What is a RSS feed anyway?
RSS is an abbreviation of Really Simple Syndication. What is it used for? It allows fans of your website content to subscribe to regular updates so that they don’t have to visit your site to know if you have added a new article or not. A really beneficial tool for your audience if they like what you have to say!
A RSS feed is written in XML coding language based, but don’t let this trick you into thinking ” its going to be reeeeeaaaaally difficult to add a RSS feed to my website “, it couldn’t be further from the truth!
You will find that the most popular news sites and blogs provide their readers with a RSS feed, what readers of blogs and news will use is a Feed Reader. To discover some feed readers that you can use please see the freeware page in the freebies section. Google Reader Firefox Reader
Why should I add a RSS feed to my website?
For any website creator, gaining regular traffic to your site can be difficult through organic searches, when you do manage to gain a visitor and they like what they see but their time is limited it would benefit the visitor greatly if they could quickly see what you are blogging about and this is an excellent way to bring repeat traffic to your site.
Think about it….every time a web surfer opens their RSS reader to get the headlines for all the sites they monitor, they’ll also see your site’s updates.
Export Your RSS Feed
So how do I add a RSS feed to my website easily?
One of the easiest ways to announce that you have a feed on your site is to use Googles FeedBurner.com. They provide a redirect URL (address) for your feed that your audience subscribes to.
The benefit is that if you move your blog and your RSS feed URL changes, you don’t have to worry about losing your subscribers because the redirect URL they provide stays the same.
FeedBurner provides several methods of announcing your RSS feeds and not just on WordPress as I will show how to add it here. You can display a traditional RSS button, rotate your feeds in banner-style on your web pages and more. When you setup a login and password you will see a screen
Simply enter your wesite domain name and feedburner will come back with an option for your feed ( if using wordpress usually comments and general website, depending on your purpose for your feed I recommend just going for the general one. )
What you will notice with feedburner is that there are a a looooooot of things you can do with feedburner! You can personalise your feed so it finds with your branding identity, show your rss feed in different ways, different locations and more! There is so much to do I might have to give another post about this later but for now, lets continue on adding RSS to your WordPress website. Next you will end up with a screen that has 4 tabs. Click on publicise at the top.
You will be given some options…for now we are going to create a rss feed that will fit into your sidebar or footer…so…click headine animatior at the top of the list to your left. This will bring a new menu up for you. Follow the instructions, changing the size of the rss feed to the desired size and also the colours so they fit into your websites brand.
Once you are happy with the feeds look directly below the sample that is animating is a drop down list to select the corresponding location for your rss feed. Select wordpress and then press the next radio button, this will bring up some lovely jubbly code for you. How nice of google!
They also provide the rest of the instructions to copy and paste that code into a text widget and place into the appropriate location whether a sidebar or a footer. So this is where I say tar tar for now and in my next blog post I will discuss the other fantastic features that feedburner provides to us web masters. Why not sign up to my rss feed below so you dont miss anything!