RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication and it’s is a simple, standardized content distribution method that can help you stay up-to-date with your favorite newscasts, blogs, websites, and social media channels. Instead of visiting sites to find new posts or subscribing to sites to receive notification of new posts, find the RSS feed on a website and read new posts in an RSS reader.

How RSS Works

Kaley McKean / Lifewire

RSS is a way for website authors to publish notifications of new content on their website. This content may include newscasts, blog posts, weather reports, and podcasts.

To publish these notifications, the website author creates a text file with the XML file extension for the RSS feed that contains the title, description, and link for each post on the site. Then, the website author uses this XML file to add an RSS feed to web pages on the site. The XML file automatically syndicates new content through this RSS feed in a standard format that displays in any RSS reader.

When website visitors subscribe to this RSS feed, they read the new website content in an RSS reader. These RSS readers collect content from multiple XML files, organize the information, and display the content in one application.

There’s a lot you can do with an RSS feed and an RSS reader. Here are just a few examples:

  • Follow discussions on web pages and in forums without visiting each page to read the list of posted comments.
  • Keep up-to-date on the tasty foods your favorite bloggers dish up and share recipes with your friends.
  • Stay current with local, national, and international news from several sources.

What is an RSS Feed?

An RSS feed consolidates information sources in one place and provides updates when a site adds new content. With social media, all you see is the favorite stuff that people share. With an RSS feed, you see everything a website publishes.

To find an RSS feed on a website, look on the site’s main or home page. Some sites display their RSS feed as an orange button that may contain the acronyms RSS or XML.

Not all RSS icons look alike. RSS icons come in different sizes and colors. Not all these icons contain the acronyms RSS or XML. Some sites use a Syndicate This link or another type of link to indicate an RSS feed.

Some sites offer lists of RSS feeds. These lists may include different topics for an extensive website, or list feeds from many websites that cover a similar topic.

When you find an RSS feed that sounds interesting, click the RSS icon or link to display the XML file that controls a website’s feed. You’ll use this RSS link to subscribe to the feed in an RSS reader.

If the website is powered by WordPress, add /feed/ to the end of the website URL (for example, www.example.com/feed/) to view the RSS feed.

How to Find an RSS Link in Google Chrome

  1. Open a web browser and go to a web page.

  2. Right-click on the web page and choose View page source.

  3. Select Settings > Find.

  4. Type RSS and press Enter.

  5. The instances of RSS are highlighted in the page source.

  6. Right-click the RSS feed URL and select Copy link address.

  7. Use this URL to subscribe to the RSS feed in an RSS reader.

What Is an RSS Reader?

Think of an RSS reader like your email inbox. When you subscribe to the RSS feed for a website, the RSS reader displays content from that website. Use the RSS reader to view the content, or to go to the website. As you read each piece of new content, the RSS reader marks that content as read.

A popular RSS reader is Feedly. Feedly is a cloud-based RSS reader that is available on a variety of platforms including Android, iOS, Windows, Chrome, and other web browsers. It also works with third-party apps. Getting started with Feedly is easy.

To subscribe to an RSS feed in Feedly on a desktop:

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