The RSS Feed: An Oldie, but Goldie
The 21st century can be described as a period of information overload. That’s why we’ve got to be smarter about our content, whether we are engaging in the public sphere or creating a website.
Having an RSS feed for your online platform can help you bring valuable content that matters to your audience in a structural and digestible way. If you’re interested in learning more about this classic aggregator that periodically gets a reboot, keep reading our article below for a special, deep dive into RSS.
What is RSS?
RSS, which stands for Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary (depending on who you ask), is a web feed that people use to keep up with relevant topics and stay on top of new content from any given website. Sometimes referred to as an RSS feed, they also appear in the form of an XML document.
The RSS concept is based on web syndication, in which online content from one site is made available on another site. This includes news sites, blogs, industry publications, podcasts and other trusted content sources.
What happened to RSS feeds?
Once the darling of the world wide web, RSS now sits on the sidelines, appearing to be a slowly fading technology used by a limited number of podcasters, journalists and computer programmers. That said, RSS feeds won’t be allowed to retire any time soon. They’re still one of the best ways to filter out the noise - so to speak - and take control of the topics you want to read (or be read) amid a sea of content.
RSS feeds also distribute content in real time. This means that the top results on any RSS reader will always reflect the latest content of a website. The content on the feeds shows up in the form of a headline, brief summary or link.
Finding the RSS feed URL of a website
Since the popularity of RSS feeds has dwindled over time, it’s likely that the younger readers of this post are rediscovering RSS feeds as they make their website. For this reason, I’ve prepared a quick lesson on how to locate a site’s RSS feed in case you need to:
If a blog is hosted on Wix, simply add /blog-feed.xml to the end of the URL.
Check out our blog’s RSS feed: https://www.wix.com/blog/blog-feed.xml. If you love our content, you can subscribe to it on your RSS reader of choice.
YouTube channel URLS are completely adaptable to RSS feeds. All you need to do is copy and paste the web address into the RSS reader.
You can also uncover the RSS feed of any website by checking its source code. Let’s take a look at how to find the RSS feed of our blog.
Right click an empty area of the homepage (see image).
Select “View Page Source,” or any similar wording that may appear, according to the type of web browser.
Search “RSS” via Control/command + F on the page. Look out for an RSS URL. This web address is what you’ll need to plug into the RSS feed reader.
Bonus: Create your own RSS feed
The benefits of making your own RSS feed for your blog include designing the look and feel of your RSS layout, as well as taking full control of the content you want to curate in your feed (sometimes the latest news isn’t always the strongest item to lead your feed).
With the help of a professional online tool, you can create customized RSS and social media feed widgets for your website. We recommend Feeder Ninja by Common Ninja, which is compatible with all different platforms and site builders, including Wix.
Connect your RSS feed
For those who created a blog on Wix, you can make your followers even happier by gently nudging them to where your site’s feed is located by adding an RSS icon to your blog. With that URL, they’ll be able to subscribe to your feed via an RSS reader app.
How to use an RSS feed
If you’re a user looking to get content from RSS feeds, the first step is to download an RSS reader, like Feedly or Feeder. Afterwards, you can add various RSS feeds to the reader, thus organizing everything you care about in one place. You’ll also receive automated notifications on updated content from each site.
On the other side, if you’re a website owner who produces content of your own, you can take advantage of RSS by turning it into a well-oiled content distribution system for your operation:
If you’re sharing your content on social media, you can use RSS to put social media posting on a sort of autopilot. Using a tool like Dlvrt.it, you can pull new content directly from your site’s RSS feed and onto your social feed.
With an RSS feed on your blog, you can also distribute content via automated email newsletters. Think about trying an RSS email campaign that pulls new content from your feed and automatically sends it off to your subscribers. Integrate Mailchimp with your Wix blog so that you can create an RSS campaign based on the schedule you choose.
Small Business Expert & Writer