RSS Feed

How Do RSS Feeds Work


What Information Does RSS Offer?

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is an innovation used to distribute and access internet content in a standardized format. It provides the following details:

  • The content’s title, for instance, a blog post or news article.
  • A short outline or description of the content is provided.
  • Website’s URL or web address.
  • Time and date when the content was posted or last updated.
  • Name of the individual or organization who created the content.
  • Keywords or themes that describe the content make it simpler to search and filter.
  • Enclosures, and additional files, like video or audio, are linked to the content and are available for download or played directly from the feed.

RSS enables individuals to subscribe to several feeds from different websites and see all updates in one location, typically by utilizing an RSS reader or aggregator; this is a convenient and effective way to keep up with the most recent news and content from favourite sites without having to visit each one individually.

How Does an RSS Feed Work?

RSS is a structured web content publishing and distribution format. Bloggers and news organizations, for example, use special platforms or software to create RSS feeds for their content, which is hosted on their online sites or by a third-party hosting service. Subscribers who wish to receive constant updates from the content creator utilize an RSS aggregator (or reader) to subscribe to the RSS feed. The RSS reader inspects the subscribed feeds for the latest updates on a regular basis and retrieves any fresh content that has been posted since the last check. 

The new content is showcased in the RSS reader, typically in the form of a chronological list, displaying the most recent content items at the top. Subscribers can then read, share, and bookmark the content straight from the RSS reader, bypassing the original website. 

Let’s take a closer look at the way an RSS feed works:

Data transmission from the website to feed

The website owner creates an RSS feed by configuring the website’s content with an XML markup language. This content is then posted as an RSS feed on a specific URL or web address. When the website owner adds new content to their website, the RSS feed is updated automatically.

Data format

After the updates have been transmitted from the webpage to the feed, they can be accessed via a feed reader. The reader shows basic information on the latest content, which is posted in chronological order (the latest updates are displayed at the top so that the user can browse them easily).

Role of aggregators

RSS aggregators are critical in enabling the convenience provided by RSS feeds. This component is in charge of automatically scanning websites for fresh content. When new content is identified, the RSS aggregator fetches it directly from the site’s RSS feed and sends it to the user’s feed reader because the aggregator users no longer need to visit each website individually to view the most recent content.

The RSS aggregator also monitors the content that the viewer has opened, keeping track of what has been viewed and what has not been viewed. Users can then access a list of leftover content for every website they follow and view it later.


A user can subscribe to an RSS feed by using a web browser or email client that facilitates RSS or using an RSS reader. After that, the user can add the RSS feed URL to an RSS reader or sign up for the feed by tapping an RSS icon on the website. The RSS reader will inspect the feed for updates on a regular basis and showcase any new content to the user.

How do I get and use an RSS feed?

Users can create an RSS feed by following the steps below:

Install a feed reader

RSS feed readers allow users to see their preferred syndicated material in real-time. Information procured from multiple user-selected (and equivalent) feeds presented to the user according to their interests and preferences. When new stuff is retrieved, RSS readers send push alerts to users.

Before creating an RSS feed, a user must first download a feed reader on a compatible, internet-enabled device. There are loads of free options available. Feed readers could be specialized mobile apps or web-based portals, and RSS readers are now supported by almost every user endpoint. Readers differ in terms of type, interface, and theme, and users can select the one that best meets their requirements and preferences.

Find and subscribe to your favourite sites

After picking and installing an RSS reader, it’s time to make the most of your RSS feed by picking the content that matters to you. Many feed readers require users to sign up for an account in order to customize their preferences. After creating a feed reader profile, users can browse or search for their favourite websites, blogs, podcasts, and other content platforms.

Subscribing to feeds on newer feed readers is generally as simple as pressing a button. However, some aged content platforms may necessitate you to locate and click on the orange RSS icon, as well as perform a few more complex steps, like providing the website URL from which you want to receive updates. 

Organize your feed

Most RSS readers let users personalize their feeds to make them more aesthetically pleasing and easier to understand; this is especially useful for users who frequently check for updates. After you’ve completed your RSS subscriptions, you can arrange the updates and make navigation easier by creating categories or folders.

How to Find Out Which Sites Use RSS?

There are several methods for determining which websites use RSS:

Look for the RSS symbol: The RSS symbol is the most common method for checking whether a website provides an RSS feed. The icon is typically found in a website’s footer, header, or sidebar. It’s typically a square or rectangle with curvatures on the bottom left and upper right corners, and it’s orange or some other bright colour.

Examine the page source: If you can’t locate an RSS symbol, look at the page source. Most web browsers allow you to right-click on a page and select “View Page Source” or “Inspect”. Then, in the header, search for the code “link rel=”alternate” type=”application/rss+xml” href=”…” />”. This means that the website has an RSS feed.

Use an RSS reader: Another option for determining whether a site provides an RSS feed is to utilize an RSS reader, like Feedly or Inoreader. Simply enter the URL of the site into the reader, and it will look for the RSS feed. The reader will display the site’s articles if the site does have a feed.

