RSS (Rich Site Summary, previously known as Really Simple Syndication) is a way for net savy users to stay in touch with the news and what’s going on their favorite websites in a quick way.
Unlike Business sites, blogs and news sites always keep getting updates and we cannot go to 50 sites and read everything on every day. This is where RSS comes in handy as it gives summary of each update on the website. Users subscribe to feeds and then use Google reader and other RSS reader applications to stay in touch. If they like the news/post they can open it from within RSS reader and go to site. This helps save time and also bandwidth.
Let’s see how we can easily burn a feed for our website or blog and manage it. The search Engine Giant Google, gives us an easy way to do that.
Step 1: Go to http://feedburner.google.com/ and Sign in
It will ask you for your Google username and password (which is same as your GMAIL).
Step 2: You will see a Burn a feed and then an empty field below it. You have to type your site’s address there. Click “Next”
Step 3: You will see Identify Feed Source screen and usually it will give you back two fields for feed. First one is simply site’s feed which is for site’s updates, second is for comments if you want to see comments in feed. We will choose site here and click next.
It will tell your feed title and address of feed where people can find your feed.
An example would be: http://feeds.feedburner.com/wplight/xbYF
It will show you a congrats screen informing you that your feed is live.
You can go to that address to check and it will show you list of programs with which you can subscribe to feed.
Coming back to Congrats screen, you can go to add additional feedburner stats from options or you can skip to feed management from here. Take some time to explore from here.
Email / Newsletter Subscribe
Now here some users might also want that their subscribers will get email whenever there is new update on the website. It is just like a newsletter which will pop in their inboxes when any updates goes in feed.
Here’s how we allow subscribers to get mail:
Go in feed management. You will see four tabs here:
Analyze (You will see subscribers and other stats here)
Optimize (You can manage podcasting and also itunes settings for your feed from here)
Publicize (Feed Counts and email subscriptions along with options of republishing your feed as an HTML page)
Troubleshootize (You can get tips and help to fix problems in your feed and ping it from here)
We go to Publicize section and click on Email Subscriptions which appear on left side in blue.
WE click on the activate button so that we allow users to subscribe by email.
It will show us the subscription code which we can insert on our site so that when users click on that they will be redirected to FeedBurner email subscription where they enter their email and confirm the request.
Copy the code and insert it on the website wherever you want it to appear. Scroll down the page and click save.
Email Subscribe for Genesis Theme Users
Those using Genesis theme, can install the Genesis eNews Extended plugin to easily add mail subscribe form to their sites. The Genesis eNews which came built-in the Genesis framework is now deprecated since Genesis 1.9 was launched. So we use this plugin.
After you install this plugin you can go to widgets and you can put the Genesis eNews Extended widget to your desired sidebar. It will open up a list of options which you have to fill.
The title will be the title of widget. Then the text which you want to be shown in the subscribe form. It will then ask you for your Feedburner ID. To find the ID, you go to Feedburner page and you go to the My Feeds section, which is usually shown right after you sign in. Then you click on the website feed of your site (Yes you can have more than one feeds here and each will have different id).
Open up the desired feed. In the URL Address bar, you will see your id, it will appear like this.
The xxx after the Id= is your Feedburner ID. Insert it in the widget of the plugin, and VIOLA! It works!!!
Your email subscribe form is ready and whenever you post something new on your site, you don’t have to worry about sending emails to each user you know.