Before you comment or answer – did you actually read the whole question?
Did you notice that the question ends in the word "button" ?
If this is how the question appeared to you:
then please reread it and try to process the last word, too, before you post.
Now that you've read all of the question title ( "button" ! ), here is the question text itself:
Although all my sites have had feeds since RSS has been introduced 17 years ago, personally, I have never used them. So I'm a bit unfamiliar with how users actually interact with the feed links on my sites.
As I understand it, those users that use RSS or Atom feeds do not actually click the in-page links to the feeds but use a feed aggregator plugin which reads the
rel=alternate links from the head section of source code of a website, finds the link to the feeds there, and notifies the user of its existence.
So what do we need an in-page feed button for?
To clarify, here is a screenshot from a random blog, showing the RSS icon besides a link to the feed:
An in-page link or button like this seems common in most blog themes, while professional publications such as the NY Times do not offer an in-page link to their feeds anywhere on their site (although they have feeds and link to them in the head section of their source code).
When professional news sites do offer an in-page link to their feeds, then because they offer a confusing number of different feeds, and the link usually leads to a page explaining the nature and content of the feeds you can subscribe to. Here is an example from the Huffington Post. But even when it is present, the in-page link to the feed page itself is nondescript and in the footer:
Did I mention that my question asks about in-page feed buttons?