Look for RSS directories: and RSS Feed Reader are two directories that list sites that provide RSS feeds. You can scour for sites that offer RSS feeds by keyword or category.

You should be able to determine which sites use RSS feeds by using any or all of these methods.

What are some examples of RSS Feed Readers?

Because RSS has been around for a while, there are many excellent RSS readers available. Most of them include built-in search and suggestion features, so you don’t have to look for feeds yourself. 

Here are some top choices:

RSS Feed Reader Chrome Extension by

Feeder. Co is a well-known RSS Feed Reader Chrome extension that enables individuals to subscribe to and read RSS feeds from their favourite sites. The extension is simple to use and integrates seamlessly with Chrome, making it an ideal option for those who want to stay up to date on the latest news and developments from their favourite websites.

To utilize the Feeder. Co extension: Go to the Chrome Web Store and download and install it. Once installed, you can obtain your feeds and subscribe to new ones by clicking the Feeder. Co icon within Chrome toolbar. Feeder. Co also has a mobile app that synchronizes with your Chrome extension, allowing you to keep up with your feeds while on the go.


Feedly is a well-known RSS feed reader that allows you to organize and read all of your most-liked blogs in one place. Aside from being a feed reader, it also has other features.

For example, you can share content, take notes, and use the Power Search tool. But most remarkable is Leo, the AI research assistant who is able to read and analyze the information, ensuring that your feeds are always clutter-free.


The Feeder is an elegant RSS feed reader that monitors your online sources and organizes them into easily digestible groups.

Push alerts, innovative filtering options, and smartphone enhancements make reading content from all corners of the web more effortless than ever. This feed reader is unique in that it is also available as a Microsoft Edge, Firefox, and Chrome extension.


NewsBlur is yet another free RSS feed reader compatible with the web, iPhone, iPad, and Android. One of its most notable characteristics is that when you read the articles from your top websites, NewsBlur keeps the style of the original website.

You can also organize your content with tags and categories, conceal stories you do not like, emphasize those you do, as well as share your favourite works on your community blur blog.


Inoreader is the ideal combination of RSS feed reader functionalities for novice and advanced users. Content can be read on the web, Android, and iOS. You can also create offline folders to access the content at any time you want.

You can sign up for RSS feeds, newsletters, podcasts, Facebook pages, and other services. Furthermore, thanks to the automated process, you will receive push alerts as and when needed.

Feedreader Online

Feedreader Online is another free, web-based RSS feed reader that allows you to read your content easily. However, it does not lack in terms of features.

Its user-friendly interface includes advanced filtering for locating the content you need, the highest feed capacity, and multiple viewing modes that allow you to group headlines by source, timestamp, or tag.

How to use RSS feeds

Following your most-liked blogs is the quickest and easiest way to begin with, RSS, but it is only one of the many advantages RSS provides. Here’s how you can utilize RSS feeds to accomplish various tasks:

Keep track of new blog posts, podcasts, and YouTube channel uploads

To keep track of any new content from your preferred blogs, podcasts, or YouTube channels, use a feed reader like Feedly or Inoreader to subscribe to their RSS feeds. You’ll get notifications whenever new content is published after subscribing, and you can browse it directly in your feed reader.

Receive and view email newsletters in your RSS reader

If you receive newsletters via email, you can convert them to RSS feeds using a service like Kill the Newsletter or Blogtrottr. Instead of cluttering up your inbox, this enables you to receive as well as view the newsletter information directly in your feed reader.

View social media posts from important accounts

If you wish to keep track of posts on social media from specific users, you can create RSS feeds for those accounts using a tool like Hootsuite or Sprout Social. Instead of going to each social media platform, you can view their posts in your feed reader.

Discover newly posted job openings

Using a job-hunting platform like Indeed, you can establish an RSS feed of new job advertisements based on your search criteria; this enables you to receive alerts of new job openings straight in your feed reader, which can be a convenient way to keep up with new opportunities.

Create email newsletters automatically

If you are a blogger or content creator, you can utilize an RSS-to-email service such as Mailchimp to deliver email newsletters to your viewers based on your RSS feed; this enables you to create and deliver newsletters without manually compiling content each time.

Create social media posts automatically

You can utilize a service like IFTTT to automatically generate social media posts that rely on your RSS feed. For instance, you could send out a tweet whenever a new blog post goes live on your site.

Monitor brand mentions in a feed

If you want to track mentions of your brand in the headlines or on social media, you can use a tool like Google Alerts or Mention to establish an RSS feed of appropriate search queries; this allows you to monitor brand mentions and react to them as needed.

Do something with what you’ve read

After reading an article or posting in your feed reader, you can take action in various ways. For example, you could share it on social media, save it for reading later, or bookmark it for future use. Some feed readers also integrate with other tools, enabling you to perform new actions right from the feed reader.

Sheryl J. Raper

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