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Display RSS feeds on your site like the professionals for free

I have talked in the past about displaying RSS feeds on your site using Javascript. Whilst this is a quick and easy way to display RSS it has a couple of downsides. Firstly you are usually dependant on a third party for the cut and paste code to display your feed. Secondly Javascript does not get indexed by the search engines.

If you are not technically minded then the following will probably not be for you. In that case there are many free Javascript tools online. Ok, if you feel you may be able to handle a bit of technical talk then read on.

Having spent many hours researching I have found what appears to be the best free PHP solution for displaying RSS feeds on your site. The solution uses PHP which if you are not familiar with it is a popular server side processing language and is called SimplePie.

SimplePie will allow you to easily display RSS feeds on your site. I use the term easy relatively as I have tried several similar solutions and this is in my opinion the easiest to use. Take a look at their demo page to see what it is capable of.

To be able to use SimplePie you need your own server or some server space, if you have a blog or site then you have this already. Your host will most likely already support PHP which you will need to run the PHP code.

The final ingredient you are going to need is a bit of technical setting up to get the script working. This will include uploading the files to your server, doing some CHMOD changes (not as difficult as it sounds) and changing a few things in the script itself. The final part is to tell the script your RSS source.

As I said before you will need to be a bit technically minded. If you know a bit of PHP then you will find this manageable. I barely know PHP and was able to set up a working site in an hour or so.

I have to say I highly recommend SimplePie because it allows you to display search engine readable RSS. It's easy to set up and best of all it's totally free to use. And if that's not enough version 1.0 has been announced.

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