An RSS feed lets webmasters tease visitors into returning to their websites again and again to check out new content. Danny Wall explains how to set up this simple, automated, spamless way of getting Web surfers to come back for more.
While you may have a good grasp of RSS and what it is, stick with me for just a second and after we run over some preliminary stuff, we’ll move into creating an RSS feed of your own, for your website, using PHP.
RSS (which stands for Really Simple Syndication) is, at its core, a push technology that was developed by Netscape. It gives webmasters the ability to do two things: the first is to easily add content from other websites to their own, and it also easily allows webmasters to push their own unique content out to other people and other websites.
The use that will probably be the most exciting to you is that people who are sick and tired of the mountain of spam filling their inboxes, and tired of having to surf to dozens of sites to get the information they want, are turning to RSS--or more specifically an RSS reader, to obtain news and information on the latest updates to the blogs they follow. An RSS reader (such as the one that can be found at http://www.pluck.com) allows people to see all of the sites they follow in one convenient place and quickly and easily see if there’s anything new--and even what is new.
You can almost think of it as turning the Web into an email application, but without all the spam--because it lets you see which sites have new information in almost the exact same way you know if you’ve read an email or not.
This means that you can add new content to your site, and all of your visitors will know the content has been added and will know what was added. It also means that your own site content can be syndicated across the Web, driving traffic from a huge number of sites directly into your own.