Feed Creator 2.0

Feed Creator 2.0 is now available. With Feed Creator you can generate RSS feeds for web sites which don’t offer their own. You can also filter and merge existing feeds to remove items that you don’t need. If you’re new to Feed Creator, read the guide.

Existing customers can download the latest version through our customer login. If you’d like to use the hosted premium service, you’ll find the button to purchase below the main form.

New interface

The main change in this release is the new interface. Nearly all of the request parameters can now be specified through the form. Using the ‘load parameters’ button, you can also paste in a URL to an existing Feed Creator feed URL (even ones created in earlier versions) and we’ll fill the form with the parameters embedded in the URL for you, so you can edit it and produce a new feed.

In this version you’ll also find that when pasting in a web page URL, the application will fetch all class and id attribute values on the page to help you select the right one with auto-complete.

New filtering parameters

When filtering RSS feeds, you can now remove items that don’t contains images. You’ll find two new filters related to this when you enable the remove filters.

  1. Remove items without image in description element – items without an <img> HTML tag inside the item description will get removed.

  2. Remove items without image in media:content element – items without a <media:content> or <media:thumbnail> image element will get removed.

You can also now remove words or phrases (without removing the item) using the new remove parameter. If for example, a feed contains item titles that are always prefixed with the site’s name or some other superfluous piece of text, you can use this to remove that text from the new feed. Enter the text you’d like removed and hit preview to see the results.

PHP 7.4 compatible

We removed code that was deprecated in PHP 7.4 and tested this release with PHP 7.4. The minimum PHP version is now 7.2, but you might still be able to run it with earlier releases (we simply haven’t tested with earlier versions).

Installing on an Ubuntu 20.04 VPS

You should be able to run Feed Creator 2.0 on most PHP hosts, but to get the best results we recommend running it on a VPS instance (e.g. with Hetzner Cloud, Digital Ocean, Linode).

To get Feed Creator set up on a new server with Ubuntu 20.04, initialise a new (please don’t run this on an existing server) VPS instance, choosing Ubuntu 20.04 as the base image, and then run the following commands to install the necessary components:

apt-get -y install puppet
wget https://bitbucket.org/fivefilters/hosting/raw/master/ubuntu-20.04.pp
puppet apply ubuntu-20.04.pp

Feed Creator can now be extracted into the /var/www/html/ folder.

Full changelog

  • New interface – nearly all parameters can now be entered using the form
  • PHP 7.4 compatible
  • Access keys can now be defined in the config file to limit use
  • New request parameter in mergefeeds.php: strip_if_no_image – feed items without an <img> element inside the description will get removed
  • New request parameter in mergefeeds.php: strip_if_no_image_enc – feed items without a <media:content> or <media:thumbnail> image element will get removed
  • New request parameter in mergefeeds.php: remove[] – supplied text gets replaced with empty string if found in title or description
  • Bug fix: proxy, if supplied, wouldn’t work with the HTTP extension
  • Custom config and styling should now be placed in the custom/ folder – see custom/README.txt
  • HTML5-PHP library updated to version 2.7.0
  • SimplePie library updated to version 1.5.4
  • Minimum PHP version now 7.2 (might work with earlier releases, but untested)