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The History Files

Help with RSS (and Facebook)


What is an RSS feed?

A feed, also known as RSS feed, XML feed, syndicated content, or web feed, is focussed, frequently-updated content which is published by a website such as the History Files. Although RSS feeds have been deprecated of late, they can still be used, and are still popular with many.

It is usually used for news and blog websites, but can also be used for distributing other types of digital content, including pictures, audio, or video. In the case of the History Files, it contains information on all major updates and newly-published material on the site.

Feeds can also be used to deliver audio content (usually in MP3 format) which you can listen to on your computer or MP3 player. This is referred to as podcasting.

Does a website offers feeds?

When you first view a website, your browser will search for feeds. If feeds are available and an appropriate reader is installed on your browser, the 'Feeds' button will change colour in Internet Explorer, or it will appear in the url address bar in Firefox. Many sites use this orange icon, but some use a picture with 'XML' on it, while a few others use an orange or blue icon, or simply a text link.

A sound may also play in some versions of Internet Explorer.

Some browsers automatically check for feeds when you visit a website. At least until recently, these browsers included Firefox, Opera, and Safari. They would display an icon when they found a feed. This could make the process of subscribing to feeds more easy. For more details, please check the relevant websites.

The History Files has its own feed. You can find the link for accessing this in the url bar of every relevant page, as described above. You can also find it on any of the index or help pages. It is an orange button on the right-hand side of all index pages .

Features Indices Churches Indices Churches Indices Railway Walks Indices King Lists Indices Rss Feeds

RSS icon on The History Files index page
Where you can find the RSS Feeds button on the History Files index pages, although this will be the pure XML feed without the benefit of a reader to filter and format it


How does a feed differ from a website?

A feed can have the same content as a web page, but it is often formatted differently.

When you subscribe, your browser will automatically check the website and download new content so that you can see what is new since you last visited the feed.

Getting automatically updated content

You can receive content automatically by subscribing to a web feed, or rss feed.

When you subscribe to a web feed, you set the interval at which your browser will check the website for updates. Once you have set an interval, your browser will automatically download the most up-to-date web feed list.

How to view the History Files feed

Feeds can be viewed in a news reader. This is a piece of software which checks the feeds and lets you read any new articles that have recently been added. Some news readers are accessed using your web browser, while others are downloadable applications (these are not covered here).

Browser-based news readers usually come as part of your internet browser, and allow you to read your selected RSS feeds from any computer.

The History Files offers a single feed which shows all the latest new and updated content.

Visit one of the index pages on the History Files website via the links on the right-hand side of this page. Once the 'Feeds' button becomes available or visible in your browser, you will know that feeds are available.

RSS icon in Internet Explorer
The location of the Feeds button in various versions of Internet Explorer is shown here on the main toolbar - although this is not available with Microsoft Edge

RSS icon in Firefox
The location of the Feeds button in some versions of Firefox, although with later versions it has been discontinued and a stand-alone reader such as Feedbro must be installed as an add-in


Click the 'Feeds' button, and then select the feed you want to see. Once you have done this, a list of the latest content will be shown, with links to the relevant pages on the History Files website.

To get content automatically, you should subscribe to a feed via the link at the top of the 'Feeds' page.

Following that, you will be regularly updated with the latest content from the History Files.

Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, & Twitter

Social networking sites such as Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, and Twitter sometimes offer the opportunity to import notes into your profile from websites via an RSS Feed. This will occur automatically whenever new material is available to be noted. To set this up, follow whatever instructions are available in the social networking site of your choice.

More recently, a link has been added to the History Files toolbar at the bottom of every page in the site. This 'Find us on Facebook' link will take you directly to the site's own page on Facebook, where you will be able to discuss topics, add your own photos, or simply leave a message.

The History Files' Facebook page will be updated with all changes to the History Files website, as will our similarly dedicated page on Google+, Pinterest, and Twitter, so join us there.

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