5 Minimalist RSS Readers Still in the News Feed Game

Joel Lee 15-04-2015

When Google Reader died in 2013, some people thought that RSS would die with it. Fortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the numbers show that RSS is still alive Is RSS Dead? A Look At The Numbers RSS isn't dead: millions of people still use it. Let's look at a few numbers. Read More and will remain that way for years to come.


Plenty of alternatives to Google Reader Google Reader's End Is Nigh: Prepare With These Alternative RSS Readers Google Reader is dead. By July the Internet's premier RSS service is shutting down forever, leaving users to find a replacement on their own. If you're looking for an equivalent to Google these are just... Read More have sprung up since its demise, but many of them are packed with too many features. Others, like Feedly, are still popular despite some shady history Feedly Was Stealing Your Content -- Here's the Story, And Their Code Last week, Feedly rolled out a controversial new "feature" -- hijacking feed links. Here's the full story of why people are angry, and how one blogger helped to right the situation. Read More . But what if you want something simpler? A reader that delivers news without any distractions?

That’s when we turn to minimalistic RSS readers Newspaper 2.0 - Your Guide to RSS There’s a web technology that can find information on almost any subject on the Internet and spoon-feed it to you. With RSS you can read every article offered by any particular blog. Read More , which may not be so popular but are definitely worth trying. Here are a few that might work well for you.


Miniflux is a relatively young RSS reader, having first debuted in March 2013 to little fanfare. Since then, it has received regular updates on a quasi-monthly basis and subsequently looks a lot more polished and usable while keeping to its minimal philosophy.

And minimal it is. Take one glance and you’ll see that Miniflux isn’t kidding around. It’s sparse and straightforward — almost barren in some parts — yet designed in such a way that doesn’t intrude on the actual news-reading process.

Check out the demo to see it for yourself.



Miniflux boasts a responsive design that adapts depending on your viewing device. It also provides a bookmarklet that makes subscribing to a feed as easy as clicking a button. Other goodies include importing and exporting in the OPML format, multiple themes, no social network support (to respect your privacy), and automatic ad removal.

All of this is free and open source What Is Open Source Software? [MakeUseOf Explains] "Open source" is a term that’s thrown around a lot these days. You may know that certain things are open source, like Linux and Android, but do you know what it entails? What is open... Read More . The only downside — depending on how you look at it — is that you need to host it yourself. Fortunately, the installation instructions are simple and easy to follow.

Go Read [No Longer Available]

Like Miniflux, Go Read is relatively young. It launched just before Google Reader and started off by marketing itself as a Google Reader clone. Once you log into Go Read for the first time, you’ll realize that “clone” is the perfect descriptor.


It looks nearly identical to what Google Reader looked like.

Which, to be honest, is great. Google Reader was fast, easy to navigate, and the model design for what a web RSS reader should be. If Go Read wants to base themselves on a design that’s already tried and true, I can’t fault them for it.


To get it as minimal as possible, all you have to do is toggle into List View, enable the feature that hides all empty feeds and folders, and enable the feature that marks as read as you scroll through. Once done, keeping up with your news is as quick as scrolling down the page.


As for pricing, Go Read is both free and not free. It’s open source software so you can download it and host it yourself for no charge. However, to use Go Read’s hosted RSS service, it’ll cost $3 per month or $30 per year. New accounts start with a 30-day free trial.


Feedbin is yet another minimalistic RSS reader that started around the same time as Google Reader’s demise. This one has a lofty mission that almost seems impossible to fulfill: the perfect balance between simplicity, performance, and user experience.

Use it for a few minutes, however, and you’ll see that they’re pretty darn close to reaching that goal.



What I love about Feedbin is that it’s a web app that feels like a desktop app. The design itself is clean, intuitive, and such a joy to work with. Nothing feels “in the way”, so to speak. Plus, it’s minimal without being barebones, and that’s beautiful in its own way.

Simply put, Feedbin is awesome. If you’re thinking of switching to it, migration is simple. Just upload your OPML file and you’re done.

Like Go Read, Feedbin is both free and not free. You can install it yourself without charge or you can let Feedbin host it for you, which will cost $3 per month or $30 per year. They provide a 14-day free trial so you can get your feet wet before committing to a subscription.


