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Listings Manager Tutorial: Setting up an RSS feed

    This tutorial will outline how you can set up Listings Manager to publish an XML file that can be used as your RSS feed with some recent listings. Setting this up is a fairly quick process, and it can generate a lot of return traffic to your website.

    RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is a very popular way for visitors to subscribe to the content on your site. Whenever you modify or add new content, these subscribers will see the headlines in their RSS "reader" without having to actively come to your website, clicking any headlines that grab their interest, driving traffic back to your site.

    Please let us know if you need assistance setting up your RSS feed. You can post to the forum or fill out a support request, or even give us a call.

    We also offer a Priority Consulting service if you would prefer for us to setup an RSS feed on your site. To inquire, send us an email or call 1-800-752-0455.

    1. The XML template for publishing the RSS feed
    To publish your RSS feed, you need to use a well-formed XML file as the template .
    Download the xml template: rss_template.xml (right click and select save as)

    Open the XML template with a text editor on your local computer and edit the following lines to suit your site:

    <description>Title of your website</description>

    Save and upload the template to your server in the /listman/templates/_[industry]/ folder.

    2. Setting up the publishcron script
    Download the publishcron_1.1.zip (5.14KB) and unzip it on your local computer.

    Install publishcron in your Listings Manager exec folder following the publishcron.txt instructions. Modify the publishcron.ini file to use your new template to publish an rss.xml file. This means you could have something like this in publishcron.ini:

    search_url = http://www.yoursite.com/cgi-bin/listman/exec/search.cgi
    page1 = /home/yoursite.com/listman/listings/rss.xml
    query1 = search=1&perpage=20&template=rss_template.xml&sort_order=-11,123,reverse

    Include your server path to the publish directory in "page1". You can find that server path in Listings Manager under the Server tab in the Setup Options (Publish Dir). In the above example, "query1" will use Listings Manager's search to bring in the latest 20 listings and will use your rss_template.xml file. The rss.xml file will be published into the /listings/ directory.

    1. The publish path for page1 may be different depending on where you have put the exec directory and where you want to publish the xml file to.
    2. To test that publishcron is working and see how the output looks, enter the URL to publishcron in a web browser and add ?page=1 to the end. This will also publish any queries in the INI file.

    3. Running publishcron from the admin program
    To setup publishcron.cgi to execute whenever you save a listing, there is one interface template you can make a change to. Before modifying this interface template, be sure to make a backup of the file.

    You'll want to edit templates/interface/_listing_saved.html and look for this line:

    Listing has been saved<br> 

    Directly after this you'll want to add:

    <img src="publishcron.cgi" width="0" height="0"> 

    Note: If you erase a listing, do a data import or notice for any other reason that your RSS feed doesn't seem to be updating you can do one of these two things:

    1. You can click "modify" for any of your listings and click the Save button.
    2. You can also run the publishcron.cgi script through your browser manually.

    4. Validate your RSS Feed
    You'll then want to ensure that your RSS feed validates. An RSS feed can be pretty picky so certain things in image tags, table tags, etc. could cause errors. This site is great for validation and should let you know of anything it comes across:

    5. Adding an RSS link   RSS Feed
    The final step is to add a link somewhere on your website to your published rss.xml file. After uploading the RSS image above to the listman/images directory on your server, you can add an RSS link to your Listings Manager templates with this code:

    <a href="/listman/listings/rss.xml">
    <img src="/listman/images/rss.gif"width="16" height="16" border="0"></a>

    While there are a few steps, having an RSS feed can be helpful for keeping your site visitors updated when your site content changes. We also offer a Priority Consulting service if you would prefer for us to setup an RSS feed on your site. To inquire, send us an email or call 1-800-752-0455.

    Did this tutorial make sense? Send us your feedback, or let us know if you're using something like this on your installation of Listings Manager and we'll link to it as an example.

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