How To Convert HTML to RSS in 5 Minutes Or Less With Yahoo Pipes

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Getting Started With Yahoo Pipes
To use Yahoo Pipes, you'll first have to create a Yahoo Pipes account by visiting pipes.yahoo.com. Once you've done that, you can click on "Create a Pipe" and you'll be taken to your "canvas" where you can start building your Pipe and converting your HTML pages into RSS feeds in no time.

Fetch Page Module
First you'll want to drag the "Fetch Page" module from the "Sources" category on the left hand side of the page, onto the canvas. You'll notice that when you did this, a "Pipe Output" bar also appeared on the canvas. When you are ready to save and run your Pipe, you'll need to connect your modules to the Pipe Output in order for it to run.

The Fetch Page module will ask you to enter the URL of the HTML page you want to scrape, so go ahead and do that. Once you've done that, your page will have loaded in the "Debugger" pane at the bottom of the canvas. Here's where you can see the HTML source code of your page. So far so good.

Now that the page has been loaded in Pipes, you can optionally select the starting and ending points of the content you want to scrape from the page. For example, if you wanted to scrape a table, you could select the starting content point as "" and the ending content point as "". You can also optionally select a delimiter (a character such as a comma or tab that separates data).

Keep in mind what attributes of your HTML page you'll want to have for your title, description, and URLs for your RSS feed.

Now that you've "scraped" your HTML page using the Fetch Page module in Yahoo Pipes, you'll need to convert it to RSS.

Create RSS Module
Next you'll need to connect your Fetch Page module to the "Create RSS" module. So drop the "Create RSS" module located under the "Operators" category, onto the canvas. To connect the two modules together, just click on the connector at the bottom of the Fetch Page module and drag it into the connector of the Create RSS module. There will be several drop-down lists populated with different attributes you can select from your HTML page to convert into RSS. Depending on how you split up your content in the Fetch Page module, you might see different options in the drop down menus.

Tip! You might want to experiment with splitting up your content in the Fetch Page module to end up with different attributes for your RSS feed. You might also want to rename different attributes using the "Rename" module. It's definitely something worth playing around with to get the results you need.

If you simply want your HTML page turned into one giant RSS item, then select "item.content" in the "Description" drop-down menu of the Create RSS module. If you want several items within your RSS feed, then you'll need to play around with the Fetch Page and Rename modules to get different attributes.

To finalize your Yahoo Pipe, you'll need to connect it to the Pipe Output, and save it.

Output As RSS
Once you've saved your Pipe, you can run it, and select "Get as RSS" from the Pipe output page. You can also output your Pipe as an "HTML Badge" to place the RSS feed on your website with one simple piece of code.

Recap
Hopefully after reading this article, you have gained an understanding of Yahoo Pipes and a quick and easy way to convert HTML to RSS. This quick tutorial will get you up and running with converting your HTML to RSS, but it's definitely something you'll want to play around with if you want to get serious about scraping websites and turning them into RSS. Yahoo Pipes is definitely one of the best and free options for doing this! If you want to take it a step further and learn how to style your RSS feeds with CSS, make sure to grab the stylesheet by visiting the Pipes Tutorial in my sig.

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