Knowledgebase: Manuals
06. Manual: RSS Feeds To Code Converter
Posted by Mark Seaman on 30 June 2009 01:59 PM

By RSS Ground service

RSS Feeds to Code Converter worth a stand-alone tool. It can combine several RSS feeds into a single content block ready to be placed to a website or blog.

First of all let’s make a quick stop and see what a regular RSS feed consists of. Usually it has a channel and a number of items.

"Channel" informs you about feed provider and feed topic.

"Item" – is a piece of information regarding the topic of your feed (for example news, shopping good, article, blog post and so on).  Using Feed to Code Converter we will be able to edit each part of the feed separately.

Every item consists of a number of elements. Depending on a feed provider number of elements can differ. We provide you possibility to work with such elements as: item date, item title, item description, item link (see the picture).

  RSS feed and RSS item elements

RSS feed and RSS item elements


Ok, let’s see how this works in the tool.

RSS Feeds to Code Converter has a step-by-step interface.

First you will make general settings which concern the entire future content block, then each RSS item element can be edited separately and finally result options will be set.

General Settings.

General setting for code snippet

General settings


As it was said with RSS Feeds to Code Converter you can combine a number of RSS feeds into a single content block. To add RSS feeds to the Converter you may either use "Generate and send to" option in any RSS Feeds Generator or use "Send selected feeds to" option in "My Saves" section or add RSS feeds manually.

Number of items to show – here you set how many RSS items to display in content block. An equal number of items will be taken from each specified feed.

  Note:  don’t set plenty of items to show. Set reasonable number in order to make your content block informative but not annoying.
Shuffle – will shuffle RSS items within a feed.
If "Shuffle" checked a random set of RSS feed items will be displayed.This is recommended if you wish to show a unique content block with every website bage reload.
If "Shuffle" unchecked only the newest items will be displayed.This is recommended if you wish to show only the latest news in your content block.

Separate RSS items with lines – this option inserts separator line between items in content block for better visual effect.

No follow - this is a SEO option. It will hide links from search engines and won’t let visitors see where links go.
Open in new window – this option will make all the links open in new window. This is a useful feature for keeping your visitors on the webpage without jumping out through the links.
Content block width/height - set dimensions of your content block. This is very helpful if you have a special spot on your webpage for content block. Here you can make it the best fit. It is set in pixels.

Use content block border- here you choose if your content block will be bordered or not.

Font family, Font size, Font color and Background color – these options will help making your content block adjusted to the design of a webpage.

HTML wrap before/after – use this option for further editing of your content block. You can use any HTML tags here. For example here you may enter a code with image or any kind of advertizing.

To make sure your content block looks the way you want it use "Preview" option on the button.
Let's an example (pay attention to the settings from the above picture).

We have a content block 650x560px in size. There are 3 items displayed. One item from every RSS feed. Content block is bordered. We have a yellowish (#FFFFCC) background, font is Verdana 14 px in dark blue color (#333366).  Font is italized as in HTML before/after option.
It probably looks not like a piece of art but we use all these settings so you could see how it can be done.

General settings preview

General settings preview


Item elements.

Here we set a separate RSS feed elements.


RSS feed channel.

Channel title - Show/Don’t show will let you hide channel if needed.

Here you can also set Font color for the text in Channel. Another option will set Background color for the Channel.  You may also use a Background image option. Specify a link to an image so the program could use it as a background.


RSS channel preview

RSS channel
Before setting other RSS elements pay attention to the Drag and Drop feature used in this interface.

You may reorder item date, item title, item description, item link. Simply drag and drop item element to the spot you wish. See the picture above.
Drag-drop RSS item elements
Let’s set the following order: Date, Title, Description and Link.
RSS item elements order
Time to see how each RSS item element is set up.
Item description
As it was said before you can easily turn on and off each element using Show/Don’t show option.

Also each element has HTML before/after option. Here you can use any HTML tag to set feel&look of item element.

Description length: this option will let you control the length of item description. For example you can set to show the entire description: Description length = All or to choose showing a limited number of symbols:  Description length = Random number of symbols.  If you set random number as 80-80 each item description will have 80 symbols, and if it will be 80-100 we will have the random number from 80 to 100.
Note: the program will not cut the words in the middle. It will also insert (…) if item description was cut. Also be aware that when you
cut item description which contains images it’s more likely that some images may disappear from description. So be careful using this option.
Other elements. As it was said the program works with four main elements of RSS item: Title, Description, Date and Link. But there can be the bigger number of elements within an RSS item. So we give you an opportunity to include also such elements as: Author, Enclosure, Category and Comments. Check-mark this option and you will add these elements into description. If you think that four main elements is enough just don’t use this option.

Allowed HTML tags. Description may contain some HTML tags and you can remove them if you want. For example if you do not need images in description you need to delete <img> tag from the list of other tags mentioned in the text field. Or if you for example want to use <br> tag in description you just add it to the list. It may seem a bit “techy” but it can appear a useful option which gives you a full control over description outlook.
Item title
Again, using HTML before/after you can edit your titles outlook. Let’s make item titles red for example.
Convert title into link- check-mark to make titles likable.
Item link
Item link setting unit has a special feature Substitute link text with phrase. Here you may enter any text which will be linkable. If you do not need links in your items use Don’t show option or leave this option empty.

In our example we will use "more info … " anchor text.
Item date
In Item date only HTML before/after option is used.
Let’s color item date in green and make it italized.
To see how content block will look like, please use "Preview" option.
Item elements preview
When all elements are set up, press "Next" to move to the final step.

Here you will generate a code snippet which will be ready to be placed into website or blog template.

First, give your code snippet a name. It can be default or a custom one. This option will help you easily find it in "My Saves""My code snippets" section of your RSS Ground account.

  Note: name code snippet name will be a part of a code snippet itself so you could easily find this piece of code in source code of a webpage.
Give your code snippet a name or leave a default one and choose Output code format: HTML, JavaScript or PHP. HTML code will be generated in the form of iFrame. For better SEO we recommend using PHP coding.

Also you will have an option of sending a copy of your code snippet to your email.
Press "Generate code" button to receive code snippet.
Code snippet
Now you need to copy and paste this code snippet into your webpage or blog.

This is it.
Here is the list of useful links you may also be interested in:

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