How to Add an RSS Feed to a Web Page

Connect your RSS feed to your web pages

RSS feed symbol, white network sign on orange background, shown on a keyboard
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RSS, which stands for Rich Site Summary (but is also often known as Really Simple Syndication), is a commonly used format for publishing a "feed" of content from a website. Blog articles, press releases, updates, or other regularly updated content are all logical candidates for getting a RSS feed. While not as popular as these feeds were a few years ago, there is still value in turning this regularly updated website content into an RSS feed and making it available to your site's visitors – and since it's also pretty easy to create and add this feed, there is really no reason not to do so on your website.

You can add an RSS feed to an individual web page or even add it to every page in your website should that be what you decide to do. RSS enabled browsers will then see the link and allow readers to subscribe to your feed automatically. This means that readers will be able to get updates from your site automatically, instead of always needing to visit your pages to check if anything is new or updated.

Additionally, search engines will see your RSS feed when it's linked in the HTML of your site. Once you've created your RSS feed, you'll want to link to it so your readers can find it.

Link to Your RSS with a Standard Link

The easiest way to link to your RSS file is with a standard HTML link. I recommend pointing to the full URL of your feed, even if you normally use relative path links. One example of this using just a text link (also called anchor text) is:

Subscribe to What's New

If you want to get fancier, you can use a feed icon along with your link (or as the standalone link). The standard icon used for RSS feeds is an orange square with white radio waves on it (it is the image used in this article). Using this icon is a great way to let people immediately know what that link goes to. At a glance, they will recognize the RSS icon and known that this link is for an RSS 

You can put these links anywhere on your site that you want to suggest people subscribe to your feed.

Add Your Feed to the HTML

Many modern browsers have a way to detect RSS feeds and then give the readers an opportunity to subscribe to them, but they can only detect the feeds if you tell them they are there. You do this with the link tag in the head of your HTML:


Then, in various locations, the Web browser will see the feed, and provide a link to it in the browser chrome. For example, in Firefox you'll see a link to the RSS in the URL box. You can then subscribe directly without visiting any other page.

The most effective way to use this is to add the

into the head of all your HTML pages with an include.

RSS Usage Today

As I mentioned at the start of this article, while still a popular format for many readers, RSS is not as popular today as it once was. Many websites that used to publish their content in RSS format have stopped doing so and popular readers, including Google Reader, have been discontinued due to ever dwindling user numbers. 

Ultimately, adding a RSS feed is very easy to do, but the number of people who will subscribe to that feed is likely to be small because of this format's lower popularity these days.