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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.

 


Working with site-building platforms

FeedWind RSS widget support details for many popular site-building platforms both on and offline.


We support most popular website building platforms

Online website 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.

Pasting 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 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COLOR SALON

Love your style

 

 

 

 

 


Tickertape widget using horizontal scroll

The tickertape (single-line) widget

A tickertape widget consists of a single line of text scrolling horizontally. They are often used to display stock prices, exchange rates, latest news etc. This widget layout is based on the old teleprinter machines which printed text onto ticker tape, a narrow strip of paper on a roll.

What is a tickertape widget used for?

Tickertape widgets are commonly used to display stock prices, exchange rates and news headlines; although they can also serve many other uses. They also use less screen space than a regular widget as the information displayed at any one time is limited to the width of the widget and only one line of characters. Tickertape widgets make useful banners for other page elements too.


The above example was created using this custom CSS which corrects the position of the time/date and applies a gradient background. In the setup screen.

The following settings in the FeedWind setup screen were important:

Setup page item Setting Notes
Height – (No of feed items) 1 Maintains a single line tickertape
Width As required – in px or responsive Ensure the title/content characters fit into one line. Otherwise, text wrapping occurs which requires a taller widget
Scroll type Horizontal Tickertape style requires horizontal scroll. It would be possible to create a vertical scrolling tickertape, however these are very limited in use as the content is difficult for your users to read.
Style Text This is the only style which works for a Tickertape layout
Feed title characters 100 Ensure the whole title fits on one line for the widget width you have specified
Display content Title only You could use “Content only too” – but not Title+Content. This is because there would be a carriage return between the title and content. Remember you are trying to fit the text into a single line within the widget width.
Time/Date Off This can be switched on/off as required

 

Welcome to the new FeedWind blog

welcome-to-feedwind

In addition to our regular support documentation, the FeedWind blog provides users with additional information about new features, general news and some articles to help you make the most out of FeedWind.

Since v2 was released there has been a lot of activity from the development team, with a new Facebook widget added to our features. We also released the long-awaited horizontal scrolling, automated payments and Google Calendar support due for release very soon now.

Keep up with our progress by bookmarking this blog in your browser, Liking our Facebook page or following us on Twitter.

Make sure you stay up to date with the latest information with the FeedWind blog.