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Changing a Link Target in 3rd Party Content

link targetWe are often asked whether it is possible to change the link target for links in feeds. This article explains why we do not allow link targets to be changed using our interface.

When a feed is published by a 3rd party (for example Reuters, BBC News or even a Facebook feed), there will be in nearly every case, a “Terms and Conditions of Use associated with that feed. For example a Facebook feed will contain images owned by either Facebook or by the user who published that page.

Copyright law applies to a link target

While you can disable these links, you cannot (legally, for copyright and “terms of use”  reasons) change the link target to another site. i.e. your image links cannot be redirected to a different website. This will be in direct contravention of the terms of use of the RSS feed publisher in 90% of cases.

In all cases, directing the photo to another link is also in contravention of copyright as under those laws, you are not permitted to change content for your own gain unless you have explicit permission from the owner. Neither can you change an outgoing  link from an image as it would be deemed usage of that image for gain, which copyright law does not accommodate unless agreement with the owner is obtained, or royalty paid for usage. Owner consent is usually still mandatory regardless. It does depend on which part of the world you are in as to what copyright laws apply. At FeedWind we generally err on the side of copyright law in the US and Europe.

Why we don’t offer a link editing feature

If we enabled a feature whereby users could change the link target, then although we would not be committing a crime, it is a feature that would enable others to do so. We have to respect the rights of content owners to reproduce their content without tampering or altering the content, or making it convenient for their content to be used for gain without appropriate permission. Quite likely, if we were to be seen to be doing so, we would not be popular with RSS feed publishers and content owners.

Disabling links is acceptable

It is possible however to disable links as this is an acceptable form of modification. Many webmasters may like to display 3rd party content but may not want their users to click-thru and leave their site. This can be achieved by using a custom CSS which includes “pointer-events:none” for feed item titles and links in the description.


References

http://www.worldlaw.eu/article/3331/rss-feeds-copyright-law.html

https://www.out-law.com/page-7843

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use

https://www.rightsdirect.com/international-copyright-basics/


CSS for Google Calendar Event Date & Time Elements

custom google calendar widgetWe have just introduced new classes for the Google Calendar widget date & time components.

These allow you to customize the date and time with CSS and achieve any styling you want. You can match your website style and make your Calendar Event date/time more prominent in the feed.

This article focuses on the CSS used for the date/time components of your custom Google Calendar widget. You can find out more about how to use CSS to style the remaining widget components in our in-depth article on Google Calendar CSS.

Custom Google Calendar Widget CSS Classes

These are the relevant classes for Google Calendar event date/time:


‘Clock icon’ class

This class is for the clock icon which appears alongside the date/time by default.

.fa.fa-clock-o

Note – If you wish to hide this icon you can use:

.fa.fa-clock-o {display:none!important;}


‘Time’ class

The ‘Time’ class styles the time element of the date/time.

.fw-gc-feed-item-time-only


‘Date’ class

The ‘Date’ class styles the date element of the date/time.

.fw-gc-feed-item-date-only


‘Date & Time’ class

This class styles both date and time components. Useful for adding a border around the whole date+time element, or to reposition the whole date+time element using margins.

.fw-gc-feed-item-date


Using these CSS classes you can create a widget such as the example below. You can find the full CSS used for this custom Gcal widget here.


If you need any assistance with customizing your Google Calendar widget, please contact us and we’ll be happy to help!


Increase widget load speed

Your widget loading (and page loading speed) can be negatively affected by a number of factors, but there are also ways to increase widget load speed. We aim to provide the fastest RSS widget available, but there are limiting circumstances which are out of our control. We do apply caching of your widget and refresh your widget cache every 15 minutes.

Some of the parameters used in the FeedWind setup screen can affect widget/page-loading performance and are detailed below.


Number of feed items

The more feed items you specify in your widget setup, the longer it will take to load the widget as our server has to make more calls to the source feed server in order to obtain your content.

The default setting is 15 feed items but you can increase this up to 99; please note however, that there is a proportional increase in load time for widget content as the number of items increases.


Text/Thumb/HTML Styles

The fastest load performance is achieved using the Text-only widget style. The Thumbnail option is next-fastest, with the HTML style loading slowest. Obviously the more media within the content, the slower a widget will load too.


