How to add RSS Autodiscovery to your site


I sometimes see web sites or blogs that have RSS feeds, but fail to include the one line of HTML that enables RSS autodiscovery. Even some well known blogs such as 37 Signals - Signal Vs Noise omit the feature. Jason Kottke's blog has autodiscovery support on the main page, but not on his entry pages.

Adding that one line of code to your template will make it easier for people to subscribe to your RSS feed. Here's how:

<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" 
  title="RSS Feed for" 
  href="/rss/" />

The above link tag should be added inside the head tag of your HTML document.

You will of course need to change the value of the title and href attributes to fit your needs.

If your feed is an ATOM feed you will want to change the type to application/atom+xml.

If you have multiple feeds for the url you can just specify multiple link tags.

When you enable autodiscovery for your rss feed it allows browsers and aggregators to automatically detect the RSS feed when your browsing, and it makes it easy for the user to subscribe to it. Both FireFox, and Safari 2.0 support autodiscovery of RSS feeds out of the box, here's what it looks like when you find one:

firefox autodiscovery button safari autodiscovery button

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On 06/15/2005 at 7:30:12 PM UTC freaksauce wrote:
That's awesome I wondered why mine wasn't working, thanks Pete!

On 06/15/2005 at 10:12:58 PM UTC Michael Dinowitz wrote:
The trailing slash is illegal according to the w3 validator.

On 06/16/2005 at 10:27:21 AM UTC Pete Freitag wrote:
Michael - The trailing slash on the link tag is required if your document type is XHTML, if your doctype is HTML 4.0 then you should not have the closing slash on the tag.

On 10/07/2005 at 9:18:48 PM UTC M. Mortazavi wrote:
I do not see the RSS icon on Firefox, when I go here, for example:

i.e., I don't see any autodiscovery for it.

On your website, and on the WSJ feed website, I do see the auto-discovery icon on Firefox. I know how to subscribe when the icon is there but how does one subscribe when the icon is not present.

On 11/19/2005 at 11:03:21 AM UTC naser wrote:
yeah, I use the same trick too :)

On 04/04/2006 at 11:30:55 AM UTC Ray Corbett wrote:

I inserted the above code in the index.html of my site but nothing happened. If you have time look at the site and click on view source and you'll see the code, but nothing is appearing on the page.

I'm new at this, but isn't the graphic above supposed to show up on the page somewhere? And, if so, how do you control where it is going to show up on your page, by just pasting the code between the head tags? Obviously I'm confused.


On 06/20/2007 at 8:07:55 PM UTC Runstream wrote:
We need more people like you educating - Great article!

On 06/24/2007 at 7:34:28 PM UTC suray wrote:
Great! Remarkable, I've implemented it and it works.

On 06/25/2007 at 3:02:42 AM UTC LeoTheMaster wrote:
Is it working for Windows Live Spaces !

On 06/29/2007 at 7:57:57 PM UTC celexa wrote:
I want to say - thank you for this!

On 07/11/2007 at 11:16:05 AM UTC Feedst wrote:
Guys, Here's an easy way to generate your own autodiscovery tags:

Hope this helps.

On 08/15/2007 at 9:23:16 AM UTC Roman wrote:
This works on Netscape and fire fox but not on internet explorer

On 08/24/2007 at 2:48:48 PM UTC Debi Winters wrote:
Thank you.

On 10/08/2007 at 10:33:02 AM UTC Alex R. wrote:
So how do we know which format of feeds were currently using? On Wordpress I'm running 2.3 'dexter' what feed is this?

On 10/08/2007 at 11:03:18 PM UTC cams4life wrote:
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On 10/17/2007 at 2:49:23 PM UTC Carla Backmon wrote:
Hello Pete, I really appreciate the information. I working with the DotNetNuke module and I am hoping that this option is available within the module. They have not got back to me yet about that but if not I put in a request to see if it could be added to the module it would definitely be an asset. New on the Blog Scene, Carla Backmon

On 11/11/2007 at 4:54:40 PM UTC MemoTrek Blogger wrote:
Thanks a lot for this tip! Been looking for this for quite some time. As we use Joomla! - and this doesn't seem to be enabled by default this hint was really useful! Cheers!

On 04/05/2008 at 3:35:26 PM UTC Debi Winters wrote:
Thank you.

On 04/10/2008 at 9:16:23 PM UTC David Hepworth wrote:
Thank you for the useful advice!

On 04/27/2008 at 3:48:00 AM UTC Kunal wrote:

Can any one help me with making RSS autodiscoverable when rss is present in iframe of the page????

On 07/17/2008 at 12:21:52 PM UTC Tamela wrote:
My recent post is not being updated. I can update my thumbshots but not my posts. And i have been trying for more than a week now. It just keeps saying Last Crawl: Error on whatever date it crawled. I am new at this stuff so can you explain it in layman's terms how I can update my posts. Thank you so much!

On 08/27/2008 at 9:58:24 AM UTC Viv wrote:
I am not sure how to add this to my site. I just changed the template and I am having trouble understanding exactly where to place this code.

On 11/07/2008 at 1:16:05 PM UTC Daniel Hunt wrote:
Thanks Pete, I'll add it to my website to see if it can be discovered.

On 11/30/2008 at 6:16:59 AM UTC David S wrote:
How did I miss this? Worked first time, thank you :-)

On 01/23/2009 at 9:13:18 AM UTC domredsea wrote:
an excellent explanation and wonderful blog:)

On 03/12/2009 at 1:56:10 AM UTC Alex wrote:
Ow yea! I got working RSS both on Fire fox and IE7.


On 07/17/2009 at 5:20:18 PM UTC noah wrote:
it works for fine with me, :)

thank you so much....

On 08/02/2009 at 5:17:21 AM UTC 2proo wrote:
Thank you for your good advice.

On 08/08/2009 at 6:06:38 AM UTC AcrylicStyle.Com wrote:
lol, why does Google help link here?

I mean I understand that this blog post helps, but it's just kinda odd (at least for a large company like Google).

On 09/29/2009 at 3:58:34 AM UTC Shan @ Last Shreds Of Sanity wrote:
So where it says:

title="RSS Feed for" href="/rss/" />

I should put my site name and my feedburner URL after the href=?

I am on blogger.

On 11/06/2009 at 4:40:35 AM UTC Longrad wrote:
How do I tell if my WP site: has XHTML or HTML 4.0, i.e. how do I know if I need closing slash on the tag or not?

On 10/18/2010 at 3:11:32 PM UTC Chefwanabe wrote:
Dear Pete, I inserted the above code in the head tag of my HTML document. .html of my site but nothing happened. I need help. Thanks.

On 03/04/2011 at 7:11:21 AM UTC SEO Beratung wrote:

Its working! :-)

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