A Simple Guide to RSS…
RSS, or "news feeds", allow you to find out when websites update their content. As this means that you don’t have to keep checking websites to make sure you haven’t missed something, they can be very useful.
The use of RSS has become increasingly common online over the past couple of years. For example, the BBC allow you to sign up for an RSS feed in a number of places on their website – I can ask to be notified when there is a piece of news on Swansea City added, or simply receive the daily weather forecast.
We’ve included RSS feeds in a number of places in the new Church in Wales website so that you can sign up to be notified when we update sections. We hope that this allows you to choose to be notified when we update the website without any of the fuss and bother of signing up to a mailing list.
Where will I find RSS Feeds on the Church in Wales website?
At the moment the current sections allow you to sign up to an RSS feed:
- On the home page, you can sign up to an RSS feed of News and Events (this is what you see in the left-hand column on the home page).
- In the Press section, you can sign up to an RSS feed of recent provincial press releases.
- In the Bible this week section (Under Faith), you can sign up for an RSS feed of our weekly biblical reflection.
- The new Llandaff and Monmouth diocesan websites also allow you to sign up to RSS feeds for their News and Events, Press Releases and Vacancies.
I want one! How do I sign up for an RSS feed?
There are a number of ways in which you can sign up to an RSS feed, and which way you choose will depend on the way in which you use the internet. The most important factor to note is that all of the ways we discuss in this guide are free of charge, and there is no need to pay anything in order to access RSS feeds.
(Please note, however, that some companies offer specialised software to incorporate RSS feeds into other programs, such as Microsoft Outlook, and these sometimes do involve paying a small fee for the software.)
In a browser
There are two main ways in which you can sign up to an RSS feed. Firstly, the latest browsers (that’s the program you use to look at the internet) – Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari – all allow you to sign up to an RSS feed in the browser itself. Click on the links to our guides in the left-hand column if you want more information on this way of using RSS.
This is the simplest way to use RSS feeds, but it does have the downside of only working in the browser that you set it up on. If you often move between different computers, for example, then you’ll only be able to access your RSS feeds on one machine. This can be frustrating if you regularly move between, say, a work and a home machine.
The second way to access RSS feeds is to sign up to a service such as bloglines.com (newsalloy.com and Google Reader offer similar services, and this is by no means a comprehensive list), and this will allow you to access your feeds on any machine. Signing up for this service is somewhat similar to signing up for an email address online – you have to give a number of details, and then receive a username and password, with which you can login on any machine online and view your RSS feeds. Again, click on the link to the tutorial on the left if you'd like to see more about this.
Please note that you can sign up to or remove an RSS Feed at any time you like – there is no commitment involved. People will frequently sign up for a lot of RSS feeds to start with, and slowly remove feeds until they’ve found the feeds that are most useful to them. We don’t mind at all if you sign up for one of our feeds and then decide that you don’t really need it.