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blog: a regularly updated web page, typically run by an individual or organization, containing relevant thoughts and ideas.
 
by: Christine Swartzendruber, Chief Technology Officer

RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication”. RSS feeds are used by software called aggregators to organize and distribute your articles and content to a wide number of people. Without RSS users have to go to your site daily to check for new content.

Thousands of sites use RSS, and more people understand its usefulness every day. With RSS, information on the internet becomes easier to find, and web developers can spread their information more easily.

If you don't want to update your RSS feed yourself, there are tools and services that can do it automatically for you. RSSpect offers a free automated, reliable RSS service.

The best way to make sure your RSS Feed works the way you want, is to create and manage it yourself. It’s really not very difficult. Here’s how to do it in five easy steps.

Step 1 – Create An XML File For Your Feed
RSS Feed documents must be XML. Create a text file and give it an xml extension: “myRSS.xml”

Step 2 – Build Your XML File
Here is an example RSS xml document, simply fill in your own information and you’ll have the file built.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

<rss version="2.0" xmlns:atom="http://www.w3.org/2005/Atom">

    <channel>

        <atom:link href="http://yourwebsite.com/myRSS.xml" rel="self" type="application/rss+xml" />
         <
title>Add The Title of Your RSS Feed Here</title>

        <description>
           
Add a description of the content your RSS Feed will contain here. This is a general description.

        </
description>

        <link>http://www.yourwebsite.com/locationofthecontent</link>

         <item>

            <title>

                The Title of Your Most Recent Post Should Go Here

            </title>

            <description>

                Provide a brief description of your post here.

            </description>

            <link>

                http://yourwebsite.com/exactlocationofthispost

            </link>

            <guid>

                http://yourwebsite.com/exactlocationofthispost

            </guid>

            <author>john.smith@yourwebsite.com (John Smith, Managing Editor)</author>

        </item>

        <item>

            <title>

                The Title of Your Most Recent Post Should Go Here

            </title>

            <description>

                Provide a brief description of your post here.

            </description>

            <link>

                http://yourwebsite.com/exactlocationofthispost

            </link>

            <guid>

                http://yourwebsite.com/exactlocationofthispost

            </guid>

            <author>john.smith@yourwebsite.com (John Smith, Managing Editor)</author>

        </item>

    </channel>
</
rss>

Step 3 – Upload And Validate Your XML File
Upload your xml file to the root directory of your website.

Use an RSS validator service to make sure that your file is correct and ready to be posted. We use and recommend, FeedValidator.org. Simply enter the exact URL for your feed, http://www.yourwebsite.com/myRSS.xml

 

 

Step 4 – Use a Web App to Create Your Feed
We use and recommend Google FeedBurner. You will need to have a Google account to use this service. Once you set up the service it’s very easy to use. Type in the URL of your RSS Feed, http://www.yourwebsite.com/myRSS.xml and FeedBurner will create a Feed for you. After it’s created, you will receive a URL. This is the link you will provide your users so they can subscribe to your content.

Step 5 – Create a Subscription Button on Your Content Page
It’s pretty easy to create or download a button for subscriptions. They are usually orange and have the RSS symbol...



Once you have your button, place it in a prominent place on your content page then link it to the URL of your Feed, given to you by FeedBurner.