I have created an .xml file with 2 items linking to 2 announcements/news stories on the Conservation News page that I intend to update frequently in the near future. This .xml file has been validated.

I would like visitors to the page to be so entranced with the range of local stories that they want to be informed when new stories are posted. When I am so entranced when visiting other peoples pages I click the RSS icon and behold my Thunderbird in box is primed with messages bearing the current stories. Sometimes the subject (and a few words in the body) summarize the nature of the story so that I have to click the linked subject to see the whole story - and sometimes there it all is right in the body. I prefer the former because I really want people to visit the site.

Here's my problem: after googling till I'm cross-eyed I still haven't found what code lies behind the RSS icon on the sites I have visited that causes their stories to appear in my in box, or for that matter in my Firefox "feeds" or anywhere else. People talk about subscribing to news aggregators and third party services that will push my feeds to their clients (my supposition?) but at this stage I don't want their help. Maybe later, but right now I want the one time visitor to have cause to come back to me when I put up relevant stories or post updates on any of my pages.

BTW here is the page that I want to enable for RSS feeds (provided as illustration, not a plug!!!):


Can anyone supply the crucial missing piece of information or direct me to web resources that I have somehow missed?

Thank you very much!!


6 Years
Discussion Span
Last Post by al2henry

What you need is a (server-side) script that will turn your latest articles (from your database) into an (RSS feed) XML file. The resulting file can then be added to a feedreader, which checks regularly if there are updates to this file.

How did you make your site ? Did you use a CMS, or maybe made your own ? Are you using PHP on the server, or ASP.Net ?


Thanks for the reply. I built and maintain the site using a Dreamweaver .css as a starting point. I have no problem creating the .xml "items" as I need them - this doesn't need to be automated at this stage. Yes I have PERL and PHP available to me on the server and have used the server side PERL to run a script that I modified to mail form responses to me.

So where can I find the server side scripting to upload and how do I link it to the RSS icon on my page? How from there how do the feeds I have created end up in a subscriber's browser, in-box or other feed reader?

Sorry for all the questions but unless I understand how the chain works from "my" end to "their" end I guess I don't believe it exists :-)



If you look at the footer here: http://www.onderwaterwereld.org/ you'll see that it is just an image with a link to the xml file.

Most browser will let you subscribe to them, which means they check for updates by downloading that file again. Same for Outlook, Google Reader, etc.


Thank you Pritaeas - I see that the image links to /rss on your site - I have noted that on other sites. However it must be something more than enclosing the img src tag in an a href pair. When I do that for my site - I don't have something called "rss" only a file called "feed.xml". Naturally when I link the image to that the .xml file itself displays. This is obviously not what I want, and constitutes the gap in my understanding - there has to be something else I don't have i.e. some PERL or PHP that does something. Sorryto trouble you more, but can you shed a little light?




Compare your xml file to mine. Perhaps there is missing some information in it. If you right-click the rss icon, you can save the rss.xml file.

Btw, your xml feed opens nicely in my browser (Opera), so it appears correct. I am not sure if you have a google account. If you do, then you can add your feed to the iGoogle page, or to Google Reader.

Edited by pritaeas: n/a


Thanks again - I have the file and I am comparing what you have - I see there are many more tags allowed in the rss world than I have used. However since my file validated OK I am going to rename it "rss." I am looking at the source on your site (nice stuff by the way!)and see an rss div and I will try and model something similar, though I don't understand why the link doesn't open the file (the way mine did when I tried a simple link) but appears to execute something. The proof is that the contents of your file were not displayed and your feeds turned up in my in box when I did so. I still think I'm missing something!



Hi again Pritaeas - thanks for pointing me to your site and suggesting I model my page and file on your examples. By changing the file name from feed.xml to RSS (with no extension) and adding the full web address of the img src inside the "a href" pair of tags, everything now works.

I will come back to your example to add more tags to the .xml file and incorporate the mods for Atom clients etc. in due course. I guess I didn't realize that the intelligence to deal with RSS was built in to the browser and all the talk about scripts, programs and MySql databases had to do with the creation of a feed file - which I'm doing by hand with no problems.

Thanks for your patience!


Votes + Comments
Glad you figured it out.

One thing I forgot to mention than can be of use, is the rss link tag in the html's head. You can see it on the same page. It notifies the browser that there is an rss feed available.

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