RSS Feeds and Podcasts

The CMS is heavily oriented towards RSS and provides several methods to expose this on your website.

  • Central RSS feeds
  • Article List RSS feeds
  • Event List RSS feeds
  • Podcasts for any of the above

Items listed in RSS feeds can be one of the following:

  • Article Pages
  • Media Pages (for Podcasts)
  • Any of the above acting as a link to external resources
  • Events pulled from your CRM

Follow Along in this Video Tutorial


Central RSS feeds

You can create central RSS feeds in the CMS from the Content Tab > RSS screen.

This list will appear on the website's Central RSS page (assuming one has been configured on your website - contact staff if you need this installed).  From this area you can:

  • Rearrange items
  • Modify items
  • Duplicate items
  • Remove items

Creating and Modifying RSS Channels

The following is a list of fields and their functions:

  • Name - the name of the RSS Channel
  • Description - the description of the RSS Channel
  • Link - the link associated with the RSS Channel - this is used to specify what page to visit for finding the original list of items on the website
  • Generator - the RSS generator
  • Editor Email - the e-mail address for contacting the editor of the list
  • Web Master Email - the e-mail address for contacting the administrator of the website
  • Copyright - website copyright
  • Is Category - specifies whether this links to RSS or just acts as a parent category on the Central RSS page
  • Hide - specifies whether the RSS Channel is hidden

Website Central RSS Page

Below you can see how the above RSS Channel list is displayed on the website:

Exposing Article and Media pages through RSS Feeds

While editing an Article or Media page in the CMS you can associate it with one or more RSS Channels on the Central RSS page.  Use the RSS Tab and check the desired channels.  Note: if you associate a Media page with an RSS channel, the RSS feed generated will automatically become a Podcast feed.

Media Pages as Podcasts

A Media page acts as a link to a media asset such as an MP3 file.  You can link to local assets or remote assets on external websites.  When a Media page appears in an RSS feed, the RSS feed automatically becomes a Podcast RSS feed.  This applies to Central RSS feeds and Article List RSS feeds.  Note: Article Pages and Media page both act as articles that can be included in Article Lists.

Exposing RSS through Article or Event Lists

It is often useful to provide an RSS feed for an Article List.  This can appear as an independent RSS feed or also be included on the Central RSS page.

While creating or modifying an Article List WYSIWYG plugin, the RSS Settings group contains controls that allow you to specify how RSS feeds should be generated.  Below is a list of fields and their functions:

  • Enable RSS Feed - this creates an RSS feed link for the Article List
  • Name - the name of the RSS feed
  • Description - the description of the RSS feed
  • RSS Icon Position - where the RSS link icon should appear - above the Article List or below it
  • RSS Category - by selecting an RSS Category you can associate this Article List with a Central RSS Category

Note: all of the above apply to Event Lists as well. When you associate an Article or Event List with a Central RSS Category, the name of the Article or Event List RSS feed is generated as the RSS Channel name on the Central RSS screen.  This new RSS Channel is hidden by default, and contains notes about the Article or Event List that was used to create the RSS Channel.

When enabling RSS on an Article or Event List, the RSS feed icon link is displayed on the website.  You can see how this is applied below:

Excluding Specific Pages

To exclude specific Article or Media pages from an Article List RSS feed, unselect the Private Property "Show in RSS" for those pages.

Podcast and RSS Access Restrictions

There are several ways to restrict access to RSS feed content.  If the feed is for an Article Page, simply restrict access to that Article Page in the CMS via it's Global Properties.  Alternatively you can restrict access to the RSS feed if it is an Article List RSS feed, by ensuring it is not listed on the Central RSS page on your website, then restricting access to the Topic Page that contains the Article List.  Note: if someone knows the link, they can still access the Article Pages unless you restrict their access.  The simplest way to lock down a Topic and all Articles associated with an RSS feed is to set the Topic's Global Properties then use the "Save & Apply to Children" button, as this will then apply the same access restrictions to all child Article Pages.

Because Media pages act as links, you can not directly restrict their access; except by hiding the RSS feed link itself (the Topic Page).  If you are linking to a local media asset you can restrict access using the "Member" and "NonMember" secure directories under /content/files/.  If these are not setup on your website and you would like to use the secure directory feature, please contact support.

Contact this Author: < Nicholas Bott >