I've never actually maintained an RSS or Atom feed before and I just wanted to confirm that I understand their overall "architecture".

My understanding is that RSS and Atom feeds work identically, except they are slightly different file (XML) formats with slightly different standards/conventions. And that basically you point an RSS/Atom client (or "reader") to the URL for an RSS/Atom file, such as:

  • http://myfeed.example.com/rss/feed.xml; or
  • http://myfeed.example.com/atom/feed.atom

...and the RSS/Atom reader will download the file and present the feed content to the end user however it needs to present it.

Also, my understanding is that, to create that feed file (feed.xml or feed.atom), I just need to author it manually or with some RSS building tool and deploy it to the correct web URL. Hence every time I deploy a new/modified feed file, RSS readers will pick up those new changes.

Finally, my understanding is that RSS/Atom feed files will grow massive over time, retaining a full history of the feed in the form of a growing list of XML elements (one element for each new feed item, whether its a blog, a podcast or anything else).

So I ask: is my understanding of how RSS "architecture" works correct or am I greatly misled in any way? If so, how?! Thanks in advance!

  • 2
    This question isn't a great fit for Web Applications, but you are pretty much correct. Publishing an RSS feed just means publishing an XML file - most systems like Wordpress will handle it automatically. To keep the size down, most feeds will only consist of the most recent entries (either by number or date).
    – John C
    Jun 26 '18 at 2:53

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.