Matthew Dickens

my personal space

XML Template for a Podcast RSS Feed

I have been paying monthly for our show to be hosted with a third-party because it was convenient and, more importantly, they provided very detailed analytics. However, they recently decided to increase their prices and switched the analytics to be an add-on feature for an additional cost. After shopping around for a new hosting provider, I decided that I would self-host our podcast here. Neither of us was planning to make a career out of podcasting, so I would rather save the money and forgo the statistics.

For any fellow podcasters wanting to make the switch, here is the basic XML template for a podcast RSS feed (change the file extension from .txt to .xml).

If you do a search online for an XML feed validator, the first and obvious choice is going to be the W3C Feed Validation Service. However, XML feeds are used for things other than podcasts, and podcasts have specific tags, like any that begin with itunes, that will cause you to get errors and a “sorry, not valid” message. A better service—one specific for podcast feeds—is Cast Feed Validator.

Paperclip CMS 2.0.0 Released

Several years ago, I created my own content management system (CMS) in PHP and MySQL as just a personal project. I called it Paperclip CMS, because its original name—NothingFancy CMS—was dumb. It was the product of many months of frustration, and when it was completed, I used it for running all of my websites.

Last year, I noticed that the code was producing all sorts of PHP errors. I figured out that the code I was using was PHP 4/PHP 5 and some of it had been obsoleted with the introduction for PHP 5.5/PHP 7—mysqli_query instead of mysql_query, &c. So, for the next couple of months, I have been rewriting all my code to bring it up to date. This was especially annoying since I was having to use someone else’s CMS script in the meantime. It felt dirty.

Well, last night, I finally finished!

I am proud to introduce Paperclip CMS 2.0.0. Everything looks and feels the same from the outside, but everything under the hood is shiny and new.

In the next few weeks or months, I am planning to add some new features—features that version 1.x.x didn’t have.

Feel free to download it and play around with it. Please let me know if there are any bugs or if you have any suggestions on ways to improve it. Please keep your unconstructive criticism to yourself. ☺


Whenever I’m working on a new web project, I hate having to start my CSS from scratch. The big-name boilerplate frameworks are too big and have too many options, in my honest opinion.

So I created good.css.

New Year, New Domain

You’re here. You made it.

I’ve been eyeing this domain name for a long time now, but I could never think of a good reason to buy it. Every few months, I would check to make sure that it was still available and sigh with relief when it was. I finally decided that I should probably just go for it and snatch it up before someone else does.

So, I typed in my credit card number, click “checkout,” and here we both are.

I haven’t decided what I am going to use if for. I was thinking about re-taking up podcasting this year. If I do, I will be using this space to host that.

We will see.

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