One of the downsides of using a “static” website for Lowell.com and Burbank.com was that they don’t automatically come with RSS feeds built in to them like platforms such as WordPress. The options I had were to create one by hand or to purchase a program/script that automatically creates a feed and updates it. As you can see by these two sites, I like to manage things by hand, so I wanted to create a RSS feed for each site.
These days, everyone uses RSS feeds in some way, and it can drive a considerable amount of traffic to your website. Not only do people (you probably) have RSS feed readers, but Google and Yahoo also use RSS feeds to get news for delivery via their alert system. I use Google for alerts on just about everything related to Burbank and Lowell, and in order to have your articles automatically pinged to potential visitors, you need a feed.
Anyway, I have very little technical knowledge – or as I like to say, “I am technically stupid,” so I posted a note asking for info on a couple of domain boards. Don Williams (aka biggiedon ) a moderator on DN Forum sent me a link to a great site that taught me how to build my own feed by hand. It walked me through all the details, and then led me to a Feed Validator, which said the feeds are working (albeit with a couple minor issues).
While I do know much more can be added to RSS feeds than just the title, description, and link, I am hopeful that this will be another method to growing my traffic. I’ve heard that Google loves RSS feeds because it leads them to new content. As I write articles for my sites (and eventually source this writing), I hope it will lead to Google visiting more often, driving more visitors to my sites.
Check out the finished feeds:
Missing in your RSS fee are the dates of the posts.
***UPDATED BY ELLIOT***
That is true… is this important?
Once we finish with a feed, we publish it to Feedburner (which it looks like you’re doing already with this blog). It will validate it, then you can use their Chicklet widget to generate the feed for feedreaders like Google, Yahoo, etc. Plus when users view the feed, they can choose which Chicklets they want to use…
Dates are important for RSS feeds as feed readers – whether a site like Google Reader -OR- if your feed is republished elsewhere – will drive off of it.
Also an advantage to using Feedburner is that people can subscribe by email, which about 10% of my subscribers do. If you do use Feedburner, using the free MyBrand function is essential!
***UPDATED BY ELLIOT***
Thanks for the tips!! I set it up in my Feedburber account and added the dates to the posts.
Yes, dates are important too for getting your RSS feeds indexed, just as are frequent updates.
RSS feeds and corresponding pings (to tell the various feed search engines that you’ve updated your site) are still a great way to get major parts of your sites indexed quickly.
You should/could use CARP — http://www.geckotribe.com/rss/carp/
I’ve used it and it works great for us non-programmers.
Elliot here are some other non-techie tools that you can use for getting RSS Feeds onto a site and for getting Video & Audio onto any type of a site, such as a website, a blog, a video blog, facebook, Myspace page, etc.
rss 2 html
Adding Video & Audio to anything http://nexmillenia.pubclip.com
You can also see these simple technologies at work on my sites of http://www.DomainingForMe.com & http://www.TheWhoa.com/index.php
Yes! You realy helped me a lot. 🙂
But you should re-check your finished feeds, i received a validator error concerning the “&” – character. Just to be sure.
However, great work. Thank you!
Thanks! All fixed
Thanks mate for usefull information on rss feed. My website is a static website … so all information on rss really helping me alot 😀
Hi, I use a static site generator for my blog (www.alexanderle.com) and ran into this problem.
I decided to created an RSS feed from scratch and it works great! Pretty easy if you have access to the template system or database.
Check out the guide at http://alexanderle.com/blog/2012/04/11/create-an-rss-feed-from-scratch.html !