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How RSS Channels work


RSS stands for both Really Simple Syndication and Rich Site Summary, depending on who you talk to. However, the main thing about RSS is not what it stands for, but what it does, which is Content Syndication. You can use RSS to allow your readers to subscribe to your content. That means that when you add content, subscribers to your RSS feeds are alerted. Overall RSS is an extremely powerful way to keep in touch with your customers.

Here are some of the key features of RSS:

  • Unlimited RSS Channels with unlimited items
  • Control the length of your RSS feed
  • Enable and disable your RSS feed
  • Complete control over the items in your RSS feed
  • Syndicate your Announcements, FAQs, Web Pages, Blogs, Literature and Industry Content items.
  • Insert links to your RSS feed anywhere on your site
  • Generate a HTML link you can append anywhere on the web, or on your Email Newsletters

RSS Feeds, Channels and Items

To understand RSS we need to understand some of the RSS related terms you'll come across.

  • An RSS Feed is what your readers subscribe to. It also refers to the physical XML file that represents the RSS channel.
  • An RSS Channel is a collection of RSS Items. A Channel is usually a grouping of related items, such as blog posts.
  • In this system, we generate an RSS Feed for each RSS Channel. So in the system an RSS Feed equates to an RSS Channel.

RSS is a standard format, but it has multiple versions. At present this system supports RSS versions 0.90, 0.92 and 2.0. We automatically generate feeds for every version, so generally speaking you don't need to worry about them. If in doubt, you should use the RSS 2.0 feed.

Setting Up an RSS Feed

Setting up a new RSS feed is quick and easy. First go to Website -> RSS Channels.

  1. Click Create a new RSS Channel
  2. Now you can fill in all the details for your RSS Channel. Hold the mouse cursor over each field to see a description of the field and how to fill it in.
  3. Update Frequency should be set depending on how often you will add items to it. The RSS Channel only updates when you add new items to it.
  4. Write a description for your RSS that will appear in the RSS Channel. It should describe the sort of items the Channel might contain.
  5. Click Save and you're done.

Inserting the RSS channel into the page/template

Now that you have a channel, lets insert a link to it on a web page. Customers can use that link to subscribe to your RSS feed.

  1. Click on the Add RSS Channel to a web page link in the Action Box
  2. Choose the web page you wish to add the RSS Channel's link to
  3. Choose the 1-Click Insert drop down option from the editor's toolbar as shown in the image below
  4. Choose "Insert this RSS Channel Only"
  5. Save and Publish to complete your changes
  6. View your web page in your web browser to see the link, and subscribe to your RSS feed with your favourite RSS Reader!

Adding Items to the RSS Channel

Adding Items to the RSS Channel is simple. If you aren't there already, go to: Website -> RSS Channels -> Add items to RSS Channel.

  1. First select the content type you want to add to the RSS Feed.
  2. Once the type has been selected, you can add items of that type to the feed by moving the items from the left to the right hand box.
  3. If you want to add everything or remove everything, simply use the ">>" and "<<" buttons respectively. li>

Allowing visitors to Subscribe to RSS Feeds

You can place a link to any of your RSS Feeds using the Module Manager.

Once you select the link depending on your browser you can add it to your bookmarks or toolbar.

e.g. IE7 Browser

e.g. FireFox Browser

e.g Safari Browser


Want to put a link to your RSS feed in your email newsletters or on an affiliate's web site? Easy! Just click on the "HTML Code" tab and copy the HTML code in the text box. You can then paste it where it is needed.

Blogs and RSS

RSS is way to syndicate your content to other sources. People use RSS feeds to be notified of changes to your blog without visiting your blog directly. Several types of content are RSS-able, but Blogs and RSS in particular go hand in hand. As such, you can set it up so that you Blog has it's own RSS feed and that every post is automatically added to it. In the "Details" tab, just check the check box "Syndicate this blog (RSS)". When you select this option an RSS Channel will automatically be created using the same name as your blog, and then every time you post, your posts will be added to it.

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