21 Days

Day 20 – RSS Feeds that work

If you have ever published an iWeb site then you will know that iWeb already comes with the ability to set up an RSS feed for your site. The trouble is that it isn’t that great. Its reliability is patchy at best even when you host your iWeb site on MobileMe and it isn’t at all customizable. If you could at least have your RSS feed appear in the same colors as your iWeb site that would be a start wouldn’t it?

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Using iWeb’s RSS feed is simple, it’s just a case of adding your URL to the right box when you publish your site.

But now we have just spent the last 19 days designing our dream iWeb sites don’t you think they deserve better? That is where FeedBurner comes in. FeedBurner is the No 1 RSS maker period. There are not many blogs or private sites that don’t use it, and why not, it’s free.

FeedBurner are brilliant at what they do and getting a professional looking RSS feed for your iWeb site isn’t difficult either.

To start with you will need a Google account, which shouldn’t be a problem if you have been following this 21 Days program as you would have needed one so that you could do all of your SEO a few days ago. In the top-right of the screen when you log-in to Google is the option to view your account. Click on the link and then scroll down until you find the link for FeedBurner. Now all you have to do is add the URL of the RSS Feed that iWeb gives you (for that you will have to publish your site once with the RSS feed and view it) and you will then be given a FeedBurner URL that you can use as a link.

I published a tutorial way back in September 2008 that covers adding a FeedBurner RSS link to iWeb in more detail.

Once you have the link for your RSS feed it is now just a case of adding an icon to your iWeb site and use Inspector to add a hyperlink to it. The more prominent your RSS icon the more likely you are to get subscribers so make sure it is the rightsize and in the right place.  Don’t forget too that you can add the link to your SexyBookMarks that were shown in yesterday’s tutorial.

If you are having trouble finding some RSS icons here are a few sites you could try (click the image to visit the site).




So why do you need an RSS feed on your web site?

Think of it as a reminder for your visitors. Okay so not everyone of them will subscribe but it will only take one useful snippet of information and the chances of them clicking on your RSS icon will be greatly enhanced. But what happens then when they forget all about you? The way RSS works is that every time you add a new post to your blog or a new page to your site your subscribers will get to hear about it automatically, and that should bring them back to your site, if only for a few minutes.

Why should you use FeedBurner?

Well as I said above they are great at what they do, probably the best. Not only that but it is free and you know when you get to that stage when you put Google Adsense on your iWeb page, well because FeedBurner is part of Google you can put those ads in your RSS feed too.

Now your RSS feed is sorted out you may begin to wonder why you ever went with MobileMe in the first place. Tomorrow is the last day of the 21 Days to a Better iWeb Site program and we will be covering ways to make your iWeb site suitable for the mobile screen, see you then.


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  1. Hi Tim, I am finding your stuff really useful, but this is a rare case of reader assumption.

    … “Now all you have to do is add the URL of the RSS Feed that iWeb gives you (for that you will have to publish your site once with the RSS feed and view it) and you will then be given a FeedBurner URL that you can use as a link.” ….

    How do I find out the the URL of the RSS Feed that iWeb gives me? When I try putting the RSS widget on my page it asks me for the subscription URL. So I can’t publish it to view it. Catch 22.

    I’ve found elsewhere that this is probably http://mydomainhere.com/Blog/rss.xml. I did manage to get it to work with that and could see the feed on my site.

    But… whether or not I put this through Feedburner, the entries in my feed have the site name included in their links. As I publish through SEO Tool and dispense with the site name folder, none of my entries can be accessed from these links.

    The only way round it I have come up with is to house my blog on a separate domain, which is probably a good idea anyway, and then to publish the blog through iWeb and the main site through SEO Tool. I’m pleased to say this works!

    Any other thoughts?

  2. Further to my comment above, that workaround is not good. I now have the blog working from my .info domain and the main site on my .com domain. All very well except that publishing from iWeb changes all the nav links so they have the site name in them. Result: nav doesn’t work!

    Hmm, must be an easier way.

  3. Heheh! After pursuing the idea of a separate iWeb site for my blog for a few days and running into all kinds of bother, I did indeed find an easier way. Blogger. 🙂

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