How To Configure WordPress Reading Settings

Learn how to configure your WordPress Reading Settings in this step-by-step tutorial.

Configuring WordPress Reading Settings - TutorialThis tutorial is part of our WordPress configuration step-by-step training module, where we show you how to set up and configure your WordPress site or blog with no coding skills required.

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After configuring your site’s Writing Settings, the next step is to configure your Reading Settings.

There are only a few settings to configure in this section, but these are very important. Your WordPress Reading settings let you specify what visitors will see on your home page and allow you to configure important syndication and search engine indexing options.

The step-by-step tutorial below shows you how to configure your WordPress Reading Settings.

Configuring Your WordPress Site – Reading Settings – Step-By-Step Tutorial

Click on Settings > Reading in your main WordPress dashboard menu …

WP Settings - Reading Settings

(Settings – Reading)

You will be taken to the ‘Reading Settings’ screen …

WordPress - Reading Settings

(WordPress – Reading Settings Screen)

Reading Settings Screen

As mentioned in the introduction section of this tutorial, there are only a few settings to configure in this section, but these are very important.

Let’s go through and show you how to configure these settings:

WordPress Reading Settings – Home Page Display Options

The Reading Settings section lets you decide if you want to display a list of your latest posts or an individual page as your website’s main page.

If you have not created any WordPress Pages for your site yet, then the first option you will see on this screen is the option to specify how many WordPress Posts will display on your home page …

Reading Settings - 'Blog pages show at most' settings

(Reading Settings – ‘Blog pages show at most’ settings)

If your site has at least one WordPress Page, then you will see the following option at the top of this screen instead …

Reading Settings - 'Front page' displays settings

(Reading Settings – ‘Front page’ displays settings)

These options allow you to choose what your visitors will see when they arrive on your site via your home page.

WordPress Reading Settings – Displaying An Individual Page As Your Home Page

If you have created at least one page on your website, select one of the following options from the ‘Front page displays’ section:

  • Your latest posts – Your visitors will see your latest blog posts when they visit your site.
  • A specific page – Your visitors will be shown a specific page when they visit your home page (e.g. a “welcome” page, or a page with sales copy, e-commerce store catalog page, etc.), much like a traditional “static” website.

The screenshot below shows you the difference between choosing to display a WordPress page vs. displaying your latest posts on your home page …

Displaying a WordPress page vs your latest blog posts on your home page

(Displaying a WordPress page vs your latest blog posts on your home page)

Practical Tip

To learn how to set a WordPress page as the main page of your website, see the tutorial below:

WordPress Reading Settings – Displaying Your Latest Blog Posts On Your Home Page

If you have not created a page on your website yet (i.e. you have set up a blog that only publishes posts), then your home page will display your latest blog posts by default. If your website already has pages but you want to display your latest blog posts on your home page, then select Front page displays > Your latest posts

Reading Settings: Front page displays - Your latest posts

(Reading Settings: Front page displays – Your latest posts)

You can also specify how many blog posts you would like to appear on your posts page by entering a number in the Blog pages show at most [xxx] posts field …

You can specify the number of blog posts to display on your home page

(You can specify the number of blog posts to display on your home page)

Tip

To learn how to set the number of blog posts to display on your blog pages, see the tutorial below:

If you want to display a specific page as your home page and a summary of your latest blog posts on a separate page, then you will need to create a blog page in WordPress.

Reading Settings - 'Front page' displays settings

(Reading Settings – ‘Front page’ displays settings”)

To learn how to create a blog page in WordPress to display a summary of your blog posts, see the tutorial below:

WordPress Reading Settings – Syndication Feed Settings

You can adjust some of your WordPress RSS Feed features to determine how the information from your site will be sent to a reader’s web browser or other applications that use RSS feeds.

WordPress Reading Settings - Syndication Feed Settings

(WordPress Reading Settings – Syndication Feed Settings)

Every WordPress site has a built-in RSS page that automatically displays feeds of your posts …

Post entries in your WordPress RSS feed

(Post entries in your WordPress RSS feed)

To learn more about syndicating content and increasing traffic with your built-in WordPress RSS feed, see the tutorial below:

Let’s go through your configuration options for this section.

Syndication Feeds Show The Most Recent …

The settings in the Syndication Feeds section allow you to specify how many feeds display on your RSS feeds page.

