but many webmasters just show the 10 most recent items to keep the bandwidth usage down and also so not to overwhelm the end user with too many items.

Finally the file is ended with the closing channel tag and a closing RSS tag.

[/channel]
[/rss]

I have covered the basic tags to create an RSS file, there are other tags that can be used and these are explained in the http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss (RSS 2.0) specification.

Once you have created your file you will need to verify it is ok, to do this upload the file to your server and then go to this validator to validate the file. Your file is now ready. Now anyone can subscribe to your feed just by pointing their RSS reader to your RSS file.

That is the basics covered. I will be covering other areas in future articles as there is far too much information to fit into a single article.

Allan is the webmaster at http://www.newsniche.com an RSS resource for webmasters. Learn how to use RSS to attract and retain visitors to your site.


TODAYS NEWS BY OFFICEJAX FREE ADVERTISING AND AD EXCHANGE SOLUTIONSMORE RESOURCES updated Mon. May / 10 / 2021

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Link to the Original Articles in your RSS Feeds  Digital Inspiration

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Josh Bycer's Blog - Revisiting the Fall of Resident Evil  Gamasutra

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Charles Games, Year 1. Making serious indie games, business recap (Part 1)  Gamasutra

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Unstack Raises $3.1M Seed Round to Expand No-Code Platform  PRNewswire

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The Not so Secrets to Success in the Game Industry  Gamasutra

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Josh Bycer's Blog - The Successful Steps of Early Access Games  Gamasutra

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Using Unity's New 2D Animation Package for Traditional Sprite Animation  Gamasutra

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Simon Carless's Blog - Steam's end of year bonanza gets 'experimental'  Gamasutra

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Why Nintendo's Switch continues to see so much success  Gamasutra

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David Logan's Blog - Indie Insights: Hooks and Anchors  Gamasutra

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RSS is the greatest enemy of Hinduism  Times of India

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Keith Burgun's Blog - Adding Strategy to your Tactics  Gamasutra

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Ruben Torres Bonet's Blog - Compilation Visualizer: Uncover These Iteration Time Killers  Gamasutra

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Nvidia launches new GeForce Now Priority subscription, as it nears 10 million members  Gamasutra

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Javier Barnes's Blog - Magic Legends: First Impressions  Gamasutra

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Coffman named 2020-2021 member manager of YALSA's blog, The Hub  ala.org

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Pinarayi’s midnight rendezvous  The Times of India Blog

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The Two Successes Every Game Studio Needs to Reach  Gamasutra

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Angela Limoncelli's Blog - 5 Insights from 3700 Reviews of Cyberpunk 2077  Gamasutra

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Josh Bycer's Blog - A Design Discussion on Death Stranding  Gamasutra

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What are your game's pre-release 'story beats'?  Gamasutra

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Josh Bycer's Blog - Roguelike Lessons Horror Games Need to Learn  Gamasutra

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Game Composers and the Importance of Themes: Interactivity in Game Music (Pt. 5)  Gamasutra

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How to Auto-Post your Blog Updates to Twitter  Digital Inspiration

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Nvidia GeForce Now cloud gaming service comes to iOS  Gamasutra

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Time has come for an all-India Muslim party  The Times of India Blog

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The Bright Side of Ray-Traced Global Illumination  Gamasutra

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It begins with a phone call: India-US ties enter the Biden era  The Times of India Blog

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Post Mortem on our Launch of Dungeons of Edera, an endlessly replayable Dark Souls roguelike  Gamasutra

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8 Ways to Get (And Keep) Blog Readers  Backstage

PM Modi should hold firm against protesting farmers: Bloomberg - The Times of India Blog
PM Modi should hold firm against protesting farmers: Bloomberg  The Times of India Blog

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Jack Pritz's Blog - Dead by Daylight's Engagement Cycle  Gamasutra

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