RSS

Franklin aims to support automatic & easy RSS feed generation.

Overview

RSS (commonly referred to as Really Simple Syndication) is a standard web format that allows interested readers to subscribe to feeds and read new content on a platform of their choosing, i.e., without browsing to the website from which the content originated. Franklin makes it easy to generate this feed so that readers can more easily stay up to date with your new content.

How to Setup RSS

There is a Franklin generated _rss folder that contains two parts: head.xml & item.xml (if this is not present for you, then copy the files from the FranklinTemplates source.

The complete RSS feed will be built by assembling

head
item
item
item
(foot)
⚠ Note
foot.xml is not exposed by default because there is nothing to customize there. Both head.xml & item.xml contain sane defaults based on good standards. However, their contents may be modified.

Global Configuration

In order to setup an RSS feed for your website, make sure to set the following in your config.md.

generate_rss = true
rss_website_title = "Website Title"
rss_website_descr = "Website Description"
rss_website_url   = "https://<your username>.github.io"
rss_full_content = true
⚠ Note
Notice the last line, rss_full_content = true. This line is important if you wish for your RSS feed to include the full content of your posts. If rss_full_content = false, then subscribers will be notified of new content, but must visit your site in order to read it.

Local Configuration

For each page that you wish to be included in your RSS feed, you should specify the description of the page. This can be done with the rss_description or equivalently the rss or rss_descr local page variable.

@def rss_description = "The page synopsis."

Each page should include a publication date - specified by rss_pubdate and in the format of Dates.Date. For example:

@def rss_pubdate = Date(2021, 12, 31)

Each page should also include a title. If one is not specified then the page title will be used instead. To explicitly set the rss_title, do the following:

@def rss_title = "Item Title"

Optionally, the following page variables can be set as well

  • rss_author

  • rss_category

  • rss_comments

  • rss_enclosure

⚠ Warning!
Check the RSS specifications before using these optional page variables as many have strict requirements and should probably be left blank. For instance the rss_author variable must be an email address. So unless you are familiar it is advised to leave these out.

RSS Page Variables

Here is a summary of all page variables related to RSS.

Global RSS Variables

NameType(s)Default valueComment
generate_rssBoolfalseindicates whether feed.xml should be generated
website_title (alias rss_website_title)String""Used as website title in the RSS feed
website_description (alias website_descr or rss_website_descr)String""Used as website description in the RSS feed
website_url (alias base_url or rss_website_url)String""(RSS)
⚠ Warning!
If you set generate_rss to true then the three other variables must be defined.
⚠ Note
For backward compatibility reasons, if generate_rss is false but the three website_* variables are defined, generate_rss will be switched to true.

Local RSS Variables

These are variables related to RSS 2.0 specifications and must match the format indicated there.

NameDefault value
rss, rss_description""
rss_titlecurrent page title
rss_authorcurrent author
rss_category""
rss_comments""
rss_enclosure""
rss_pubdate""

To recapitulate, for a working RSS feed to be generated you need:

  • to set the website_* variables in your config.md (see global configuration),

  • on appropriate pages, to define at least rss to a valid description.

Examples