Create RSS Feeds for Static Websites

The questions often asked by static website owners are: How can I make a RSS feed for my website? Is it only blogs that can have an RSS on their websites?

The answer to the first question is: Yes, you can simply create an one for static websites. And I guess this gives you a clue to what the answer to the second question would be. So, you too can offer RSS feeds on your website.

Having an RSS feed on your static website has a lot of benefits:

  • You can send updates to your website visitors who subscribe to it. You can generate more traffic to your website. When your RSS feed subscribers receive the update in their chosen RSS reader, they will come back to your website to reader the full article.
  • You can leave a link to specific articles on your website when you comment on ComLuv blogs. You know those links you see in comments (XYZ’s last blog post…) You can do that too if you have feeds on your website.
  • You have a lot of control when you create your own RSS feeds because you can choose to send a summary of your updates to your subscribers so that they can come back to your website to read the full article. With the traditional RSS feed that is auto generated, you do not have much control. Most often, the full article is sent to your subscribers so they will not need to come back to your website.

Creating a feed takes four steps:

  • The first step is to create the file itself and save it as yourdomainname.xml. Don’t worry, these are very simple codes. Upload it to your website, to the same folder where you have your homepage.
  • You should then place a link element of the RSS file in the head section of the pages of your website. Here’s an example:
    <link rel=alternate type=application/rss+xml title="www.yourdomain.com RSS Feed" href=http://www.yourdomain.com/yourdomain.xml />
    If you want, you can place it only in the head section of your homepage. But I advise that you place it on all the pages of your website because you never know the page through which your visitors will land on your website. If you have it on all the pages, the RSS icon on your visitors’ browsers will tell them that you offer RSS feeds on your website as soon as they land on your website even if they do not go to your homepage.
  • Find a nice spot on your website, above the fold and place the bright orange RSS icon with a link to your RSS feed. You should also submit your RSS file to Google. It is done exactly the same way as you submit a sitemap.

RSS Mania – Part Two – Outline of How to Create an RSS Feed

Well so now you kind of like, are in love, or are obsessed with RSS. Those little orange buttons are all over and you want to put one up in your web site or Blog or on your wall. That is cool, and it will demand a bit of technical knowledge, some writing, some research and some frustration. So here are the major steps to publishing your RSS feed and giving all that information to the world at large, which I will discuss in depth with examples in this series of articles. Right now we will outline these steps.

1. Sit back, STOP! & Think. (How is that for step one?)

  • a. Do you have information that should or would go into an RSS file? Remember that the unwritten rules of RSS is that you must update the file with “new” and more “current” information if not hourly or daily, but at least on a fairly common basis. No one is going to want to keep your RSS in their reader if the information they see every day for the next month is exactly the same as the day before it.
  • b. Additionally, though some people do this, it really is NOT good practice to put long essays into an RSS feed. What you want is the first line or description of an object, idea or news. Hook the person so he clicks on the topic in his reader, reads the summary, clicks again and finds himself on your web page.
  • c. Do you have the time to do it? There are millions of Blogs out there that were started with the best of intentions. One entry, two entries, three entries. And then they die. Why? Because the author/owners simply had no clue about the dedication demanded and time needed to update their Blogs on a regular basis. They also had no idea just how difficult he competition was to get people to read those Blogs. The same is true with RSS. You start a feed to get readers, or to pass on information to the web. You need to understand this is going to take time and patience and work. This is not a one-time one-shot one-pie-in-the-sky deal.

2. Your depth of Technical knowledge

You will need to become familiar with the following terms and understand them and perhaps learn some very simple things in how to program them.

  1. RSS
  2. XML
  3. HTML
  4. CSS
  5. Atom
  6. RSS Readers
  7. RSS Parsers
  8. RSS Validation

3. Now begins the Actual WORK!

  • a. Preparing the file – You will need a template RSS file (for the sake of these articles it will be called rss.xml though it can have any name you choose as long as it is in xml format.) Unless you are good enough to write one yourself this is critical.
  • b. Understanding the Template and what information goes where
  • c. Putting the information into the template – Each piece of information you have will go into specific [headers] and you must understand the RSS structure in the XML file to get that right.
  • d. Validating the Template – A crucial aspect. Unlike HTML, RSS is very, very, let me say this again, very unforgiving. It does not like deviations from the norm or from the basic format laid down. Getting it right can be the most trying and frustrating part of the process.

4. Okay now you wrote the RSS file, your XML file is ready and validated. Now what? Guess you think you are done. Think again.

  • a. You will have to place the rss.xml file on your web site or somewhere on the web where people can get to it.
  • b. Now you can steal, get, copy, make – whatever you choose – your own little XML/RSS or RSS – Valid button.
  • c. Hyperlink your file to the RSS
  • d. Submit your file under the correct category to RSS directories.

5. How many people will pick up your RSS? I will discuss this as well in a later article, but surprisingly, the answer here is still very vague. There are some ways of tracing the numbers, but none are foolproof, and most are very convoluted.

6. Go and get a good night’s sleep cause tomorrow you are going to have to start the process of adding information to your RSS (or changing it) all over again!

(This is a continuation from my first article on RSS – “RSS Mania Addiction – An Introduction to RSS and the Terminology”)

Using RSS Feeds To Create a Viral Website In 30 Minutes a Day Guaranteed!

Ever wish you could create a web site that generates buzz. You know the kind people talk about at the water cooler or E-Mail to a friend. Now You can create a Viral Web Site in 30 Minutes a day or Less.

Creating a viral Web Site is simple but not easy. If you are willing to commit 30 Minutes then within a reasonable amount of time you can and will have a viral websites.

A Blog or RSS Feed is the best and simplest web site to create for a Viral Websites. Anyone can use an online or offline blog reader to place your blog content on their websites. Many Blogs have an E-Mail this post feature so people can E-Mail Your Blog to a friend. You can easily post to your blog so it is not time consuming.

A Viral Web Site is something people enjoy or find helpful and want to share with their friends. A Tip of The Day style web site fit’s this Criteria. You can also use a Quote of the Day, Joke of the Day or New Word of the Day style,

If you like fishing then a Fishing Tip of the Day. If you like cooking then a cooking tip of the Day or recipe of the day. If you like travel then travel tip of the day. Your Tips Should be Brief. Certainly no more then 200 Words but as few as 50 can be ok.