What is an RSS feed and how can I use one?
An RSS feed (Really Simple Syndication) is a technically simple way of providing one website's content (eg MCN's) for free use on another (eg your website).
MCN has hundreds of thousands of articles and bikes for sale - so we allow you to choose the exact kind of content you want in your feed - eg Suzuki Hayabusas for sale - or you can just take a more general feed like latest motorcycle news or latest MotoGP stories.
Here are some examples of how you might use an MCN RSS feed:
- If you write a blog about your Triumph Street Triple, you could add feeds for Triumph Street Triple news articles and/or Triumph Street Triples for sale. As readers of your blog will be interested in the Triumph Street Triple, this should be valuable additional content for them, and may make your blog more attractive to visit as it saves them having to visit MCN to get this information.
- If you run a forum site about BMWs, you could add feeds for BMW news articles or BMWs for sale - for the same reasons as above
- Many types of RSS reader are available which integrate with other websites you may use such as Facebook, Twitter or Wordpress. So whatever type of content you visit MCN for, you can make that content appear on the sites you visit most often, saving you time and effort
- If you use iGoogle as your homepage and want to be kept fully up to date with the latest MotoGP news, you can add a feed of MCN's latest MotoGP stories using one of the RSS readers available on iGoogle. This will mean whenever you look at your home page, the latest MotoGP headlines will be automatically there for you to see, without having to visit MCN or other sites
- If you are a dealer who sends a feed of your bikes for sale to MCN, you can display a list of those bikes on any website you have admin access to - eg your own shop's site, any personal sites you have - or any other sites that you can persuade to take a feed of your bikes
The content of each item in the feed will include a title, some text and an image (optional). The title will act as a link to the corresponding article or bike for sale on the MCN website.
What is a widget and how can I use one?
A "widget" in this context is simply an RSS reader (see above). It is a small piece of website code which first fetches your feed content from MCN, then displays it on your site in a box.
You don't need to understand how it works - or have any technical skills - to use an MCN widget. As long as you have access to "edit html" on some part of a website, all you need to do is cut and paste the widget code that we will automatically generate for your feed into the this part of your website.
Once the code has been added to a website page, each time that page is viewed it will automatically fetch the latest content from MCN and automatically display that content according to the settings you've chosen.
Once you've created an RSS feed you can see an exact preview of what it will look like in the MCN widget - and you can adjust the size and many other settings so that it fits neatly into your site where ever you want it. See Custom Settings below for more on this.
What is a script tag?
A script tag is just another name for the piece of website code (html) that makes the MCN widget work (see above).
What effect does changing the custom settings have?
Height and width - Use the sliders or text entry boxes to select the height and widht of your widget in pixels. If you don't understand what a pixel is, just select a size that looks the right size in the widget preview and use trial and error until you get a size that you're happy works OK on your website.
If you select the autoheight option, the widget's height will vary slightly according to the content it is being asked to display each time it loads
Text size - You can set the text size of headings and descriptions to small, medium or large
Descriptions - You can choose to show descriptions in your wdiget or to turn them off. "Description" means the the first paragraph of an article or the seller's description of a bike for sale
Images - You can choose to show a small image with each article or bike for sale, show an image on the first item only, or don't show images at all. Having images turned off will make the widget slightly quicker to load
Link behaviours - When a user clicks a link to an MCN story or bike for sale in the widget, you can decide whether that page will open in a new tab/window in their browser, or whether it opens in the same tab/window they are currently viewing
How will MCN pay me if I choose to include an MCN Compare link in my widget?
If you include a link to MCN's insurance comparison service (MCN Compare) in your widget, MCN will track how many visitors to MCN from your site(s) use the MCN Compare service - and pay you a fee for every visitor who views comparative insurance quotes (if they don't get as far as the view quotes page, no commission is paid). This very simple way to make money from your website is often known as an "affiliate scheme".
How the MCN Compare affiliate scheme works
When ever a visitor to your site follows the link in your widget to MCN Compare, the URL (web address) that they use to access MCN Compare will include an additional reference id that is unique to you.
Using this reference, MCN tracks which sites are sending how many visitors to MCN Compare. We then produce a quarterly email report for each of our affiliate partners (the report is sent to the email address you entered at step 1) which includes:
- Full details of the number of users referred from your site(s) who have gone on to view comparative insurance quotes (note - no personal data will ever be disclosed)
- Full details of the amount we owe you as a result or these referrals
- Full details of how to release your funds via invoice
Our current affiliate commission is £1.50 (inc VAT) per user who has gone on to view comparative insurance quotes
Full terms and conditions
Where can I view examples of websites using MCN feeds and widgets?
Sport - http://www.busters-accessories.co.uk/
Reviews - http://www.rainbowmotorcycles.com/search.php
Bikes for Sale - http://www.vsoc.org.uk/home.htm