So, for example, if you specify “5” items to show in the Syndication feeds show the most recent [xxx] items field …

Specify how many items you want to display in your syndication feeds

(Specify how many items you want to display in your RSS feeds)

Your WordPress RSS feed page will display the 5 most recent post items …

Your WordPress RSS feed page - 5 items displayed

(Your WordPress RSS feed page – 5 items displayed)

If you change the number of items to something higher like “15”, for example …

Change the number of items to display in your syndication feeds

(Change the number of items to display in your syndication feeds)

Your WordPress RSS feed page will display the 15 most recent posts, and so on …

You can control the number of items displayed in your feeds

(You can control the number of items displayed in your feeds)

For Each Article In A Feed Show …

The settings in this section affect how your RSS feeds display to external feed readers (i.e. when your feeds are syndicated externally).

Disclaimer

It’s important not to confuse the option to display Full Text or Summary of RSS feeds with how post excerpts display on your site.

To learn more about using WordPress post excerpts, including how to change the length of your post excerpts, see the tutorial below:

When users syndicate your feed or view your feeds using a feedreader, what they see on their browser will depend on the option you specify in the For each article in a feed, show setting, as follows: 

  • Full Text – Displays your entire blog post in a feed.
  • Summary – Display either the excerpt of your post (if you create one), or a teaser containing the first 55 words of your post. (See this tutorial to learn more about using WordPress post excerpts).

Let’s take a look at what happens when you choose the Full Text vs Summary option.

Full Text

If you select For Each Article In A Feed Show > Full Text …

For Each Article In A Feed Show > Full Text option selected

(For Each Article In A Feed Show > Full Text option selected)

This is what your feeds are going to look like when viewed with a feedreader service …

Feedreader shows full post text from your RSS feed

(Feedreader shows full post text from your RSS feed.)

Summary

If you select For Each Article In A Feed Show > Summary …

For Each Article In A Feed Show > Summary selected

(For Each Article In A Feed Show > Summary selected)

Then only a summary of your posts is going to display when your feed is run through a feedreader …

Feedreader service displays post summary only

(Feedreader service displays post summary from your RSS feed)

Info

While your choice to select either of the above options comes down mostly to personal preference, if you choose to display the full content of your posts in your RSS feeds (by selecting the ‘Full Text’ option), other users can syndicate the entire content of your articles, including software designed to “scrape” (i.e. steal) content, and republish your posts in their entirety. This is how “spam blogs” (also called splogs) get content.

Unless you have a specific reason to syndicate your posts in their entirety, therefore, consider selecting the “Summary” option instead of “Full Text” until you learn how to configure your WordPress RSS feeds to credit you as the original author. This will then automatically create an attribution to every post you publish and post a link back to your site from external sites that syndicate (or even scrape) your content.

To better understand this, take a look at the screenshots below.

Here is what entries in a default WordPress RSS feed look like …

Default WordPress RSS feed entries

(Default WordPress RSS feed entries)

Here is the same RSS feed with post attributions added …

WordPress RSS feeds with post attributions

(WordPress RSS feeds with post attributions)

To learn how to set up RSS feeds with attribution links, see the tutorial below:

WordPress Reading Settings – Search Engine Visibility

The WordPress Reading Settings section also lets you configure settings aimed at discouraging search engines from indexing your site …

Search Engine Visibility

(Search Engine Visibility)

Typically, you will want search engines to find your site and index your pages, so you would leave the Discourage search engines from indexing this site box unchecked.

If you check the box to discourage search engines from indexing your site, WordPress adds code to files in your server instructing search engine spiders to ignore your site and stops transmitting information to all of the pinging services you have added to the “Update Services” area in your Writing Settings section, effectively blocking this service.

With search engines discouraged from indexing your site, you will see the message “WordPress is not notifying any Update Services because of your site’s visibility settings” in the Writing Settings > Update Services section …

You can block WordPress from automatically notifying update services.

(You can block WordPress from automatically notifying update services)

You will also see a message on your dashboard reminding you that you have enabled this option …

WordPress Dashboard - Search Engines Discouraged

(WordPress Dashboard – Search Engines Discouraged)

Important

There may be situations where you may not want search engines to index your site. For example, a WordPress site set up for private use or internal purposes only like training staff, documenting internal processes, testing different plugins, themes, or configurations, or running applications that require a dedicated WordPress site installation.

Selecting the option to discourage search engines from indexing your site doesn’t block out search engines completely. To prevent search engines from indexing your WordPress site or blog requires configuring additional settings. As stated in the ‘Search Engine Visibility’ description, it is up to search engines to honor your request.