We’ve covered the lightweight RSS reader CommaFeed before, which has promised a bloat-free experience since its inception in 2013. While CommaFeed has had its ups and downs over the years — including a period of constant outage due to growing pains — it’s still around.

Originally designed as a Google Reader replacement, it has since taken on a style and direction of its own, leading it towards a design that’s even more pared down than Google Reader ever was.


I’ve had reservations against this web app for a while, mostly because I’ve had poor experiences with it every time I decided to give it a shot. Well, color me surprised when I gave it one more try and actually walked away impressed.

Not that there’s anything particularly extraordinary about CommaFeed. In fact, it’s about as standard as it gets for web RSS readers. However, what’s great about it is that it just works. The design wastes no space, adds no unnecessary flairs, yet keeps it lively with a healthy dash of color.

If you ever get sick of the minimalism, you can add your own custom CSS styles 5 Baby Steps to Learning CSS and Becoming a Kick-Ass CSS Sorcerer CSS is the single most important change webpages have seen in the last decade, and it paved the way for the separation of style and content. In the modern way, XHTML defines the semantic structure... Read More to personalize the look-and-feel however you wish.

CommaFeed can be self-hosted or you can let CommaFeed host your feeds for you. Either way, it’s completely free. It’s also open source in case you want to dig through the code.

Digg Reader [No Longer Available]

Last up we have Digg Reader, which has no relation to the new Digg Discover The Best Of The Web With The New Digg v1 Digg was such a huge hit that content creators actively tried to get their material linked to on the site in order to experience the huge increase in traffic, known as the Digg effect, that... Read More which was unveiled back in 2012. While the Digg brand has certainly lost a lot of its luster, don’t let that turn you away from Digg Reader. This RSS reader is actually quite good.

In fact, out of all the minimalist RSS readers on this list, I’d have to say that Digg Reader comes out on top as the winner.

Like the previous readers we’ve explored, Digg Reader doesn’t offer anything unique or extraordinary — and that’s fine because it isn’t meant to have any shiny bells or whistles. That’s the whole point of a minimalistic web app, isn’t it?


So why do I like it so much?

Because it manages to walk the thin line of “stripped down but not bare”, particularly in the aesthetics department. There’s hardly any color, yet it doesn’t feel bland. The layout is as simple as it gets — a left pane and a main area — but doesn’t feel lacking.

But best of all, it’s blazingly fast. Even on this old laptop of mine, which tends to stutter on web apps like this, Digg Reader is as smooth as can be. Minimalism and performance should go hand-in-hand, so Digg Reader earns a lot of points for that.

Digg Reader is completely free to use. Check out our Digg Reader review Digg Reader Is A Beautifully Minimal Alternative To Feedly Digg launched a reader in June following the shutdown of Google Reader. Digg Reader is a slick, minimal reader that puts the focus where it should be -- on the articles you want to read. Read More for a deeper look at this wonderful RSS reader.

Which RSS Reader Do You Use?

There are a lot of RSS readers out there. Feedly is a favorite Unofficial Guide To Feedly: Better Than Google Reader Do you hunger for the best desktop and mobile RSS reader ever made? For both the hungry and the hopeful, Feedly satisfies. Read More for many while others may prefer to go mobile with these Android RSS apps RSS And Beyond: The Top 5 Android News Reader Apps For Free RSS, which means Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary depending on who you ask, is a popular way to receive news updates from your favorite websites. You can pick and choose which updates you... Read More or these iPad RSS apps. But for me, web RSS is the way to go — and minimalism is non-negotiable when all you want to do is get through your daily feeds.

Digg Reader is my choice. Hopefully this list helps you pick a favorite of your own.

Do you use any of these RSS readers? If not, which one do you use? Are these too minimal for you? What are some crucial features of RSS readers that you can’t live without? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

Image Credits: Open Laptop Via Shutterstock, RSS Trail Via Shutterstock

Related topics: FeedReader, Minimalism.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

Whatsapp Pinterest

Leave a Reply

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

  1. ersguterjunge
    December 6, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    I use - It is a web-based RSS-Reader and social-network reader. There are a lot of existing categories and feeds but you can also add your own rss url's into it.

