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Add websites to a feed

Add websites as RSS to a feed and follow new publications

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Monitoring key websites is probably a critical part of your content curation activities. You likely have several websites you want to monitor and you can easily add these websites to your Cronycle feeds. Adding a website to your Cronycle feed is as easy as identifying the correct URL since so many websites today natively publish RSS feeds. This tutorial will walk you through the instructions for making sure you’re including updates from tracked websites in your Cronycle feed.

First off, a Cronycle feed is much more than an aggregation of content from several sources. You can also add other types of sources, and your own filters to control the content you get, reducing noise and increasing relevance.

How to add websites to a feed in Cronycle?

Once you’ve identified websites you want to monitor, you have several options for adding those websites to your Cronycle feeds. In “Create a feed” or “Add sources” (both from feed settings and to the sources library), type in the search field either:

  1. the domain using the format “bbc.com” (do not search the entire URL, nor a specific page).
    OR
  2. the name of the source, eg “bbc”
Searching a domain - eg "bbc.com"

When the search doesn’t work…

There can be two reasons for not getting any result, each requiring different solutions. One reason could be that the RSS link is “hidden.” If this is the case, read on for instructions about how to find the link and add it to your feed. The other possibility is that the website doesn’t have an RSS feed at all – we’ve got a few workarounds for that situation as well.

Hidden RSS link

It is possible the website has an RSS feed but it has never been added to our database. In that case, open your web browser and go directly to the website you want content from (e.g. https://www.old.cronycle.com/).

Now, you need to find the RSS URL, which isn’t always easy because it depends on the platform the site is hosted by. There are a few different ways to find it. You’ll have to try each one until you succeed. Find simple explanations below.

Hunt the RSS logo

The first option is to check in all four corners of the website for an RSS icon:

If you find one, the RSS URL is probably accessible with a simple click on the RSS icon.

Append common characters to a page URL

If you don’t see the RSS icon, your second option is to copy the URL of the website you want to add to the feed, paste it in the address bar in a new tab on your browser and then try adding the following characters (one option at a time) to the end of the URL, and press enter:

  • /feed to the end of the URL – this works with WordPress sites (the most common) e.g. https://www.old.cronycle.com/feed/
  • feeds/posts/default to the end of the URL – this works for blogs made with Blogger. Like this: website.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default
  • /rss to the end of the URL – for blogs made with Tumblr. Like this: https://website.tumblr.com/rss
  • To add a Medium publication, read this dedicated post
  • To add a YouTube Channel, read this dedicated post
  • To add a Pinterest board, append .rss to the board URL, like this: https://www.pinterest.fr/username/boardname.rss
  • To add a Pinterest profile, append /feed.rss after the profile username, like this: https://www.pinterest.fr/username/feed.rss

You’ll know you’ve hit on a winner when the page shows some code that looks something like this:

xml code for an RSS feed
The xml code of an RSS feed – a good sign!

Atom feeds

RSS is not the only format used to share web links – Atom is an alternative. You can add Atom feeds in Cronycle just like you add RSS feeds.

Check the source code

No luck? There is still one other way to identify the RSS URL so you can add the website to a feed, by checking the source code. Don’t worry, it’s not as complicated as it sounds.

To do so, right-click (or 2-finger tap for Mac track pads) and select “View source code” from the options (or similar expression, it varies slightly across browsers). This opens a page full of code.

Now, search the term “rss” on this page. You can do that with Ctrl+F (Windows, Linux) or Command + F on a Mac. If “rss” is visible within a URL, you probably found the RSS URL. Copy it and test it in another tab or add it to Cronycle directly. If you don’t find RSS, try searching for “atom” instead.

Add the website RSS URL to a feed in Cronycle

Now that (hopefully) you have a winner, copy this RSS URL, head back to Cronycle and paste it in the search field in “Create a feed” or “Add sources”. The result should appear in the RSS section within several seconds (give it a little time to load). Add it to the feed, and confirm (Note: the preview won’t work immediately as this is a new source in the system). The new content will load in the feed.

If after trying all of the above, you still cannot identify the RSS link, you can probably conclude that the website does not have an RSS feed. This is unfortunately getting more and more common. But you still have a couple more options: bypassing and generating the RSS.

Bypass with Twitter

Check whether the website has a strongly associated Twitter account that regularly shares the content added to the website (or several Twitter accounts). Copy the @handle, go to Cronycle, and paste it in the search field to “Create a feed” or “add source”. The result will appear in the Twitter section.

add a twitter account as an alternative

Add it to the feed and confirm. Repeat if you identify several Twitter accounts relevant to the website(s) you wanted to add to the feed.

You’ll notice that your feed looks different – many tweets show up, as you’ve now added a Twitter source. If that’s too much noise, try filtering the feed content to only show “Articles & videos”. In that case, you won’t see the tweets anymore, but you’ll still get the articles shared via tweets – smart! Learn more about curating with Twitter with this dedicated tutorial.

Bypass with Cronycle Topics

Cronycle Topics are automated feeds, available for over 80k topics, that can help you discover relevant content in a dynamic and filtered way. This is great for reducing blindspots and uncovering emerging sources. Instead of relying on RSS feeds, you search for the specific topic you want to have information about. There is also a freeform search to surface content mentioning specific keywords you add, which often works well with competitors and other precise terms.

Use an RSS generator

The first option for generating RSS is to use https://rss.app. This is a tool that generates an RSS feed out of almost any website. Once you have the RSS link generated, simply add it to the search box in “Create a feed” or “Add source”, add the result and confirm. Please note, this is not the only app generation tool, there are other alternatives to this service.

Request our service to generate an RSS

If the web page you want to monitor does not have any feed and the other solutions are not applicable, you can request our team to generate an RSS feed to monitor new content. Please fill this form here. This service is included with the Enterprise plan.

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