I love the simplicity of RSS feeds – we generally go to the same sites for news on a regular basis, why not have those sites come to us, and sync across all our devices, and keep track of what you have and haven’t read? And more.

Miniflux on iOS

I was never one of the cool kids on Google Reader, but after playing with the current king of RSS apps, Feedly, I really saw the benefit of this platform. In some ways, it’s the “killer app” of web browsing. But I also really hate to pay for stuff that I can do myself. We are being nickle-and-dimed at every turn by subscriptions, and I didn’t want yet another monthly fee.

And why should I have to? RSS is an open standard. There are millions of feeds posted. The service is pretty simple. I know how to spin up a VPS, and it’s 2019.

Miniflux feed, viewed on Reeder in MacOS

But which RSS server software to use? It came down to Miniflux, NewsBlur, and Tiny Tiny RSS.

I had trouble with the NewsBlur and Tiny Tiny RSS installs. It’s not them – it’s me. Miniflux just ended up being easier. My goal was to host this on the same Digital Ocean server as this website, and I’m sure I could have gotten there with more research into virtual hosts and TLS, but it basically was pretty easy to start a new Digital Ocean droplet, provision with Ubuntu, and install Miniflux.

After a couple of hours of setup, I was in business with my own RSS feeder and reader apps. What’s cool is that I can host the service for friends and family, too, saving everyone a few bucks. The load on the server is very light. I’m using the lowest memory Digital Ocean droplet, at about $5/month. I rationalize this with “well it’s not a new subscription service fee, it’s just an increase in a subscription I already have”. Argh.

Miniflux works great in a web browser for my Windows 10 corporate day use. It allow uses Fever, which allows me to use a number of reader apps. I’m using Unread on iOS, and Reeder on MacOS, both work great.

Miniflux on the web

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *