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Fine Tuning the Website RSS Feed

First things first, what’s a website RSS feed?

RSS stands for RDF (Resource Description Framework) Site Summary, also known as Rich Site Summary and Really Simple Syndication.

So what’s it for?

Glad, you asked! A web feed allows users and applications to access updates to online content in a standardized, computer-readable format. So a user can keep track of different websites in a single news aggregator.

It becomes the news aggregators’ job to automatically check the web feeds for new content and display content to the user whenever the feed is updated. In essence, a user will not have to visit 10 different websites to find the latest content and glance over it. The web feed helps to make the whole process much easier to consume for avid readers.

RSS document is actually the feed also known as a web feed or the channel that includes summarized or full article/post content text and relevant metadata such as publishing date and authors name for example. RSS document uses a standard XML file format to ensure compatibility with other machines and programs.

The news aggregator is a different piece of software; it can be built into a website or installed on a mobile device and a desktop computer. All it does it allow users to enter RSS feeds URL and extract the provided content information from the feed to display to the users.

Here’s an example of XML format RSS feed

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″ ?><rss version=”2.0″><channel> <title>RSS Title</title> <description>This is an example of an RSS feed</description> <link>http://www.example.com/main.html</link> <lastBuildDate>Mon, 06 Sep 2010 00:01:00 +0000 </lastBuildDate> <pubDate>Sun, 06 Sep 2009 16:20:00 +0000</pubDate> <ttl>1800</ttl>  <item>  <title>Example entry</title>  <description>Here is some text containing an interesting description.</description>  <link>http://www.example.com/blog/post/1</link>  <guid isPermaLink=”false”>7bd204c6-1655-4c27-aeee-53f933c5395f</guid>  <pubDate>Sun, 06 Sep 2009 16:20:00 +0000</pubDate> </item> </channel></rss>

The code above isn’t that difficult to understand. There are specific tags used to explain titles, description, publishing date, and other Metadata. With Avoori, you don’t have to code your RSS feed. It automatically updates your RSS feed whenever you make a new post.

In fact, you get to improve your RSS feed without using much code. Avoori lets you customize your RSS feeds for how it will look to the end-user. It’s important to make customizations to RSS feeds because people generally visit websites to read posts and updates. However, regular readers prefer RSS feeds to read from the news aggregator software.

The following improvements let you add/remove a number of things from RSS feed to provide the user with a more website-like feel.

Display content before each post & Display content after each post

There are two separate options that let you add unique content before or after each post that’s displayed in the RSS feed reader. Both of these include identical ways to add content, so these are discussed below.

You can add any text but is more often used to add HTML content. Using HTML, you can add images, be it ads, banners, other marketing material or anything for that matter.

While entering your HTML content, you can use the following HTML tags as these are the only ones allowed strong, em, br, a href.

In addition, you can use Dynamic variables such as  %%sitetitle%%, %%tagline%%, %%post_author%%, %%post_permalink%%. These are placeholders that will display the post relevant information. For example, site title will display the Website Title whereas postauthor could be different for each post and will display the post author for each post.

Disable Comments RSS feed

Checking “Remove feed link in source code”  lets you remove the feed link from source code that disables comments RSS feed.

Disable Posts RSS feed

Checking “Remove feed link in the source code (default WordPress RSS feed)” removes the feed link from source code that disables default WordPress posts RSS feed.

Disable Extra RSS feed

Checking “Remove feed link in the source code (author, categories, custom taxonomies, custom post type, comments feed for a single post…)” removes the feed link of other extra RSS feeds.

Disable All RSS feeds

Checking “Disable all RSS feeds (all feeds will no longer be accessible)” will remove all the WordPress RSS feeds so upon browsing feed URL, it will no longer be accessible.

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