How do you get your news? Through an app or website? Build your own news feed using Vivaldi RSS reader and get news from only web sources you are interested in. See what’s new on websites.
Vivaldi is a web browser and is an alternative to Chrome. It is based on the Chrome engine, so it has the same capabilities and performance as Google’s web browser, but it has a lot of extra features built in, like RSS feed reading.
I am not going to talk about Vivaldi’s web browsing capabilities here, and instead, I will focus on one of the extra features that it provides. There are several and the RSS reader is just one of them. Vivaldi is available for Windows PC and Apple Mac, and like all web browsers, is free.
What are RRS feeds?
An RSS feed is basically a ‘What’s New?’ feature. Many websites provide a list of the latest articles posted in chronological order. Typically, a website’s RSS feed contains a list of the most recent 5 to 10 articles.
The RSS feed contains article titles and a description, which may be anywhere from a single sentence to the full post. Most often, it consists of a title and a couple of sentences, with a link to the full article. Some even contain images.
News apps and services are common and you probably use a few, like Apple News, Google News, Microsoft News or one of the many alternatives. There are some great news apps, but they always show you a limited selection of news and new articles on the web.
Maybe you like a curated list of news articles, but maybe you want to see everything, not just what some editor thinks you should read. By subscribing to RSS feeds, which are free by the way, you create your own news feed and you see all new posts on the websites you choose, instead of a filtered list. It is a bit like a DIY news service.
What is an RSS reader?
Many, but not all, websites provide RSS feeds and you can use them to see what is new on the site. The RSS feed shows the latest news stories, articles, editorial comments, in-depth guides, or whatever content it publishes.
An RSS reader enables you to view the RSS feeds provided by websites. You can add multiple sites to lists organized into categories, like Tech News, Sport, Politics, How-to guides or whatever topics you like to follow on the internet.
An RSS reader automatically fetches the RSS feed from all the websites you want to follow and it presents them in an easy to manage and easy to read interface. In some ways, RSS readers look and work like email and have a sort of inbox. You can view the latest additions and open items to read them.
There are several good RSS readers, but here is how to use the one in Vivaldi web browser. There are several options when installing Vivaldi, make sure you choose the Fully Loaded option, which installs all features.
1: Open the Feeds panel
Look at the column of icons at the left edge of Vivaldi browser and find and click the RSS reader. The Feeds panel opens and pushes the web page or speed dial page to the right. It is initially empty and it asks you to add your first feed, so let’s find some.
2: Find RSS feeds
Many, but not all, websites provide RSS feeds. Finding them is sometimes easy, but sometimes not. Sometimes they do not exist at all for a website.
One simple trick to find RSS feeds is simply to add /rss to a website URL. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Go to www.cnet.com/rss and the site provides a list of 14 RSS feeds. If only all websites were so helpful! Right click (PC) or Ctrl+click (Mac) any of these feeds and select Copy Link Address on the menu.
Instead of adding /rss to a website URL, also try adding /feed, which is supported by WordPress websites, and there are a lot of WordPress sites on the web. You may also see an RSS feed button or link on the page, often in the footer at the bottom.
Click an RSS feed button or link and you might see something like this:
Vivaldi tries to be helpful and displays RSS feeds like this, but some web browsers only show xml code like this:
Either way, once you have found an RSS feed link, button or page, copy the URL.
3: Add the RSS feed
Click the plus button in the Feeds panel and a box appears in which you can add the details. Enter a name for the feed in the first box, click in the second and press Ctrl+V (PC) or Cmd+V (Mac) and paste in the URL of the RSS feed.
In the drop-down menu, select the update frequency. This is how often the feed reader will check for new posts on the websites you add. Every 5 minutes is far too often, and even every hour is a lot. I choose Daily so that the list of new posts is fresh every day.
4: View RSS feeds
Find and add more RSS feeds to the Feeds panel in the same way. I just added two for this guide, but add as many as you need – 10, 20 or more. Whatever sites you want to monitor for new content.
Viewing RSS feeds is a lot like email. The Feeds panel is like a list of your mailboxes. Select one and you can see all the new articles posted by the website and it looks a lot like the inbox of your mail app.
Select an item in the list and the content is displayed in the preview panel. Again, it is like email and the preview panel can be shown below the list or to the right as you prefer. There’s a button to cycle through the views in the toolbar.
Items change color when they are read, so you can see read and unread items, just like email. Some items have very little content, but others have a lot. The idea is that you browse the new articles listed in the RSS feeds and click the Open article button when you see something interesting that you want to read.
That’s it. Add your feeds, then open the feed reader anytime you want to see what’s new on your favorite websites.
5: RSS feed settings
Open Vivaldi settings and select Feeds in the sidebar. Your feeds are listed and there are a few controls that enable them to be customized. Select a feed and click the minus button to delete a feed. Click the Title box to rename it, or the Refresh interval list to select a new update interval.
Alternative RSS readers
Vivaldi is a useful RSS reader, but it is not the only one and there are others you should consider.
Feedly: This has free and paid accounts and a free one can handle up to 1,000 RSS feeds. It has notes and highlights, search, and more. You can add all the feeds you want to follow and organize them into categories. I like it a lot.
Innoreader: This also has free ad-supported and paid accounts. The number of free feeds is 150, which is a lot less than Feedly, but you probably won’t want to track more sites and feeds than this. An interesting feature is that it can integrate with IFTT and Zapier, so something in a news feed could trigger an action.
NewsBlur: Free and premium paid accounts are available and a free account is the most limiting of the RSS readers here. Only 64 RSS feeds can be added and it shows only three stories at a time. Go to the website and click the Try Out NewsBlur button to see it in action before you create an account.