To learn how to block search engines from indexing your WordPress site, see the tutorial below:

Click ‘Save Changes’ when you have finished configuring your settings …

Save changes to update your settings

(Save changes to update your settings)

WordPress Writing Settings – Additional Information

Installing plugins and themes on your WordPress site can add new settings to your WordPress Writing Settings section …

Plugins and themes can add additional options to the WordPress Reading Settings section

(Plugins and themes can add additional settings to the WordPress Reading Settings section)

Congratulations! Now you know how to configure your WordPress Reading Settings. The next step is to configure your WordPress Discussion Settings.

Configure WordPress - Reading Settings

Next Step: Configure Your WordPress Site: Discussion Settings

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Ultimate Guide To WordPress RSS

Learn about the benefits of using RSS and how to access, format and use WordPress RSS feeds to import and syndicate your content …

Using RSS In WordPressNo matter what your business provides or what industry you belong to, providing high-quality information to your site visitors is important. For example, if you provide medical services, it’s not a bad idea to include useful information from the health department, such as news and updates on medical research, health and fitness advice, etc.

The problem with creating this type of information, however, is that it requires a huge amount of effort and resources. You have to filter through, research, and organize a ton of data, check your sources for accuracy, write and edit content (or hire someone to do this for you), and then make sure that this information is continually up-to-date. As you can imagine, this not only involves a lot of work but most of the information you are dealing with is entirely beyond your control.

Thankfully, there is a simpler way to keep your readers up-to-date with your information.

It’s called RSS

RSS is one of the simplest ways to provide your site visitors with the latest information

(RSS - One of the simplest ways to provide your users with the latest information)

The Ultimate Guide To WordPress RSS

What Does RSS Stand For?

  • RSS, which, according to some definitions is short for Rich Site Summary, is more commonly known now as Really Simple Syndication. It can also be referred to as a “feed” or “news feed”.
  • RSS lets content publishers automatically syndicate their content so that their users can read it without having to keep revisiting their site to check for updates.
  • RSS feeds are typically used to publish frequently updated information, such as new blog post items, news, audios, etc., which other users can choose to subscribe to.
  • Essentially, an RSS feed is an XML document that includes either full or summarized text along with metadata like published date, author, etc. It allows people to subscribe to content on sites or blogs that publish feeds and then browse any updates posted on these websites through a feedreader. Conversely, RSS feeds also enable publishers to automatically syndicate their content.
  • Feeds can be made available in different formats and read by different feed readers. Some of these include RSS feeds, Atom (also called AtomPub or APP feeds and RDF (RDF = Resource Description Framework) feeds. All of these formats, however, use a standard XML file format to ensure compatibility with different machines, feed readers, and programs.
  • Many sites and software tools also let you combine several RSS feeds to aggregate news and updates sourced from different websites.

This detailed guide explains where your RSS feed is located, how to syndicate your content online using RSS feeds, and how to add someone else’s content to your site using their RSS feed.

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) Feeds

Content syndication is a really powerful (and legitimate) way to share content online. Feeds provide a way for web users to stay up-to-date with the latest information posted on sites and blogs they are interested in.

First, let’s take a look at syndication.

Online newspapers and many popular online publications rely heavily on content syndication to publish stories from news agencies around the world.

Content syndication allows news reporting agencies and many influential media publications to deliver readers the most recent newsworthy items from all around the globe without having to post additional news staff everywhere around the world …

Media publications rely heavily on content syndication to publish newsworthy items from news sources all around the globe.

(Media publications use syndication to publish content from news sources all around the world.)

Syndication is a legitimate method of sharing content with other sites. online media publications syndicate their information using feeds

Digital content publishers syndicate their stories using feeds

(News reporting agencies syndicate news stories using news feeds)

Most websites actually want you to syndicate their content. Syndicating content not only allows information to be shared, but it can also drive visitors back to the original site responsible for creating and publishing the content being syndicated. This can be an effective way to generate web traffic.

Most digital news publishing agencies and major sites have an RSS feed section (look for links in their navigation menu that say “RSS” or “Newsfeeds” in them, or just search for “name of site/keyword + rss” – e.g. “nytimes rss”, “courier rss”, “sydney morning herald rss”, etc.) …

Many digital news publishers and major content sites include an RSS feed section

(Most online newspapers and major online media publications include a feed section. Source: smh.com.au )

Clicking on a site’s RSS links section brings up a list of RSS feeds for different content areas of the site …

RSS feeds section

(RSS feeds directory. Image: NY Times)

These feed items give readers access to content from different sections of the site (e.g. technology news, entertainment news, jobs, etc.)

