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What is an RSS feed and how do I use it?

RSS is an acronym used to describe a method for aggregating and exporting site content. Also known as a web feed, RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication.” It is a means of exporting information from a website and integrating it into another site. Specific code is integrated into the web page that allows the creators of the page to syndicate their content, and this in turn allows outside users to take the content and put it elsewhere on the web. Most pages will display the orange RSS icon (shown to the right) when that page has an RSS feed you can subscribe to.

Site owners use RSS feeds to pull outside content into their websites because it’s a means of keeping their site fresh without having to create the content themselves. Every time the source site is updated, the site a feed is pulled into is updated as well. A site receiving an RSS requires special code to integrate and display the content. In Joomla there are simple plugins we can use to quickly set up one or more RSS feeds.

Users pull RSS feeds into readers as a way of organizing all their blog reading into one place. Again, every time the source feed is updated, your reader marks the new article as unread, and you know there is something new to view.

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