Using CSS selectors in FreshRSS to automatically retrieve the full text of partial text RSS feeds

I am a fan of RSS.

It makes me smile when I read of RSS making a come-back as, for me at least, it never went anywhere.

I use RSS as my default web browser for some stuff, mainly reading people’s blogs, and also for some news sites.

404Media does this well, since it is a subscription service which offers full text RSS to subscribers.

I am a fan of Liam Proven’s writing - mostly about Linux - for The Register, so I was delighted to find that The Register offers author-specific RSS feeds. Here is Liam’s RSS feed.

Pop that into your RSS aggregator of choice (I am using FreshRSS), and each time El Reg publishes one of Liam’s stories, I can read it in my RSS reader.


Well, almost.

The Register, like a lot of publications, does not offer full text via RSS. Just a snippet.

Fortunately, FreshRSS makes it relatively easy to automate retrieving the full text.

In “Subscription management”, click the cog icon next to the feed in question.

Scroll down, into the “Advanced” section, and the first item should be “Article CSS selector on original website”.

In this field, you can put a CSS element (either a .class or a #id) for the element on the target page which contains the content you wish FreshRSS to retrieve.

You’ll need to look at the target page’s source to work this out. It will vary feed by feed / site by site.

In the case of The Register’s feed for Liam’s writing, the article content is within the element <div data-sanitized-id="article">.

In FreshRSS, I set the CSS selector to #article, and clicked the preview button. And I saw the full article content, indicting that I had got it right.

Click “Submit” to save the change.

Now, I get the full text in my RSS feed.

I’ve been through all my RSS feeds, looking for feeds which offer only partial text, and working out what selector I need to use in FreshRSS to get the full text of the feed content.