Adding an Rss Feed to your site is something that every CLC and School should be thinking of doing. Not only does it allow you to deliver your “up to date” content directly to your users but it can help promote your website to a wider audience.

Unless you are prepared to pay for a managed service such as “word Press” then you are going to be limited before you start. When I say Limited, What I mean is this.

1. You will need to consider using a free service such as blogger, Like I’m doing now. 2. You will have to write your own feed, and manually update it.

Neither Solution is perfect.

Option 1 is good but, you will have to ensure that if your blog is educational, that the blogger toolbar has been removed. The reason for this is that the “view next blog” button may take you on to some unsuitable material. Your feed will auto update every time you update your blog.
There are drawbacks though .

Do you really want your school website to resemble a weblog? I personally think they lack soul, they aren’t on your server, unless you specify a server for them to operate off. Also they have a space restriction, if you want to exceed the standard 5mb then you have to pay for extra storage.

That said they work, they are standards compliant and they don’t make you sweat over the code.

Option 2
is also good, Having the site on your own server allows you greater control and hopefully you will be covered for the storage space issue as you will have already sorted that out with your web host.

Problems you might face are 1. Setting up the RSS feed using xml. 2. Adding stylesheets to the feed itself 3. Styling the XML feed using XSLT.

This stuff is a little tricky if you have no programming knowledge.

I know HTML and a bit of XML, ASP and CSS so I do Ok even though I’m not designer than programmer.

In addition, updating the feed by hand everytime you update the site is a bit of a pain.

It’s not really that bad, but if your site is database driven and you know a Brilliant ASP/PHP programmer get them to write a script to automate the process.

Ok folks, in the next Post I’ll show you how I did it.

Phil Gregory
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Phil Gregory

Phil Gregory is a Web Marketing Consultant. Specialising in SEO, PPC and Social Media.

Previously he worked in Education as an ICT Trainer delivering I.C.T / Audio/Visual solutions for Education and Business. Connect with Phil on Social
Phil Gregory
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