Finding a website's RSS feed is useful for a variety of reasons such as staying up-to-date on everything that a website publishes or promoting your content via social and emails channels using tools like Hootsuite or FeedOtter respectively.
While website RSS feeds are incredibly useful they can sometimes be hard to find. So we created this helpful post to show you where they hide on some of the most popular website CMS platforms such as WordPress, Drupal, and Expression engine. Even if you aren't sure what CMS technology a website is using these tips will surely help you better understand the world of RSS feeds and syndication, and help you find an RSS feed.
What is an RSS feed?
An RSS, or Really Simple Syndication, is a simple text file of content on your website that automatically updates when content is added. RSS feeds are universally supported in web standards and allows applications and users to follow updates from a website's content. Check out our knowledge base article for more information about how FeedOtter uses your RSS feed.
What does an RSS feed look like?
RSS feeds are "Nodes" that show title, description, images, links, published date, etc. Here's an example of our RSS feed.
Common RSS feed URLs
When trying to find an RSS feed, start with the most common URLs for your page. Many websites have a feed tag that can be appended to the base url. An example is any website built on WordPress where the RSS feed typically looks like this:
and when we enter this in a browser it shows us an RSS feed.
Add "/rss/" to the end of the website URL.
While not as common as "feed" some sites will cough up the RSS feed URL when you append "rss" to the end of the url as well. If the first option doesn't work this is a good 2nd tactic to try.
Find an RSS feed URL for a particular category or tag of content
WordPress by default will create RSS feeds for EVERYTHING so you can also find RSS feeds for various categories and tags of content. Here is an example of how to find category and tag content on a WordPress site.
To find an RSS feed URL that contains only content from a specific category the URL would look like:
Right click on the website’s page, and choose Page Source. In the new window that appears, use the “find” feature (Ctrl + F on a PC or Command + F on a Mac), and type in RSS. In this case the correct RSS feed is https://www.pardot.com/feed/
Note: It is very common for websites to offer a second RSS feed full of blog comments. These are typically not useful so be careful to skip any feed URLs that have the word 'comments' in their tag.
3. Finding an RSS feed URL for Joomla, Drupal, and Magento websites
While WordPress powers much of the web there are several other CMS systems that are less RSS-friendly.
Unfortunately these CMS systems don't enable RSS by default which means the site operator must explicitly create or enable an RSS feed that displays some or all of the site's content. If you know your website is running Joomla, Drupal, or Magento your best bet is to examine the source code of key pages (homepage, blog page, newsroom) and search for "rss".
If you are reading this and working on your own website you may need to ask your website developer to enable and/or create an RSS feed for you. I've put together several steps to help you create custom RSS feeds should this be your objective.
How to Create an RSS feed URL for your Drupal 8 website
eCommerce RSS feeds are super useful and can be used to tell customers about new products, specials, or even automate product-filled newsletters using a tool like FeedOtter.
4. Find an RSS feed for Expression Engine websites
While not holding a significant percent of market share the CMS expression engine is one of the most popular among business websites. If you are looking for the RSS feed from a company blog or newsroom, the following tips may be helpful.
These resources will help you set up RSS for ExpressionEngine:
While most sites on the web have an RSS feed to help promote and syndicate their content its not always the case. Hopefully this guide provided some insight into where RSS feeds most commonly reside and how to set them up if you're working on your own website and how to find an RSS feed.
Once in a blue moon, we receive a help request from a client concerned that FeedOtter is not selecting the correct image. In fact, it is one of our most common customer concerns, which is why this topic has moved from the “idea” file to actually creating this post. The end goal is to shed […]
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