May 22, 2022

Introducing RSS Lookup: A Simple Tool to Find RSS Feeds

The past couple of days, I've been building RSS Lookup, a simple tool that allows you to look up the RSS feed for any website or blog. Usually, websites will have a link to the RSS feed somewhere on the page. However, if you’ve ever tried looking for the RSS feed of a site but can’t find it, you can paste the URL into RSS Lookup, and it will go out and find the associated RSS feed automatically.

RSS Lookup Screenshot

What does RSS Lookup do?

When you submit a link to RSS Lookup, RSS Lookup will go out on the internet and fetch the HTML for the page. First, it scrapes the page's HTML for the corresponding link element RSS tags. Often, this is enough to find the feed, but occasionally an RSS feed can still exist even if it isn't configured properly in the HTML. If RSS Lookup can't find the corresponding RSS links in the page's source code, it will then go out and fetch a couple of common RSS feed paths on the site to check if they are valid.

Upon finding valid RSS feeds, RSS Lookup will return them in the UI, allowing the user to paste them into their RSS reader.

Tech stack

The frontend for this site is built using Next.js and hosted using Cloudflare Pages. The backend is built using Node.js and hosted on Fly.io. In order to scrape the sites, I'm using htmlparser2 to look for the RSS link tags.

This is one of my first interactive frontend projects, so while the UI works, I would like to make a couple of tweaks to optimize it in the future.

Conclusion

RSS Lookup was a fun little project to work on and hopefully useful if you ever need to find an RSS feed. If you’re interested in checking out RSS Lookup, it’s available right now at rsslookup.com. I'm still in the process of ironing out a couple of bugs, so if you run into any issues, please let me know!

GitHub View project on GitHub