Create RSS | Make RSS Feeds
RSS is a standard for syndicating
content on the Internet. RSS feeds are used in
a variety of ways to distribute all types of content
via the Internet. The benefits for individuals
subscribing to RSS feeds have resulted in a rapid
growth and adoption rate. Software and tools have
made RSS feed creation and management easy, even
for non-technical individuals, which has also
fueled the growth of RSS feeds.
How To Create RSS
It is no longer necessary to manually
create an RSS feed. There are a number of WYSIWYG
software applications available, which simplify
the creation of an RSS feed. This means that webmasters
do not really need to understand the code and
details of the RSS Specification in order to create
an RSS feed. One such product is FeedForAll, which
allows you to easily create, edit, and publish
RSS feeds. Both Mac and Windows versions are available
Feeds can also be manually constructed
from scratch as well, and there is a simple tutorial
that will walk you through the process at
And, if you have existing content
in a database that you would like to include in
an RSS feed, you can use a PHP script like SQL2RSS
to extract the data from the database and populate
an RSS feed.
All of these things will simplify
the process and help in the creation of an RSS
Once the RSS feed is created, it
needs to be transferred to your website server,
which is commonly done using FTP (File Transfer
Protocol) software. If you are using RSS feed
creation software, it will likely have a built-in
FTP client for this purpose. Otherwise, you can
use any other FTP client to upload RSS feeds to
Once you have constructed a feed,
it should be validated. If you are using software
(like FeedForAll), it may have a built-in validator
to help you insure that the feed is correct and
proper. If you are building the feed by hand,
be sure that you use some sort of validator to
make sure the feed is properly formed. A feed
that contains invalid syntax will be unreadable
by many of the of the RSS readers, so validation
is very important.
Once you have created, uploaded,
and validated an RSS feed, you need to let your
website visitors know that it is available. There
are a number of ways to promote your RSS feed.
The more effort put into promoting the feed, the
more quickly it will become popular.
In order to send a signal to your
website visitors that an RSS feed is available
containing content related to the website, most
webmasters include a colorful graphic on the website.
It has become a standard that nearly all websites
having RSS feeds available will use colorful graphics
such as flags to indicate that RSS feeds are available
for specific content. The flags were initially
standardized as bright orange rectangles, but
as the popularity has grown, webmasters have bent
the rules a bit and have become more creative
with their flags and graphics. Use a colorful
graphic that works within your website design
to signify that you have an RSS feed available.
Additionally many RSS feed readers
and aggregators will automatically detect the
presence of an RSS feed on your website if you
add a small bit of code in the header field of
an HTML page....
[link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml"
Be sure to replace "http://www.yourdomain.com/rss.xml"
with the actual URL to the RSS feed, and replace
the "[" and "]" square brackets with "<" less-than
and ">" greater-than symbols.
In order to increase exposure of
an RSS feed, it should also be submitted to RSS
search engines and directories. Just as you would
submit the URL of a website or web page to a search
engine, you will need to submit the link for the
actual RSS feed located on your website to the
various RSS directories. There is a large list
of RSS directories at http://www.rss-specifications.com/rss-submission.htm
Ongoing RSS Feed Maintenance
Feed maintenance is a very important
aspect to RSS feeds. You will want to continually
add to your RSS feed in order to provide subscribers
with new and ever-changing content and information.
Otherwise, they'll lose interest and look for
As a rapidly-increasing number
of content sources, new and old, add RSS as a
key distribution channel, and as more and more
people utilize RSS newsreaders and aggregators
to keep themselves informed, the ability to maintain
high exposure and visibility has gradually shifted
from complete attention to major search engines
and content optimization techniques to an increasing
awareness of RSS feed directories and search tools.
About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll
software for creating, editing, publishing RSS
feeds and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages
marketing for RecordForAll http://www.recordforall.com
audio recording and editing software.