The Internet is overloaded with information on a wide variety of topics, and very often it is repetitive. But there is a great way to structure and filter this data – the RSS feed. The peak of its popularity has passed, but this does not mean that this technology has fallen into oblivion. Let’s see what it is, and what its main advantages and disadvantages are.
What is RSS
RSS (Rich Site Summary) is an automatically generated rss or xml summary that displays recently published articles and news. In this case, a hyperlink to the full version of these materials is given. Very often this format is used by information portals and blogs. RSS-feed can be connected to Yandex.News, Google News, Turbo-pages, etc.
How RSS Works
Everything is simple here – an article or news is published on the site. After that, a special script puts the announcement of this publication into an updatable RSS file. This file is then read by special programs or online resources called aggregators. And then these same aggregators notify users about new materials on the site. Notifications can come not every time after the publication of new material, but with a specified periodicity.
Pros and cons of RSS
First, it is worth considering the benefits of RSS feeds for users.
Collecting all published information into a single stream that can be quickly viewed.
Quick notification – as soon as the article is published on the site, the subscriber will know about it almost immediately.
Saving traffic, especially on mobile devices.
Saving of time. It’s easier, of course, to look at a summary of new published materials and find something interesting in it than to leaf through the whole resource several times.
And now let’s see what advantages a site would have if it would use RSS technology.
The introduction of such a feed gives an increase in traffic and higher engagement of the audience. This will also help to promote the site in search results.
Increased recognition of the resource among subscribers.
When you read the announcement is a high probability that the user will open a link to the site to read the whole material.
Disadvantages of such a format, of course, are, and in today’s reality, they are more than significant.
The overabundance of information. If a user subscribes to many feeds from different sites, he will be overloaded with information and will not have time to process it.
Content theft. Larger resources can take unique content from your site and pass it off as their own. Even pointing out the link will not save the situation, and if there is no link at all, it is much more problematic to prove the source’s status.
How to use RSS
It all depends on who you are – the owner of the site or the reader. In the first case, you need to create a feed, and in the second case, you need to subscribe to it.
Connecting RSS to the site
Ways to connect your site with RSS markup – manually generate a script, use an online RSS generator or connect a special module in your CMS.
I advise you to use Google FeedBurner service. It skips through all the RSS feeds, fixes minor errors in them and adds various details such as “buy” button. It also allows you to get feed stats, both for free and for a fee.
The only thing you need to do is to log in with your Google account, enter the address of the resource in the appropriate field and click Next.
Then a page will open with a list of all available RSS feeds. Add the desired one and copy the link (it can, by the way, then be pasted into some news aggregator). Then we activate all options of the service and click on Next.
Other good generators of RSS feeds are Feed43, Feedity and Feedfry. In them, too, you only need to specify a link to your resource and give permission to create a feed.
Subscribe to RSS
The first way to subscribe to RSS is to click on the special icon or link to subscribe on the site page. It used to appear in the browser next to the address bar.
Another way is to subscribe to RSS feeds. Some resources provide this possibility, but this option requires confirmation of subscription.
The third way is to use special aggregators. An excellent option is Inoreader with the function of caching information. Due to this, you can watch the saved news without connecting to the Internet. Another option is a free application Newsflow from Microsoft, in which the number of sources for subscription is unlimited.
In a world overloaded with information, RSS is probably one of the best ways to compress and structure it. Nothing extra will be displayed in such a feed – only what the user has chosen according to his interests
Add to favorites