RSS Optional Channel Elements

In creating an RSS feed (also called an RSS document) Optional Channel Elements are tags you can include in your feed, but are not required in order for the feed to work. Optional channel elements are added in the beginning of your feed and require an open and close tag. Examples of Optional Channel Elements, as defined in the RSS 2.0 Specification, include the following:

  • <language> The language the channel is written in (view the RSS Language Codes here).
  • <copyright> Copyright notice for content in channel
  • <managingEditor> e-mail contact for editorial content
  • <webMaster> e-mail contact for technical issues.
  • <pubDate> The publication date for the content in the channel.
  • <lastBuildDate> The last time the content of the channel changed.
  • <category> Specify one or more categories that the channel belongs to.
  • <generator> Indicate the program used to generate the channel.
  • <docs> A URL that points to the documentation for the format used in the RSS file
  • <cloud> Allows processes to register with a cloud to be notified of updates to the channel
  • <ttl> “Time To Live.” Specify a number of minutes that indicates how long a channel can be cached before refreshing.
  • <image> A GIF, JPEG or PNG image that can be displayed with the channel.
  • <rating> PICS rating for the channel.
  • <textInput> A text input box that can be displayed with the channel.
  • <skipHours> Tells aggregators which hours they can skip.
  • <skipDays> Tells aggregators which days they can skip.
Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal is a freelance business and technology writer covering Internet technologies and online business since the late '90s.

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