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The Art & Science of JavaScript ($29 Value FREE For a Limited Time)
The Art & Science of JavaScript ($29 Value FREE For a Limited Time)

Today's Tutorials

Rapid Mass Traffic

RSS was designed to share data like headlines, links and short descriptions of these.

RSS allows fast browsing for news and updates.

What You Should Already Know

Before you continue you should have a basic understanding of the following:

  • XML / XML Namespaces

If you want to study these subjects first, find the tutorials on our Home page.

What is RSS?

  • RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication
  • RSS allows you to syndicate your site content
  • RSS is a selected list of defined items on a site
  • RSS defines an easy way to share and view headlines and content
  • RSS files can be automatically updated
  • RSS allows personalized views for different sites
  • RSS is written in XML

Why Use RSS?

RSS was designed to show selected data.

Without RSS, users will have to check your site daily to check for newupdates. This may be too time-consuming for many users. With an RSS feed (RSS is often called a News Feed or RSS Feed) they can check your site faster using an RSS aggregator (a site or program that gathers and sorts out several RSS feeds).

Since RSS data is small and fast-loading, it can easily be used with services like cell phones or PDA's.

Web-rings with similar information can easily share data on their sites to make them better and more useful.

Who Should Use RSS?

Webmasters who seldom update their sites do not need RSS.

RSS can be useful for Web sites that are updated frequently, like:

  • News sites - Lists news with title, date and descriptions
  • Site changes - Lists changed pages or new pages
  • Companies - Lists news and new products
  • Calendars - Lists upcoming events and important days

The Future of RSS

RSS is going to be everywhere.

Thousands of sites use RSS and more people understand its usefulness every day.

By using RSS, information on the Web becomes easier to find and web developers can spread their information more easily to special interest groups.

Hopefully, future RSS versions will include additional fields that will make it even easier to categorize and share.

RSS (most commonly expanded as Really Simple Syndication) is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works—such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video—in a standardized format. An RSS document (which is called a "feed", "web feed", or "channel") includes full or summarized text, plus metadata such as publishing dates and authorship. Web feeds benefit publishers by letting them syndicate content automatically. They benefit readers who want to subscribe to timely updates from favored websites or to aggregate feeds from many sites into one place. RSS feeds can be read using software called an "RSS reader", "feed reader", or "aggregator", which can be web-based, desktop-based, or mobile-device-based. A standardized XML file format allows the information to be published once and viewed by many different programs. The user subscribes to a feed by entering into the reader the feed's URI or by clicking an RSS icon in a web browser that initiates the subscription process. The RSS reader checks the user's subscribed feeds regularly for new work, downloads any updates that it finds, and provides a user interface to monitor and read the feeds. RSS allows users to avoid manually inspecting all of the websites they are interested in, and instead subscribe to websites such that all new content is pushed onto their browsers when it becomes available. RSS formats are specified using XML, a generic specification for the creation of data formats. Although RSS formats have evolved from as early as March 1999, it was between 2005 and 2006 when RSS gained widespread use, and the ("") icon was decided upon by several major Web browsers.

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