Administrator Help - RC v3.3
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 Chapter - 9.2 RSS Feeds Reader

Click on "RSS Feeds" in admin tasks. Here you may create RSS feeds references and display them at the site. You are not actually creating feeds but rather caching existed feeds (converted to human readable form by RSS reader) from any web site (possibly including your own) into Rapid Classified database for further display at the site.

Create first feed entry. All you need to start with, is a valid RSS feed URL link. As an example go to http://www.cnet.com find an RSS link at the bottom and choose any feed. Alternatively, if you have enough ads at posted at classified, just go to rss_feeds.asp page, click any RSS icon and copy resulted URL link. Paste a valid link to Valid RSS Feed field in RSS manager, specify RSS Feed Name and click "Create New Feed" button.

Do not worry about the rest of the settings for now. You can always modify settings later on (except RSS Feed Name). The feed name used for internal identification, must be unique and configured as a single word in English. References for the rest of the settings provided in chapter 9.3.

Once you created a new feed, you may:

  • View feed XML source by clicking the feed name link.
  • Edit settings by clicking "Edit" link
  • Refresh feed in database by clicking "Cache Now"
  • Delete feed by clicking "Delete"

Click on "Edit" link for newly created feed. Scroll to the bottom at the following page. The feed displayed in an iframe. You can change feed output configurations and save changes. You may alternate preview mode by clicking "Preview" or "Preview as Portal" to see the formatted feed output.

Note: After selecting different options but before saving feed configuration, you may click "Preview" or "Preview as Portal" to see the result of amended configurations. Initially, when you click "Edit" at the Feeds list page and jump to edit page, the preview displays cached feed from database. However, when you click"Preview" or "Preview as Portal" button, the feed preview becoming "Live" - meaning you see the live feed from the source (actual feed URL) formatted by an RSS Reader. You may change settings and click preview buttons as many times as you would like until satisfied with output. Changes at this point are not saved in database but the live preview would reflect them. When satisfied with changes, click "Save Feed" to save the feed in database.

9.2.1 Displaying Feeds

Now it's a good time to decide where exactly on the RC pages you would like to display your feeds. There are 2 ways to display feeds. While on Admin Feeds management or on Feeds edit page you may see 2 text boxes for each feed - Page Insertion string and Template insertion string.

Manually inserting feed strings (Page Insertion)

The Feed string would look something like:
Just open in an editor any page where you'd like to display a feed and insert this string.

This method can also be used to insert an RSS feed into "True" Content pages and Header/Footer Inclusive pages at Content Management.

Inserting feed into Page Content Templates (Template Insertion)

The Feed string would look something like :RSS=Feed_Name:
This string can be directly inserted into the following templates:

  1. Main_Page_Center
  2. Custom1-6 (When Custom templates are configured to be displayed directly in portal bars via "Main page Configuration" Admin page)
  3. Content_News

Displaying feed in portal bars (via Custom1-6 templates) requires a careful consideration. Do the feed "Preview as Portal" at edit page to see if the feed well fitted at the page and does not stretch the portal out of bound. The feed content cannot be predicted. Although there are variety of ways to fit it optimally in portal (such as turning off a large feed logo, decreasing font size, removing certain attributes), the feed may contain HTML code in description. Make sure you display a well known and well formatted feeds. Note: RC feed writer creates a neat feeds which can be well fitted into portal bars.

TIP: When including RSS feed string into the default Content_News template, the feed would scroll. The best output would be presented if you disable items description ("Show Items Description") but enable images ("Show Items Enclosure") restricting image size to 50 to 60 px) as well as setting "Custom Feed Title" to have more control over the feed. Do experiment until achieved the best presentable output.

9.2.2 Creating Menus

There is a sample Menu page (rss_menu.asp), which can create available feeds menu in portal bars.

To enable Menu:

  • Go to "Content Management" page and open one of the portal box content templates – left_portal or right_portal
  • Enable one of the custom portal boxes by removing comment sign ['] in front of [Call Build_...] for the selected box (more info in this video: http://www.4u2ges.com/article.asp?id=22)
  • Include file rss_menu.asp into the box content. The code for the box might look like (for right_portal template in this case:

    Call Build_Box_Top(with_right, 200, "Box Head", "xl10")
    %>
    <!--#include virtual="/rss_menu.asp"-->
    <%
    Call Build_Box_Bottom("Box Head")


    Important: the path to the rss_menu.asp file must be virtual. In a case when classified installed in some other folder ([classified] for instance), the line for including file must be:

    <!--#include virtual="/classified/rss_menu.asp"-->

Selected portal box from now on would display clickable list of all available feeds. While clicked on any feed link in the menu, the special feeds display page would open and display a corresponding feed content.

Note: If you intended to utilize a particular feed in Menu, then make sure to specify a "Custom Feed Title" in feed properties. This title would be used to create menu entry for this feed. If the "Custom Feed Title" not specified, then the "RSS Feed Name" would be used instead.

You may remove any feed from the menu. Just open an unwanted feed on RSS Feeds Edit page and set "Include in Menu" to "No"

Edit menu style by modifying rss_menu.asp directly.

As oppose to the menu, you may use rss_exchange.asp page to display all available feeds on a single page. This page should not be included into any other page. Great for links exchange with other RC classifieds. It is recommended to create separate feeds, set number of items in the feed to 1-2 and set "Include in Menu" to Yes. All feeds would display with 1-2 latest feed items at this page.

9.2.3 Caching Feed. Why?

The feeds, which displayed at classified are not live feeds. Every RSS feed in RSS manager is actually cached to database and refreshed every "N" minutes. "N" could be set on Feeds Edit page - "Cache Every" configuration. Cache created to prevent remote site query every time feed displayed at classified pages. In addition it ensures uninterrupted display even if the remote site goes down, unavailable or unreachable (images might still be unavailable in this case). It is recommended to keep cache time above 30 minutes.

Cache refreshed only when it is due for update at the time it being pulled from database for the display at the site.

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