RSS reader in node.js


Guide to teach how to create an rss reader and parse XML files in node.js. See the examples and explanations.

23 Mar, 2020 · 3 min read

This week I want to focus on helping myself be more effective and automated. So we are going to build an RSS reader that functions as an automated social media publishing tool.

This tool will be built in node.js and will have the following sequence for now:

  1. Get all posts from a website RSS feed
  2. Loop through the posts and see if they are already published (we keep track of this in a json file)
  3. If not, we get the content of the post and publish on Facebook
  4. We also post this on Twitter

Today we will start this process and see how we can parse a websites RSS feed.

RSS reader app in node.js.

Note: Ensure you have node.js installed on your machine. See nodejs website for the installation procedure.

To create a basic app in node.js we run the following command in our terminal:

mkdir rss-app && cd rss-app && npm init

We are doing three things here:

  1. mkdir rss-app this created a directory called rss-app
  2. cd rss-app this command tells us to change directory into a folder called rss-app
  3. npm init this command comes with node.js and creates a blank template. It will ask a couple of questions that you can enter through.

Read more: Basic Node.js Express application

Creating our node.js entry point

We start by creating the basic entry point for our app. Every node.js project needs an entry point.

touch index.js

Touch means we create a new file, and it’s called index.js

Next, we install our rss parser

npm i rss-parser

This tells node to install a package called rss-parser. You can find the package here: rss-parser

Read the XML feed

The RSS feed for my website can be found on the following URL:

Open your index.js file in your favorite editor and place the following code in it.

let Parser = require('rss-parser');
let parser = new Parser();

(async () => {
  let feed = await parser.parseURL('');


  feed.items.forEach((item) => {

Let’s go through this code:

let Parser = require('rss-parser');
let parser = new Parser();

The first line tells node.js we will use the rss-parser package. The second line defines a new parser.

(async () => {})();

This block is a shorthand for an asynchronous function. Which we need because we are going to use the await function.

let feed = await parser.parseURL('');


Here we tell the rss-parser package to parse a new XML feed from my website’s feed URL. Next, we console log the feed’s title.

feed.items.forEach((item) => {

This is a JavaScript loop that will loop through the feed’s items.

It will console log each item’s title.

Run the RSS app

To test and run our app, go back to the terminal and run the following command:

node index.js

This tells node to run the file called index.js

It will output this:

Daily Dev Tips
String replace in Vanilla JS
Weekend tip: Watch the Vue documentary
Promise chains in JavaScript
Match all urls from a string in vanilla JS


You can find the GitHub demo project here: RSS-App.

We can now read our RSS feed and parse its data in node.js tomorrow we will start doing something with this data. In the meantime feel free to send me a message on Facebook or Twitter

Spread the knowledge with fellow developers on Twitter
Tweet this tip
Powered by Webmentions - Learn more

Read next 📖

NVM set default version

20 Jul, 2022 · 2 min read

NVM set default version

Managing multiple node versions with NVM

13 Jul, 2022 · 2 min read

Managing multiple node versions with NVM

Join 2099 devs and subscribe to my newsletter