PSG Number: GM-14-005
Topical Area: Web Design and Development
Issue Date: 11/1/2013
Effective Date: 11/1/2013
Document Type: Guideline; Published (approved by Web Standards Group and GTA)
POC for Changes: Georgia.gov Interactive
Synopsis: RSS Feed guidelines for State of Georgia web sites.

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. It is a web page format that allows visitors to subscribe to a section of your website using an RSS aggregator in order to be notified when new content is posted. Other websites can also syndicate and display your content as supplemental information, thereby giving your new content a wider audience.

2.4.1 When to Use RSS

RSS is ideal for content that is regularly updated, such as news, press releases, blogs, podcasts, and event information.

Georgia.gov syndicates Agency RSS feeds on its main topic pages for News and Press Releases. To have your Agency Press Releases posted on the Georgia.gov website, be sure your feed matches the appropriate RSS formatting below, and then open a Portal Support Ticket indicating that you would like your RSS feed to be added to the Georgia.gov website, and include the URL of your feed.

* Note for Portal agencies: RSS feeds are generated automatically for Press, Blogs, and Events in the Drupal CMS. Relevant RSS feeds on portal websites will be automatically added to the Georgia.gov website, so no support ticket will be necessary.

2.4.2 RSS Markup Formats

RSS is written in the XML markup language, and can take different forms depending on the content being syndicated. The most efficient way to keep an RSS feed updated is to have your Content Management System (CMS) set up to automatically update the RSS file when new content is published.

Follow the RSS 2.0 guidelines for formatting your RSS feed.

At minimum, your RSS feed should contain the following information:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="iso-8859-1"?>
<rss version="2.0">
<channel>
<title>Title for your RSS feed</title>
<description>Description of the RSS feed</description>
<link>Your homepage URL</link>
<language>en-us</language>
<pubDate>Fri, 31 Dec 2011 21:00:00 EST</pubDate>

<item>
<title>Item title</title>
<link>Full URL of item on website</link>
<description>Short Description of item</description>
<pubDate>Fri, 31 Dec 2011 21:00:00 EST</pubDate>
</item>

<item>
<title>Item 2 title</title>
<link>Full URL of item on website</link>
<description>Short Description of item 2</description>
<pubDate>Fri, 31 Dec 2011 20:00:00 EST</pubDate>
</item>

</channel>
</rss>

* Note: <pubDate> shows when the channel or item was published. The date should be expressed in the following format: day_of_week, day_of_month three_letter_month_abbreviation year hour:minute:seconds timezone. Example: Fri, 31 Dec 2011 20:00:00 EST

2.4.3 Indicating RSS Feeds

When linking to an RSS feed, it is a common practice to use the RSS feed icon: WYSIWYG: EMBEDDED IMAGE

2.4.4 Glossary

RSS Aggregator: Also known as an RSS Reader. A program that allows users to subscribe to RSS feeds, which checks for new content and displays it within its interface. An example is Feedly (https://feedly.com/).

2.4.5 Resources