Tips for Better Digital Archaeology: Getting an RSS Feed from Websites Without RSS Feeds

Posted on April 10, 2012

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You find a website your really like and you add it to your RSS feed reader so you can continue to follow it. But, what happens if a great website does not have an RSS feed?

This happens a lot as many websites do not have an RSS feed, or it is broken. The fix for this is quite easy, use a ‘page to RSS’ converter website . There are several of them:

Feed43

Feedity

Create Feed (paid service)

FetchRSS

All of these different websites offer RSS feed capabilities¬† for webpages/websites, Some charge for this service, some don’t. They all follow the same simple setup (using Page2RSS as an example):

1. Get the URL of the webpage (note not website but webpage, if there are multiple pages on one website you want to follow then you will need to get all their URLs) you want to follow.

2. Paste the URL in at which ever website you use and click the create button.

3. Outcomes a new URL that is your very own RSS feed for that page (note in the picture it is the same URL but that is because my blog already has an RSS feed). Basically, it sends a web bot to a webpage to see if any changes have been made to it and then reports those changes back to you.

Some things to be aware of:

  • Some of these ‘Page to RSS’ websites are here one day and not the next. I have probably listed two dozen of them on this page over the years that have disappeared. Keep a back up list of the URLs you are following so if these websites go down you can just move to a different one.
  • Some of these programs can pick up very minor changes – like if a page has a date plug-in it will show that page changing every time in checks because the time has changed.
  • The bots that check webpages might take several days or weeks between visits. If you want to be updated instantaneously this might not be possible.

Other then paying attention to these details your done. It is pretty easy to do.

Posted in: Wildcard