RSS: Really Simple Syndication

How It Works

News button on keyboard
RSS Explained. Ismail Akin Bostanci/E+/Getty Images

RSS, originally Rich Site Summary, now stands for Really Simple Syndication. It is a method by which web content can be easily and quickly distributed when it is changed or newly entered into a website or web log. Most blogs automatically include an RSS feed. This feed automatically sends out formatted releases of new posts that are received by those who use RSS news readers and subscribe to that particular feed.

Various services offer free news readers and paid versions with more features, such as keyword searches that locate feeds of interest based on the user's keywords. Other services offer conversions of the RSS feeds to email format for those that don't know how or don't care to use a news reader.

Also Known As: Rich Site Summary

RSS in Action

Many websites, more than 75 million are built on the wildly popular WordPress platform. This is primarily because WordPress can be used with little or no HTML knowledge, and there are tens of thousands of third-party developers. They construct mostly free plugins that add functionality and features to WordPress.

WordPress sites (blogs) automatically produce a RSS feed for every post published. A feed is written in a cryptic looking code called XML, for Extensible Markup Language. Just a tiny bit of the code for an XML feed looks like this:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?><rss version="2.0"
	xmlns:content="http://purl.org/rss/1.0/modules/content/"
	xmlns:wfw="http://wellformedweb.org/CommentAPI/"
	xmlns:dc="http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/"
	xmlns:atom="http://www.w3.org/2005/Atom"
	xmlns:sy="http://purl.org/rss/1.0/modules/syndication/"
	xmlns:slash="http://purl.org/rss/1.0/modules/slash/"
	>

Of course, that isn't what the reader of a feed sees. There are a number of free RSS feed readers out there, as a reader is required. Feedly is one popular reader. Here is what one of those XML files looks like in the Feedly Reader:

Best Day for Mortgage Rates in Well Over a Month

Posted To: Mortgage Rate WatchMortgage rates had their best day in over a month today.

It was also the first day with any legitimate movement in nearly three weeks. Over that time, rates have been sideways to slightly lower, with the average lender continuing to quote conventional 30yr fixed rates of 4% on top tier scenarios. Today's improvement brings several lenders back into the high 3s, though.

100+ Mortgage News Daily / by Matthew Graham / 1d 

Airbnb Releases Trove of New York City Home-Sharing Data

The company’s data includes statistics like host earnings, the frequency of rentals and the types of listings.

2K NYT > Real Estate / by MIKE ISAAC / 1d 

Checklist: Everybody You Need to Notify When You're Moving

When you’re preoccupied with important relocation-related tasks, it’s easy to forget about informing relevant people and institutions of your upcoming residential move and subsequent change of address. But notifying specific organizations and individuals of your relocation is essential for ensuring a smooth moving process and preventing various hassles and troubles with your mail and accounts.

94 Zillow Blog - Real Estate Market Stats, Celebrity Real Estate, and Zillow 

If you're building your real estate website, you'll have a feed if you use WordPress. If you don't, ask your provider if they have RSS feed capability.

If not, there are some online resources you can use to create a feed file from your site. However, if you're not blogging, it's really not that important.

If you are blogging, you'll probably have the capability.