Display RSS feed indicators on websites you visit

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 16, 2013

I remember a time when web browsers displayed an RSS icon in their address bar when you opened a website with a feed. The icon served two purposes. First, it reminded you that the site offers an RSS feed, and second, enabled you to subscribe to that feed with a couple of clicks tops.

Then one day, the icons were removed from the browsers, probably to make way for the new minimalism that was suddenly en vogue, or maybe, because it was one of the features that was not really used enough.

The removal on the other hand made it a lot harder for users to find out if a site was offering an RSS feed or not. While some sites display the information prominently on their website, others do not and the only option in this case is to look at the source code or identify the software used to power the site to find out about the RSS feed url. WordPress websites for instance always use /feed/ as the main feed directory by default, but that too can be changed easily if a feed service like Feedburner is being used (another Google service that is probably going to be retired eventually).

Google announced recently that it would retire its RSS feed reader Google Reader, and the company pulled the RSS feed extension for its browser Google Chrome at around the same time from the Chrome Web Store.

Note that Opera does not need an extension as it is still displaying an indicator in its address bar when feeds are available on a site.

We already published a list of Google Reader alternatives for you, and today, we would like to complement that by publishing a list of programs that you can install in your browser of choice to get an indication if a feed is available on a website.

opera rss feed indicator

There are lots of extensions and userscripts out there for that task. The following selection is not complete and if you know or use an extension or script that you are using for that purpose, let us know about it in the comments so that we can all benefit from that knowledge.

  1. RSS+Atom Feed Subscribe Button Generator (Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera) - This script displays an RSS Subscribe button at the top that of sites that offer RSS feeds. A click opens a subscribe now page that you can use to pick a favorite reader. You can alternatively right-click and copy the link directly instead.
  2. RSS Subscriptions with FEED: Handler (Google Chrome) - This extension for the Chrome browser displays an RSS icon in the browser's address bar. A click displays all available feeds and the links lead to a subscribe page where you can select a feed reader from the available selection.
  3. RSS Icon (Firefox) - Displays an RSS icon in Firefox's address bar that you can click on. Identifies only RSS feeds if they are listed in the site's header.
  4. Sub To Me (Firefox) - Displays an icon in Firefox's add-on bar that you can click on to subscribe to feeds in the browser.

Those extensions cover all major browsers and should work just fine for the majority of scenarios. Please post your favorite way of discovering RSS feeds on the Internet below in the comments.


Tutorials & Tips

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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 name.com 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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