Displaying RSS Feeds
RSS offers webmasters a unique opportunity
to display fresh content on websites. While publishing
an RSS feed is a great way to generate site interest
and increase communication, syndicating and displaying
feeds from related relevant sources can also generate
interest, increase traffic and improve search
Webmasters with limited time or capacity
can syndicate related content. In a nut shell,
webmasters can create RSS radars by combining
a mix of content from related sources by grouping
similarly-themed feeds. RSS feeds are updated
at different intervals, providing an ever-changing
collection of related information.
RSS is a form of eXtensible Markup
Language or XML. Viewing an RSS feed in a web
browser generally produces code that is not easy
for website visitors to decipher. As a result,
webmasters use tools to display the content contained
in an RSS feed.
Content contained in RSS feeds can
be added to websites a number of different ways.
Each method for displaying the RSS feed has pros
and cons associated with it. Webmasters will need
to determine which option will best meet their
hosting and technology needs.
RSS feeds on a website. There are a number of
sites that will allow you to generate code that
will auto-update, showing the latest headlines
as the feed is updated. Each time a visitor visits
the feed. Often, the various scripts can be customized
so that the look of the feed can be made to match
a specific websiteeeds with hopes that the search
engines will devour and spider the contents, you
to display RSS feeds, search engines do not actually
"see" the contents of the feed, meaning that the
search engines will not index the contents of
the feed within the website.
Feedroll - Feedroll is a free service for
syndicating RSS and ATOM news feeds on your website.
Simply select a feed, customize the design, then
copy and paste the code provided onto your page.
Using PHP to Display RSS
PHP is a slightly more complex solution
of the feed updates, the web page contents will
update as the page is refreshed. The benefit of
using PHP to display RSS is that the contents
of the feed displayed with the webpage can be
spidered and indexed by search engines. The result
is a feed that always displays the most current
information from the RSS feed and the web page
content is considered search engine spider and
rss2html.php - The rss2html.php
script allows users to create web pages that will
always display the most current information from
the RSS feed, and because the resulting page is
pure HTML, it will be in a format friendly to
search engine robots. Using rss2html.php, webmasters
can customize the format and look of the web page
created from the feed. The RSS feed's contents
can easily be integrated into an existing website's
theme. The rss2html.php script parses the RSS
file, extracts the pertinent information, formats
it, and serves it up as regular HTML.
FeedRoll Pro - FeedRollPro
was really designed to enable publishers to syndicate
their own content on other sites. But it can be
used to syndicate news feeds from other sites
on your own pages. http://www.feedrollpro.com
Using ASP to Display RSS
ASP is similar to PHP. The free ASP/ASP.NET scripts
can be used to convert RSS feeds into HTML and
display on ASP/ASP.NET web-server.
rss2html.asp - ByteScout
has implemented a guide for displaying of RSS/XML
feed using free RSS2HTML.ASP script in ASP or
ASP.NET environment. This script can be used free
of charge on any ASP or ASP.NET web-server and
generate HTML from RSS feed. This free ASP script
uses MSXML to load RSS feed from URL and display
it. You can use it as a standalone or call from
script on HTML page to generate HTML content from
RSS feed and then display on your HTML page.
RssFeed - RssFeed is an open-source custom
ASP.NET server control that displays the contents
of a specified RSS feed in an ASP.NET web page.
If PHP or ASP is used to update
feeds, the website will have free fresh, relevant
content each time the feeds referenced are updated.
Export RSS to HTML
If you wish to dress up the feed's appearance
you can use a template exporting the feed as HTML
or an HTML table. Publishers can incorporate exported
tables into an HTML template using a server-side
include. Each time the feed is updated, the feed
will need to be exported to HTML and uploaded
along with the feed. Though this only takes a
few moments, exporting RSS to HTML does require
webmaster intervention to update the content.
The end result, though, is a complete web page
with an RSS feed in it that will be search engine-friendly.
FeedForAll - FeedForAll allows
users to export RSS feeds from RSS to HTML. The
look of the HTML can be modified to match an existing
There are a number of services available
that host and display RSS feeds, in many cases
free of charge. Because these services operate
on a different domain server there is little benefit
to end-users displaying their feeds in this fashion.
That said, the services are generally free of
charge, so you get what you pay for.
RSS2HTML.com - Select a layout,
color scheme and enter the URL of the feed. A
web page URL will be generated that will display
the feed in the selected scheme.
FeedBurner - FeedBurner provides
a number of online services. Among them is a service
that displays RSS feeds on a website.
Using XSL to Display RSS
Although using XSL and CSS stylesheets
to display XML directly is easy to understand
in theory, it is rather tricky to implement in
the real world and is very tough for novices to
use successfully. Webmasters must be fairly familiar
with CSS and XSL to have the formatting work well,
and webmasters then have to address browser incompatibilities
and exceptions. As a result, not a lot of resources
or services yet exist to display RSS using XSL.
Using highly targeted feeds, webmasters
can enhance their websites with themed content.
Ultimately, providing relevant, educational or
newsworthy information from reputable related
sources will establish expertise in a specific
About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll
software for creating, editing, publishing RSS
feeds and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages
marketing for NotePage http://www.notepage.net
a wireless text messaging software company.