  2. Santiago Hierro
    February 23, 2016 at 6:53 pm

    I've just installed Miniflux from a blog post I found and so far I like what I see.

    Very intuitive and fast dashboard.

    And the best part is that is a self hosted app, so I can configure it according to my needs.

    Great article btw.

  3. Liz
    April 21, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    I use, also a big fan of which is a channel where they've already added Rss of bunch of design related web sites

  4. stefanos z
    April 19, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    I want a service which offers the following Google Reader features:
    - web based
    - fast & reliable
    - completely free
    - completely free search
    Is there such a service?

    • david
      April 20, 2015 at 10:59 pm

      Inoreader is the answer

    • ersguterjunge
      December 6, 2016 at 4:48 pm

      maybe ist something for you, just test it

  5. norealnews
    April 17, 2015 at 9:21 pm

    Newsblur rocks. Check it out.

  6. Forrest
    April 17, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    I use Thunderbird and it works pretty darn well for me

    • Joel Lee
      April 26, 2015 at 12:06 am

      Whoa! I knew it was possible but I've never heard of anyone doing that. Really neat to find someone using Thunderbird for RSS in the wild. :)

    • Forrest
      April 27, 2015 at 4:06 pm

      lol Yes, I enjoy checking my email & RSS feeds all at once. I have a handy browser plugin that opens anything I need up right in Thunderbird.

  7. J Simon van der Walt
    April 17, 2015 at 5:46 am

    Inoreader +1

  8. Tom Chicago
    April 16, 2015 at 8:47 pm


  9. suzybel
    April 16, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    I use Feedly, I have also tried AOL Reader which works as well.

  10. Sadegh
    April 16, 2015 at 11:32 am

    I would also like to thank you for all the RSS-related articles.

  11. Marjolein Hoekstra
    April 16, 2015 at 8:29 am

    Just a few reasons why I stuck with Inoreader and never looked back:
    - notification rules
    - advanced search and active search feeds
    - RSS output at folder / tag level
    - batch feed management (tagging, bundling, unsubscribe)
    - identify feeds with issues
    This, combined with the team's unsurpassed support, makes me easily call Inoreader a maximalist RSS reader ;-)

    For more inspiration, check what Inoreader allows teacher Linda Gibbs @onlinecrslady to do in her classes.

    One more thing: MakeUseOf and its editors deserve full credit for continually covering RSS technology and its potential. Well done, thank you and please keep this up!

    • Marjolein Hoekstra
      April 16, 2015 at 1:18 pm

      Laura Gibbs is her name - sorry about that! Seems I can't edit a comment here, nor link to it. #featreqs?

    • Joel Lee
      April 26, 2015 at 12:05 am

      Thank you, Marjolein. :)

      Inoreader is great for the reasons you mentioned (and more!) and I'd recommend it for anyone who isn't looking for a super minimal experience.

  12. Phillip Beazley
    April 16, 2015 at 12:44 am

    InoReader is by far the best I tried, and being a hard-core GReader, I tried everything I could until I found, and almost instantly fell in love with, InoReader. I've since upgraded to a Plus account and, as another commenter said, I'd remain even if GReader came back and stayed free.

  13. Todd
    April 16, 2015 at 12:19 am

    I've tried many web based readers and the best I've found is Feedbro.

  14. spiks
    April 15, 2015 at 11:37 pm

    QuiteRSS on desktop, Nextgen Reader on Windows 8 tablet, and Feedly app on my smartphone.

  15. caleb
    April 15, 2015 at 11:17 pm

    Theoldreader is my choice. Free up to 100 feeds and I am quite satisfied. Try it and see!

  16. Dan
    April 15, 2015 at 10:46 pm

    I use AOL Reader. Finally, I found a use for my ancient, dialup-era AOLMail/AIM account. And the reader itself is feature-rich, Google Reader-like, and minimalistic. I've tried all of the other recommendations posted by other commenters, and I still chose AOL Reader as the best Google Reader alternative.

