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Displaying External RSS Feeds

RSS feeds are a handy way to pull dynamic content from an external website onto your page.

On this page:

Not all browsers have built-in RSS readers, so some visitors may not be able to view your RSS feeds correctly; e.g. at this time, Chrome does not work, while Firefox and Internet Explorer display them fine.

example of an RSS feed

Sample RSS feed featuring Music Library news.

RSS has been used for some time by websites to share dynamic collections with other sites and visitors. It is especially well suited for news and events feeds. To pull an external RSS feed into your UBCMS page, you will need to create a Shared Content page, and then place that page onto your website using a Shared Content Reference. (Read more about RSS in Wikipedia.)

Build the Shared Content Page

building the new shared content page using the Feed Importer Template
  • In your shared content folder, create a new parent page folder called "feeds". 
    • This folder must have the name "feeds", but its Title can be anything you wish.
    • You can build more than one feed in that folder.
    • The 'feeds' folder must be activated.
  • Within the 'feeds' folder, create a new page using the Feed Importer Template.
the Feed Importer page as it first appears
  • Your new page will be empty except for a Feed Importer component where you will configure your feed.
the Feed Importer settings
  • Source URL - Enter your target RSS feed's URL (e.g. http://libweb.lib.buffalo.edu/blog/music/?feed=rss2).
  • Update Interval - Define how frequently you wish your page to check for changes in the source feed in seconds (minimum is 300 seconds, or five minutes).  The feed will initially populate after the first interval passes (e.g. 300 seconds after you create and configure the page).
  • Removal Strategy - You have two choices:
    • 'remove items not present in feed' (default)
    • 'keep all items'

Shared Content Solutions

Learn more about using shared content.

Display the Feed on Your Web Page

Simple Solution

  • Use a Shared Content Reference to pull the feed through your new Shared Content page onto your UBCMS Web page.
  • Add the Shared Content Reference. Instructions for using the Shared Content Reference are in the Components Library (More Components).
  • Please Note: This solution does not allow any control over the feed, such as the number of entries displayed.

Advanced Solution

  • Use a List Builder Component to gain more control , including the number of items revealed from the feed.
  • Using a List Builder, you can control how many items from the feed you wish to display.
    • Instructions for using the List Builder Component are in the Components Library.
    • Add the List Builder Component to your page.
    • Choose the 'Child Pages' option.
    • Point the component to your new Shared Content page.
    • In the Advanced Settings, select how many 'child pages' you wish to see, starting from the top of the feed (most recently added items). 
  • An example -- below are the first four entries from the Music Library's news feed (http://libweb.lib.buffalo.edu/blog/music/?feed=rss2) displayed using a List Builder component. 

Browser Dependent

Each browser handles RSS feeds differently, and those without a built-in RSS reader will display your feed as raw XML code, or even throw up an error. (E.g. Firefox and IE have RSS readers, but Chrome does not.)

RSS example from Music Library News

Additional Resources

Master Class

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