An RSS feed is a tool for helping people access content from your site. News aggregators and feed readers, which collect posts from different blogs and websites into one location, pull content from RSS feeds. RSS feeds also enable people to subscribe to podcasts.
When you publish content on a Journal page, the feeds automatically update, creating the new content as .xml files. Any external services that subscribe to these feeds will pull this new content.
This guide explains how to use RSS feeds with your Squarespace 5 site.
Tip: Visitors can subscribe to a Picture Galleries with its mediaRSS feed.
Before you begin
- Other services can only see a page's feed when the Public audience for that page is set to Visible. To learn more, visit Adding and editing audiences.
- Squarespace 5 RSS feeds pull the 30 most recent posts.
- If you're not sure which feed type to use, we recommend RSS.
- If you're having issues, and you're using a custom domain, confirm that the domain is properly connected. See more troubleshooting tips.
- Ensure your Journal page's URL identifier (page slug) is something you’re happy with. Changing the slug later can affect your RSS feed and may cause issues with syndication.
Find the feed URL
- Go to the page.
- Enter Structure mode.
- Click Configure this page.
- Click the Feeds tab.
- Click Atom, RSS, or RDF to see the feeds for each type. Unless you have a specific reason to use Atom or RDF, we recommend you use RSS.
- Click Copy URL to copy the feed URL. When the URL appears in a box at the top, highlight it and use a keyboard shortcut to copy it (on a PC, press Ctrl + C. On a Mac, press ⌘ + C).
Tip: Typically, the feed URL is the full URL for the page, followed by rss.xml
Display feed content in your sidebar
Use the RSS social widget to display feed content in your sidebar. Each widget can display up to five feeds, with twenty posts per feed.
Share the feed link
To encourage visitors to subscribe to your content, use the Syndicate/RSS page or widget to add RSS links to your site.
- In Structure mode or site Architecture, click Add Page or Add Widget and choose Syndicate/RSS. Then click Select & Configure.
- In the RSS Syndication Display Options section, choose the feed or feeds you want to display.
- Save and enable the page or widget.
The Syndicate/RSS page has text explaining how RSS feeds work. This text can't be changed.
Tip: You can also provide visitors with feed URLs as text or a link.
Open feed settings
To change the settings for a feed:
- Go to the Journal page.
- Enter Structure mode.
- Click Configure this page.
- Scroll to the XML Syndication / iTunes Options section.
Here you can change these settings:
- Syndicate as RSS / ATOM / RDF - Enable or disable the page's feeds. Learn more.
- XML Feed Presentation - Choose how your posts appear in readers, such as only showing excerpts. Learn more.
- Entries to display - Choose how many posts display in a feed, up to 30.
- Feed title - Replace the default name with a new title. Learn more.
- Description - Add a description of your blog.
- Copyright - Add a copyright notice for your blog.
- Fixed Feed URL - Replace a feed by overriding its default location in the HTML source code. Subscribers to your site will need to update their feed readers to point to the new URL. This is an advanced modification, and in most cases isn't necessary.
- Enable iTunes XML tags - If your Journal page is for a podcast, see our tips.
Tip: Click the Feeds tab to view and copy your feed URLs.
Set the feed title
By default, the title that displays when someone subscribes to your feed is the same as your Journal's page title.
To use a different title, open your Journal page's configuration and add the title to the Feed Title field.
Set the feed to excerpts only
You can set your syndication settings to only show excerpts or titles in feed readers. Visitors will need to click through to your site to see the full post.
To do this, open your Journal page's configuration and use the XML Feed Presentation drop-down menu to choose how your posts look in feed readers. You can choose from these options:
- Titles only
- Excerpts, with titles if there is no excerpt
- Excerpts, with full posts if there is no excerpt
- Full posts
To learn how to set an excerpt, visit Using blog post excerpts.
