Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Friday, March 30, 2007

RSS To HTML - How To Convert RSS Feeds Into Published Web Pages - A Mini-Guide

Sponsored Links

RSS feeds are a great way of not only promoting your own online content, but also of leveraging that of other independent publishers for syndication purposes. Sooner or later you are going to want to make the news from your RSS feeds accessible to a broader audience, whether you want to aggregate and filter the latest news in your particular tightly-focused niche, or bring fresh traffic to your website by allowing others to do the same. RSS To HTML services allow you to easily publish these news feeds directly to your web site, just like any other content.

Photo credit: Michael Osterrieder

There is a big difference between stealing other people's hard work outright for publication on your own website - a practice known as splogging - and the reciprocal benefits of syndicating RSS news feeds.

RSS gives you the opportunity to create a win-win situation for your website visitors and those whose RSS feeds you choose to syndicate. Take for example the stream of news on the home page of Master New Media. Here you have a niche-targeted news radar created to appeal to the readership of this very site.

This is made possible through RSS. Several times a day the Master New Media editors hand-pick news items from a custom built stream of RSS news feeds, and publish them to the web. In this way Master New Media readers have a single hub from which they can find the latest news in the world of new media communications, while the publishers of the individual news items benefit from a nice boost in site traffic. Everybody is left with a smile on their face.

In this mini-guide I have gathered together a range of alternatives that will allow you to publish RSS feeds directly onto your own web page or blog, adding instant value and freshness to your content, even when you don't have the time to write new material for yourself.

Easy-to-use RSS to HTML tools

The services listed below make it easy for anyone to convert their RSS feed - or someone else's - into a few lines of embeddable code. This makes it very simple for anyone with no experience of complicated programming languages and coding to publish their feeds effectively.

It really is as simple as making use of the service of your choice, entering the URL of your RSS feed, customizing how it will look on your website, and then grabbing the few lines of code given to you at the end. All you have to do then is embed the code into your web page, blog template or blog post - much as you would a YouTube video. As if by magic, you have a constant stream of fresh news.

The most common way that the creators of these services get RSS feeds onto your site is through Javascript. While this makes it easy for the non-technical among us to get up and running, the downside is that the news content you bring in via the RSS feed cannot be read by the search engine bots that scan your website content.

This is because JavaScript, when placed in the HTML code of your website, does not actually contain any news content, but rather a few lines of code that call that information from the original news source. As such, when the search engine looks for content in your JavaScript-published RSS news feed, it doesn't find anything to report.

Consequently, those keenly interested in search engine optimization might want to consider alternatives to JavaScript-based RSS to HTML solutions, such as services that make use of PHP.

  • Jawfish


    • Overview: Jawfish lets you fill out simple forms to pick a feed and customize its appearance. Once you are happy with the result, you can copy a piece of HTML code generated by the service and paste it into your page.

      Your choice of RSS and Atom newsfeeds update automatically, and Jawfish displays them on your website

    • Price: Display up to 10 news feeds for $29.97 a year. Add 10 more for $25.97
    • Display customization: Yes - both basic and advanced formatting of your feeds are possible including font size, number of news items displayed, background color and many more parameters
    • RSS output: Jawfish gives you a choice of JavaScript or an iframe to embed into the HTML code of your website
    • Sign up for Jawfish

  • Feedburner BuzzBoost


    • Overview: Feedburner BuzzBoost is a free service for existing members of the Feedburner service. It gives you a simple way to share your existing Feedburner RSS feeds. BuzzBoost job is to redisplay your feed content anywhere you can copy and paste a short snippet of HTML code. The actual BuzzBoost code is just a short line of JavaScript that displays content items and information from a FeedBurner feed according to settings you provide.
    • Price: Free for Feedburner members
    • Display customization: Yes - you can easily alter basic parameters, such as excerpt length, headlines and titles. It is also possible to style your output with CSS
    • RSS output: BuzzBoost outputs your RSS feeds to a line of simple JavaScript code
    • Sign up for Feedburner. BuzzBoost can be found in the publicize tab of your account

  • FeedSweep


    • Overview: Feedsweep uses a combination of XML and JavaScript technologies to read news feeds from other web sites and interactively generate HTML code that displays the contents of those news feeds. Because FeedSweep uses industry-standard JavaScript, it can be incorporated into any web page, regardless of platform or programming language
    • Price: Free to use
    • Display customization: Yes - Feedsweep has a range of ready-to-use designs for basic users, and impressively detailed customization options for advanced users including the ability to set custom colors, dimensions, fonts, alignment and a range of other granular parameters for setting the display of your feeds
    • RSS Output: Feedsweep makes use of JavaScript
    • You do not need to sign up for FeedSweep and can create your custom feeds without registering, straight from your browser

