Never miss another web site update with Safari RSS feeds

Many websites are frequently updated and some are updated several times a day. News based websites are among the most updated and as news stories break, they appear on the site. If you want to keep up with all the changes on your favourite websites, you should subscribe to their RSS feeds in Safari.

An RSS feed is basically a list of updates to a website in a special file format. It uses XML, which is a lot like HTML and tags are used to define the content like headings, text and links. So whenever a website is updated with a new article, a brief description consisting of the headline and a couple of sentences is added to the site’s RSS feed. All you need to do is to download that XML file to see what is new on the site.

Viewing an RSS feed is quicker and easier than visiting a website to see what is new. RSS feeds are fetched automatically and the heading and description is sufficient for you to decide whether the full article is worth reading. If it is, you click a link and go straight to it on the website.

There are websites and applications that can be used to subscribe to RSS feeds and these show the latest updates whenever you access them. There is no need for additional software or for you to register for an RSS feed service. Safari can do the job, at least if you only subscribe to a few feeds. A dedicated application or online service is better if you subscribe to dozens of them.

Let’s see how to add RSS feeds to Safari, how to view them and how to manage them.

Go to one of the websites you frequently visit, such as a news website or something else that is frequently updated. Here is the technology news section of the BBC website.

Look around the web page for an RSS link or the orange button that is always used to indicate an RSS feed. Not all websites have RSS feeds, and some might collect them all onto a page dedicated to listing all the RSS feeds on the site. It varies a lot, so just explore the sites.

Here the web page has an RSS link and orange button in the top right corner of the page. Click the link or button and a window pops up to ask if you want to add the feed to Shared Links.

Add an RSS feed

Shared Links are shown in the left-hand panel in Safari. If the panel is hidden, click the button in the toolbar (it looks like a book), then select the @ tab.

RSS feeds in Safari

This panel can show information from several sources, such as Twitter, so scroll down until you can see the RSS feed for the website you just added. Click an item and the web page is displayed. It is a great way to browse the content of a website and choose what to read.

Down at the bottom of the window is a Subscriptions button.

Subscribe to RSS feed in Safari

Click this and the left panel changes to show the items that you are subscribed to. In this case it is a Twitter feed in the Social Accounts section and BBC News – Technology in the Subscribed Feeds section.

Manage RSS feeds in Safari

It is possible to subscribe to RSS feeds from here by clicking Add Feed and entering or pasting the URL. However, it is easier just to click the link on a web page when you see one on a site you want to follow.

 

 

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