Disable a feed
In general, we recommend you leave your feeds enabled. Feed readers allow visitors to subscribe to your site in their preferred way. It helps them stay up to date with updates, and displays your content when and where they like to read it. Also, sites with RSS are crawled more frequently than static sites.
To hide a feed, there are a few options:
- Password-protect the page - This leaves the page visible to site members, but hides it from RSS readers. Learn more.
- Disable the page - This hides the page from everyone, including site members and RSS readers. Learn more.
- Disable the feed - In page configuration, uncheck Syndicate as RSS / ATOM / RDF.
If you're concerned that people won't click through to your site, you can set your feed to only show titles or excerpts.
There are a couple options for sending automatic emails when you update content on your Journal page.
Site change notifications
Site members can subscribe to site change notifications to subscribe to your RSS feeds via email. This sends an email alert when a page is updated.
To learn more, visit Site change notifications.
You can also use a third-party service to send email notifications. This is a good option if your site doesn't have members.
For example, to enable visitors to sign up for email updates for a specific page via MailChimp:
- Create a new, empty list in MailChimp.
- Create an RSS Campaign on MailChimp's Campaigns page, using the RSS feed URL for the page.
- Use a form on your site to collect the name and email addresses of people who want to subscribe. Add those addresses to your MailChimp list as you receive them.
RSS for podcasts
For podcasting, you'll set up a special Blog Page that connects with iTunes using RSS tags and the RSS feed URL for your page.
For detailed steps, visit Podcasting with Squarespace 5.
RSS feeds and site domains
If you have a custom domain set up, the feed URL includes it. For example, depending on whether you use a custom domain or the built-in domain, your page's RSS feed will look like one of these:
If you have multiple custom domains, the feed URL uses your primary domain.
Changing your domain shouldn't affect the number of subscribers to your RSS feed, but it can affect the way that third-party services, such as iTunes or FeedBurner, connect to your feed. If you change your domain or designate a new primary domain, we recommend updating your RSS feed URL in all connected services.
Tip: If you use a custom domain, changing the built-in domain won't affect existing RSS URLs.
To see how many subscriptions your RSS feed has, open the Website Management bar and click Subscribers under Statistics.
This shows the number of unique IPs visiting your RSS feed or feeds. It also includes information from third-party feed readers.
This number is an estimate, and may vary; for example, numbers often go down during the holidays when people check their feed readers less frequently. But tracking this number over time can give you a sense of your overall subscription levels and audience engagement.
My RSS service isn't able to find my feed
If your feed reader or other third-party product isn't able to find the feed for your page:
- Confirm you're using the correct RSS feed URL. For Journal pages, the URL should end in rss.xml.
- Ensure the page is set to Visible for the Public audience.
- Ensure the page is enabled.
- If you're using a custom domain instead of the built-in URL, confirm that your domain is properly connected.
- RSS feed URLs only work for Journal pages.
- Try running your RSS feed URL through a feed validator. We recommend the W3C Feed Validation Service. If your feed isn't valid, the validator will suggest steps for fixing the issue. Often this is caused by invisible formatting in your content, which can happen when you paste from an outside source. You can cut and paste without formatting to resolve this issue.
- If you changed your primary domain or Journal page slug, we recommend updating your RSS feed URL in all connected services.
Tip: If the validator says your feed is valid, it may suggest other improvements you can make to your feed. As long as your feed is valid, these improvements aren't necessary for connecting the feed to the RSS service.
Some blog posts aren't appearing in my feed or reader
Squarespace feeds can only show the 30 most recent blog posts. Since feeds are designed to serve recently published content from a site, this limit avoids overwhelming readers with a full archive of posts.
Why don't video embeds from my Journal display in my feed reader?
Squarespace 5 includes all HTML from Journal posts within the RSS feed. However, RSS readers may strip away certain HTML, such as <object> and <script> tags, which can remove video embeds.
If you're having issues with your videos not showing in RSS, we recommend you include a link to the video on the site where it's hosted, such as YouTube or Vimeo.