Display RSS feed indicators on websites you visit
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.Advertisement