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What is RSS? How to use them?

What is RSS. 

What is RSS? RSS is a simple data format that is used to broadcast content to subscribers of a website. The format allows content to be distributed without the need for a browser, using software designed to read these RSS (aggregator) content. What is an rss font? What is an rss reader?

Despite this, it is possible to use the same browser to view RSS content. The latest versions of the main browsers allow RSS to be read without the need for additional software.Thanks to the aggregators or feed readers (programs or sites that allow you to read rss web sources) you can obtain summaries of all the sites you want from the operating system desktop, email programs or through web applications that work as aggregators. It is not necessary to open the browser and visit dozens of websites. 

Several companies are exploring new ways of using and distributing information

RSS in Simple Terms

I feel that RSS is a sweet mystery of the universe. Or at least from the world wide web. I’m going to break it down in easy-to-understand terms for everyone who ever wondered “What is RSS?” or “Do I need RSS?”

To start with, what does RSS mean? According to  Wikipedia , it means really simple layout. So my question is, why doesn’t it seem so simple? I’ve done some research, and as it turns out, it’s simple !!

Here is the breakdown. We all have favorite blogs and websites that we read. But, as time goes on, the list gets longer and longer. How do you keep up with the latest posts on your favorite sites? Do you click on each site individually every day? That could take a long time, so you are forced to check from time to time. It is not a really effective method.

RSS steps up to save the day… efficiency at its finest. With RSS, you can subscribeto your favorite blogs and websites and when that site is updated, a title or abstract is sent to your reader. (More on readers in a moment). How do you subscribe? It is as simple as clicking. Most blogs and websites make it easy to subscribe to your RSS feed by having the icon prominently displayed on your site. You will see a small orange icon which is the standard RSS symbol. Occasionally the symbol will be a different color or set differently. But if you look closely, you will recognize it. To subscribe to that blog, just click on the RSS icon. Then when that blog has a new post or that website has new content, you will be notified via your reader.

In the RSS world there are two players. The feed and the reader. The feed refers to the owner of the blog or website, and they set up their feed for their site. (A future post on creating a feed is in the works… subscribe to my RSS feed to find out when!) The reader is what you will need to receive your feed. It is your mailbox for your subscriptions. Here’s a list to get you started:

  1. Google Reader  (what do I use)
  2. Bloglines

After getting a reader, check it daily and you will see updates from your favorite sites. This is much easier than running around the internet looking for new content. Since I use Google Reader, which is displayed on the home page, iGoogle, every time I have it on my computer. Nothing easier.

How to use?

How do I explain, we can use this format in two different senses: 

  • To receive information from other websites
  • To offer information from our own website

RSS Feed – The information that a website will put into the RSS file for you to read is known as a “feed.” It is the rss source.
RSS reader: the software you use, whether browser-based or desktop-based, that you use to collect the feed and read it.

1. RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication”. Well, so that we don’t get too complicated, RSS has gone through some permutations depending on its versions and maturity.

  • Rich Site Summary (RSS 0.91)
  • RDF site summary (RSS 0.9 and 1.0)
  • Really Simple Syndication (RSS 2.0.0)

Most RSS feeds today are permutation 2.0. And in fact, all of them and their permutations are based on the “push technology” that began to be seriously developed a few years ago.

2. RSS is based on XML (Extensible Markup Language), which has actually become incredibly popular in web page development and the like. (For now we will not go too many technicalities in the programming)

3. PodCasting: It is a derivation of RSS where the audio is sent to the computer instead of just text.

4. VodCasting: It is a derivation of RSS where the video is sent to the computer instead of just text.

5. There is also PictureCasting, screencasting… and I assume you are getting the picture.

6. Atom Feeds – This is basically a new syndication to replace the RSS format. Whether it works or not depends on the developers and users.

7. Blogs, (a term that originally comes from “weblog”) that has been in vogue on the Internet lately, make extensive use of RSS feeds, sending the information contained in the millions of weblogs to users.

