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Custom RSS feed is quick way to add content

By Loren Nelson, 01/12/16, 4:15PM CST

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FeedWind provides free option for combining multiple feeds, then customizing them for your site

Like the importance of location, location, location in real estate, there’s nothing more crucial to a website than the three C’s. You know, content, content, content.

A knockout design and a mobile-friendly platform will only take a site so far. If there’s no content, there’s no reason to hang out there (i.e.: a Starbucks that has run out of coffee).

The Farmington (Minnesota) Youth Hockey Association site recently underwent a design upgrade as it was moved onto Sport Ngin’s new mobile-responsive Itasca theme.

While webmaster Rob Juncker recognizes the importance of keeping association news flowing onto the site, he saw the added value of having additional content available on the homepage in the form of an RSS feed from another content source. In this case, the Farmington site is pulling headlines and intro text from Let’s Play Hockey, a media outlet publishing hockey news from around the upper Midwest.

Sport Ngin’s Sitebuilder platform includes a Feed Reader page element that makes it incredibly easy to place an RSS feed anywhere on a site. All that is required is pasting the feed’s URL into the Feed Reeder page element. 

In this case, with the help of Sport Ngin product marketing manager Rob Bedeaux, a more custom option was created using the free RSS feed widget FeedWind (see image below). Bedeaux chose from dozens of options that allowed him to customize how the feed displays, then pasted the widget’s code onto the site using the Code page element.


How it works

FeedWind is a free RSS feed widget (you can add multiple RSS feeds) with all sorts of customization options. There is keyword functionality that has include and exclude fields, allowing the ability to further control the content flowing onto your site. In this example, we are going to customize the RSS feed from Minnesota Hockey.


Getting started

First, you need to find the RSS feed or feeds you want to customize. In this example we navigated to Minnesota Hockey, then clicked on the RSS link at the bottom of the site's Announcements & Events aggregator (see images below). 

Using FeedWind

Navigate to the FeedWind site (http://feed.mikle.com). Get started by pasting your RSS feed URL into the Add Feed block (see image below).  

Customize your feed

This is where the fun starts! You can set the width and height of your feed, determine whether you want it to scroll automatically, whether it shows text and a thumbnail photograph or just text only, the font style and size and more. Note: As you make changes to your feed, a preview window on the right side of the page shows how the feed will appear (see image below). 

More customization

We recommend you turn the Feed Title off, then create a header from Sitebuilder that is more consistent with the look of your site (as was done on the Farmington site). The colors of the titles, content and background all can be customized, among other options (see image below). 

Copy and paste your code

The code for your custom RSS feed is available at the bottom right of the FeedWind page. Copy that code, then paste it onto your Sport Ngin site using the Code Element (see images below) 

Learn More

Check out the Code Library section of our Forum to get more ideas on how to load custom code elements - such as any document you can create in Google - onto your site.

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About Loren Nelson

Loren Nelson is Community Manager at SportsEngine. He is also the National Media Editor and has served in a variety of other customer facing and media roles since 2009.

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