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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

RSS Readers / Google Reader Alternatives

Offering alternatives to Google Reader--find the perfect RSS Reader to fit your needs!

What is it?

If you're looking for a no-nonsense reader that is simply a reader, CommaFeed is the perfect choice. This Open Source reader is "bloat-free" and even through it does not carry lots of extra features it functions exceptionally well as a reader. 

CommaFeed Logo.


Benefits of using CommaFeed:

  • Open Source
  • Works in all major web browsers
  • Connect to Google Reader to import feeds
  • Updates Frequently
  • Customizable CSS
  • Mobile version of the site available


Challenges with CommaFeed:

  • Firefox and Chrome Browser Extensions/Add-ons are clunky, reviews suggest using website
  • No App available

How do I get started?

1. Create an account by registering at

2. To add a feed:

  • Copy the feed URL (right click--copy) from the news site or blog you are interested in.
  • Select "Subscribe" button in the upper left corner of the screen.
  • Paste the feed URL into the box (right click--paste).
  • Name the feed if it doesn't automatically appear.
  • Decide where you would like to put your feed, leave at the default "All" if you are not using folders.
  • Click the "Save" button and your feed will be added!

This is also where you can import feeds and add new categories.

Not sure where to find the feed URL? Look for the RSS symbol RSS icon on your favorite blog or news site. Want to get the latest articles from a library database via RSS? Learn how on our Current Awareness guide.

3. Using CommaFeed:

  • Use the up and down arrows to navigate through items.
  • Toggle the view of the feeds from list view to detailed view.
  • Adjust your settings and add your CSS to customize the reader

5. CommaFeed is a fairly simple reader, but it does offer options to share to social media and a [Star] option to mark favorites when you select an item in your feed.