Using RSS in Your Web Pages

HTML Source EditorWord wrap Wikipedia defines RSS as Really Simple Syndication. RSS is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated digital content, such as blogs, news feeds or podcasts.

Programs known as feed readers or aggregators can check a list of feeds on behalf of a user and display any updated articles that they find. It is common to find web feeds on major websites and many smaller ones. Some websites let people choose between RSS or Atom formatted web feeds; others offer only RSS or only Atom.

On Web pages, web feeds (RSS or Atom) are typically linked with the word “Subscribe”, an orange rectangle, or with the letters XML or RSS Sherry Dyson . Many news aggregators such as My Yahoo![1] publish subscription buttons for use on Web pages to simplify the process of adding news feeds.

What Can I do with RSS?RSS feeds by themselves don’t do much. If you view one in most browsers, you’ll see the raw XML, which is roughly human-readable, but intended for computer programs. There are a number of applications for RSS feeds; the most popular ones are:

Over the past 2 months I have been helping a friend of mine build his Internet presence. His business is kitchens, cupboards, general joinery and cabinet making.

A couple of years ago he decided that a website would help him build sales for his business and so he sourced a web design company that put together what is a nice, clean, but basic website. It has a few sections for copy and a gallery for all his work (or the work he wishes to publish). This project unfortunately took him almost 2 years to complete. I personally can’t understand why, given the simplicity of the site and that it is supported by Content Management System.

So far we have undertaken some key word analysis and have optimised the site for search engines. We have also established a blog. In fact it is actually a news section that will have a monthly article added to it. This should result in more and fresher content and therefore more opportunity to rank on key words. We only have one article at the moment, so it is very early days but foundations have been laid.

Last week my friend asked a question about Twitter and Facebook. I am all for both of these social networks. The more platforms that you can get coverage on the better. It provides for greater exposure and different audiences. The challenge is how do you get started and how to maintain it all.

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