    • Joel Lee
      April 26, 2015 at 12:04 am

      Finally! I was waiting to see if anyone used AOL Reader. I really like the design of it but I've found it troublesome at times, such as not updating a few feeds while others were updating just fine. Have you run into any problems at all? I wonder what I was doing wrong.

  17. Dror Harari
    April 15, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    InoReader is my RSS reader of choice. I have used it since Google Reader was retired and I never looked back. The web interface is simple and intuitive yet it can be adopted to any taste via its extensive settings. InoReader provides a great interface on Android and iPhone with the all platforms synchronized so an article you read on the PC will be marked read on your phone as well. Another great capability of InoReader is the big number of 3rd party applications it can interface with such as Pocket, Microsoft OneNote, Instapaper, Evernote and others.

    InoRead does great job with setting up - you don't need to remember a new username and password. You can use Google or Facebook accounts to log in to InoReader.

    I use the basic feature but I am a paid customer because I value the effort and work put into this great product and I want to help ensure it survives.

    • Joel Lee
      April 26, 2015 at 12:03 am

      Inoreader seems to be the RSS reader of choice for power users, and it seems like you're definitely a power user! Glad that you've found something that you like. I guess Inoreader is the new reigning king of the RSS world.

  18. Ethan
    April 15, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    Inoreader rocks.
    Post Google Reader I tried ten or more web and desktop readers, including Feedly, TheOldReader, NewsBlur, etc. They all contained some type of "deal-killer" such as no or few keyboard shortcuts, fixed sort order, limited number of feeds (without paying), and so on.
    I've been on Inoreader for several years, have occasionally checked some of the more popular readers as they evolve, and I'm always happy with my choice of Inoreader.

    It's clean and simple on the surface, has tons of functionality, and the free account is very feature rich.

    • Joel Lee
      April 26, 2015 at 12:02 am

      You're right, a lot of RSS readers do have a "deal killer" that makes them great 95% of the time but unbearable during the other 5% of the time. Happy to hear that Inoreader is doing you well, though. :)

  19. Matt
    April 15, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    My favorites:

    - Feedspot -- like it especially for its e-mail digest feature (with configurable frequency & format). Currently my #1 go-to reader, pretty much solely because of this feature. Web UI (user interface) could use some love (no mid-click support).

    - Inoreader -- great Web UI, best response to mid-click (a very convenient & fast way to open a bunch of to read later in the background).

    - Digg Reader -- second best Web interface (after Inoreader), mid-click functionality a bit more inconvenient (not enough to click on the title, have to click on the time).

    - CommaFeed -- would have been the best on the UI front, but it is _EXTREMELY_ sluggish, which makes it inconvenient to use :-(

    Does anyone know of another RSS reader with the e-mail digest feature? Would love to explore the options!

  20. Ahmed Q
    April 15, 2015 at 6:15 pm


    It's so good even if they bring google reader back nobody would switch.

    Conintuius dev, great features , very fast features, very easy to start using ,

  21. Greg
    April 15, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    INOreader is the only RSS reader you'll ever need.

  22. Mansoor
    April 15, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    I bounced around been a bunch of RSS reader services after Google Reader died before finally arriving at InoReader as well. It's amazing -- better than Google Reader was. I actually pay for the service (though the basic service is incredibly rich) just because I want to support these guys.

  23. Evan
    April 15, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    As Google Reader was saying goodbye, I looked at a half dozen or so readers (Feedly, CommaFeed, Digg, etc.). My favourite by far is InoReader. Is is simple to use and it has grown by leaps and bounds since it started and is now packed full of features. I recommend it to anyone who uses RSS feeds.

    • Joel Lee
      April 26, 2015 at 12:00 am

      I'm surprised by how popular InoReader is! But it does make sense. I figured Feedly was king after Google Reader's demise but I guess not!

  24. Yaniv
    April 15, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    I use InoReader. i find it to be the best so far, even more than the late and great Google Reader. It's not minimal, it actually caters to the power user more than to the minimalist, but i love it. and it also has a killer iOS/Android app.

  25. Some guy
    April 15, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    I didn't expect Inoreader to be so popular in in the comments section, but I guess it's well deserved - it's proof that you can have a reader that's both easy on the eyes/at a first glace simple to use, but also brimming with features behind a few menus that make power users *very* happy.

