RSS – or what is now known as “Really Simple Syndication” – is a file format that is incorporated by Internet users in their websites to allow for ‘web syndication’, making their web content available in a format that can be universally understood by other people.
In essence, RSS is a ‘mini database’ that contains headlines and descriptions (a summary or a line or two of the full article) of your web content, including hyperlinks that enable users to link back to the full article of their choice.
RSS websites – that is, websites that contain RSS booster (articles or postings) – typically have colorful graphics to indicate to users that the specific web content is available through RSS feeds. These graphics are usually depicted by orange rectangles that are usually marked with ‘RSS’ or ‘XML’.
With its increased popularity, RSS is now being adopted and used by more website owners or publishers. Today, numerous resources are now available that aid Internet surfers (and even beginners as well) on how to set up and use RSS.
Setting up RSS feeds and adding them to your website can be a simple process that does not involve a lot of time or any money. Listed below are some simple and basic steps that you might want to follow:
1. Have your web content and/or news in an RSS feed format, such as XML (appropriate and ‘ready-made’ feeds are also available from other sources).
2. Click the orange graphic – this is the RSS feed icon. Take note of the URL of the RSS feed; this will be displayed in the address bar (for Internet Explorer).
3. Input the feed URL on your RSS feed creation program.
4. Click on the “Generate Feed” button. This will generate the RSS code for your web content.
5. Enter the RSS code in the appropriate place on your own website.
Having created an RSS feed for your website, next comes the task of publishing your web content and news and having them displayed on other sites and headline viewers. This is made possible with the use of RSS readers or aggregators.