What is RSS?
RSS (Rich Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication), sometimes called an RSS feed, is a form of a web feed that enables a user or RSS feed-supported application to receive notifications about updates from a website. RSS feeds are primarily used with websites that are updated often. This includes, but isn’t limited to, news sites, blogs, and podcasts.
The RSS feed itself comes in the form of an XML document. It contains metadata and links for the RSS feed location.
How do you use an RSS?
If you were to click on an RSS feed link and don’t have a compatible application to utilize it, you’d more than likely be met with a page with a bunch of HTML code. Therefore, in order to properly use an RSS feed, you’ll need an application that can “read” it. Available options are a news aggregator or a feed reader app like Feedly, a podcast app, or even a web browser extension. When you then add an RSS feed to one of these apps or extensions, you will have subscribed to all of that website’s updates.
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Benefits of RSS
There are many benefits to using RSS feeds for both the user and the owner of the feed. For users, it provides an easy way to get updates on their favorite websites without the need of going each one individually, saving them time and effort.
By using an app that uses RSS feeds, the updates come to you, not the other way around. For users, it provides an easy way to get updates on their favorite websites without the need of going each one individually, saving them time and effort.
An RSS feed also helps a user receive timely updates without requiring them to sign up for a website’s newsletter.
If you’re the owner of an RSS feed, it can be used to populate your content elsewhere. Say you have a podcast and you want to add it to a popular podcast app, you can submit your RSS feed to the app. Once it’s approved, all of your episodes will be populated, without any additional work on your part. This also works two-fold, as a listener won’t need to add your RSS feed into the app to find you — since you already added your podcast to the app, a listener simply has to search for your podcast name! (Note: Some podcast apps behave differently or offer some features other apps don’t.) It helps make monetizing your website that little bit easier.
What is an RSS button?
An RSS button is usually found when planning how to make a website or blog, and it’s basically a simple URL that links directly to your RSS feed. If you have any of the aforementioned apps, feed readers, or extensions installed, clicking on the RSS button will likely result in a message asking you if you’d like to add the feed. If no app is installed, it will open the XML file in a browser window (the page with all the HTML). Since the button is simply a link, you can copy it and paste it to a reader of your choosing.
An RSS button on a blog is exactly the same as any other website — the user will receive all of the updates from the blog if they choose to add the RSS feed to a reader.