What is an RSS feed and how do you use it?

on August 5, 2015 at 16:22


One of the most common questions businesses have when starting a website or running an online multimedia campaign is "what is an RSS feed and how do you use it?"

Luckily, the answer is simpler than you might think. RSS stands for Rich Site Summary, but it's often jokingly called "Really Simple Syndication". This latter, unofficial name is actually more informative, because an RSS feed syndicates content.

But what does that mean? Basically, an RSS feed gathers all the information from your site (including blog entries, news and videos) and sends them (or "syndicates" them) to whoever wants them. Web users benefit from RSS because they can get the RSS feed from multiple sites, thereby allowing them to access that content from a single page instead of visiting multiple websites. All they need to read their RSS feeds is a piece of software (such as a feed reader or news aggregator) that collects their feeds into one convenient page. Readers "plug" different sites' RSS feeds into their feed reader, either with a simple click of a button or by copying and pasting the site's RSS web address into their software.

Of course, for fairly static sites such as online encyclopaedias, an RSS feed isn't really necessary. However, if a site regularly adds new content, its users can benefit from the addition of an RSS feed that will allow them to keep up to date with new content as it appears. RSS feeds are therefore most popular among news websites and blogs. If you host a blog as a small part of your site, you should also consider offering an RSS feed; it will serve as a constant reminder of your site for your users, thereby ensuring that they keep coming back to visit the parts of your site that don't update regularly or show up in their RSS feed (such as the ecommerce section of your site).

If you want to create an RSS feed for your site, you'll probably have to do so manually (unless you use a blogging software or a content management system), but don't worry, you don't have to know how to code to create a feed! Software such as FeedForAll and its competitors allow you to craft and install RSS feeds for any site.

Our landing pages generator is a fantastic way to geo-target your landing pages so that more users see them. And if you want to ensure that your site stays at the forefront of those users' minds once they're familiar with it, we strongly recommend creating an RSS feed!

 

Last modified: Tuesday, 01-Dec-2015 09:57:03 GMT