What is an RSS Feed? How to Find & Subscribe to the RSS Feed of Any Website?

RSS is a web feed or data format that allows users and applications to get access to regularly updated web content in a standardized fashion. It’s also known as Really Simple Syndication and Rich Site Summary. It’s useful to use along with a news aggregator for people who access web content on a frequent basis and want to get notified of the latest content additions to a website or blog.

Most people depend on the internet to get information. However, with all the articles and news being posted daily, it may become quite hard to keep track of them all. With RSS you can subscribe to any website and have the information delivered to you with the help of an RSS feed aggregator.

How to Find the RSS Feed of a Blog, Website or Webpage?

There are different ways to find the RSS feed of any site you are interested in. If one of the ways doesn’t yield results, then you move on to the next method.

  • RSS symbol

The first thing to do is find an RSS symbol on the website. Some websites will have this symbol displayed but others won’t. Once you get to the symbol, click on it and you’ll get to the RSS feed. You are now able to get the URL or just simply subscribe.

You may also find that in some browsers like Firefox, the RSS symbol is already available. All you do is click on it then copy the URL provided.

  • Use the website’s page source

Right click on the website and get to view page source. Click on it and it will lead you to a new tab with different source codes and URLs. Type CTRL+F to search and either key in subscription, subscribe or RSS.

Once this is done you should get the feed’s URL.


 

Add “feed” to the website’s URL

Most sites are powered by WordPress and you can use this to get what you need. Go to your website and click on the URL. Once that is done just type in https://justintime.com/feed/ and click enter. By adding the word feed to the URL you get to see the RSS feed only if the website uses WordPress.

If this doesn’t work out then the site might not be by WordPress and trying another method may be best.

When it comes to a Medium website,  adding the word feed before the user name will get you to the feed. For example medium. com/feed/ @username.

  • Use extensions

Whichever browser you may be using you have the option of adding extensions by downloading them off the store. Search for RSS autodiscovery tools and add one to your browser.

For Chrome, you can search for “RSS Feed Reader” at the chrome web store and add it to your browser. With this tool, you will be able to get the RSS feed of any website if there exists one.

  • Create an RSS Feed

 If you can’t find the RSS feed of your desired website, then creating one is the only option. It is easy when using the right tools and will cost you nothing.

Open the Feed Creator by FiveFilters.org on your desired web browser. Fill in the form with all the relevant information the tap on the preview button.


Select the RSS feed button and this will open a new tab with your RSS Feed. The link is now ready to be copied.

  • Reading an RSS Feed

For the most part, you can read the feed as is but using an aggregator or a news reader is ideal. Using this will go a long way to saving you time and deliver on all your expectations.

They work by allowing you to automatically subscribe and gets all the new updates delivered to you as they come in. You get to see all the headlines and the summaries of the posts displayed so as to give you a rough idea of what the post is about before opening to read it.

The RSS feed page generally looks like it is full of codes that you really just can’t quite understand. However, what you need is the URL on the address bar that you will key into the reader of your choice.

With news readers, you are spoilt for choice you can either use the browser-based, windows or MAC readers. There are different kinds that work in different ways. So get to trying and find your best fit.

When finding the perfect news reader here are a few things to keep in mind

  • Free plans

In most cases, the news reader’s free plan is all you need to get all the content you want. You don’t have to pay for any premium packages.

  • Native or Web Apps

Native apps will only sync your feeds to your chosen device and can’t be accessed any other way. However, for the web apps, all you need is a URL and you can access all your information online.

  • Display of content

You either want an algorithm to decide how your feed will be displayed or you can have it done the traditional way. Either the latest post is on top or at the bottom of your feed. This will help you keep track of all the posts you have read and those you have not.

  • Access to text

Before you open any posts, you should be able to first get a preview of what it is about. For some readers, the post includes full text where you can simply read the whole article immediately after getting to your feed.

However, this is not the best way because your feed gets too crowded with one post that you cannot get to the next. Just having a short summary right after the headline is always sufficient enough.

Your reader’s app should also be user-friendly in that one is able to mark posts read and also organize their feed as they please. Having categories saves a lot of time and leaves the feed looking organized.

Conclusion

It is evident that an RSS feed is very important. It helps you keep track of all your favorite sites without too much hassle. However, not all sites have incorporated RSS and this may prove to be a challenge but you can always create your own.

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