Number of Characters in the Titles & Content

The greater number of characters allowed in the content, the slower your widget performance will be as more data must be transferred. However, this is a minor influence on the speed of the widget.


Feed URLs

The more feed URLs you aggregate the slower your widget will load. To increase widget load speed, please limit the number of URLs you use in a widget.  Our system limits the number of feed URLs to 15 at present.

When choosing feeds from third parties, it is important to choose those from sources whose servers can offer the same approximate response times. If you have a single feed in your multiple feeds list whose server is slow to respond, your widget will also be slow to refresh.


Custom CSS

Loading a custom CSS requires an external server call to wherever the CSS file is stored. This means that he widget cannot load until the server hosting the CSS responds and delivers the requested CSS data. This means that storing the CSS on the same server (preferably within the same directory structure of your site files). Caching the CSS file is also recommended.


Page Caching (plugins & extensions)

These can vastly improve widget loading times as HTML, CSS and .js all of which are used with the FeedWind RSS widget. You must be careful not to set the cache refresh to more than 15 minutes however, otherwise users may not get the widget content refreshed during the FeedWind 15 minute refresh cycle.


 

Using Dropbox to host CSS files

How to host css stylesheets on Dropbox

It’s easy to host CSS stylesheets on Dropbox where you can store a CSS file for a custom Feedwind widget without having to store a CSS file on your own server. This is particularly useful where you are using an online platform such as Wix or Weebly to build your site. Platforms like these do not have the facility for storing CSS files, so Dropbox is a great solution.

First you need to create your custom CSS file. Depending on what sort of widget you a building (RSS widget, Facebook page widget or Google Calendar widget). You can use any code editor or plain text editor to create your CSS as explained in the relevant support documents for CSS.

Once you have created your stylesheet and saved it as a .css file, you can then upload it to Dropbox for later use.

Get the URL for your .css file

On an Apple Mac

On an Apple Mac, Open your dropbox, and locate your .css file. Right-click on the file and select “Copy Public Link.” This will copy the publicly available URL for your .css file to your clipboard.

host css with dropbox

In a windows-based browser

In a windows browser, Dropbox display things a little differently from the Apple Mac version or the Dropbox app. Below are example screenshots for the Windows browser:

dropbox can host css files

Grab the custom .css file link for use in Feedwind by clicking on the “Share” button alongside your .css file in the Dropbox file list. The following modal will appear:

use dropbox for css

The URL will look something like this:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/j0vdhe8owoolgh5/custom98.css?dl=0

To use this URL in FeedWind you will need to make a small adjustment to the URL by changing the www. In the URL to dl.

e.g. www.dropbox.com/../ becomes https://dl.dropbox.com/../

When you have your new URL e.g.

https://dl.dropbox.com/s/j0vdhe8owoolgh5/custom98.css?dl=0

You can then use this .css URL in your RSS, Google Calendar or Facebook page widget setup screens


 

What is FeedWind used for?

FeedWind is an extremely versatile RSS widget. With support for so many platforms and implementations, Feedwind is the ideal solution for anyone who needs to display RSS feeds using a customizable widget. Here are some examples of how Feedwind can be used:

Tickertape

A traditional format consisting of a single line of horizontally scrolling text. These are commonly used to display exchange rates, news headlines

Custom colors and fonts

Match the color design of any website and match the fonts. Choose to do this from the FeedWind setup screen, or by using a custom CSS to define your own fonts or use webfonts.

Custom shapes

Feedwind is so versatile, you can use a custom CSS to create any type of styling effect – need a circular widget – easy!

 

Slideshow

Feedwind can be used to feed images into a horizontal scrolling slideshow. Ideal for a website banner which displays the latest news or other images.

News widget

Many web designers consider RSS feeds only as a source of news content. This is where FeedWind was born – our original widget was aimed at doing just that and we continue to provide the best RSS news widget available.

Blog summary

Blogs like this one you are reading are great places for users to get insight into the topics you want to share.

For a user to find an article of interest, they may be required to scroll through your blog or perform a search. Even with a summary, users can still have difficulty finding what they want. A FeedWind scrolling feed widget allows users to see a blog summary (as text only/thumbnail/full HTML) which auto-scrolls so they can find what they want with more ease.

