My final post in this short series relating to Textpattern CMS and syndication feeds is about publicising your website. While Textpattern isn’t strictly a blog-only platform, it is often used this way. Bloggers who have websites with unrestricted access – that is, no password is required to view the pages, no convoluted/hidden URL structure, and so forth – are often interested in increasing their readership and worldwide reach. One of the ways of extending the reach of your blog-style website is to use an aggregating service like Ping-O-Matic and FeedShark. Strictly speaking, you are not restricted to Textpattern with these services; as long as you have a blog with an accessible feed (RSS or Atom) – whether it’s running WordPress, Textpattern, Drupal, whatever – you can submit your website to either or both services at no cost.
Before you do any aggregator submission, make sure your chosen feed validates. Check out my recent articles on how to do that, it’s pretty straightforward. Assuming you get the green light, you’re good to go:
Let’s start with Ping-O-Matic. Start by visiting the homepage and filling out some details. For this example, I’m going to use the Atom feed from the articles section only:
Note the format of the Atom feed URL. You can switch this to an RSS feed if you prefer, restrict it to a different section if you like, whatever you choose is up to you. When your details are filled in, check the boxes of the service(s) you want to ping and hit Send Pings. After the pings have been sent, a process that should take a few seconds overall, you’ll have the option to save a URL that will automate the ping process at your request. It’s a specially-formed link that includes your site details and the pings to serve up. Mine looks like this, though yours will be different:
You can slip your results link into a bookmark or shortcut, if you like – make sure you hit it when your new posts are live and you’ll have bots checking for your new posts to index.
Next, FeedShark. It has a wider range of services to Ping-O-Matic and works in a similar way. Start by visiting their homepage:
It’s a much longer page with the additional services, but it still just needs basic details from you. As before, fill out the boxes and select the most appropriate Atom or RSS feed for the stuff you want to share. Check the box(es) you want to include in the ping run, scroll down, fill in the box to prove you’re human, hit the ping button and then watch the pings arrive.
Viewing the visitor logs in Textpattern is a good way to see bots checking your site for content, especially after one of these aggregator ping bursts. You may find not all the services check your site, some may be instant and some queue requests for a later time – regardless, your blog will be indexed on some blog search engines for readers to explore.