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RSS feed subscription

posted Apr 4, 2012, 5:56 AM by Julie Sharma   [ updated Aug 13, 2015, 7:14 PM ]

When you choose the "announcements" type for your page template (more), you can allow visitors to subscribe to your posts through an RSS reader and/or through email.
The built-in "Subscribe to posts" option works in some browser settings but not all, so you can add email and/or RSS feed options* to allow access to more visitors. (However, as of 6/9/2012, you cannot get rid of the built-in "Subscribe to posts" button from public sites).

Note

If you are creating a site through a Google Apps domain (if you see a/domainname in the URL of your site, you are on a domain), you may receive an error around step 8. This is especially true if your domain set up doesn't allow required services like Google Feedburner. If you receive this error, test the default "subscribe to posts"; you might find that the default button works for you. Find more information here.

Alternatively, instead of Feedburner, try using MailChimp's RSS Feed to email; create a free account, copy the your webpage's feed URL (step 6 below), and then in MailChimp, create a new Campaign > RSS-Driven Campaign.

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Start:

First, set up the feed (for both RSS reader and email)
  1. be sure you are signed in to Google Sites
     
  2. go to your webpage that is announcements style
     
  3. find the section of your page with the new post button and "subscribe to posts" link (note: this option may only be visible once your site is public)

  4. subscribe to posts screenshot
  5. click on "Subscribe to posts" 
     
  6. a tab/window should open (note: the page might say "Page not found", but that's fine--you simply need the address/URL), and the webpage's address should be the webpage's address with .xml at the end, for example 

    https://sites.google.com/site/siteshelphowtos/google-sites-instructions/Basics/posts.xml

  7. copy that URL but DO NOT COPY https://  So you should copy something like this:

    sites.google.com/site/siteshelphowtos/google-sites-instructions/Basics/posts.xml

  8. in a separate window/tab go to Google Feedburner (as it's also a Google product, you should be automatically signed in (you should see your google email in top-right corner))
     
  9. in the box marked "Burn a feed right this instant" paste the URL from step 6 (without the https:// or http://) and click next
     
  10. on the following screen, you can alter the "Feed Title" (be sure it has a name you will remember so you know which webpage it is associated with) or simply click "Next"
     
  11. on the following page, click on "Skip directly to feed management" (in small letters by "Next")
     
  12. follow the steps below to set up subscription through   and/or 

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RSS reader

  1. complete steps 1-11 above
     
  2. on your Feedburner page, in the top row of navigation tabs, click on "Publicize"
     
  3. on the left side, click on "Chicklet Chooser"
     
  4. scroll to the bottom of the page and copy the code in box marked "Copy the HTML below for use in your own page templates:" the text should look something like this:

    <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/google/HUZf" title="Subscribe to my feed" rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml"><img src="http://www.feedburner.com/fb/images/pub/feed-icon32x32.png" alt="" style="border:0"/></a><a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/google/HUZf" title="Subscribe to my feed" rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml">Subscribe in a reader</a>

  5. return to the announcements-style page on your website where you want the "Subscribe to posts" link to appear
     
  6. click on the pencil  edit screen pencil to edit the page (top, near-center)
     
  7. in the place on your page where you want the subscribe link, type "PASTE HERE"
     
  8. click on <HTML>
     
  9. search through the HTML for the "PASTE HERE" (to help, use ctrl F   or command F  to find PASTE HERE quickly in the html)
     
  10. remove the "PASTE HERE" text and paste the code (copied in step 4) instead
     
  11. click on "Preview" to view the change (return to the HTML to make changes as necessary)
     
  12. when finished with html, click "Update"
     
  13. in regular (WYSIWYG) edit mode, make any additional changes to placement of subscribe button
     
  14. when finished, click "Save" to save and view changes
     
  15. to test the link, click on it (not in edit mode)

Email

  1. complete steps 1-11 above 
     
  2. be sure you are signed into Google Feedburner, and on your Feedburn homepage, click on the name of the feed you want to add an email subscription link for
     
  3. in the top row of navigation tabs, click on "Publicize"
     
  4. on the left side, click on "Email Subscriptions"
     
  5. near the bottom (in the light-red area) click on "Activate" (if you don't see "Activate," be sure the highlighted tab on the left says "Subscription Management"--if it does and you don't see "Activate," the feed is already active)
     
  6. scroll down to the area marked "Subscription Link Code" 
     
  7. copy the content in the box. It should look similar to this:

    <a href="http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=google/HUZf&amp;loc=en_US">Subscribe to Posts by Email</a>

  8. return to the announcements-style page on your website where you want the "Subscribe to posts" link to appear
     
  9. click on the pencil edit screen pencil to edit the page (top, near-center)
     
  10. in the place on your page where you want the subscribe link, type "PASTE HERE"
     
  11. click on <HTML>
     
  12. search through the HTML for the "PASTE HERE" (to help, use ctrl F   or command F  to find PASTE HERE quickly in the html)
     
  13. remove the "PASTE HERE" text and paste the code (copied in step 7) instead*

    *note: if you want the rss feed image to appear with the email subscription option, add the yellow-highlighted code to your code before the "Subscribe to Posts by email," resulting in something similar to this code:

    <a href="http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=google/HUZf&amp;loc=en_US"> <img src="http://www.feedburner.com/fb/images/pub/feed-icon32x32.png" alt="" style="border:0"/> Subscribe to Posts by Email</a>

  14. click on "Preview" to view the change (return to the HTML to make changes as necessary)
     
  15. when finished with html, click "Update"
     
  16. in regular (WYSIWYG) edit mode, make any additional changes to placement of subscribe button
     
  17. when finished, click "Save" to save and view changes
     
  18. to test the link, click on it (not in edit mode)
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