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Learn how to Create a RSS Feed


Creating an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed is really quite a simple process. RSS is a lightweight XML design that is really easy to setup and implement. It's a great way to pass on important updates, send out your articles or news, or send out your favorite website links!

RSS feeds can be setup in a very short time, literally a few minutes! Simply put, an RSS feed is basically a text file with a couple HTML looking tags. There is an area with the information about the feed, then individual blocks of code for each article or piece of content being syndicated. It may sound bad now, but I assure you it's very simple to setup and I'll give you a full working example by the end of this article!

The first thing you need to do is to create a file that you want to call your RSS feed. It can be anything, the name isn't important. For this article I will call it "cool_feed.xml"

All the following code will be placed inside the "cool_feed.xml" file. This file is the primary file you will use, in fact outside of one minor modification to other pages in your website you will use this file exclusively for sending out your feed updates.

The above block of code as you can see is very similar to HTML, all it is doing is telling people the version of XML you are using, and the version of RSS you are conforming to, as you can see this is XML v1.0 and RSS v0.91.

The next thing we need to do is setup your "channel" which is the name of your feed, and a description of it. In addition to the description it gives some contact information, the language and the website you run.

Your Website Title http://YourWebsite.com/ What is your RSS Feed about? en-us Your Copyright Line Your@email.com Your@email.com

As I've mentioned several times before, it's similar to HTML in that it has an open and closing block after each parameter. But you also may have noticed there isn't a closing block for CHANNEL. That is because it is sort of the equivalent of the "BODY" block in HTML, it will do it's close near the very end. Actually, we opened the RSS block up in the first block of code I gave you also, where we set the version, that is the equivalent to the HTML block and will be the very last thing closed at the end of the XML file.

Article Number One http://YourWebsite.com/Article_Number_One.html 1-3 sentences about your article

This ITEM block is your first article, every time you want to add an update you just create another ITEM block similar to this one. It simply has an article title, link to where the article is on your website, and a description field, which is normally 1-3 sentences long.

These are the final closing blocks of code for the channel and RSS blocks that you setup in the top of the file. You must have these blocks of code at the very end, in this order. I will give a couple of links to websites that can check your code to make sure it works properly.

Once you have saved all that code in your file, the next thing we need to do is modify your website. This set is NOT required by any means, but it tells your users web browsers that you have an RSS feed, if their browser supports viewing them.

All you have to do is add the following line to the HEAD field of your website:

Congratulations, you are the proud owner of a brand new RSS feed!

Ken Dennis http://KenDennis-RSS.homeip.net/


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