 


Supported site building platforms

The FeedWind RSS widget is suitable for many popular site building platforms, both on and offline. We support many website building platforms. Here is a list of those we have successfully tested and created support articles for:

Online site building platforms / blogs

Desktop website building software

  • Adobe Dreamweaver
  • Adobe siteBuilder
  • Serif PagePlus

Online site building platforms come in various configurations with free, paid and freemium versions available. One of the features that can differentiate between a paid version and a free version is the availability of a HTML module – i.e. an input area (usually within the text editor, or a web building/code module where HTML can be pasted.

The FeedWind code provided from our setup screen after a widget has been created and saved, is suitable for pasting into these input areas.

Make sure you paste our code into the right editor

The text editor found on many platforms has an alternative view which allows you to view/edit HTML. When the text editor supports HTML, these are usually available as a link from the editor menu which looks like one of these examples

< >  or  </>  or   <HTML>   or  Source or in WordPress, the  Text tab of your page/post editor.

When the editor opens, you will be able to paste the FeedWind code you have copied from the setup screen.

If you attempt to copy the FeedWind code into a formatting editor (WYSIWIG-style editor), you will simply see the code displayed instead of the widget. The right editor must be used in order for FeedWind to work correctly.

If you are not sure where to place your code in your site builder, please contact us and include the name of your site builder in the contact request details.


 

MARCH NEWSLETTER

The latest news and tips from the FeedWind team

This month we have been improving a number of aspects of Feedwind operation and features. We are focusing on extending Facebook widget features and upgrading our Pro subscription system. As always, we are increasing the support content available for users with new articles and an upcoming FeedWind blog.


NEW FEATURES FOR MARCH

Payment Automation Currently we activate Pro accounts manually which causes a delay in removal of the “Powered by FeedWind” branding and the dashboard update to allow 20 widgets to be saved.

We know this has occasionally been an inconvenience to some of our users (and apologize to any affected), so we are implementing an automated system for new Pro users.

With this update, activation will be automatic and applied as soon as the subscription has been made. Facebook Horizontal Scroll We released horizontal scroll for RSS widgets in February – a great hit with our RSS widget users.

This month we are adding horizontal scroll functionality to our Facebook widget too. Share your Facebook feed in a slideshow using a FeedWind horizontal feed widget!  You can stay up to date with the latest information on feature releases by visiting our Facebook page.


COMING SOON

Google Calendar support We are already working on many new features due for release over the coming months. On the near horizon is support for Google Calendar, a long-awaited release which should be available during April.Our new blog  In the next week or so we are releasing our new blog (this article is on it) which will contain handy tips and tricks, Feedwind news and other resources to help our users get the most out of Feedwind and their RSS feeds.


SUPPORT NEWS

Create an iTunes widget iTunes has an RSS feed generator with custom parameters so you can easily create an iTunes widget in just minutes with custom content. Using Feedwind setup, you can add custom styling to your widget. Read this new article for more information on how to create an iTunes widget. Other platforms we support FeedWind supports many online platforms in addition to iTunes. You can find out more about which ones we have tested and how to use them here at our support pages. If you think we should include other platforms in the support section, please let us know.


AND FINALLY..

We always love to hear from you – your feedback is what enlightens and enables us to create the best possible feed widget.

If you have any comments or suggestions about FeedWind, please do not hesitate to contact us


 

 

 

RSS slideshow banner

Using horizontal scroll, you can create RSS slideshow banners which use an RSS feed to supply the source slides. When used on a website as a banner, you can control the banner content using RSS feeds and have it update automatically with your latest media and content. You can also overlay logos and messages above your slideshow widget as in the example below.

This RSS slideshow widget was created using HTML plus some inline CSS for the overlaid text, and a horizontal scroll widget in the background, using z-index: to control the layers. The feed is from a series of posts which simply contain images. The horizontal scrolling widget  in the example below uses the iFrame version of feedWind, but there are alternative solutions which can use the regular code.

RSS SLIDESHOW BANNER EXAMPLE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COLOR SALON

Love your style

feedwind rss slideshow widget