So what’s so good about it? It is simply a way for those who have content, for example a newspaper, where the news changes and is updated every hour or every day, to send this news to users around the world without logging into the website. The user has an “RSS Reader” (many different types are available) and this news is automatically updated in the Reader according to the hours chosen by the user. So you can work without the need to constantly check a news website, and still stay on top of whatever news is happening “in the big world.”

Readers can handle many rss sources together, and it only takes a glance to determine if something that interests you appears.

Why do websites and companies do this? Because it creates customer loyalty. It’s another way to constantly stay connected with your website customers and viewers. It’s a way to keep people coming back again and again.As you will see, using this format to gather your favorite content makes a lot of sense. It’s the difference between watching TV without a remote control – having to get up and manually change channels – and switching between channels with a remote control. If you are using a modern browser like Firefox, Internet Explorer 7, Safari or any other (just to name a few), it can tell you when a site has a feed available by showing you the symbol or the word RSS in or next to the toolbar. browser address (where you type the web address where you want to go). Depending on your browser settings, by clicking on the “RSS” button you will subscribe to the browser’s own “feed reader” or the subscription will be activated in your preferred feed reader – either on your desktop or online. A Feed Reader is almost like an email inbox. Only instead of emails, the latest updates to the feeds you’ve subscribed to will appear when the source website is updated. These updates usually appear in reverse chronological order, again as an email application, the newest being at the beginning. There are several ways your readers can subscribe to your blog, but the most common system used is through Really Simple Syndication. There are two ways to locate this rss source. First you will be on the site you are visiting and second from your browser. Subscriptions on the site generally involve a button or widget and come in many shapes and sizes, so just stay tuned and click to subscribe.  For example, you can subscribe to this blog and locate the icon:  Most web browsers have Really Simple Syndication channels built in these days. When you visit a site, you will likely notice an RSS feed on the right side of the address bar where the site’s URL is located. To quickly subscribe, all you have to do is click the orange button. Once you do this several times, you will start to see unread items appear in your feed reader and you can get started. You can also unsubscribe at any time, so don’t be afraid to select some startup options, as you can always remove them at a later date. As you can see, subscribing to an RSS feed can generate more specific visitors for your blog.

You can also use Really Simple Syndication channels for affiliate marketing. These channels can be implemented on your website and provide you with real-time product advertisements online according to your niche. For example, if you are running a blog that has to do with natural supplements, you can get an RSS feed that rotates different advertisements for natural supplements on your blog every hour.

This not only offers your readers products based on your blog’s niche, it is also great for SEO because it shows constant change on your website. Search engines love blogs they are constantly updating content. This is why Really Simple Syndication channels are used so frequently on websites and blogs. When someone clicks on the rss (Really Simple Syndication) source link, they will be taken to the affiliate page. If they buy the natural supplement through the affiliate page, you will get a commission for that product.There are no security concerns, your email will be kept private and will not be used for any purpose other than to send your daily updates.

Some feed readers are  feedly ,  readfeed,  and many more.

Plugins (Really Simple Syndication) are used to send your newly published posts and pages to newsreaders or mailboxes. People use feed readers like Feedly  and  Feedbin  to keep track of which websites consistently publish quality content. With an RSS feed on your site, you don’t need to keep visiting the website all the time to check for updates. They can simply add the site’s feed to their RSS reader and see when a new post is published.Google shut down its popular FeedBurner service in 2012, which might lead some to think that RSS feeds are dead. But there are actually a ton of  new alternatives for FeedBurner . Many people, including us here at Grown Up Digital, use Really Simple Syndication feeds to make our lives easier and save on our workflow time.

For example, take a look at this Feedly screenshot showing recently published posts on SEO related topics. Instead of visiting 50 different blogs each day, you can open the app and go through the list of all the recently posted blogs or websites that you want to follow. Pretty easy right? You definitely don’t want email subscriptions for all of these!

