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Can I set up an RSS feed on my site or do I need to do it through an existing blogging site? How does it work?

Updated on November 4, 2011

You can absolutely set up an RSS feed on your site. How you go about it will usually depend on what kind of framework your site is using. Just as your local computer has an operating system, like Windows, webpages often aren't just HTML pages but are quickly and easily created by a certain kind of platform, or "framework" that writes the code for you. I do web-design myself, and I am particularly fond of using Drupal. I know for a fact that Drupal-created websites have RSS modules, but I have no idea what you're using.

If you're designing a website from scratch, writing your own HTML code (wow, I'm getting a visual image of a housewife in the 1900's trying to do ironing with heavy, antiquated industrial machinery!), you'd probably want to use PHP code to do it... or pay a PHP coder to write code for that purpose for you. Many job sites exist, particularly sites that allow you to offer programming jobs to PHP coders in need of them. Project4Hire, for example, is a site where you can post a job and have professional PHP programmers submit lower and lower bids for your project. The result is that you end up paying about the lowest price the market will bear for your project, by people who can do it.

Were it me, I'd use Dapper - a free online tool - to scrape my page if there was no other way, and put it into a Sprout that I could embed on my pages somewhere... or anywhere else, for that matter. But ideally, I'd want to look into using a framework like Drupal to build my site, rather than do it all by hand. If you already are using some kind of a framework, you might want to check your documentation or online site for it to see if it has RSS capability, or an add-on module that does. Most online blog forums offer RSS feeds to their users.

In addition to Dapper, other RSS scrapers exist out there. Metacentric, for example, offers a for-pay scraping service that is free to try.

Recently, illegitimate RSS scraping is starting to be used by unscrupulous people on the 'net who use AdSense to generate revenue on their own sites, just as HubPages does for its users. These people scrape the content off of other peoples' news sites and blogs and then post that content on their own "scraper site" pages that are made specifically to generate AdSense revenue, with lots of ads and banners. The pages are specifically designed to bring users and show them lots of ads, in the hopes of generating revenue through ad-clicking.

Still, at the end of the day it's comforting to know that even if you're designing your site by hand, you can still scrape your page with Dapper into an RSS file, and then post that feed as a Sprout. So, there's at least always a way, no matter what.

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    • Satori profile imageAUTHOR

      Satori 

      6 years ago from California

      Fixed. Thanky!

    • Markol profile image

      Mark O'Leary 

      6 years ago from Tipperary

      Hi, the link to PHP Freelancers is broken.

      Regards,

      Mark

    • Satori profile imageAUTHOR

      Satori 

      7 years ago from California

      Why's that, applet tutorials?

      Constructive criticism can be a beneficial thing.

      Be well,

      - Satori

    • profile image

      applet tutorials 

      7 years ago

      Some sites makes me not go for google...

      and this site is one among them..

    • Satori profile imageAUTHOR

      Satori 

      8 years ago from California

      Rick,

      What you're looking for isn't what an RSS feed does. There may be other things that /can/ do what you'd like, such as a Content Management System (CMS) like Drupal. Alternatively, you can hire someone on the cheap to code you a script for your site that will fire off those e-mails.

      As far as your students getting subscribed, that completely depends on their RSS software on their side. usually it's quite simple, a matter of adding in the RSS feed address to whatever software they're using. Firefox, f'rinstance, doubtless has plenty of RSS add-ons. Search for "firefox add-ons" and once there, search for the keyword "rss".

      Be well,

      - Satori

    • profile image

      rickg101 

      8 years ago

      I appreciate your article. I am looking to incorporate a rss feed for my classroom. I think I understand how to add the information to my site. What I would like to do is when I upload an assignment, notes or presentations I would like an email to go to my students. Is this hard to do? How do I get my students to sign up for the feed?

      Thank You

      Rick

    • profile image

      Alexander 

      8 years ago

    • profile image

      Student Brands  

      8 years ago

      Thanks for the great info on RSS, we hope to integrate an RSS system into our website when we relaunch our new website. Thanks again

    • godaddywebmaster profile image

      godaddywebmaster 

      9 years ago from Sacramento, California

      You have pointed me in the right direction Satori. Thanks for your expertise.

    • Satori profile imageAUTHOR

      Satori 

      10 years ago from California

      I'm glad that you and others are finding this information of service to you. The method above is what I use, and I absolutely love it. It's a very inspiring thing to me to be able to create a website from pure thought to international presence in minutes, and let good concepts flourish in the world. I'm sure you'll love it too.

      If you'd like some personalized Question & Answers by phone, let me know by clicking the Contact Satori link under my picture, up on the right of this page. I do reasonably-priced consultations by phone, and can answer a lot of specific questions for you quickly, as well as take you through the process of building a website, while we're on the phone together. Sometimes it's good to have someone to talk you through it.

      Whatever you decide, I hope you find website-building as fun as I do. I know you'll come to find it as easy as I do, with just a little time and encouragement. Thanks for your feedback.

      Be well,

      - Satori

    • Caryl Oliver profile image

      Caryl Oliver 

      10 years ago from Australia

      Thank you so much for that - there is a lot of fantastic information there. I will need to allocate some time to quietly work through it all and will certainly come back with the dumb questions very shortly.

      You are a star!

    • Satori profile imageAUTHOR

      Satori 

      10 years ago from California

      It definately is, Caryl. =)

      I may be able to save you some time, if you'd like. Dreamweaver is an application that will build you a web-site, generating the HTML code for you instead of having you type all the HTML into a file manually. But it will not - at least to my knowledge - allow you to quickly and easily generate a _framework_ for a site, that is, a site that you can put together on your FTP server, and install modules for your various needs, that will cause your site to dynamically respond to user inquries, give menus, accept posts, blogs, and forums, and so on and so forth, just the same way you install a new program into Windows when you want to be able to do something you couldn't do before.

      I would recommend that you try an almost-free solution that should be much easier than what you're trying to do - particularly if you want it to have advanced features such as a blog, and an RSS feed. If I may be so bold, my suggestion is this:

      - Go to http://www.110mb.com/aff.php?un=satori and sign up for a free account. Free, gratis, nada. They're a great free- and semi-free hosting site, and I have a lot of love for them. They're terrific.

      - You upgrade your account there with a _one-time_fee_ of $9 to enable unlimited MySQL support. MySQL is a database that is used in conjunction with web-pages, to store the dynamic data, like the data in a blog post for example. You're unlikely to find a better deal for MySQL on the internet, as companies who offer it cheaper or for free usually do so by cramming many database-using sites onto the same computer, and the result is that the computer dispenses websites to people slower than a snail would, if at all. 110mb doesn't do that to people.

      - You're unlikely to need any of their other extra add-ons for the moment, unless you want to pay a one-time fee of $7 to enable your site to send email to people. That would be up to you.

      - You then create a directory there - you can FTP to them just like you're doing now - and install the latest version of Drupal _5_ (not 6!) from Drupal.org.

      I can talk you through it from there, or even offer my services as a website designer if you would like. But in all honesty, without any programming I set up pinkslab.com in under a day doing exactly what I've just described to you, and adding in a few modules for specific things I wanted to do. It's easy. Unless you'd rather pay someone to take care of it for you, I'm pretty sure you could do it yourself with some support. =)

      Be well,

      - Satori

    • Caryl Oliver profile image

      Caryl Oliver 

      10 years ago from Australia

      Thanks for that - I will do a run around the internet to learn more about what you are suggesting.

      I fear I may be that 1900's housewife.. My site is built in Dreamweaver and I just ftp it up.

      I would like to continue this discussion with you once I have done some more research. Hope that is OK?

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