I think I have my weblog set up properly, but someone recently emailed me saying that I haven’t set it up for “RSS autodiscovery”. But I have an RSS feed and I even have a little ‘xml’ button that links to the “index.xml” file that contains the RSS. So what am I missing?
The very latest generation of Web browsers, including Firefox, Safari and the new (still in beta) Internet Explorer 7.0, magically recognize when you’re on a Web page that has an associated RSS feed and enables a subscribe button or otherwise shows you that you can choose to subscribe to the site.
But, of course, it’s not actually magic, it’s simply that those sites have a special line of HTML in their source pages, a line that you can add to your blog template in a jiffy or even hand-code into related Web pages that are part of your site but perhaps not part of your blog.
My RSS autodiscovery declaration looks like this:
title=”Ask Dave Taylor”
href=” http://www.askdavetaylor.com/index.rdf” />
You’ll want to tweak yours to match the settings of your particular Web site, of course, but that’s the basic format.
Some sites include more than one of these declarations in their source, but the consensus of most RSS mavens is that only the first one counts when Web browsers (and RSS readers, for that matter) ascertain what URL to use for your subscription.
And, finally, just in case you got to here and you’re still a bit in the dark, you might find it helpful to read What is an RSS aggregator? and the additional RSS information here at Ask Dave Taylor.
Hope that clarifies things!