Converting RSS to HTML
Many webmasters have realized the
benefit of using RSS to dynamically update websites.
This means that the website content automatically
changes when the RSS feed is updated. This allows
for webmasters to serve dynamic content or a mixture
of static and dynamic content on their website.
Often, publishers, interested in expanding their
base, will allow other webmasters to republish
the contents of an RSS feed. Content providers
that allow for syndication, receive additional
exposure, and the webmasters serving the content,
will generally see web traffic increase as a result
of the new content. RSS feeds can be syndicated
or displayed using a variety of different methods.
Depending on the web host, server configuration,
and the intent of the publishers, a variety of
different syndication tools exist.
In most cases, providers convert
RSS feeds to HTML in order to display the feeds
contents. The following are some of the more popular
methods to convert RSS feeds as web based content.
The easiest of solution is not server dependent,
a third party host displays the contents of the
feed. The downside to using a hosted service is
that you are relying on a third party. If the
third party's website has problems, your content
will not be displayed. Additionally, webmasters
often cannot customize the way the contents are
displayed on hosted servers and there is no real
search engine benefit to third party hosting.
examples - FeedBurner.com - http://www.feedburner.com
and RSS2HTML - http://www.rss2html.com
Using scripts to display RSS feeds on a website
is probably the most effective solution. In addition,
the webmaster using ASP or PHP scripts to convert
their feeds, maintain the control of the "look
and feel" of the content displayed. Webmasters
also realize the benefit of hosting the feed on
a domain that is within the webmasters control.
Using ASP or PHP will allow search
engines to spider the actual contents of the RSS
feed as if it is part of the actual HTML. Pay
particular attention to solutions that cache the
RSS feed. If your RSS feed is popular this will
save significant bandwidth.
PHP is a popular scripting language that is often
used to dynamically update web pages. PHP support
is available on most web servers that run on a
Unix Operating System.
example - rss2html.php - http://www.feedforall.com/free-php-script.htm
ASP or active server pages is a scripting language
similar to PHP but support is more often found
on Windows web servers.
Example - rss2html.asp - http://www.bytescout.com/how_to_display_rss_using_asp.html
produce the code that needs to be inserted into
the HTML web page, making implementation very
easy for webmasters. The downside to the majority
calls the script each time, and the actual contents
of the feed is not able to be spidered or indexed
to use, there is very little benefit to the webmaster.
Search engines will not detect any new content
or keywords contained in the contents of the feed,
so their is little optimization benefit to displaying
it is unusual, occasionally website visitors will
if that is the case they will be unable to view
the contents of the feed.
Example - FeedRoll Pro - http://www.feedrollpro.com
Webmasters will often find value in merging multiple
RSS feeds in to a single feed. This is particularly
useful when attempting to aggregate news on a
specific topic. The script allows you to produce
an RSS feed by taking the latest items from multiple
Example - RSSmesh - http://www.feedforall.com/rssmesh.htm
Due to the enormous and ever-increasing information
flow we are all submitted to, the only way to
improve our ability to access and use the information
that is really important to us, must take place
by scaling up one notch our ability to filter,
aggregate, and access relevant content.
Example - Newsmaster kit - http://www.masternewmedia.org/reports/newsmasterstoolkit/
On occasion, webmasters will choose to build a
large amount of content, and gradually release
it over time. FutureRSS is a PHP script that when
used properly will only display feed items that
publish dates have passed.
FutureRSS - http://www.feedforall.com/future-rss.htm
A number of flexible solutions exists
for webmasters to create, filter, and display
content contained in an RSS feed. Using these
simple solutions, webmasters can dynamically maintain
webpages with unique content.
About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll
software for creating, editing, publishing RSS
feeds and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages
marketing for FeedForDev http://www.feedfordev.com
an RSS component for developers.