How to display and read news feeds using a browser


Some Internet browsers including Internet Explorer will format and display RSS feeds for you.   This is how Internet Explorer displays RSS feeds:



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with each of the heading links being clickable and takes you straight to the link page where full information on the news item is displayed.   However, Google Chrome doesn't do this automatically and you just see the raw XML code like:


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which really isn't very helpful.  Unfortunately, with Windows 10, then new Microsoft Edge browser is even worst as it tries to download the RSS feed as a file like:



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and if you do download it and click the Open button, it opens in Windows Notepad by default and you see the same messy, confusing text as you do with Google Chrome.  Luckily, Chrome has an extension to format the feed so you can read and click on the links the same at in Internet Explorer called the Google Chrome RSS Subscription Extension which is shown below.


It's the same story on Google Chrome on Android but that gives you a message saying the Google Reader has been discontinued and you visit which is pointing users at news software/app called Feedly.



Google Chrome RSS Subscription Extension


To install the RSS extension in Chrome, then open Chrome and visit:


and install the extension using the 'Add to Chrome' button.  Now when you click on RSS feed icons or links it will format the feed for you and display in a human readable format with click able links:


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It also gives some options to subscription to the RSS feed so that you can receive continually updated news.  You also get some options to subscribe to links.




Subscribing to RSS feed and reading using desktop software

Reading a news feed using your browser (see above) is like visiting a website page.  You would have to bookmark and return to the same RSS feed URL to see what had changed, which you aren't really likely to do.  So you need a way to subscribe to a newsfeed and for new news items to automatically appear for you.  From a website operators point of view as you this is brilliant as you want to be able to push your news out to your customers/audience, especially if you are selling products or services.


You can subscribe to RSS news feeds using many email software programs for your desktop computer, so that you can read you emails and also get notified if any of the RSS news feed you subscribe to get updated with new news items.   RSS readers are often called news aggregators as they allow you to subscribe to several news feeds and then combine or aggregate them together.   In most cases, before you do this, you need to be able to find the address (URL) of the feed you want to use.  The RSS news feed for this website, for example, is:


Only when you have collected a feed address can you then paste it into your email program's RSS system.  For example, if you wanted to subscribe to our RSS feed, in your browser, right mouse click the RSS symbol at the bottom of any page, which looks like:



and then click on the 'Copy link' or 'Copy link address' option (depending on your browser) that appears.  This will copy the URL into memory ready to paste into your email program.  We give a couple of examples below with Microsoft Outlook and Windows Live Mail, but the process is similar in many email packages.   What then happens is that each feed becomes a folder and then you can see the numbers of new, unread, news items as they are added by the RSS feeds website owners.



Subscribing to news feeds with Microsoft Outlook


You can subscription to news feeds in all versions of Microsoft Outlook.  For example, in Outlook 2016 you can subscribe to news feeds by right mouse clicking on the 'RSS Feeds' link next to your mail account:


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which will prompt you for an RSS feed address:


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and then you can paste in the address and click on the 'Add' button to add the news feed.   Any new news items will then automatically get downloaded into your folder.


Subscribing to news feeds with Windows Live Mail 2012


There is a feeds icon on the menu for RSS:


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Click on this and the menu at the top changes, then use the Feed icon to add a feed:


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and then the news items appear:


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Subscribing to RSS feed and reading using your smart phone

Not all of us use our desktop computers for email and use our smart phones instead for the task, so this is also where you might subscribe to RSS feeds using an app instead.


If you have Android phone and visit an RSS feed URL you get a message that hte Google Reader has been discontinued,  which is not very helpful, and sends you to with a list of  alternative readers.   The main alternative seems to be Feedly which can be installed from the Play Store.


RSS feed subscription seems to be in the mainstream for desktop computer use via email clients.  Don't forget that RSS feed subscription is just one type of social media way of allowing your website users to subscribe to your news and to receive it on their desktop computers, tablets and mobile phones.  When it comes to mobile phones, then using Facebook and Twitter would be more favourable especially if your website is targeting consumers rather than business users.   You can obviously search for apps on your smart phone and install one so that you can subscribe to feeds from your phone.