I am trying to generate a RSS feed from a mysql database I already have. Can I use PHP in the XML file that is to be sent to the user so that it generates the content upon request? Or should I use cron on the PHP file and generate an xml file? Or should I add the execution of the php file that generates the xml upon submitting the content that is to be used in the RSS? What do you think is the best practice?
All three approaches are technically possible. However, I would not use cron, because it delays the update process of your XML-files after the database content has changed.
You can easily embed PHP-Code in your XML-files, you just have to make sure that the files are interpreted as PHP on the serverside, either by renaming them with a *.php extension or by changing the server directives in the .htaccess-file.
But I think that the best practice here is to generate new XML-files upon updating the database contents. I guess that the XML-files are viewed more often than the database content changes, so this approach reduces the server load.
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