The internet is a big place with billions of pages and thousands with more being created each day. With such a massive torrent of media being produced each day, it can be really hard to keep up with all your favorite websites and their updates. So, how do we solve this problem? This is where RSS comes in handy. You might have seen text or image buttons on various websites inviting you to “subscribe via RSS”. What does that mean exactly? What is RSS, what is RSS feed and their benefits? Well, here is a small explanation about it.
What is RSS feed?
RSS is short for Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary. RSS is all about reducing and simplifying the way you view and digest various contents on the internet. By reducing the desired content down to just what you really want, you can enjoy it on a larger number of platforms without worrying about the compatibility or display issues.
RSS feed allows you to keep track of when new content is posted, without requiring you to refresh the blog or podcast page every ten minutes until something new appears. You can just simply subscribe to the RSS feed and get the latest updates easily.
RSS feeds benefit those who actually own or publish a website as well since site owners can get their updated content to subscribers much more quickly by submitting feeds to various XML and RSS directories.
How do RSS feeds work?
RSS feeds are simple text files that, once submitted to feed directories, will allow subscribers to see content within a very short time after it is updated.
RSS is completely free, which makes it even more attractive to use. All you need is an internet connection and a program called an aggregator. An RSS aggregator also known as a feed reader is a program that runs in the background and constantly waits for your favorite website to post a new content. When the aggregator sees a new piece of content in that RSS feed, it will alert you to the change. It is a really simple way to view all your feeds at one time via one interface.
What are the benefits of RSS feed?
The main and the most important benefit of RSS feed is that RSS makes it easier for other people to subscribe to your content. In fact, using RSS feed is beneficial to both publishers and website visitors. To keep things simple I have listed a few of the benefits for both publishers and website visitors.
RSS benefits for publishers:
- Reaching new audiences through syndication
- Helps you build and nurture a loyal following around your website and content
- Improved SEO
- Easier and less expensive than email
- Additional way to communicate with more customers
RSS benefits for website visitors:
- Website visitors do not have to release personal information in order to subscribe to an RSS feed
- Users can control the content they wish to receive
- Faster method for scanning content (saves time).