Need to Install a Really Simple Syndication WordPress Feed Plugin?

Using a Really Simple Syndication feed, along with adding an RSS plugin has many advantages:

  • An RSS feed will increase the likelihood that your content will be seen and shared by the right people.
  • Many bloggers and influencers use Really Simple Syndication Feed to find out everything. When they find a good one, they will share or link to your post from their blog or social media profiles.
  • There are blogs or websites that scrape blog posts through RSS and publish. You can take advantage of adding a link to your website at the end or at the beginning of your RSS feed posts.
  • RSS feeds can potentially help Google crawl your site more often.
  • RSS feeds can attract more visitors to your website. When someone subscribes to your news feed, they will stumble across all of your blog posts on their feed. If they see a good one, they will visit your website to read it in detail or comment.
  • Automate an email marketing campaign. MailChimp, for example, has a Really Simple Syndication email campaign that will automatically send an email message to your subscribers when new posts are published.
  • You can also use your RSS feed to post an update on your social media profiles each time a new post is published. Almost all popular scheduling posts and social media management tools offer RSS integration.
  • You can submit your Really Simple Syndication feed to RSS directories or content aggregation websites.
  • You can also set up a page or section on your website with content added from external rss sources.
  • You can automate posting to your website with new syndicated content.

Some WordPress Really Simple Syndication Feed Plugins

By default WordPress  generates all types of RSS  that are integrated, such as:

http://example.com/feed/
http://example.com/feed/rss/
http://example.com/feed/rss2/
http://example.com/feed/rdf/
http://example.com/feed/atom/

It also generates RSS feeds for your categories, tags, comments, etc. The top feed readers that are likely to subscribe typically are here: example.com/feed/. You can use an RSS plugin RSS for more control and flexibility. Or perhaps you want to automate external RSS importing on your own website. Here are a couple of WordPress RSS feed plugins that we recommend.

  • WP RSS Aggregator
  • FEEDZY RSS Feeds Lite
  • Featured Images in RSS & Mailchimp Email

1. WP RSS Aggregator. Feed reader

If you want to import and add external RSS feeds to your WordPress site, one of the best WP plugins out there is  WP RSS Aggregator , developed by the WP Mayor team. These guys know more about WordPress than most, and this plugin has been around for years. It allows you to easily import, merge, and display RSS and Atom feeds on your WordPress site.

The WP RSS Aggregator plugin has over 40,000 active installs with a 4.5 out of 5 stars. It is currently available in more than 5 languages ​​being translated into more. There is a free version and a premium version. Some of the features of the free version include:

  • Ability to stagger the performance upgrade process! This is a very important feature.
  • Import any number of feed items from multiple RSS feeds.
  • Link the rssa font name and title to the original font.
  • Choose to display the original author’s name with each feed item.
  • Style the display of the shortcode feed element with some CSS.
  • Create a custom RSS feed of imported feed items.

And with the premium version, you can do all kinds of things, like:

  • Import items from RSS feeds such as WordPress posts or any other type of custom post (including full text). You can use it to populate a website in minutes (auto-blog).
  • Grab the thumbnail image and extract when importing external RSS feeds.
  • Rotate content, rank, and even apply keyword filtering.

Sample Sites

Here are a couple of sites that are entirely automated using the plugin above.

WP News Desk  brings you the latest WordPress news from around the world. It shows the latest works from over 85 best WordPress resource sites, be it a WordPress blog or podcast.

WP Clipboard is a curated collection of top WordPress resources, tools, tips, and tutorials. More than 4,900 articles in 58 categories.

2. FEEDZY RSS Feeds Lite. feed reader

FEEDZY Feed RSSs Lite is a feed reader similar to the previous WP RSS Aggregator plugin, but it is very small and lightweight. It is also developed by the experienced team at Themeisle. It allows you to add multiple RSS feeds to your WordPress site through fully customizable shortcodes and widgets. If you need something very simple and quick to set up this might be one you want to check out.