    • Joel Lee
      April 25, 2015 at 11:59 pm

      Definitely. Walking that balance is a tough act, but Inoreader does a nice job of it. :)

  26. Vladimir
    April 15, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    There is also BazQux Reader (disclaimer -- I'm a developer), Minimal Reader and The Old Reader. The all have quite minimalistic design.

  27. SadEyes
    April 15, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    I use FeedWrangler.

  28. kalyan
    April 15, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    I suggest theoldreader. Great interface and responsive!

    • Joel Lee
      April 25, 2015 at 11:58 pm

      TheOldReader is a good one, thanks for bringing it up. Before seeing Go Read, it was the most similar to Google Reader that I'd seen.

  29. Secou
    April 15, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    InoReader is certainly the most advanced RSS reader now. Not as pretty as Feedly... but with much more features !

  30. Erik
    April 15, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    I am reading this article from QuiteRSS :)

  31. MfS
    April 15, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    On the computer: Feedly on the web. iPad: Mr. Reader. iPhone: Feedly app. Feels like I've never left the GOOG Reader.

  32. Matt L
    April 15, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    I tried many of these, as well as Feedly and Inoreader and Feedspot. I settled on NewsBlur as my favorite, but it is definitely not minimalist. It has lots of handy features like "mark previous as read" without marking the entire list, it has a very good Android app, and for many feeds it can show you the content inline if you choose.

    • Joel Lee
      April 25, 2015 at 11:58 pm

      I like that there are not-so-minimalistic RSS readers out there. Like you, there are lots of people who prefer the heavy feature sets and extended functionality. If you like NewsBlur, keep using it!

  33. Gophigure
    April 15, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    I've been using Feedly every since the demise of Google Reader. It's minimalist, it works, what else can I say. I couple it with Pocket for reading later, Evernote for saving and HootSuite for sharing and I can rip through all my feeds before breakfast.

  34. Thomas
    April 15, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    I'm currently using FreshRss (self hosted), very simple, beautiful and fast. It made me quit Tiny Tiny RSS !

    • Mike
      April 15, 2015 at 3:52 pm

      I've been using Tiny Tiny RSS since Google Reader, thanks for posting FreshRss, I am definitively going to check it out!

  35. Mal
    April 15, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    I keep using QuiteRSS.

  36. Jean-Francois Messier
    April 15, 2015 at 12:35 pm

    I use Inoreader. They offer a web-based service to read all the news from RSS feeds, which I can customize at will. As well, they have a rather good reader client for Android, which will feed from their server, and so I have a pointer for the "lastread" for all my newsfeeds, that moves between my tablets, cell, and desktops (Windows, but mostly Linux).

    • Joel Lee
      April 25, 2015 at 11:57 pm

      I like Inoreader, should've made it an honorable mention or just included it outright. I just feel that its interface is slightly more cluttered than I'd like, making it feel less minimalistic than it really is. Maybe it's my small laptop, maybe I needed to play with the settings some more. But yeah, Inoreader overall is a top-notch RSS reader for sure.

  37. Davin Peterson
    April 15, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    What about Feedly? It's a great RSS reader

  38. Greymarch
    April 15, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    Inoreader is the best RSS reader, and it's not even close. Quite shocked more people dont know about Inoreader.

  39. franz dibbler
    April 15, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    After Google Reader went down I switched to Feedly and liked it. Then I heard about InoReader which has a nice interface and quick response along with notifier extensions like Feedly. Not sure why I prefer Inoreader over Feedly.

    • Joel Lee
      April 25, 2015 at 11:55 pm

      I stopped supporting Feedly back when they made a few shady business moves, so Inoreader > Feedly all the way!

  40. Michael J. Tobias
    April 15, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    I used to be a big fan of QuiteRSS. I still have it installed on both desktop and laptop, but I've gotten to the point now where I just use feedly and skip the middle-app.

    • Joel Lee
      April 25, 2015 at 11:55 pm

      QuiteRSS is pretty nice, but I've long since fallen out of my "desktop RSS client" phase. Don't even like mobile RSS anymore. Nowadays it's web or nothing for me!