20 August 2013

Easily follow websites with SubToMe

SubToMe makes it easy for people to follow web sitesWhile Google Reader’s shutdown caused a boom on the market for RSS clients, the multitude of options caused other unfortunate side-effects. One of the problems is discovering the feed of a website and adding it to your reader. Until recently Reader was integrated into the major browsers (well, in and by default and in through an extension); with it gone, browsers have reverted to their local subscription methods, which is not very helpful for users who adopted cloud-based solutions. Adding support for these new RSS readers is not exactly easy, requiring manual configuration both in Firefox and in Chrome’s RSS extension. Bookmarklets are another option, if you know where to look or how to build one.

It’s hard to say where I discovered it, but the best solution is currently SubToMe, an online service that promises to make following websites easy, private and cross-browser. In my experience it works very well indeed. The setup process is short and easy: simply visit the homepage, click on ‘Settings’, then add the bookmarklet to your browser and go to the ‘Store’ to select your preferred service(s). Unlike regular bookmarklets, you can install several RSS clients – many popular ones are already supported, including Feedly, my own choice Feedbin, The Old Reader and NewsBlur – and choose between them each time you subscribe. The choices can be managed anytime from the ‘Store’ page and are stored locally in the browser (probably using local storage instead of cookies, if I interpret the permission dialog in Firefox correctly). Of course, this means you need to setup the bookmarklet in each browser you use, but that’s necessary with any other method of subscription. SubToMe works with Internet Explorer as well (personally tested in version 10), a pleasant surprise. Overall it’s hard to find a simpler way to add new feeds to your RSS reader from all over the web.

  • SubToMe Follow dialog no service installed
  • SubToMe Follow dialog with Feedbin installed


  1. Thanks for the feedback :) (I created SubToMe). We even have an "registration" mechanism which should not require you to add your favorite readers thru the store... but few readers implement it.

    It is also possible, for publishers like you to add a SubToMe button straight on their page for people to subscribe to their content easily! Test it on http://blog.superfeedr.com for example.

    1. Thanks for creating it then! :)
      I saw the tools for publishers and I will definitely try them out in the future, probably writing another article on the subject.