Feed sections can also include subcategories …

RSS Feed section.

(Feed sections can also include subcategories. Source: latimes.com)

Info

Note: A feed is only a URL. All you need to do to use RSS feeds is copy the URLs and paste these into an application that can translate the feed into something readable. We’ll cover this further below.

Using Feeds – Benefits

Syndicating someone else’s content on your site has some obvious benefits. It not only gives someone else’s site additional exposure online, it also adds value to your site without you having to create that content …

The Benefits Of Syndicating Content

(The Benefits Of Content Syndication)

While adding a feed from another site is a great way to add content to your site that you don’t have to create, it’s a great idea to try and get other sites to syndicate your content.

When other websites syndicate your content, this gives you the opportunity to gain increased exposure online and drive new web traffic …

Consider trying to get users to syndicate your RSS feed ... it will help increase your exposure online!

(Try to get users to syndicate content using your RSS feed … it will help to increase your traffic!)

WordPress Feed – Overview

WordPress automatically publishes a feed of your posts, allowing other online users to syndicate your content on their websites.

Depending on which theme you have installed, there are a number of ways to get your RSS feed:

1) If your theme allows the Meta widget to be displayed in a navigation menu, scroll down to the Meta section and click on Entries RSS

WordPress Meta widget - Entries RSS

(Access your WordPress RSS feed from the Meta section)

2) You can also find links and buttons on certain themes that allow your visitors to copy your feed.

In the screenshot below, for example, a visitor can copy the RSS feed URL by right-clicking and copying on the Subscribe to RSS link …

Copy RSS links to your clipboard from "subscribe" buttons

(Copy RSS links to your clipboard from “subscribe” buttons)

3) On many sites and again, depending on the WordPress theme you have installed, you can find the RSS feed displayed in a Follow Us, Links, or Social Share fixed, slide-out, or floating toolbar …

Look for an RSS button in a a Social Share, Link To Us, or Stay In Touch slide-out, floating, or fixed toolbar

(Look for an RSS button in a a Links, Subscribe, or Share slide-out, fixed, or floating toolbar)

4) You can also view your WordPress feed by typing your site’s URL into a web browser and adding “/feed” after the URL, e.g.:

  • http://www.yourdomain.com/feed
  • http://www.yourdomain.com/blog/feed (if your site is located in a subfolder, e.g. “blog”)

Using any of the above methods will bring up your RSS page …

Feed items seen on Firefox

(Feed items seen on a Firefox web browser)

Note that your feed items will display differently depending on the browser you are using …

Feed items viewed on a Google Chrome web browser

(RSS items viewed on a Google Chrome browser)

Specify Number Of Items To Display On Your RSS Feed

To specify how many items you would like displayed in your RSS page, go to your Reading Settings section and type in the number of items to show in the “Syndication feeds show the most recent” field …

Settings - Reading Settings - Syndication feed items

(Reading Settings – Syndication items)

Your feed section will display as many recent items you have specified in the Reading Settings section …

The feed page will display as many recent items you have specified in the WP Reading Settings section

(The feed will display the number of items you have specified in your Reading Settings section)

Display Full Text Or Summary Of Posts In Your RSS Feed

Another setting in your WordPress Reading Settings section that affects your feeds is whether to display each article as full text, or a summary …

WP Reading Settings - 'For each article in a feed show': 'Full text' or 'Summary'

(WordPress Reading Settings – ’For each article in a feed show’: ‘Full text’ or ‘Summary’)

Important Info

Post Excerpts can also affect how your feed content displays …

Post excerpts can affect how content in your feeds will display

(Post excerpts can affect how your feeds will display)

To learn more about Post excerpts, see this tutorial:

View The Content Of Your RSS Feeds

As mentioned earlier, all you need to do to view a feed’s content is to copy the feed’s URL and paste it into a feedreader, i.e. an application that can translate feeds into readable content for humans.

Let’s see how this works.

First, go to a website whose feed you want to subscribe to and search for an RSS feed button using any of the methods described earlier …

Search for a 'subscribe' button.

