Finding a website's RSS feed is useful for a variety of reasons such as staying up-to-date on everything that 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.
The WordPress CMS powers more than 30% of the Internet, so if you're trying to find the RSS feed of a website your best bet is to assume the site is WordPress and try the following options:
and when we enter this in a browser shows us an RSS feed -which by the way looks like this:
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.
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:
In this example the category is 'content-creation' and the standard WordPress trick applies of "adding /feed/ to the end of things" gives you an RSS feed URL.
It is exactly the same for a WordPress tag RSS feed:
Looking at the HTML source code of a web page is another great way to quickly find the RSS feed.
Let's navigate to the Pardot blog at https://www.pardot.com/blog/
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/
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.
While WordPress powers much of the web there are several other CMS systems that are less RSS-friendly.
A quick look at the market share of most used CMS platforms reveals that Joomla, and Magento all power significant parts of the web.
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.
I recommend watching this great video walkthrough of how to create RSS feeds in Drupal it's up-to-date(2019) and illustrates how to turn any bit of Drupal content into a custom RSS feed.
For Joomla I would recommend installing an RSS plugin such as gsRSSFeed. This plugin will make setting up an RSS feed in Joomla as simple as possible.
Magento is an online storefront CMS used to sell things online. Magento has some great RSS functionality built in and excellent documentation on how to create custom RSS feeds so I recommend:
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.
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.