U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

EERE Communication Standards & Guidelines

RSS Feeds

Here you'll find best practices for developing RSS feeds.

Using the RSS Icon

All links to an RSS feed should include the RSS icon. The icon can go before or after the link, depending on what works best for your Web site. For example:

RSS Subscribe to receive EERE News feed.

Coding your Feed

RSS feeds can be coded in either RSS 2.0 or Atom. Atom is preferred on EERE. See a list of required, recommended, and optional Atom feed elements.

For an example of an Atom feed, see the sample feed. The items in red are required:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<feed xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2005/Atom">

<title>Example Feed</title>
<link href="http://example.org/"/>
<updated>2003-12-13T18:30:02Z</updated>
<author>
<name>John Doe</name>
</author>
<id>urn:uuid:60a76c80-d399-11d9-b93C-0003939e0af6</id>

<entry>
<title>Atom-Powered Robots Run Amok</title>
<link href="http://example.org/2003/12/13/atom03"/>
<id>urn:uuid:1225c695-cfb8-4ebb-aaaa-80da344efa6a</id>
<updated>2003-12-13T18:30:02Z</updated>
<summary>Some text.</summary>
</entry>

</feed>

Explaining RSS to your Users

If you want to explain how to use RSS to your site visitors, link to the About RSS page on EERE News. For example:

Sign up for the Introduction to Standards RSS feed. RSS Learn more about RSS.

The "Learn more about RSS" link should always point to the About RSS Feeds page on EERE News.

Getting Statistics for your Feed

Currently, there is no way to use EERE's statistics package to track the number of subscribers to an RSS feed. Many EERE websites have used Feedburner with their RSS feeds to track the number of subscribers.