What is RSS?

You may have seen links on blogs you follow labeled "RSS". What are those links for and why should you care?

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. In short, it's an easy way for websites to provide a machine-readable version of all their posts.

Why this matters to you

RSS feeds mean that you can subscribe to your favorite blogs and get their updates without providing an email address.

If you install a program called a feed reader, you can provide it with links to the RSS feeds of your favorite sites.

Good feed readers

Here are some feed readers I recommend, based on your platform.

  • Any PlatformMozilla Thunderbird

    The best thing about Thunderbird is that it's both a mail program and a feed reader, meaning your emails and blog updates are both in the same program! This is the solution I use.

    Here's a guide from Mozilla to subscribing to feeds using Thunderbird.

  • GNU/Linux-basedNewsFlash

    NewsFlash's interface is intuitive, simple, and powerful. It has numerous high ratings and is open source, so any developers can inspect the code to search for bugs and security flaws and suggest fixes if they find them.

  • WindowsA list

    I have not personally used any feed readers on Windows other than Thunderbird, but here is a list of open source feed readers. There should be some good ones.

    If you find an option you like, let me know and I'll consider making it the main suggestion here!

  • Mac OS and iOSNetNewsWire

    I have never used Mac OS, but based on my research, NetNewsWire seems to be an excellent choice of feed reader. It matches the general aesthetic of the Mac OS system and seems to have a powerful interface.

    It is, like all of the other programs I've listed here, open source.

  • Android - Recommend something!

Your first RSS feed

This website has an RSS feed! Copy this link and plug it into your preferred feed reader. Congratulations, you will now receive updates about new articles as soon as they're posted!

Finding RSS feeds

Most websites that have an RSS feed will have a link either in the header or footer saying "RSS" or with the RSS icon.

RSS feeds may also be listed as "Atom feeds."

Even if you can't find a link, I've found that adding "/feed/" to the end of a website's domain will often provide you with one. For example:

Further Reading

Suggest changes to this page

If you see an error here or think you can improve this article, you can either contact me with details or propose changes to this file on GitHub.

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