This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy thru these links, we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.
Talk about a confusing topic!…
To read RSS feeds, do you need a “news reader”, an “aggregator” an “RSS reader” or a “newsfeed reader”?
What exactly is an RSS feed reader, you ask?
Following is everything you need to know about RSS feeds, including:
- Why you should subscribe to RSS feeds for all of your favorite websites in the first place.
- The easiest way to subscribe to RSS newsfeeds.
- How to choose the best RSS feed reader for your needs, and a list of the best FREE news readers.
What Is An RSS Feed?
You may have seen these before & wondered what they mean or how to use them:
All of those are called news feeds.
And everyone should be taking advantage of free RSS feeds like these.
So you can view the recent articles from all of your favorite websites in ONE place — without having to go to the individual websites directly all the time!
It’s the best way to stay organized and glance through the latest info from all of your favorite sites.
Why You Should Subscribe To RSS Feeds
In this day & age, most people visit a lot of websites on a regular basis. It’s nearly impossible to keep them all straight, let alone to remember to check each and every one of them each and every day.
Yet, if they’re really your favorite sites, then you will want to be kept in the loop of what’s going on at those sites. Most importantly — you will know whenever a new article has been added to a website you love.
RSS Feeds eliminate your need to remember to check all of your favorite websites for the latest articles.
Even if you’re brand-spanking new to computers and things like “HTML” and “downloads” tend to intimidate you, RSS feeds are very simple to subscribe to — because there’s no HTML required, and nothing to download!
What you will see:
- A headline (for the most recent articles at a specific website)
- A brief description under each headline (which describes what each article is about)
- A link (so you can click and go directly to the titles that interest you most)
Where you will see it:
On one single page within the RSS feed reader of your choice (see list of RSS readers below).
The RSS reader simply compiles all of the above info from your favorite sites that have enabled RSS (such as blogs and other sites with content that changes regularly) and streams that content for you all on one page.
So, the first thing you need to do is to select an RSS feed reader…
A List Of Free RSS Readers
These rank among the best free RSS feed readers:
- Chrome “RSS Subscription Extension” (an add-on for the browser itself)
- Firefox “Live Bookmarks” (built into the browser itself)
- my.Yahoo (great for beginners)
- Flipboard (can be customized to your unique interests)
- Feedly (my personal favorite)
Yahoo Bonus Tip: If you have a free Yahoo e-mail account, then you also have access to a free MyYahoo homepage. With MyYahoo, the process of subscribing to RSS feeds is even easier because you’ve got a built-in news reader/aggregator… Simply copy the URL of the RSS feed you wish to subscribe to in MyYahoo (“Add Content” – then “Add RSS by URL”) …and the news feed is immediately added to your MyYahoo homepage!
Where To Find The RSS Feeds For Different Websites
Once you’ve decided on an RSS feed reader, then go to your favorite websites and look for the following somewhere on the page:
- Subscribe (NOTE: this is different from subscribing to an email newsletter.)
Sometimes it’s hidden under the phrase “Syndicate This Site”.
You can also look for a bright orange RSS button.
Here are some examples of RSS feeds:
In addition to major news & information sites like these, just about every website on the Internet today has an RSS feed.
Many provide RSS feeds for the headlines from particular sub-categories within their site, while most simply provide the feed for their main homepage headlines.
How To Subscribe To An RSS Feed
When you click on the RSS button/link, you will see a bunch of jibberish… Don’t worry, it only makes sense to the RSS reader programs.
All you’re interested in is the URL address up at the top. Copy that http address and then paste it into your RSS feed reader.
Exactly where you’ll paste the URL varies from RSS reader to RSS reader, but generally it’s under “Add a Site” or “Subscribe” or something like that.
It’s as easy as that!
Then, as often as you wish, you can check your newsfeed reader to see all of the new articles that have been posted to your favorite websites.
Many people check their RSS feed reader as often as they check their email. Others simply check the RSS reader once a day… once a week… or whenever they’re bored.
I got my first computer in 1986 and immediately started writing, saving documents, and organizing my entire life on it. Thus began my love affair with gadgets and all things tech. I built my first website in 1998 in old-school HTML code — before websites were "a thing". Blogs weren't invented yet. It was the same year that Google was born. My husband and I created TheFunTimesGuide.com in 2004 — before YouTube, Twitter, Reddit, and Mashable were launched. That was the year Facebook started and 'blog' was the Word of the Year according Merriam-Webster. Ever since then, anytime a new electronic gadget hits the market… I have to have it. (My husband's impulsive nature to try out every new tech gadget invented is even worse than mine!) When I'm not trying out fun new tech gadgets, you'll find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).