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6 free RSS to Javascript tools

There are quite a few tools available now that allow you to convert RSS to Javascript to allow you to display the contents of an RSS feed on your site. This method is by far the easiest way to display updated content on your site. I have put together a list of some free RSS to Javascript tools you can use.

RSS 2 HTML

There are two options at RSS 2 HTML. The first is a standard converter where you type in some details about your feed and you get some code to paste into your site. Additionally you can also opt to download the script and run it form your own server.

Jawfish

Over at Jawfish they offer a RSS and Atom to Javascript converter, however you have to sign up for a free account to use it.

Feedsweep

Feedsweep have a free tool with basic and advanced option for you to create a feed to display on your site.

RSS 2 Javascript

A simple tool from RSS 2 Javascript allows you to turn a single RSS feed into something you can cut and paste into your website.

JSticker

Create a scrolling news feed ticker over at JS Ticker.

RSS Viewer

Feedroll's RSS viewer is easy enough to use create a displayable RSS feed for your site.

Feedblendr feeds into one

Hot off the press comes anothr online free service that makes it as simple as pie (simplepie that is) to combine several feeds into a single feed.

Did you like what I did there with all the RSS references. If you did then you will love this tool from Beau Lebens. It's written in PHP with an MySQL database for data storage. Simple to use, all you need to do is add in some feed URL's or import an OPML file and click the blend button.

Once the feed is blended then you get your new RSS feed containing all of the new amalgamated feeds. You also get an OPML file cotaining all your feed URL's and some cut and paste code to add into your site to display your new feed.

Rss feed converter with PHP and HTML

A free service from RSS feed converter allows you to display RSS feeds on your website. I know there are already dozens of sites that already do this but these guys offer a few extra options.

One of the problems with RSS to Javascript tools is that search engines and users with Javascript turned off cannot see the displayed content. This new service offers the option of converting from RSS to HTML and RSS to PHP.

The HTML output is contained in an iFRAME as the output is being generated by their server. For the PHP version you will need PHP running on your server, most web hosts offer PHP as standard.

Customise your feed

There are several options that allow you to customise the display options such as font, color and the number of items in the feed to display.

Summary

As with all third party services you need to be aware that if the service goes belly up then the code you have added to your site will no longer work. On the plus side this is a great service if you want to add some extra content quickly to your sites.

Auto discovery code generator

Over at FeedForAll they have a tool that allows you to generate the code that gives your site RSS auto discovery capabilities. It is easy to use, you just need to enter a name for the feed and the feed URL.

More RSS uses thoughts

I have been thinking more about uses of RSS and a few more ideas occurred to me. Feeds that are updated lists of data rather than blog feeds. A few examples of this would be music or film charts and new releases or music and films.

Imagine having a music feed of your favourite artists that updated every time they released a new single or album. The same would be true for new films. This would not only save you time but you might discover new films or music being released that you would never have thought about before.

RSS to GIF

This is an unusual RSS converter. I have seen many a RSS to Javascript converters but never an RSS to GIF converter. RSS2GIF transforms an RSS feed into a GIF image.

This tool allows you to select an RSS feed, set the font and background colour then convert this to a GIF image. You get some HTML that you paste into your page or as they suggest into your email signature.

I am not really sure how useful this tool is but it is certainly unique. You could possibly use it on somewhere like MySpace or in your forum signature. Woth checking out just for the novelty factor.

RSS editor from Extralabs

A while back Dmitry from ExtraLabs Software emailed me to let me know about their RSS editor. Actually he emailed me back in August but I have been really busy, honest. To make up for it here is a breakdown of their RSS software.

RSS Editor

First up is the inventively titled Feed editor. In a nutshell it allows you to edit and create RSS feeds. Once your feed is created the program allows you to upload the feed to your server via FTP.

RSS Wizard

An HTML to RSS converter. Like RSS Editor it can edit, create and publish RSS feeds. RSS Wizard can also convert HTML to RSS similar to some online tools except this is desktop software. There is also a scheduler to upload your feeds at scheduled times.

Feed Mix

Feed Mix allows you to compile a new feed by amalgamating several other feeds. As with the previous offerings FTP is built into the software to allow you to upload the new feeds to your server.

Using Javascript to display RSS

I have written about using Javascript to display RSS previously. It seems people are still interested in the subject so I thought I would revisit the subject.

