The web has changed greatly over time. A relatively recent advancement is the ability to get new and updated website content automatically without actually going to that website. This is made possible through a technology called RSS.
This tutorial focuses on:
- What you should already know
- What is RSS?
- The purpose of RSS
- Who is RSS for?
What you should already know
Before learning RSS you should already have at least a basic understanding of working with tags in a markup language (HTML/XML). Check out our HTML tutorials if you are not yet familiar with this.
What is RSS?
RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. It is a way for webmasters to provide updates of their site's content to thousands of people automatically and for web users to automatically get the most recent updates to a website. With RSS, it's easy to share and view website content.
When we say 'the most recent updates to a website' it doesn't just mean the most recent pages added or changes made to existing pages, RSS goes far beyond that. You can also use RSS to get a site's most recent forum posts, most recent blog posts, most recent uploaded videos, most recent items at an online auction, and much more. The beauty of RSS is that it allows the webmaster and web user to get creative in terms of content.
The purpose of RSS
What's better? Doing things manually or automatically? The answer is obvious. Imagine the time it takes your website visitors to manually go to your site and check for updates. With RSS feeds, the process is automatic and much faster as well.
RSS was designed to speed up the process of getting a website's updates, and that is something it definitely does!
Who is RSS for?
RSS is for both web users and webmasters. It's really a win-win situation. Web users can get the updates to their favorite websites automatically and webmasters can provide updates of their site's content automatically.
RSS is especially useful for sites that update frequently:
- Video sites - RSS can be used for most recent videos added to the site, most recent videos uploaded by individual users, most recent comments on a video
- Blogs - RSS can be used for most recent posts, most recent comments on an individual post
- Auction sites - RSS can be used for most recent items on sale for the whole site, most recent items on sale in a single category
- Informational sites - RSS can be used for most recent pages added, most recent changes to existing pages