Make your RSS feed easy to find, autodiscoverable even

If you have a web feed, be it RSS or Atom or JSON Feed, help others discover it!

There are 2 ways to help people find your feed.

Autodiscovery

The first way is autodiscovery. Autodiscovery makes it possible for browsers and other software to automatically find a site’s RSS feed. It enables you to copy and paste someone’s website URL into a feed reader and their feed(s) will get picked up automagically.

Adding my website URL into the Feeder android app discovers my atom feed
Adding the URL of my website into the Feeder android app picks my atom feed

To add autodiscovery, you need to add a link reference in the head of your website like this:

HTML
<head>
<!-- John Doh's website feed -->
<link rel="alternate"
type="application/rss+xml"
title="John's website"
href="https://johndoh.com/feed.rss">

</head>

Change the type depending on the format, for example if your feed is an Atom feed you will need to change it to type="application/atom+xml". If you have various formats for the same feed, you can include them too. Each must identify a different file.

Personally, I put autodiscovery links on every single page on my site. This allows RSS clients to find my sites’s feeds from any page.

You can include autodiscovery links for different data sources too. You may have a feed for your book reviews, your favourite crisp flavours worldwide, your podcast, on whatever. If you decide to include more than one autodiscovery link, the first link should be the site’s main feed.

Adding adactio.com (Jeremy Keith) into the Feeder android app finds various different feeds
Adding adactio.com into the Feeder android app finds various different feeds for Jeremy Keith's content.

The second method is to put a link to your feed in a prominent position on your website. I like to have it on every page, so I chose the footer. You could choose the header too.

I think adding another link to your feed close to the content is a good idea too.

There is an RSS icon that was chosen by browser vendors back in the day, it has become synonymous with all web feeds. You can use it or not. It goes a little something like this…

RSS logo

I think employing that orange colour scheme can be a good shout too if you want to make some other design choices.

Final thoughts

And cool, people will be able to read your thoughts, in a nice way, and just your published thoughts, which is refreshing in this day and age. Hope to subscribe to ya soon.

P.S. Here’s mine https://www.roboleary.net/feed.xml!

Tagged