Javascript and RSS

First of I need to let you know that Javascript and RSS cannot be used exclusively to display a feed on your site. The reason for this is that the RSS feed needs to be parsed which involves extracting the data from the feed.

This means that a third language needs to be used such as PHP which requires a server to run the code. Javascript on the other hand is processed by your web browser. For this reason Javascript as a tool for displaying an RSS feed is considered a poor substitute for server side RSS processing using a language such as PHP

Javascript if you insist

On the plus side Javascript options for displaying RSS on your site are a quick and simple option. The reason for this is because someone else has done the hard work already.

First of all you will need to find a service that has done this hard work, here are sites that offer RSS to Javascript processing.

The process is pretty simple, just let them know the RSS feed and the display options. You will then need to copy some Javascript that you will need to paste into your site and there you have your feed.

Benefits and cost

Whilst displaying an RSS feed on your site will provide you with some content and therefore some stickiness there are some downsides. You will be dependant on the service you have chosen being around, there will be downtime and the site may disappear altogether. You will not get and Search engine benefits as they cannot yet crawl Javascript.

Alternative to Javascript

If you prefer a more flexible and beneficial alternative the you could use PHP to parse and display your RSS feed. You will need some PHP knowledge for this but it is worth the effort.

SimplePie offers a free PHP class that does most of the hard work for you making it relatively easy to use your own web server to display RSS feeds. There are other more established alternatives such as Magpie and Carp but SimplePie offers good documentation and clear instructions.

Fedafi RSS creator

Fellow UK resident Gary Reid is running a service to allow users to create and track RSS feeds with their feed management system.

Fedafi - Feedburner

My initial thought was this service is the same as the offerings from Feedburner, even down to the eerily similar flame theme. Taking a glance under the cover you soon realise they are offering a service that allows you to create your own feeds.

The Software

Fedafi currently provides two options, you can either purchase the software and run it on your web server or use the hosted option where they host it for you.

This is a good option if you are an RSS newbie or do not want the hassle of creating feeds yourself. There are many alternatives out there but Fedafi offers a solution to create multiple feeds with tracking with ease and without a blog.

Publishing News Feeds

I was recently contacted by Rodolphe Sellier co-founder of StepWebz to tell me about how they are providing various services for webmasters to allow them to add constantly updated quality content to their webstes.

StepWebz provides a number of RSS tools of which there are both free and premium version. The RSS related tools offered allow you to syndicate your own RSS feed easily and additionally earn potential referral revenue. You are also able to display syndicated content on your own site to get constantly updated news, the StepPatch looks interesting as it allows you to display news using PHP or ASP code and therefore the content will be visible to search engines.

RSS content tools

Unless you have some programming knowledge it can be difficult to display RSS news feeds on your website. StepWebz offers a number of options that will allow you to display content on your site using cut and paste Javascript.

There are a number of ways you can format the news feeds including news links, boxes and patches that display formatted RSS feeds on your site. The Search box allows you to display news that your visitors search for and the ticker provides a horizontal or vertical news ticker.

You have the option to use the free ad supported versions of these tools or you can choose the premium versions that are ad free and have more formatting options. They are offering there services from as little as one dollar a month.

RSS editor

RSS editor is a small windows application that allows you to create an RSS feed and upload it to your website. It requires Internet Explorer version 6.

FeedSpring

FeedSpring is FREE feed generator software. It can help bloggers and Web publishers effortlessly create unlimited RSS feeds. Just simply type RSS information into required and optional fields in forms, FeedSpring will automatically generate an RSS feed file for you. With usable and eye-pleasing interface, you can manage RSS channel and item information effectively.

Rapidfeeds

Rapidfeeds is a web based service that allows you to create RSS feeds from any internet connected computer. This service also allows you to host your feeds on their server. The basic service is provided free.

ListGarden

An RSS feed generator program written in PERL. It can be run on your desktop or from a server. You use a web based front end as the interface. This software is free to use.

Feeder

Feeder is an application for creating, editing and publishing RSS feeds. This software requires Mac OS X 10.3, it is not a Windows application.

FeedForAll

FeedForAll allows users to easily create, edit and publish RSS feeds. FeedForAll is a Windows desktop application.

RSStatic

RSStatic takes information from the feeds you choose and generates static html pages for each item in the feed. RSStatic is currently free to use and is PHP based.

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