  • RSS-To-JavaScript


    • Overview: RSS-To-JavaScript was designed to easily convert any valid RSS, RDF or ATOM feed into easy to implement Javascript. You can generate the simple piece of code needed without having to sign up for the service, as it requires no registration
    • Price: Free to use
    • Display customization: Yes - You can change font type and size, background and text color
    • RSS output: Rss-To-Javascript outputs your RSS feed as small piece of JavaScript code
    • You do not need to sign up for and can create your custom feeds without registering, straight from your browser

  • Feedroll Pro


    • Overview: After filling out a simple form to customize your RSS feeds, Feedroll Pro outputs your content using a short piece of JavaScript code, which you can embed directly into the HTML of your webpage. Feedroll Pro makes it easy for you to syndicate your RSS feeds, giving the end-user the ability to easily customize your feed to the needs of their site from a custom landing page.

      FeedrollPro is the only syndication solution to provide you real time stats to track your content allowing you to easily find ansers for the questions: What pages is it appearing on? How many impressions is it getting? How many click-throughs are you getting? What are your most popular headlines?

    • Price: $14.95 per month
    • Display customization: Yes - The end-user, syndicating your content feed, can choose from a wide range of feed customization options including fonts, color, dimensions, frames, spacing and many more. This is made easy by the use of a landing page specific to your feed, which features a live preview of how the feed will look on the user's web page
    • RSS output: Feedroll Pro uses JavaScript code to export your feeds
    • Sign up for Feedroll Pro. They are currently offering a free trial of the service.

  • RSSinclude

    • Overview: RSSinclude from is a very simple web application that allows you to integrate RSS content into your website using a choice of PHP, Javascript or iFrame implementation. Using a very easy to complete form, you can convert your RSS to HTML in seconds
    • Price: Free to use

    • Display customization: Yes - you can set colors, table dimensions and the amount of news items displayed in your news feed
    • RSS output: RSSinclude can convert your RSS feed into PHP, JavaScript or IFrame formats for embedding within your HTML web pages
    • You do not need to sign up for RSSinclude, and can use it directly from the RSSInfo website

  • RSS Feed Reader


    • Overview: RSS Feedreader lets you easily publish your RSS feeds to a choice of either JavaScript or PHP, without having to need any coding skills at all. You can customize your news feeds using a simple interface, and then output them in the popular JavaScript or the search-engine friendly PHP. If you choose embed the PHP into your website, your web feeds become an actual part of your website in the eyes of the search engines.

    • Price: Free to use
    • Display customization: Yes - you can set the colour of text and background, the width of your published news feed, and add optional borders around your feed
    • RSS Output: RSS Feed Reader allows you to generate and embed either PHP or JavaScript code to embed into your HTML website
    • You can sign up from the RSS Feed Reader home page



    • Overview: RSS2HTML takes a slightly different approach to the majority of RSS to HTML services listed here. Rather than giving you a small piece of code to embed within your web pages, RSS2HTML takes your RSS feed and creates a complete web page from it, using your layout and color scheme choices. You are then free to send your site visitors to the URL assigned to you
    • Price: Free to use
    • Display customization: Yes - you can select from a range of layouts and colors to create a customized design for your news page
    • RSS output: RSS2HTML creates HTML web pages from your RSS feeds
    • There is no need to register, as you can begin creating your RSS-driven HTML web pages directly from the RSS2HTML website

Web widget solutions

Web Widgets often make use of Javascript in addition to other programming languages, and offer another very easy way to incorporate RSS feeds directly into your website.

Rather than embedding the news stream itself into your web page, you embed a customized RSS aggregator, which you can then make changes to without having to republish it. As is the case with other JavaScript-based solutions, the news content contained within your widgets cannot be read by search engines.

  • Grazr


    • Overview: Among its other rich features Grazr is a very simple way to pull RSS feeds into your website, and present them in a great looking browser that you can embed anywhere on your web-page. Users can even visit the full posts of RSS news items from within the Grazr browser.

      Robin Good reviewed the service in full early last year.

    • Price: Grazr is free to use
    • Display customization: Yes. Grazr allows you to quickly and easily set themed skins, the dimensions of the widget, font type and size and select from one of three layouts
    • RSS output: Grazr is embedded into your webpage with JavaScript
    • Create your Grazr RSS widget

  • Musestorm RSS widget


    • Outline: Even simpler than Grazr, the Musestorm RSS widget might just be the easiest way yet to publish an RSS news feed to your website. In the space of seconds you can have a very simple news feed ready to embed into your website, in a choice of themed skins
    • Price: The Musestorm RSS widget is free to use
    • Display customization: Yes. You can choose from a range of themed skins, from chrome to pastel colors. This is, however, the full extent of the customization options available to you
    • RSS output: Musestorm RSS Widget
    • can be embedded into your website with a small amount of JavaScript code

    • Get the Musestorm RSS widget

RSS to HTML with feed splicing, editing and publishing

It is one thing to have a rolling RSS feed that includes everything published, and quite another to be able to combine feeds, and either automatically filter or hand-select the most relevant news items published.

