Easy Guide: How do I subscribe to an RSS feed?

At the moment, we have the following RSS feeds:

UPDATE: All of these can now be followed using our subscription service which sends an email when updates are available. Or you can still use the raw RSS feeds, as described below. 

 

RSS [Really Simple Syndication] feeds are a very common way of allowing website users to keep track of new content. If you have subscribed to an RSS feed, every time new content is added to the page[s] covered by that feed, you’ll receive an alert.

An example of an RSS icon
There are several different designs of RSS icons, but they are all very similar. Usually, clicking on this takes you to the RSS feed.

 

Why bother with RSS feeds?

There may be content on the website you want to be reminded about when it gets updated. For example, if a new Prayer Diary or news bulletin is added to the site, and you want to include it in your parish magazine, subscribing to the appropriate RSS feed will save you having to keep checking. As we set these new feeds up, we'll let you know. You can see the RSS feeds we've got set up at the top of this page. 

 

How do I subscribe?

There are several different ways to subscribe, depending on the browser you use, or whether you are using a laptop/desktop computer or a tablet or smartphone. Every single one of these is easy to set up, though they do offer slightly different features. This Easy Guide explains how to access RSS feeds via:

  • Firefox
  • Google Chrome
  • Internet Explorer
  • Safari
  • Android and iPhone / iPad devices
  • or via a stand-alone RSS reader

Here's a quick video introducing RSS. This page contains a number of YouTbue videos about subscribing to RSS. 

 

Firefox

Firefox is one of the easiest browsers for using RSS. Simply click on the RSS icon and Firefox will open a page like this:

Click on “Subscribe now” and it will add the feed to your bookmarks toolbar, making it very easy to see when new pages are added to that feed.

 

Google Chrome

To view an RSS feed in Chrome, you will need to download an app from the Chrome Web Store. RSS Feed Reader works well:

Chrome toolbar

You will need a Google account, but once you have signed in, you can download this app in a couple of click. It will follow the RSS feeds you tell it to, and will display a handy icon on your toolbar to tell you how many new items there are to read.

 

Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer is as easy as Firefox. Simply click on the RSS icon, and you’ll be taken to page like this:

Click on the “Subscribe to this feed” link.

 

Now click on “Subscribe”, and that’s it. To view the feeds you’ve subscribed to, click on the IE menu on view / explore bars / feeds, or press Ctrl + Shift + G.

 

Safari

If you want to add an RSS feed through Safari, by default it will open up your email client, e.g. Microsoft Outlook. That’s because RSS feeds can be followed like an emails in an email account.  This means that new content, such as blog posts, will appear in your inbox like a new email.

This is a very easy way to keep a record of all the new content, of who published it and when.

If you want advice on how to set up an RSS feed in MS Outlook, visit this link:

http://www.google.co.uk/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=adding+rss+to+ms+outlook&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&gfe_rd=cr&ei=2N5oVOKcDfPH8geh8YKwBA

If you have a different email client, type its name and the words “setting up rss feed” into Google, and you should be able to find similar advice.

 

Tablets and mobile phones

Of course when it comes to tablets and phones, there are dozens of options on multiple different operating systems. The ones below work well, but there are plenty of good alternatives.

 

Android

Try RSS Feed Reader.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.news.rssfeedreader&hl=en

Once you’ve installed it, you’ll need to type or paste in the web address of the RSS feed once, e.g. www.westyorkshiredales.anglican.org/?q=children-youth-blog-rss.xml

[You can spot RSS feeds because they end in .xml when you look at the address bar.]

I love this app as it sends my phone a notification - like getting a text message - every time a news story is published. 

 

iPhone / iPad

xFeed RSS Reader, from Nothing Everywhere, works well on my iPad. If you type its name into the App Store search engine, you can install it from there.

As with the Android option above, you need to paste or type in the name of the address of the RSS feed to set it up. 

 

Stand-alone RSS Feed Readers

You can also download a stand-alone RSS reader. You'll find a selection of reviews of RSS readers on this website, this website and another on this website.

One example is RSS Owl which runs on both Windows and Mac. Download the RSS Owl, and install it on your PC or Mac. Then follow the instructions provided. 

This is the first thing you'll see when you open RSS Owl after installing it. Add the approrpriate url in where it says "Import Feeds from a File or Website". For example: 

http://www.westyorkshiredales.anglican.org/?q=children-youth-team-blog

would go there. 

 

 

 

 

Once you've done that, it will upload all the relevant posts like this: