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Displaying an RSS Feed on Your Website Using PHP and MagpieRSS

  • Posted September 3, 2006
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These days everybody wants to have fresh content on their web site. Search engines like to see dynamic web pages, where the content is updated on a regular basis. Static pages that have information that doesn’t change are not only boring, but less likely to be visited by a search engine spider than a page that changes every time it is displayed.

By using RSS and the MagpieRSS toolkit, you can import data from another web site or news source and display that information on your own site.

First, download the MagpieRSS kit from http://magpierss.sourceforge.net.

Next, unpack the archive, into a directory off your root on your web site called “rss”.

Then, create a directory off your root called “cache”. CHMOD this directory to 777.

You’ll need to know the URL for the feed that you want to display. You can find this by searching for “RSS feed” in Google, or by going to one of the many sites that allow you to search thrown various sources for feeds. Syndic8.com is one, for example.

To display data from a single source, you can use code similar to this:

require_once(‘rss/rss_fetch.inc’);

$news_feed = ”;

error_reporting(E_ERROR);

$rss = fetch_rss(“http://www.url-of-the-rss-feed.com”);
$items = array_slice($rss->items, 0);
foreach ($items as $item )
{

$news_feed .= ” . $item['title'] . ” . $item['summary'] . ”;
}

echo $news_feed;

MagpieRSS not only decodes the data, but it will also cache the data so it will retrieve news articles only once per hour.

Utilizing RSS in this fashion will allow your web site to have fresh content displayed constantly, and will (hopefully!) keep the search engine spiders interested in your site. The more the spiders index your site, the more pages you will have listed in the search engines. And with more pages listed in the search engine indexes you have a much better chance of attracting people to your web site.

Copyright © 2005 by Mikel Beck.
mikel.beck@elite-computing.net

Mikel Beck is the owner of a number of web sites, the latest being The Happy Hour Pub.

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  • Posted On September 3, 2006
  • Published articles 283513

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