The following services give you the ability to not only convert your RSS feeds into HTML, but also to combine, filter and personally edit your news content before you publish it to the web.

  • MySyndicaat


    • Overview: MySyndicaat is an effective tool for the aggregation, filtering and publication of multiple RSS feeds. Using MySyndicaat, the user can create custom news radars comprised of numerous RSS feeds. Feeds can be filtered for key words and repetition, and the user has the option of either accepting all aggregated news items for publication, or creating hand-selected news digests. These digests can then be published to your website by embedding a snippet of code into the HTML of your web pages or blog posts.

      Robin Good reviewed the service in full in 2005

    • Price: Free to use
    • Display customization: No, although you can style the resulting news radar yourself using CSS
    • RSS output: You can export your customized, aggregated news feeds using a small amount of either JavaScript or PHP code
    • You can Sign up to MySyndicaat for free

  • Feed Digest


    • Overview: Feed Digest is a well-established service (boasting over 20,000 users) that makes it very simple to both convert RSS to HTML / Javascript and, as an additional feature, aggregate different RSS feeds together, filter them and then produce attractively themed news feeds. The interface is very well designed, and it is very simple to combine and indeed publish RSS feeds within the HTML of your website.

    • Price: $11.99 per year
    • Display customization: Yes - you can choose from a range of attractive design templates or edit the HTML templates manually for full customization. It is also possible to decide how many news items will be shown
    • RSS output: Your (combined) news feeds can be exported from the application as a small piece of Javascript code, or else in WAP, PHP, HTML or RSS formats
    • You can Sign up for Feed Digest at its website. The company is currently running a one month free trial

Advanced feed conversion

If you insist on having greater control over your feed conversion than the easy-to-use solutions covered so far, or want to make sure that your feeds are visible to the search engines, you may want to consider the following more advanced options. Without some basic knowledge of coding, you may find these alternatives a little complex and decide to enlist a webmaster to help you out.

  • PHP solution - Technorama


    • Overview: The Technorama PHP RSS Reader Dreamweaver Extension will allow those developers or webmasters familiar with Adobe Dreamweaver to publish RSS feeds to your web pages without having to do any coding
    • Price: Free to use
    • Display customization: The degree of customization available is only limited by how far your abilities in Dreamweaver stretch
    • RSS output: The extension helps you to create an RSS feed reader using PHP
    • You can find out more and download the extension from the Tecnorama website

  • PHP solution - CaRP


    • Overview: CaRP is a PHP script that creates HTML web pages from your RSS feeds. Once installed on your server, CaRP allows you to create highly customized pages of RSS-driven news or other RSS-delivered content. There are three versions of CaRP, each with progressively more in the way of display customization features
    • Price: The three versions of CaRP are free (CaRP), $19.97 (Koi) and $29.97 (Evolution)
    • Display customization: Yes - depending upon which version of CaRP you are running there are various customization features including time stamps, post size and so on. Obviously you can also use any HTML or CSS skills you might have to improve the design of your published feeds
    • RSS Output: CaRP can publish RSS feeds to HTML with PHP, ASP, HTML and SHTML
    • You can download CaRP from the GeckoTribe website

  • ASP solution - Byte Scout


    • Overview: Byte Scout has provided a free RSS to HTML script for those using ASP on their servers. The script can be copied and adapted to suit your needs, and a FAQ is included with the script in case you have any problems with it
    • Price: Free to use
    • Display customization: Yes - the only limit is your coding ability
    • RSS output: The script outputs an HTML conversion of your RSS file
    • You can find the script at the Byte Scout website, along with a brief tutorial on how to implement it

Additional resources

If you would like to learn more about converting RSS feeds into web pages, you might want to check out the following links:

Recent related resources:

Originally written by Michael Pick for Master New Media and originally published as: "RSS To HTML - How To Convert RSS Feeds Into Published Web Pages - A Mini-Guide"

Robin Good and Michael Pick -
Readers' Comments    
blog comments powered by Disqus
posted by Michael Pick on Friday, March 30 2007, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

Search this site for more with 








    Curated by

    New media explorer
    Communication designer


    POP Newsletter

    Robin Good's Newsletter for Professional Online Publishers  



    Real Time Web Analytics