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Revisited: Creating an XML Content Feed With PHP

This article was originally published early this year and is one of our most popular articles, republished by popular demand. Have a read and you will see why...

Author Info:
By: Mitchell Harper
Rating: 3 stars3 stars3 stars3 stars3 stars / 9
October 28, 2002
  1. · Revisited: Creating an XML Content Feed With PHP
  2. · Why a content feed?
  3. · Creating a sample content feed
  4. · Creating a sample content feed (contd.)
  5. · Testing Our Content Feed
  6. · Conclusion

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Revisited: Creating an XML Content Feed With PHP - Why a content feed?
(Page 2 of 6 )

If your site's going to succeed on the 'net, it needs to contain useful, free content targeted directly at a niche market. Take a look at some of the most popular new sites on the 'net: ZDNet, Slashdot, Cnet, MoreOver, etc. All of these sites provide dynamic content feeds that anyone can use on their site, meaning that if I wanted to display their recent news headlines on my site, I would just have to fill in a form and paste some HTML tags on my site and I'd be done.

If Joe Bloggs posts the HTML code for ZDNet's content feed on his site, then it's a win-win situation: Joe is providing valuable news to his visitors that keeps them coming back on a daily basis, and ZDNet get the traffic from Joes visitors actually clicking on the news headlines to see the full story on their site.

Here's a list of reasons why you should consider creating your own content feed like ZDNet's:
  • It's one of the best forms of free advertising that you can get.
  • Once other people post your content feed on their site, each headline actually links back to the full article your site. As many of you will know, the more links you have back to your site from other sites, the higher search engines such as Google will position you in their rankings.
  • Obviously, having others post your content feed on their site will boost your traffic. By how much though depends on the quality of your content and how you name your headlines.
I've recently syndicated this sites articles into an XML-based content feed and it truly is working wonders for our visitor count. If you're familiar with XML, then you can see the XML file here.

Hopefully by now I've convinced you to setup a content feed for your site. Let's take a look at creating a sample content feed using some PHP and a MySQL database.
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