How to access RSS feeds for websites that don't advertise one

Tutorial

intro

The popularity of RSS/ATOM news feeds seems to be declining, so much so that Mozilla has stopped supporting news feeds and Live Bookmarks around version 64 of its Firefox web browser. I find the lack of support for news feeds very discouraging at a time when more people are turning to the World Wide Web for news and especially so given the censorship and purging that is taking place on all of the mainstream social media platforms. In my case i watch roughly 170 websites nearly every day and this would hardly be possible without RSS/ATOM news feeds and a news feed reader which automatically collects all of the latest headlines and article excerpts from all of these websites and presents it a unified way. I've never timed it, but i would guess that even if i checked my feeds only once each day, it probably wouldn't consume more than an hour of my time to scan all of the headlines for all of the websites i watch, whereas if i had to manually visit each website, it might take half a day. And no, social media is not an alternative to news feeds, especially when mega-corporations like Facebook, Twitter, Google, Reddit, etc., are purging, censoring and shadow banning many high quality people and organizations from their platforms as the U.S. descends into the realm of the radical left/communist/woke/politically correct ideology.

But i digress.

To read news feeds you'll need a feed reader. You can find various add-ons for Firefox at the Mozilla add-ons website. If you want to check out my preferred news reader, see the Firefox Extensions - My Picks page. For other browsers, you'll have to check your respective repository. If you would rather use dedicated software instead of a browser extension, check out the article 14 Best RSS Feed Readers for Linux in 2018.

With our feed reader in hand, we should be able to access any RSS or ATOM news feed as long as the publishing platform generates one, regardless of whether the software or the webmaster made the location of the feed obvious. Following are some tips to pull feeds from various platforms which don't make their feed URLs so obvious.

Odysee (LBRY) feeds

LBRY is a decentralized content sharing platform that is proving to be an excellent alternative to the censor-happy gatekeepers like YouTube, Vimeo, etc.. There are several ways to access the platform, including desktop and mobile software, as well as through a web browser. One of the most popular web clients is the Odysee website. News feeds are provided by lbryfeed.melroy.org. Here we will use The Corbett Report channel as our example.

Template: https://lbryfeed.melroy.org/channel/<channel_name>

  1. On any video or channel page for The Corbett Report, note the channel name which can be found in the URL for the page (in your browsers address bar). In this case it is corbettreport
  2. Replace <channel_name> in the template above with the actual channel name:
    https://lbryfeed.melroy.org/channel/corbettreport

BitChute feeds

Like YouTube, BitChute makes this a bit more difficult than it needs to be. Here again we will use The Corbett Report channel as our example.

Template: https://www.bitchute.com/feeds/rss/channel/<channel_name>

  1. On any video or channel page for The Corbett Report, note the channel short name which is located just under the channel title (the short name will always be lowercase with no spaces). In this case the channel the channel short name is corbettreport
  2. Replace <channel_name> in the template above with the channel short name followed by a trailing slash (in my case, eliminating the trailing slash prompts to download the feed summary which could also be useful perhaps):
    https://www.bitchute.com/feeds/rss/channel/corbettreport/

YouTube feeds

The easiest way to find channel feeds is by using the Firefox add-on mentioned prior, but you don't need the extension. Here we will use Carey Wedler's channel as an example.

Template: https://www.youtube.com/feeds/videos.xml?channel_id=<channel_id>

  1. Click on any of Carey's videos to load the video page.
  2. On the video page, right-click the channel name below the video (in this case 'Carey Wedler') and select 'Copy Link Location' (or similar) from your browser context menu. Paste that URL somewhere, such as a text editor. In this case the URL is https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCs84giQmEVI8NXXg78Fvk2g
  3. It is the channel ID that we need which in this case is UCs84giQmEVI8NXXg78Fvk2g
  4. Replace <channel_id> in the template with the actual channel ID:
    https://www.youtube.com/feeds/videos.xml?channel_id=UCs84giQmEVI8NXXg78Fvk2g

Vimeo feeds

Vimeo uses a format similar to YouTube. Here we will use the Truthstream Media channel (Aaron and Melissa Dykes) channel as an example.

Template: https://vimeo.com/<channel_name>/videos/rss

  1. From the URL in your browser address bar, copy the channel name or numeric ID, in this case truthstreammedia
  2. Replace <channel_name> in the template with the actual channel name or numeric ID:
    https://vimeo.com/truthstreammedia/videos/rss

WordPress feeds

Websites generated with WordPress can generate several kinds of feeds by default. How best to access them depends on whether the blog owner has enabled permalinks, but regardless of whether they have or not, WordPress will reveal the proper feed address even if we use the wrong URL format. Try adding any of the following to the root domain of the website:

/feed
/?feed=rss
/?feed=rss2
/?feed=rdf
/?feed=atom

Using this website as an example, i have permalinks enabled and so the URL for my main RSS feed is https://12bytes.org/feed , however you can use the format that assumes permalinks are not enabled ( https://12bytes.org/?feed=rss ) and it will forward you to the same URL.

You can also grab more specific feeds from a website powered by WordPress, such as for specific categories. If you were interested in the Tech category for 12bytes.org for example, you can just add feed/ after the URL.

Steemit feeds

Steemit doesn't provide any feeds so far as i'm aware, however you can use the 3rd party website, hiverss.com, to generate a feed for someones Steemit channel. Here again we will use The Corbett Report channel as an example.

Template: http://www.hiverss.com/@<channel_name>/feed

  1. Note the channel name located in the URL of your browser address bar, in this case corbettreport
  2. Replace <channel_name> in the template with the actual channel name:
    http://www.hiverss.com/@corbettreport/feed

Squarespace feeds

Read the Squarespace tutorial, Finding your RSS feed URL.

Medium feeds

Read the Medium tutorial, RSS feeds.

Tumblr feeds

Add /rss to the site domain: https://example.tumblr.com/rss

generic methods for accessing feeds

If none of the above apply to the website you're trying to acquire a news feed for, try these generic methods by adding one of the following to the website's root domain. You can also try adding a trailing slash to these:

/feed
/rss
/atom
/feed/atom
/?feed=rss
/?feed=atom

For example, the The Bureau of Investigative Journalism website does not seem to offer a link to their news feeds, nor do they appear to be running WordPress, but if we simply add /feed after the domain ( https://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/feed ) their publishing platform will forward us to their RSS news feed. We can also add /feed/atom to the domain to pull their ATOM news feed. You can try this little hack with any website, though it obviously will not work if the publishing platform does not produce a feed. Also see the article, Find an RSS Feed URL, from 'Gloo'.

getting updates from websites that don't generate feeds

If a website does not produce a news feed at all and you don't want to have to visit it regularly to see if anything new has been posted, then some sort of 3rd party service or browser extension can be utilized. In the case of Firefox there are a few add-ons that can monitor a website for changes, such as Update Scanner. There are also a number of utilities that will help you create news feeds, such as the Feed Creator and FetchRSS.

helpful add-ons that auto-detect news feeds or page updates

If you use Firefox, check out these add-ons:

  • RSSPreview by Aurelien David can find and preview feeds for many websites.
  • Update Scanner by 'sneakypete81' is a nice utility that will check a webpage for updates by comparing the current version of a page to a stored snapshot. This is handy when a site simply doesn't generate any news feeds.

change log

The following are the most recent changes to this page.

  • added LBRY feed info
  • edited most of the content to trim the fat and provide better examples

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