RSS Feeds using Joomla!
RSS stands for Rich Site Summary, and is a format which is used to deliver regularly altering web content. For example, several news-websites, blogs and online publishing sites provide RSS links so that internet users can easily get to know about any updates in their websites. For people who regularly surf the Internet, RSS feeds are an efficient and simple way of staying updated about the latest news, without having to visit the websites every time. The RSS feed automatically retrieves the latest updates from the websites and displays it in the feed. RSS users can protect their privacy, by not having to join the websites mailing list and be victimized by hundreds of unwanted newsletters, just for the sake of staying informed. There are several different RSS readers available on the Internet which can support different platforms like Linux, Windows or Mac.
Joomla, on the other hand, is a popular Content Management System (CMS), which is utilized for developing and building web sites and other web based applications. It is hugely popular due to the fact that it is simple, flexible and easy to use, even by people without extensive technical knowledge. Joomla is an open source platform, which is freely available. Joomla has an inbuilt RSS aggregator, called the ‘syndicate’, so there is no real need of downloading any extension. However, there are a couple of other options also, which may be used to include RSS feeds in a website. The Syndicator can display news or updates ordered by categories.
The first step is to log into the administrator account of the Joomla web page, and go to the News Feeds option from the Components option. From the Manage Categories option, a new category is added by clicking on the New option. A page appears where the administrator will have to provide different information regarding the new feed category that is to be included in the web page. The different fields that need to be filled up include the Category Title, where the user needs to enter the name of the category as he wants it to appear in the menu; the Category Name, which shows the name of the feed in the web page; the Image field can be used to insert any image related to the feed category; the Access Level can be used to limit the access to the feeds only to certain users. All the field names are self-explanatory. After all the required fields have been filled up, the page is saved.
The next step is to find a suitable website, which provides the facility to syndicate their content, and then decide on the feeds that should be included in the site. Websites which have the RSS logo, provide the RSS feed facilities. Most news sites, blogs, fan archives, and gaming forums provide RSS feeds. After selecting the required RSS feed, paste the link in the Link field in the Manage News Feeds page. There are a number of other parameters, such as maximum articles or updates allowed, or cache time. Then the settings are saved. After this, the website is ready to receive RSS updates.
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