(Look for an RSS feed icon. Image source: YourCoffeeGuru.com)

Next, copy the feed URL to your clipboard …

Copy the URL of your feed

(Copy the URL of your feed)

If you want, you can check the feed content by pasting the URL of your feed into an online feedreader …

Paste the URL of your feed into a feed reader to view the feed content.

(Paste the feed URL into a feed reader to view the content. Image: Feedreader)

Like feed readers, WordPress has the ability to process RSS feeds.

How To Add RSS Feeds To WordPress Sites

Let’s show you how to add RSS content from another website or blog to your WordPress site.

Adding RSS Feeds To Your Sidebar

As mentioned earlier, no matter what industry you operate in, you could add to your site the latest updates from an industry-related government department or authoritative site in your industry by simply adding content from their RSS feed. You can easily display a range of information on your WordPress site like news, Facebook comments, or content from thousands of sites using the WordPress RSS widget.

Let’s add RSS content to the WordPress sidebar …

Add content from an RSS feed to the WordPress sidebar navigation area

(Add an RSS feed to your sidebar)

copy the RSS feed from a site that publishes content that you want to add to your site to your clipboard …

Copy the URL of your feed

(Copy the feed URL to the clipboard)

Next, paste the feed into a new RSS widget …

Widgets Section - RSS Widget

(Widgets Section – RSS Widget)

To learn more about adding content to sidebars using widgets, go here:

Load your website in your browser. The content from the RSS feed will now display on the sidebar …

RSS Widget

(RSS Widget)

Add Your WordPress RSS Feed To Search Consoles

You can add your WordPress RSS feed to Google and Bing’s search consoles. This will help them index your content faster.

WordPress RSS feed added to Google Search Console

(WordPress RSS feed added to Google Search Console)

Adding your site’s RSS feed to search consoles is simple, fast, easy, and requires no technical skills. For a step-by-step tutorial, go here:

Adding RSS Feed Content To WordPress Posts

Can you add content from RSS feeds to WordPress posts? Yes, you can!

You can easily do this using plugins. Search inside the Plugins admin section (Plugins > Add New) for RSS feed, RSS feed to post, etc.

'Add Plugins' search results - WordPress RSS plugins

(’Add Plugins’ section)

Note: These plugins typically require configuration – visit the plugin sites for configuration instructions, or contact us for assistance configuring plugins.

Here are a number of plugins that you can use to curate and add content from RSS feeds to your posts and pages:

WPeMatico

WPeMatico - WordPress Plugin

(WPeMatico Plugin)

WPeMatico is an easy to use autoblogging plugin that allows you to publish posts automatically from RSS/Atom feeds that you select.

You can manage all of your imported feeds and organize them according to categories and campaigns.

For more details, go here:

WP RSS Aggregator

WP RSS Aggregator Plugin

(WP RSS Aggregator – WordPress Plugin)

WP RSS Aggregator is a comprehensive RSS feed importer and auto blogging plugin for WordPress with extended functionality with a number of premium extensions (add-ons).

For example, the Feed to Post add-on allows you to import RSS feeds directly into WordPress posts or any other custom post type.

For more details, go here:

RSS Post Importer

RSS Post Importer WordPress Plugin

(RSS Post Importer Plugin)

RSS Post Importer allows you to curate, import, syndicate, merge and display full-text feeds (RSS, Atom, etc.) on your WordPress website or blog.

RSS Post Importer will fetch an RSS feed and publish the full article content of every item in the feed as a standalone post.

For more details, go here:

Powr RSS Feed

Powr RSS Feed - WordPress Plugin

(Powr RSS Feed WordPress Plugin)

With POWr RSS Feed, you can combine and display content from various RSS feeds.

This plugin also lets you display videos, images, and article content, adjust the priority of different feeds, use custom fonts, borders, colors, and more. It is also mobile responsive and supports text in all languages.

The premium version of this plugin contains a number of additional features.

For more details, go here:

WP Pipes

WP Pipes Plugin

(WP Pipes – WordPress Plugin)

The WP Pipes plugin is a powerful data migration plugin that lets you create curate content from RSS feeds, Google News, and many other sources.

This plugin provides loads of features like CSV importing for posts/WooCommerce, RSS feed creator, auto blogging, auto post to Facebook/LinkedIn/Twitter, export posts as podcasts, create Google XML sitemaps, and more!

For more details, go here:

FeedWordPress

FeedWordPress WordPress Plugin

(FeedWordPress Plugin For WordPress)

FeedWordPress provides flexible syndication for WordPress.

As stated in the FeedWordPress website …

FeedWordPress is an open-source Atom/RSS aggregator for the WordPress blog publishing platform. You set up feeds that you choose, and FeedWordPress syndicates posts from those sources into your WordPress posts table, where they can be displayed by your WordPress templates like any other post — but with additional meta-data, so that your templates can properly attribute the post to the source it came from.

You can use this FeedWordPress to create aggregator site (sites that display posts from various different sources), or display all your online activity (e.g. from your blog, LinkedIn, YouTube, or other online services, in one place.

For more details, go here:

Autoblog

Autoblog by WPMUDev Plugin

(Autoblog by WPMUDev – WordPress Plugin)

Autoblog is an easy-to-use plugin that can be set-up very quickly, with no coding required and no complicated instructions. Simply copy and paste in the URL of your feed, name your feed (for admin purposes) and select the blog that you want it to post to.

For more details, go here:

RSS Includes Pages and Custom Post Types

RSS Includes Pages WordPress Plugin

(RSS Includes Pages WordPress Plugin)

The RSS Includes Pages plugin modifies the default WordPress RSS feed to include pages and not just posts.

For more details, go here:

Important

WordPress RSS Feeds – Useful Tips

Tip #1 – Comment RSS Feeds

In addition to giving online users access to RSS feeds of your posts, WordPress also makes available RSS feeds of comments posted on your site.

You can see this by clicking on Comments RSS in the ‘Meta’ widget area of your sidebar (note: this section may not be visible on some themes) …

Comments RSS

(Comments Feed)

All the comments posted on your site by visitors will appear in your Comments RSS page …

RSS comments feed items seen using a Firefox browser

(RSS comments feed items viewed using Firefox)

Like post entries, your comments feed content will display differently depending on which browser you use …

Comments feed items seen on Google Chrome browser

(Comments feed items seen on a Google Chrome browser)

Again, you can check the feed content by pasting the URL of the feed into a feed reader …

Paste the comments feed URL into a feedreader to view the feed content.

(Paste your comments feed URL into a feed reader to view the content. Image: http://feedreader.com/online)

Note: If the Meta section is not displaying on your theme, you can view the Comments RSS section of your site by opening up a browser and typing in the following URL:

  • http://www.yourdomain.com/comments/feed
  • http://www.yourdomain.com/blog/comments/feed (if your website has been installed in a subfolder, e.g. “blog”)

Tip #2 – Displaying Feeds For Individual Items

Being able to select an RSS feed for individual post items can be useful. For example, you may want to add feeds from specific posts to RSS aggregator sites, or you may have created a valuable resource that other online users will want to syndicate.

The formula for making an RSS feed for individual post items is shown below:

Feed For Single Post

(Feed For Individual Post)

To create the above feed, copy the URL of your post, and append “/feed/?withoutcomments=1” to the end.

Single Post Feed

(Single Post RSS Feed)

Note: By default, if you only append “/feed” to the end of the URI of your post, WordPress will return the comments associated with your post, not the content of the post itself.

Tip #3 – Category RSS Feeds

Some your site users may only want to subscribe to content from one or two post categories. They may not want to subscribe to your entire site’s feed.

With WordPress, you can easily create category feeds.

Just use the format below:

WP RSS feed format for category

(Feed format for category)

Select and copy the category link address to your clipboard …

Select and copy your category URL ...

(Select and copy your category URL …)

Append the word “feed” to the end of it …

Format for WP post categories RSS feed

(WP post categories RSS feed format)

Your feed now only contains content posted for this category …

Category-specific RSS feed page

(Category-specific RSS feed page)

The WordPress Codex also provides different ways to create feeds not just for post categories, but also feeds for tags, authors, search, etc.

For this example, let’s create a feed for a specific post category using the format shown below:

Post Category feed format

(Post Category feed format. Source: WordPress Codex)

Here is the feed format WordPress recommends using. In this example, the post category ID is ’42’. We’ll need to replace the post category ID and the domain name …

WordPress post category feed format

(WordPress post category feed format)

To find the post category ID, go to Posts > Categories …

Posts > Categories menu

(Posts > Categories menu)

Locate the post category you want and hover your mouse over the title to reveal its unique ID …

Post Category ID

(Post Category ID)

In our example, the post category ID is ’29’ and the post category feed format we need to use for this specific category with our domain name looks like this …

