Manage an RSS or Atom feed

  

RSS feeds (and Atom feeds) are XML files generated by most blogs and websites as a way to subscribe to new content on the site. In Hootsuite, they are an easy way to automatically publish new content from your blogs, or other blogs or websites, to your social accounts. RSS feeds can be set up to publish to Facebook Pages, and LinkedIn profiles and Pages.

You can find RSS feeds for a website anywhere you see this icon Orange RSS icon.

Tip: Make sure your RSS or atom feed is valid before you begin. Check the syntax of the feed in a validator site like this one: https://validator.w3.org/feed/
If a feed does not validate, contact the site the feed came from. See also RSS requirements.

Add an RSS feed

  1. Go to My profile Profile icon, and then select Account settings, preferences, and billing.
    Account settings, preferences, and billing selected in the My profile menu.
  2. Select RSS/Atom from the Account & Settings list.
  3. Optional: Select My RSS/Atom Feeds to select an organization to add the feed to.
  4. Select Add New Feed .
  5. Paste the RSS feed URL in the Feed URL field.
  6. Select the social account from the drop-down list that will publish the feed items.
  7. Select a frequency for checking the feed for content, and how many new items to publish at a time (if that many are available).
  8. Optional: In the Prepend text... field, enter a short note to appear before each post (e.g. "New blog post:")
  9. Select a URL shortener from the drop-down list to shorten the link to the feed item.
  10. Select Save Feed.

Feed did not validate? See Feed did not validate later in this article.

Edit an RSS feed

Feed configuration can be edited at any time, but feed URLs cannot be edited. To change a feed source, it must be deleted and a new one added. 

  1. Go to My profile Profile icon, and then select Account settings, preferences, and billing.
    Account settings, preferences, and billing selected in the My profile menu.
  2. Select RSS/Atom from the Account & Settings list.
  3. Select My RSS/Atom Feeds to select the organization that owns the feed (if applicable).
  4. Select Edit Feed  beside the feed.
    The Edit Feed icon highlighted beside a sample news RSS feed in an organization's settings
  5. Make your edits, and then select Save Feed.

Pause or resume an RSS feed

Publishing from your feeds can be paused and resumed at any time.

  1. Go to My profile Profile icon, and then select Account settings, preferences, and billing.
    Account settings, preferences, and billing selected in the My profile menu.
  2. Select RSS/Atom from the Account & Settings list.
  3. Select My RSS/Atom Feeds to select the organization that owns the feed (if applicable).
  4. Select the ON/OFF toggle beside the feed to pause or resume feed post publishing.

Delete an RSS feed

  1. Go to My profile Profile icon, and then select Account settings, preferences, and billing.
    Account settings, preferences, and billing selected in the My profile menu.
  2. Select RSS/Atom from the Account & Settings list.
  3. Select My RSS/Atom Feeds to select the organization that owns the feed (if applicable).
  4. Select Delete Feed  beside the feed.
  5. Select OK to confirm.

Notes:

  • Content already pulled into an RSS feed before it is connected to Hootsuite will not be retroactively published.
  • Hootsuite can check RSS feeds as frequently as once per hour. Try the RSS Auto Publisher app to check feeds more frequently.
  • If the title of a feed article, including the prepended message, is fewer than 60 characters, Hootsuite will also include the article description in the post.
  • Feeds posted to Facebook Pages and LinkedIn automatically scrape a link preview thumbnail from the image tagged as the og:image on the webpage. This cannot be customized in Hootsuite.
  • Feeds can become disabled  if Hootsuite searches for new content and experiences five consecutive failures, such as being unable to reach the server, or being unable to validate the content of the feed. See Feed did not validate.

Feed did not validate

If you see one of the following error messages after adding an RSS feed, there is likely an issue with the feed XML file, or with the website generating it. Reach out to the website providing the RSS feed, or fix the XML data if it is your own feed.

Error Explanation
Invalid content type set for this feed The Content-Type header data is not set to XML or HTML
Invalid response from URL The URL returns an http error (ex. 404 page not found)
Not valid XML data The XML data has issues
Not a valid feed The XML doesn't contain valid data of a supported feed type (RSS, ATOM)
Timeout while trying to read this feed There is a timeout while reading the feed contents
Unable to parse feed contents Our XML parser can’t read the data due to an issue with the XML
Unable to read contents at this URL No response from the RSS feed or another error connecting to the URL
Unexpected error occurred while trying to parse this feed Other failures in trying to read the feed contents
No items in your feed to check, or no items that contain at least a title and date/time

 

RSS requirements

Tip: The first thing to check for any feed is that it validates in a feed validator site like this one: https://validator.w3.org/feed/

RSS feeds must contain the following:

  • Each post must contain a pubDate (indicates the date and time the item was published).
  • Each pubDate should be prior to when the feed is checked. Hootsuite will not publish any posts with pubDates in the future.
  • Links in each post must direct to different source URLs. If more than one post links to the same URL, Hootsuite will think they are the same post and only publish the first one that links to the URL.
  • Each post must have a different title, or Hootsuite will think they are the same post, and only publish the first one.

To learn more about RSS feeds and their elements, see the RSS specification.

RSS posting frequencies

There are six intervals to select from in your RSS settings for the frequency the feed is checked for new posts. At each interval, Hootsuite publishes 1-5 new posts (depending on your settings) from the feed, newest first.

RSS feeds are checked at the top of the hours noted below. However, publishing of new content found will happen at some point within the hour. All times are in GMT.

  • 24 hours: Midnight
  • 12 hours: Midnight, Noon
  • 6 hours: Midnight, 6am, Noon, 6pm
  • 3 hours: Midnight, 3am, 6am, Noon, 3pm, 6pm
  • 2 hours: Midnight, Noon, and all even hours
  • 1 hour: Every hour
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