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Displaying RSS Feeds on Your Web Page

RSS feeds have made it very convenient to syndicate information from various sources. Most of websites and services that publish fresh content, such as ezines, press release, new agencies, blogs make their content available thru RSS feeds. As new content is published the RSS feed gets updated automatically. Adding RSS feeds to web pages has many advantages. Let us say you have added RSS feeds from a popular ezine on one of your web pages. • The content of the web page is automatically updated as the ezine makes new content available via RSS feeds. Every time search engine spiders crawl your web page they are likely to find the web page updated. • The visitors to your web site will also find new content on every visit and they might be tempted to visit your web page more often. • You do not have to bother about writing fresh content as RSS feeds are updated automatically. Earlier I had written an article on adding RSS feeds to a web page using java script. While this method makes fresh content available to the readers, the content of the feed cannot be “read” by search engine spiders. Therefore the web page does not get the benefit of changing content from the search engines. On the other hand php based installation makes it possible for spiders to notice the changing content of the web page. This article is a follow-up of my previous article which outlines simple steps to put RSS feeds on a web page. For the purpose of this article I have chosen the free version of software available from CaRP. The software can be downloaded from this site: http://www.geckotribe.com/rss/carp/ The instruction manual which comes with the package gives detailed instructions for installing and running the software. Additional information is available from the site. While there are several options available for using the software, I am showing here the simplest steps to load and run the software:

1. Download the software on your computer. It comes in a zip file. After unzipping save the available folders and files on your computer. These files and folders will be available – carp (folder), img (folder), carpsetup.php, README.html .

2. Upload all the files and folders to the root directory of your website. This can be done by using FTP. If uploading is done file by file, ensure that the names of the files and folders, and location of files in their folders do not change.

3. Run the setup file carpsetup.php from you web browser.

4. A new page will be displayed. There are two options given there and both are fairly simple to work with. The file based cashing option is sometimes easier to set up since you don't have to create a database and copy and paste the setup code into carpconf.php . You could try this option first and if you face any problem you can choose the other option which is based on mySQL database. The following steps are for mySQL database option.

5. Create a new mySQL database.

6. In step 4 above select mySQL database option. Another new page will open in which you have to fill the details of mySQL database. Click on “Create Database Tables”.

7. The page which opens now will have code which has to be put on the web page where you want to show RSS feed. The code will be displayed in a gray box.

8. Within the code there is “setup code”. This setup code should be pasted into a file called carpconf.php . The file will be available in carp directory. On the html script of this file locate the line “//Add configuration code that applies to all themes here”. Just below this line paste the setup code.

9. Choose a web page where RSS feed has to be displayed. The file name of the page should have .php extension. If your page has .html or .htm extension, you can try replacing only the extension with .php . Normally this should not change the way the page appears in a web browser. If you encounter any problem you could make a new web page with .php extension.


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