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What is RSS?

Last modified: February 23, 2020


Really Simple Syndication (or Rich Site Summary), often shortened to RSS, uses web feed formats to publish content within a structured XML file to be syndicated to interested parties. This format allows for automatic distribution of data that is compatible across numerous devices and with different programs.

Data included within an RSS feed is usually a summary of blog posts from a single, or a collection of, websites. Usually, the summary doesn’t include an entire copy of the content, but rather the headlines and a summary.

This allows for users to regularly receive updates from sites that they love, without the need to manually check every day. Some email marketing providers, like MailChimp, offer their clients a chance to automate the process of RSS by sending blog summary updates out periodically. Alternatively, users and readers can subscribe to an RSS feed.

The feed readers, can be desktop based or be read on a browser. If your internet browser has a reader built into it, the reader will check the user’s feeds regularly for new data, summaries, etc. and downloads them.

Sometimes, RSS is seen as outdated. This has led to a new service known as Atom. However, RSS is still very popular with website users and therefore most sites offer RSS feeds. An RSS feed is automatically generated by WordPress websites. This is done in RSS 2 and Atom feed formats. WordPress themes then add tags to the code to allow for feed reading software to share it with their readers.

These readers are often interested in a specific topic, like web design, and subscribe to feeds that are based on these.

This WordPress tool is therefore very helpful in reaching new audiences. All you need to do is to create regular content and ensure that you have the right tags to be found by a larger audience. To increase the audience reach, you should also publish more content.

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