Make-an-RSS-feed-from-sites-that-don't-offer-one

Since the announcement that Google Reader will be shut down, people started piling on about the death of RSS. RSS feeds were and always will be a fairly popular way to get updates from your favorite sites. Although most people have moved to Twitter to get instant updates. But RSS feeds are still popular with media and tech enthusiasts who are comfortable with scanning through hundreds of headlines to stay update about their areas of interest.

Some websites, however, don’t provide an option to subscribe via RSS. Feed43 offers the ability to examine and extract posts from these sites and create an RSS feed from them.

There are three main steps in creating an RSS feed from websites that don’t offer them. We go over these below in detail to grab articles from a website regardless of whether they offer an RSS feature.

Make a Feed with Feed43

Create a new feed by heading to this link. Accept the terms of using the service to begin.

Step 1: Opening the website URL

Enter the website URL and click “Reload” to proceed.

Enter-the-URL-to-use-in-Feed43

The source of the pages URL will display, which we’ll use for reference in the following steps.

Step 2: Define search patterns

The Global Search Pattern is used to locate a list of items within the page that are separate from other items. Define a term here to ensure you reach the area of the page you’re intended to work with. Learn more about this here.

We’re going to skip this step because the URL we’re working with only has one set of news articles, eliminating the need to differentiate between multiple portions of the page.

The Search Pattern section is used to describe the repetitive action Feed43 should take to find the appropriate articles to display in the RSS feed. These works be defining variables in the form of “{%}.”

View-the-page-source-of-the-URL-in-Feed43

The above image contains everything we need to work with for this section. In your own Page Source, look for an article or post that will be desirable to have in the feed. Every post should look identical to the first one except the words – such as the URL, content, and title.

Because we need these three things to make an RSS feed, we’ll begin with the URL.

Find-the-URL-pattern-of-posts-to-be-used-in-the-RSS-feed

We see the URL for all the posts from this site contain a similar pattern.

“print-href”>URL</p>

OR

“print-href”>{%}</p>

Notice the first example shown above can be altered to contain the necessary Feed43 variable, the “{%}.” This will need to be entered in the Step 3 section like so, to replace the actual static content:

Enter-the-URL-variable-pattern-in-Step-2

We mentioned a feed contains three things, so after the URL, we’ll find the static string used for the content.

The content in each of these particular articles is summarized between paragraph tags.

<p>CONTENT</p>

OR

<p>{%}</p>

Because we’ve already made one set of search patterns for the URL, we need to add a separator value: “{*}”

Enter-the-content-preview-variable-pattern-in-Step-2

Finally, we need to find where the title of each post is located.

Find-the-pattern-where-post-titles-are-found-in-the-page-source-to-be-used-in-the-RSS-feed

For this example, the title is easy to find.

rel=”bookmark” title=”TITLE

OR

rel=”bookmark” title=”{%}

Add the separator value once more before including the title variable.

Combine-all-three-of-the-variables-in-Step-2

Step 3: Feed details

Enter a title, link to the website, and feed description for additional information for subscribers.

Enter-feed-details-for-the-RSS-feed-like-a-title,-link,-and-description

Now that we have three sets of variables, we need to tell Feed43 what they are, so it knows how to describe them in the RSS feed.

Notice-the-variables-that-have-been-assigned-to-the-different-sections-from-Step-2

Look under the Clipped Data section from Step 2 to see something similar to the above image. Notice that each section we defined in Step 2 has been assigned its own variable number.

Under “RSS item properties,” enter the appropriate variable for each section.

Enter-the-individual-variables-defined-in-previous-steps

Click “Preview” in Step 3 to ensure the feed looks correct.

Step 4: Getting the feed URL

Copy-your-RSS-feed-URL-in-Step-4-to-get-updates-when-the-site-is-updated

The final step is to simply copy the feeds XML link for use in an RSS reader. Make an account to save the feed to your account to easily edit the details at a later time.

Conclusion

Feed43 is superb for defining an RSS feed for a website that doesn’t offer it. I’ve only run across a handful of such websites in all my Internet research, but it’s quite upsetting to have to manually check a site for updates.

If you are wondering whether RSS Still matters, read this fantastic post by Kristi Hines to know why RSS still is a highly effective tool in the right hands.

If you’re looking for a free reader, consider reading our reviews about the AOL or Digg RSS Reader.

Visit Feed43.