RSS is short for Real Simple Syndication. It is the standard means of publishing and syndicating content over the Web. RSS feeds benefits publisher by letting them syndicate content automatically. Number of Websites offering RSS feeds is growing rapidly.
What does that mean?
Let’s say you develop a website for a client which has section featuring News. This section will be updated regularly as more new items are added. Now client wants to make sure that news are being read globally by large amount of people.
By creating RSS feeds for news, other websites and mobile devices can subscribe to news and have them update automatically. By finding and subscribing to other site’s RSS feeds, one can it’s content and link directly to their articles. RSS feed will automatically update when new content is published.
History of RSS
RSS was first invented developed by Netscape. They required XML format (RSS .90) to get News stories and infromation from other websites and have them automatically added to their site for their portal.
They developed RSS .91 and dropped it when they decided to get out of portal business.
UserLand Software picked up RSS .91 and continued to develop it further which lead to .92, .93 and .94. Eventually they released RSS 1.o and RSS 2.0
How does RSS feed work?
RSS is standardized XML-based format designed for distributing content.
Developers create RSS file that contains headlines, descriptions, links, author name and other information related to content. RSS feed can contain broad list of information. Many RSS feeds are brief focus on basics of published content.
Most blogging platforms will automatically create RSS feeds based on user’s preferences.
Most individuals get RSS feeds through news readers or feed aggregators. There are many free newsreaders available and many popular aggregator sites that present feeds based on categories or popularity.
What if you want to integrate an RSS Feed into your site?
This may not be task of novice web developer. It has security issues, XSL Transformations and parsing the XML feeds require skills.
There are many online tools both free as subscription based that can easily perform this function and it will output code to simply copy and paste into website.
Example of PHP based RSS feed generator: