How To Create Custom RSS Feeds

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 23, 2010
Updated • Dec 11, 2012

Real Simple Syndication (RSS) makes it a lot easier to keep up to date with the latest updates on Internet services and websites. Many websites nowadays offer RSS feeds to provide their readers with an alternative to visiting the site manually, or subscribing to an e-mail newsletter.

Feed readers like RSS Owl or the online service Google Reader are easy to use and act as a central hub for information for many users. Sometimes though, websites are encountered that do not offer RSS feeds. An example of such a website is the Google New service which publishes the latest Google product updates. The service itself is triggered by RSS, but visitors are not offered options to subscribe to a feed.

We have created a feed for that service using the free service Feed 43, and would like to guide you through the creation of a custom RSS feed. This should give you the tools at hand to create a feed on other websites that do not offer one.

A basic understanding of HTML is beneficial for this, but not necessarily required. Start by visiting the Feed 43 website, and paste the url of the web page that you want to create an RSS feed for in the form. We use for our example. Ignore Encoding and click the Reload button.

custom rss feed
custom rss feed

All configurations happen on the next page. At the top, the page title and source code are displayed to the user. We need the source code later on, to find patterns for the news title, description and link. That's the most technical and intimidating step of the process, but not as hard as it looks on first glance.

rss feed
rss feed

The patterns are defined in step 2. Feed 43 uses the {%} variable to define variables, and {*} for contents that are not relevant. Now we need to delve into the source code, but before we do that, we look at the original page to retrieve title and description that we need to find in the source code.

Take a look at the first new product title at the page, and search the source code for it. For our Google New example that is "Elevation service now available in the". You will find the text in the source, with HTML elements around it. Now, we replace the news item title with the {%} variable and add the whole line

<a href="" class="headline showbody">{%}</a>

to the Item (repeatable) Search Pattern* in step 2. But, if you look a bit closer, or more precisely search on you find that the title appears a second time in the source. This is unusual for most web pages, but in this case the second occurrence in the code is actually the right one. Why? Because the full text of each post is posted in that location as well.

For the article title, we choose

<div class="hidden-title">{%}</div>

and put the code in the Item (repeatable) Search Pattern field.

For the description, we look a line beneath and find

<div class="hidden-content">{%}<div class="blogger-post-footer">

The full code that we put into that field is

<div class="hidden-title">{%}</div>{*}
<div class="hidden-content">{%}<div class="blogger-post-footer">

See the {*}? This gets rid of everything in between the two fields. If you leave it out, you will notice that a click on Extract will find 0 items, if you add it, all items are found.

The clipped data below will show how each entry is displayed in the RSS feed. Take a note of the variables {1} and {2}, those are set to the title of the article and the description.

rss creation
rss creation

We need to add those two to the RSS Item properties. The first into the title field, and the second in the description field.


A click on preview finally displays how the RSS feed will look in the RSS reader.

preview feed
preview feed

Finally, the RSS feed address, and the edit page address are displayed to the creator of the custom RSS feed. And that's how you create custom RSS feeds with Feed43. If you have any questions about the process, let us know in the comments.


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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

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