The FEEDZY RSS Feeds Lite plugin has over 20,000 active installs with an impressive 5 out of 5 stars. It is currently available in six languages. There is a free and premium version. Some of its features include:

  • Group the feeds into categories and reuse them in all your content, without worrying about their URL.
  • Convert feed items to WordPress Posts / Pages / Anyone.
  • Automatically create affiliate links.
  • Blacklist specific keywords from feeds.
  • Full cache control to improve performance. Choose from the short code how often you want the content of the feeds to be updated.

3. Featured Images in RSS & Mailchimp Email

The  Featured Images in RSS & Mailchimp Email plugin  is different from the plugins mentioned above. This helps you to style and insert images into your WordPress feed by default. The feed will then look great to export to other services, like MailChimp’s RSS feature to email campaigns.The Featured Images in RSS & Mailchimp Email plugin currently has over 20,000 active installs with an impressive 4.5 out of 5 stars. It is currently available in six languages. There is a free and premium version. You can submit featured blog photos to RSS emails from Mailchimp, Infusionsoft, Hubspot, Constant Contact, Zoho, Feedburner, Feedly Bloglovin, and just about any service that uses RSS feed data. Features of the free version include:

  • Resize featured image, such as large thumbnail, etc. This is based on WordPress image types.
  • Change the position of the image in your RSS feed. Maybe you want it on the left with the text wrapping? Or center the text above.
  • Touch up small visual things such as padding, etc.

It’s super easy to use, just install it, go to the settings and apply the changes you want.

How Many People Are Using Your Really Simple Syndication Feed?

There is no global way in WordPress to count how many people are subscribed to your feed through various third-party services. However, some services have easy ways to control. With Feedly, you can browse your  search screen , and enter your blog. It will then tell you how many followers / readers your site currently has.

Disable Feeds Really Simple Syndication

If you are not using the WordPress blog and are simply using it as a content management system, then you may want to disable RSS feeds. 

There are several ways to disable RSS feeds in WordPress. It can be done through a plugin or code.

  • Disable RSS Feed Via Plugin: The first way to disable RSS feed in WordPress is to use the free plugin like  Disable Feeds . This plugin disables all RSS / Atom feeds on your WordPress site by redirecting all requests. This plugin also disables BuddyPress group feeds or bbPRess forum feeds. The plugin was created by the same developer who made Disable Comments. It is actively maintained and currently has more than 20,000 active installations with a 4.9 star rating on a scale of 5.
  • Deactivate RSS Feed By Code: The second option is to delete the RSS feed in WordPress by simply using a code.Important! Editing the source code can break your site if not done correctly. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, discuss the matter with a developer first. Copy the following code  to your WordPress theme functions.php file.function itsme_disable_feed () { wp_die (__ (‘No feed available, please visit the <a href=”‘. esc_url( home_url(‘/’)) .'”> homepage </a>!’)); } add_action (‘do_feed’, ‘itsme_disable_feed’, 1); add_action (‘do_feed_rdf’, ‘itsme_disable_feed’, 1); add_action (‘do_feed_rss’, ‘itsme_disable_feed’, 1); add_action (‘do_feed_rss2’, ‘itsme_disable_feed’, 1); add_action (‘do_feed_atom’, ‘itsme_disable_feed’, 1); add_action (‘do_feed_rss2_comments’, ‘itsme_disable_feed’, 1); add_action (‘do_feed_atom_comments’, ‘itsme_disable_feed’, 1);

Summary WordPress Feed really simple syndication

WordPress RSS feed plugins not only provide a way to help automate things around your WordPress site, they can also provide a more visual and rich reading experience for your visitors. Even if you don’t use your site’s RSS feed it doesn’t mean that others can’t. So we recommend that you make sure it looks good in the event that people subscribe to it.

All the above plugins are lightweight, easy to use, and have great developers behind them. Do you have a WordPress RSS feed plugin that you use? If so, let us know in the comments below.

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