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RSS <item> Element

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Each <item> element defines an article or "story" in the RSS feed.

The <item> Element

Look at the following RSS document:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1" ?>
<rss version="2.0">
  <title>W3Schools Home Page</title>
  <description>Free web building tutorials</description>
    <title>RSS Tutorial</title>
    <description>New RSS tutorial on W3Schools</description>

As mentioned before, each <item> element defines an article or "story" in the RSS feed.

The <item> element has three required child elements:

  • <title> - Defines the title of the item (e.g. RSS Tutorial)
  • <link> - Defines the hyperlink to the item (e.g. http://www.w3schools.com/rss)
  • <description> - Describes the item (e.g. New RSS tutorial on W3Schools)

Furthermore, there are several optional child elements of <item>. We will explain the most important ones below.

The <author> Element

The <author> child element is used to specify the e-mail address of the author of an item.

Note: To prevent spam e-mails, some developers do not include the <author> element.

The author of the item in the RSS document above could be:


The <comments> Element

The <comments> child element allows an item to link to comments about that item.

A comment of the item in the RSS document above could be:


The <enclosure> Element

The <enclosure> child element allows a media-file to be included with an item.

The <enclosure> element has three required attributes:

  • url - Defines the URL to the media file
  • length - Defines the length (in bytes) of the media file
  • type - Defines the type of media file

A media-file included in the item in the RSS document above could be:

<enclosure url="http://www.w3schools.com/rss/rss.mp3"
length="5000" type="audio/mpeg" />

RSS <item> Reference

Element Description
<author> Optional. Specifies the e-mail address to the author of the item
<category> Optional. Defines one or more categories the item belongs to
<comments> Optional. Allows an item to link to comments about that item
<description> Required. Describes the item
<enclosure> Optional. Allows a media file to be included with the item
<guid> Optional. Defines a unique identifier for the item
<link> Required. Defines the hyperlink to the item
<pubDate> Optional. Defines the last-publication date for the item
<source> Optional. Specifies a third-party source for the item
<title> Required. Defines the title of the item

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