Dynamic RSS Feeds and Bandwidth Consumption

Nick Bradbury’s take (author of FeedDemon RSS reader) on the RSS bandwidth concerns.

“This sounds simple enough, but there’s a big problem here: many high-traffic RSS feeds are created dynamically through server-side code, and the HTTP server won’t automatically support conditional HTTP get for dynamic feeds. So, all too often the feed is rebuilt each and every time it’s requested – which is obviously a huge waste of both bandwidth and CPU time. One solution is to write your own code to return a 304 based on the If-Modified-Since header, but in many cases it makes more sense to use a static feed that’s rebuilt only when new information needs to be added to it.

However, while this works well for feeds that don’t require many updates, it’s not the best approach for feeds that need to be updated more frequently…”

‘Dynamic RSS Feeds and Bandwidth Consumption’

Comments (2)

  1. AT says:

    A free hint:

    If you will use "If-Modified-Since" header in dynamic feed generation – you will be able to return minumal number of new/updated posts.

    You will be able to ignore posts users already has 😉


    If no "If-Modified-Since" header sent – return last 20-30 (or any other number) of RSS items.

    But is there is valid "If-Modified-Since" (not 1970-01-01 😉 header – return _all_ items modified/added since that time. And do not sent items user already has.

    This way no one post will be lost and minimal traffic will be consumed.

    Statis RSS feeds will consume a lot of traffic redownloading useless items or lose important items if FeedReader does not pool your channel regulary.

    Magic is an easy 😉