Scott Spence

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Make an RSS Feed for your SvelteKit Project

5 min read
svelte sveltekit rss guide how-to

The indie web is alive and well and there are more and more people taking control and owning their online presence and also how they consume other content. One way to help consumers of your site know that there is new content available is by making your content available via an RSS feed.

I made an RSS feed for my blog using SvelteKit routes. I did this much like the Sitemap Generation for Dynamic Routes In NextJS with the Sanity Client post I did back in February.

RSS on scottspence.com

As I mentioned already as my blog is a SvelteKit project I can use the SvelteKit routing endpoints to define the data type I want returned from that endpoint.

RSS feeds are expected in XML format and I want my endpoint to be https://scottspence.com/rss.xml so I’ve defined a file in my routes folder called rss.xml.js this is located in the routes folder of the project, so the full path would be src/routes/rss.xml.js.

RSS route

For this guide I’ll using the great template from Matt Jennings (which this blog is based off of) as an example of how to do it.

I’m using the template as it’s the most basic example to use and there won’t be any additional project specific routes that will need to be taken into account.

Let’s take a quick look at how the project is structured:

sveltekit-blog-template/
├─ posts/
├─ src/
│ └─ lib/
│ └─ routes/
│ │ └─ posts/
│ │   └─ [slug].svelte/
│ │─ __layout.svelte/
│ └─ index.svelte/
...rest of the files

I’ve left some of the filing structure that isn’t relevant right now.

For now I want to focus on the routes folder as this is where I’ll be creating the RSS page.

Clone the project

Ok, let’s get to work, I’ll start by cloning the project and changing directory into the newly cloned project. Then I’ll install the dependencies and run the dev server:

# using SSH
git clone git@github.com:mattjennings/sveltekit-blog-template
# using HTTPS
git clone https://github.com/mattjennings/sveltekit-blog-template
cd sveltekit-blog-template
npm i
npm run dev

Now Matt’s awesome template is up and running on the default port on localhost:3000. If I go to localhost:3000/rss.xml I get a 404. This is because I’ve not made that route yet.

Add the RSS route

Now to create the endpoint for where the RSS feed will be located:

touch src/routes/rss.xml.js

Now if I go to localhost:3000/rss.xml I get a 404.

In the rss.xml.js file I’ll create a get() function which will need to return the RSS XML and the headers for the endpoint, the XML is inside template literals so I can add in the dynamic data I want to return later in this post:

export async function get() {
  const headers = {
    'Cache-Control': 'max-age=0, s-maxage=3600',
    'Content-Type': 'application/xml',
  }
  return {
    headers,
    body: `<rss xmlns:dc="https://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/" xmlns:content="https://purl.org/rss/1.0/modules/content/" xmlns:atom="https://www.w3.org/2005/Atom" version="2.0"></rss>`,
  }
}

In the headers I’m setting the expiration to an hour with s-maxage and for the body adding in the XML heading. You can check out the W3C Feed Validation Service for more detail on what’s needed here.

Now if I go check localhost:3000/rss.xml I get the beginning of my RSS feed.

Add <channel> required elements

Now to add in the <channel> element with the required <title>, <link> and <description> elements. In Matt’s template there’s an info.js file that contains the project name and website links. I’ll import these and hardcode in a description for now.

import { name, website } from '$lib/info'

export async function get() {
  const headers = {
    'Cache-Control': 'max-age=0, s-maxage=3600',
    'Content-Type': 'application/xml',
  }
  return {
    headers,
    body: `<rss xmlns:dc="https://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/" xmlns:content="https://purl.org/rss/1.0/modules/content/" xmlns:atom="https://www.w3.org/2005/Atom" version="2.0">
      <channel>
        <title>${name}</title>
        <link>${website}</link>
        <description>A blog built with SvelteKit about tech and stuff!</description>
      </channel>
    </rss>`,
  }
}

Add posts for the RSS feed

Now I’m going to need to add the posts to the RSS feed. I’m going to copy the code used to source the posts from src/routes/index.svelte and add it to the src/lib folder as get-posts.js.

# create the file
touch src/lib/get-posts.js

The code for get posts is:

export async function getPosts() {
  const posts = await Object.entries(
    import.meta.globEager('/posts/**/*.md')
  )
    // get post metadata
    .map(([, post]) => post.metadata)
    // sort by date
    .sort((a, b) => (a.date < b.date ? 1 : -1))

  return posts
}

I’ll now import that into the rss.xml.js file so I can map over the contents for each <item> in the RSS feed.

First up though, rather than have the return statement all cluttered up with the generated XML I’ll break this into it’s own function:

import { getPosts } from '$lib/get-posts'
import { name, website } from '$lib/info'

export async function get() {
  const posts = await getPosts()
  const body = xml(posts)

  const headers = {
    'Cache-Control': 'max-age=0, s-maxage=3600',
    'Content-Type': 'application/xml',
  }
  return {
    headers,
    body,
  }
}

const xml =
  posts => `<rss xmlns:dc="https://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/" xmlns:content="https://purl.org/rss/1.0/modules/content/" xmlns:atom="https://www.w3.org/2005/Atom" version="2.0">
  <channel>
    <title>${name}</title>
    <link>${website}</link>
    <description>A blog built with SvelteKit about tech and stuff!</description>
  </channel>
</rss>`

Now it’s a case of mapping over the posts and creating the XML for each post in posts. I’ll do that in the template using tags ${} and mapping over the posts variable returned from getPosts.

Here’s the complete file:

import { getPosts } from '$lib/get-posts'
import { name, website } from '$lib/info'

export async function get() {
  const posts = await getPosts()
  const body = xml(posts)

  const headers = {
    'Cache-Control': 'max-age=0, s-maxage=3600',
    'Content-Type': 'application/xml',
  }
  return {
    headers,
    body,
  }
}

const xml =
  posts => `<rss xmlns:dc="https://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/" xmlns:content="https://purl.org/rss/1.0/modules/content/" xmlns:atom="https://www.w3.org/2005/Atom" version="2.0">
  <channel>
    <title>${name}</title>
    <link>${website}</link>
    <description>A blog built with SvelteKit about tech and stuff!</description>
    ${posts
      .map(
        post =>
          `
        <item>
          <title>${post.title}</title>
          <description>A blog built with SvelteKit about tech and stuff!</description>
          <link>${website}/posts/${post.slug}/</link>
          <pubDate>${new Date(post.date)}</pubDate>
          <content:encoded>${post.previewHtml} 
            <div style="margin-top: 50px; font-style: italic;">
              <strong>
                <a href="${website}/posts/${post.slug}">
                  Keep reading
                </a>
              </strong>  
            </div>
          </content:encoded>
        </item>
      `
      )
      .join('')}
  </channel>
</rss>`

You’ll notice I’ve added some extra markup for <content:encoded> and this uses Matt’s handy package remark-preview to allow me to add HTML to the RSS feed.

There’s also a link to take the reader to the site’s post via the post.slug with some inline styling.

Conclusion

Now if I go to localhost:3000/rss.xml I get a very reasonable RSS feed that can be used to syndicate to other sites and RSS readers.

Although this is a very specific example I hope it’s helped you understand how you could do something similar with your own SvelteKit project.