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Using Thunderbird to Subscribe to RSS Feeds

Created on October 21, 2020

So, you want more control over what you follow? Twitter and Facebook keep throwing a bunch of hot garbage at you? A free email/news client like Thunderbird can keep you up to date on your favorite sites, free of any advertisements, data mining, and irrelevant articles picked by robots. Understanding the importance of simplicity and versatility, Razorback has implemented its own RSS feed you can subscribe to.

To get started, install Thunderbird on your platform of choice. Many major 32-bit and 64-bit platforms are supported by Thunderbird. If you're running some form of *nix, you may also be able to install Thunderbird using a package manager.

Thunderbird home page, Feeds button highlighted

Create a new feed account. You can do this from the home page or from the menu bar: File > New > Feed Account. You will be prompted to set a name for your feed account; the default works just fine.

Feed Account Wizard, account name prompt

Thunderbird feed account hub page

Once you've got your account set up, click on Manage feed subscriptions.

Thunderbird Feed Subscriptions dialog, Razorback's RSS feed URL entered

Enter the URL of the RSS feed you wish to subscribe to. To subscribe to Razorback's RSS feed, enter http://razorback95.com/rss.php into the Feed URL box. Usually, websites have a radio wave icon somewhere on a page to indicate an RSS feed is available.

Razorback's RSS feed in Thunderbird, RSS announcement article selected

That wasn't so bad, was it? Now, you'll be able to get a notification briefing every update to a website such as this one. You didn't even have to sign up for any service! RSS is as easy as working with an XML file. If you've got a website you think could benefit from RSS, I strongly encourage you to take a look at the site's RSS file for reference and W3C's specifications.


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