What is RSS? What does this RSS feed stand for? This is one of the most common question among new comers in blogging world. I, myself had to struggle a lot to figure out what is this all about? Is it actually necessary to have an RSS feed in your blog? If yes then how should I go with it? Ah! Lot of questions right? This is exactly what my situation was when I started my blogging journey. So I thought why not create a post on ‘What is RSS’ and define its’ ins and outs.
What is RSS?
RSS is an abbreviation which stands for Rich Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication (both indicate the same thing). It is technically formatted for delivering continuously changing website content. In simple words, it is a technology which summarizes new website content in headlines with snippets as a RSS feed which is available for everyone who wants it.
As an example, how do you track your favorite websites? You simply bookmark them and for updates every time you need to visit the websites, right? RSS makes your life simply here. RSS feed enables you to get notified every time a website publishes a new content. You can simply use any of the feed reader such as NewsFire, Feedly, Newsblur, feed demon, NetNewsWire and more.
This is largely effective for the news and blogging stuff, as the frequency of new content is much higher. If you are subscribed RSS feed pings you whenever a new content arrives.
Benefits of using RSS feeds and why you should:
What if you love to get updated information from many websites? Say the number is 10. If you check them through bookmark, it is not only tedious but time consuming as well. And there are chances you will miss one of them quite often. It is always a good thing to stay at home and get the information rather than moving places to collect them. RSS does it for you. If you are subscribed to websites, you do not need to visit them to see whether there are any updated content. By any feed reader you can check all of them without visiting.
How to use RSS:
You just need a reader. Google reader happened to be the best feed reader and people used it the most. The service got shut down on Jul 2, 2013. But still there are some great alternatives of Google reader available. I prefer using feed demon and NewsFire.
From webmasters perspective it is very much important to offer feeds for their readers. And the best way to do that is through Feedburner. I have written a complete guide on How to Set up Feedburner Rss Feed For WordPress Blog.
How to subscribe to website feeds?
When you are in your favorite site you will see an Orange Feed Icon. It comes in many shapes and sizes. Click on it and that will lead to a page which will have options to subscribe to feeds. Choose your favorite one.
I suggest you to click on Yahoo homepage. It’s the best one out there right now. Click save and you are done configuring your feed. Save http://my.yahoo.com/ and open it whenever you want to see updates while logged in to your Yahoo email account.
I hope this will help you to get clear idea about what is RSS. If you still have any queries regarding what is RSS and how to subscribe to any RSS feed, please comment.