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Basic RSS Feeds

RSS is an XML language used to format your content. RSS is used to publish articles, news, and more easily to users using RSS Readers which check the RSS feed for updates from time to time depending on your settings. RSS feeds are easy to use and the syndication it provides is nice, but can vary from RSS Reader to RSS Reader.

For quick and easy RSS reading use the popular internet browser Opera (external link) with its built in RSS reader.

At the top of each RSS document you have to place tags to properly declare that this is an RSS and XML document:

Code: XML

<?xml version="1.0" ?>
<rss version="2.0">

All the newsfeed entries are contained within the <channel> tag. So your frame document would look like this:

Code: XML

<?xml version="1.0" ?>
<rss version="2.0">

<channel>

</channel>

RSS follows XML format which for those of you whom aren't familiar with XML it is similar to XHTML and HTML with a strict format. But if you follow the guidelines here you won't have any problems in proper RSS format.

All the RSS entries are placed within <item> tags. Within the item tag lies other tags for each entry. These include the <title> tag, <description> tag, and <link> tag. Here is an example of an <item> tag:

Code: XML

<item>
    <title>Entry 1</title>
    <description>Entry 1 description</description>
    <link>http://www.lowterstudios.com</link>
</item>

There are no limits to the amount of <item> tags you can have within your RSS channel, but too many is never good, same with too few. Now you can include tags outside of an <item> tags, but in the <channel> tag to describe your channel:

Code: XML

<title>RSS Channel</title>
<description>An example rss channel</description>
<link>http://www.lowterstudios.com</link>

So you can see that these tags are the same for the inside of an <item> tag, just not within them. Now we put together all this to make a simple RSS feed:

Code: XML

<?xml version="1.0" ?>
<rss version="2.0">

<channel>
    <title>RSS Channel</title>
    <description>An example rss channel</description>
    <link>http://www.lowterstudios.com</link>
    
    <item>
        <title>Entry 2</title>
        <description>Entry 2 description</description>
        <link>http://www.lowterstudios.com</link>
    </item>
    
    <item>
        <title>Entry 2</title>
        <description>Entry 2 description</description>
        <link>http://www.lowterstudios.com</link>
    </item>
</channel>

Save RSS documents as .xml documents. Now you can preview your .xml document and you probably see text all over if it is in a browser. Check the page in a RSS document and you see that it is nicely formatted and a nice way to do newsfeeds.

To be proper coded make sure that your RSS source validates, but using the RSS validator (external link).

Now with valid RSS code and an RSS feed you can join the RSS wagon and start spreading your newsfeed all over and adding new stuff whenever you can.

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