How to create a simple RSS Reader in PHP

Learn how to create a simple RSS reader that allows to load the XML feed from URL to your website.


To implement RSS Reader in my web application, I just need to utilize the XMLReader object provided in PHP by default. Load XML feed from the URL, iterate through the elements in the document, create a collection of data and return it to the clients.

namespace FM\Integrations;

use XMLReader;
use SimpleXMLElement;

class ESPN
    public function read(): array
        $data = [];

        $reader = new XMLReader();

        while ($reader->read()) {
            if ($reader->nodeType === XMLReader::ELEMENT && $reader->name === 'item') {
                $item = new SimpleXMLElement($reader->readOuterXML(), LIBXML_NOCDATA);

                if (! empty($item->title) && ! empty($item->link)) {
                    $data[] = [
                        'title' => (string) $item->title,
                        'url' => (string) $item->link,
                        'description' => ! empty($item->description) ? (string) $item->description : '',


        return $data;

It's important to note that I'm not striving for perfection here. It's a prototype intended to show the basic idea, which can be refined over time so for now I don't address security issues related to loading external resources. However, if I were developing a production-ready solution, it would be essential to pay more attention to that aspect.

Now, I just need to create a new instance and use get function for querying the data. I'm using separated get function, because I woudl like to separate data extraction process from returning results and maybe filtering them in the future.


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