Post category feed format with domain name and ID

(Post category feed format with domain name and ID)

Copy and paste the feed into your browser and hit enter …

Paste the feed into your browser

(Paste the feed into your browser)

This will display the feed for that specific category …

RSS feed of a specific post category

(RSS feed of a specific post category)

Note that in this example, WordPress automatically converted the feed format we pasted into the browser into the category feed we had used in the previous section of this tutorial …

Post category feed format

(Post category feed format)

Here is the feed format again …

Post category feed

(Post category feed)

In this case, the simplest way to create additional feeds for specific categories is to simply change the post category slug …

Change the post category slug to create a new category specific feed

(Change the post category slug to create a new category specific feed)

Paste the edited feed into your web browser and hit enter to display the content for that specific category’s feed …

Post category feed content

(Post category feed content)

Now that you have a method for creating feeds for specific post categories (or tags, authors, etc.), you can even create a directory or list of individual feeds for visitors.

Tip #4 – Create Your Own Directory Of RSS Feeds

You can publish a feeds directory that allows readers to subscribe only to content in the categories that interest them, just like the larger authoritative sites do …

Create Your Own Directory Of RSS Feeds

(Provide A Page Of RSS Feeds)

You can also link an image like the one shown below to the URL of your category feed and then create a table or a list of all your individual feeds on a new page …

RSS button

(RSS graphic. Image Source: public-domain-photos.com)

We have written a detailed tutorial about creating tables in WordPress here:

WordPress RSS – Notes

You can customize your RSS in a number of ways, such as adding videos and images to feeds, ads, etc. Some of these customizations require code editing skills.

WordPress allows a number of RSS feed configurations without touching code. Here are some examples of custom feed formats you can use on your site and how to structure your feeds …

WordPress RSS - Feed Formats

(WordPress RSS – Feed Types)

For your convenience, here are the different feed types, descriptions, and feed examples shown above:

  • Feed Type: All Posts
  • Description: Content feed – displays your latest entries
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/feed/
  • Feed Type: All Comments
  • Description: Comments feed – RSS feed that includes the latest comments left on your blog
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/comments/feed/
  • Feed Type: Individual Posts
  • Description: RSS feed that includes single post entries
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/post-title/feed/
  • Feed Type: Individual Posts Comments
  • Description: Displays the latest comments made on single post entries
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/title-of-blog-post/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Day – Displays latest post entries in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2017/09/28/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Month – Displays latest posts in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2015/03/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Year – Contains latest items in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2010/feed/
  • Feed Type: Search Results
  • Description: Contains the latest post entries for a search query
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/search/term/feed/
  • Feed Type: Custom Post Type
  • Description: Includes latest entries for a custom type (e.g. book)
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/feed/?post_type=book

One more thing …

Remember to promote your feeds. Make sure you place your ’subscribe to RSS’ links in a visible location …

Remember to make your RSS feeds visible your RSS feeds!

(Promote your feeds!)

Keep in mind that other website owners will only want to subscribe to your content if you publish useful information that educates, engages, and entertains. In other words, you need to provide high-quality information that will add value to their sites and benefit their users.

Easily add content from other sites and get other sites to syndicate your content online using RSS!

(Add great content to your site and get others to share your content using WordPress and RSS!)

Tip

If you need help coming up with content ideas subscribe to our FREE content creation course using the form below:

Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our feed 🙂

Additional Resources:

  • RSS Graphics – Visit a site like Iconspedia or search online (e.g. “free RSS icons”, “rss buttons”, etc.) for sites that allow you to download RSS graphic elements.
  • RSSBoard.org – The RSS Advisory Board is an independent organization responsible for publishing the RSS specification, providing guidance to developers who create RSS applications and broadening general public understanding of RSS.
  • Wikipedia/RSS – General information about RSS.
  • WordPress Codex – WordPress software documentation and information. Go here for additional information about using feeds in WordPress.

A Beginner's Guide To Understanding WordPress RSS

Congratulations! Now you know where to find your WordPress RSS feed, how to syndicate your content online using feeds, and how to display content from other sites on your site using RSS.

Hopefully, now you have a better understanding of issues that can affect your web site and how WordPress can help you build a better business online. To read more about using WordPress for a business web site please click on links to visit other posts we have published on this site.

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"I am beyond impressed with what you have put together. I can tell that you put a ton of hard work into building what you have. You have the absolute best content on WordPress I have ever seen!" - Robert T. Jillie