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 …

WordPress RSS For BeginnersNo matter what your business provides or what industry you are a part of, you need to provide high-value information on your site or blog that educates, informs, and engages your visitors. For example, if you provide travel services, you may want to publish information from government and foreign travel departments, such as news or updates on travel warnings, advice from consular offices, etc.

The problem with providing this type of information, however, is that it involves a great deal of work and resources. You have to do a lot of data sorting, researching and organizing, checking the accuracy of your facts, writing and editing content (or hire someone to do this for you), and then continually make sure that this information is kept up-to-date. As you can imagine, this is not only a huge amount of work but most of the information you are dealing with is entirely beyond your control.

Thankfully, there is a simpler way to continually provide your site visitors with great information.

It’s called RSS

RSS is one of the easiest ways to provide your subscribers with up-to-date information

(RSS is the simplest way to provide your subscribers with great information)

The Ultimate Guide To WordPress RSS

RSS – Basic Definition

  • RSS is short for RDF Site Summary, or, as is more commonly referred to, Really Simple Syndication. It can also be called a “feed” or “newsfeed”.
  • RSS allows content publishers to automatically syndicate their content so that users can read it without having to keep revisiting sites to check for updates.
  • RSS feeds are also used to publish frequently updated information, such as blog posts, news, audio lists, etc., which users can then subscribe to.
  • Essentially, an RSS feed is an XML document that includes either full or summarized text along with metadata such as date of publishing, feed author, etc. It allows people to subscribe to content on websites and then browse any updates posted on these sites through a feedreader. Conversely, RSS feeds also enable publishers to automatically syndicate content.
  • Feeds can be made available in different types and read by different feed aggregators. 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 that feeds are compatible with different machines and programs.
  • Many sites and software applications also let you combine multiple RSS feeds to display news and updates sourced from a number of sites.

This comprehensive guide explains how to find your WordPress RSS feed, how to syndicate your content online using RSS, and how to display content from other websites and blogs on your site using RSS.

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) Feeds

Content syndication is a powerful and legitimate method used for sharing content online. Feeds provide online users with a way to stay up-to-date with the latest information published on websites and blogs they are interested in.

First, let’s look at content syndication.

Most online newspapers rely on syndication to publish newsworthy content from content sources all around the world.

Content syndication allows online newspapers and many leading media publications to deliver readers the latest news headlines and all kinds of interesting newsworthy content from all over the globe without actually having to employ additional content writers all around the world …

Media publications rely on syndication to publish stories from other news agencies all around the world.

(News reporting agencies rely heavily on content syndication to publish news and stories from news sources around the planet.)

Syndication is a legitimate method of sharing newsworthy content. Digital content publishers syndicate stories using feeds

Content syndication is a legitimate method of sharing newsworthy content

(News publishers syndicate their stories using feeds)

Most sites actually want you to share their content. Syndicating content not only allows information of great value to be shared, but it can also send visitors back to the original site responsible for creating and publishing the content being syndicated. This creates links that can drive traffic back to their site.

Major content sites contain a feed section (look for links in the navigation menu that say ”RSS”, “Syndication”, or “Newsfeeds” in them, or just search for “name of site/keyword + rss” – e.g. “nytimes rss”, “courier rss”, “sydney morning herald rss”, etc.) …

Most online newspapers have a feed section

(Most leading online media publications contain 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

(RSS feeds directory. Image: nytimes.com RSS feeds)

These feeds give you access to information from different areas of the website (e.g. business news, sports news, health news, etc.)

A feed directory can also contain feed subdirectories …

RSS Feed section.

(An RSS feed directory can also include feed subcategories. Source: latimes.com feeds)

Useful Info

Note: A feed is only a URL. To use feeds, all you have to do is to 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

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

The Benefits Of Content Syndication

(The Benefits Of Content Syndication)

While adding feeds 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 websites to syndicate your content.

When other websites and blogs syndicate your feed, you have the opportunity to gain more exposure online and drive new web traffic …

Get other sites to syndicate your RSS feed ... it will help to increase your traffic!

(Try to get visitors to syndicate your content … it will help drive more traffic to your site!)

About Your WordPress RSS Feed

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

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

1) If your theme displays the Meta widget on your sidebar or footer menu …

The feed will show the number of posts as you have specified in the Reading Settings section

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

Display Full Text Or Summary Of Posts In Your RSS Feed

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

Reading Settings - Display 'Full Text' or 'Summary' for articles in your feed

(WordPress Reading Settings – Display ‘Full Text’ or ‘Summary’ for each article in your feed)

Important Info

Post Excerpts can also affect how your feed content displays …

Post excerpts can affect how content in feeds appear

(Post excerpts can affect how a feed will appear)

If you need help using excerpts in WordPress Posts, go here:

View The Content Of Your RSS Feeds

As mentioned previously, all you have to do to view the content of a feed is to copy the feed’s URL and paste it into an application that can translate feeds into readable content for humans.

Let’s show you how this works.

First, go to a website whose feed you want to subscribe to and look for a ‘subscribe’ icon or link …

Search for an RSS feed icon.

(Search for an RSS feed section. Image source: http://www.yourcoffeeguru.com)

Next, copy the feed URL to your clipboard …

Copy the URL of your feed to your clipboard

(Copy the URL of your feed)

If you want, you can check what the RSS feed contains by pasting the URL of the feed into a feedreader …

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

(Paste your URL of your feed into a feed reader to view the feed content. Source: Feedreader.com)

Like feedreaders, WordPress has the ability to process RSS/XML feeds.

Adding An RSS Feed To Your WP Site

Let’s show you how to add content from other site’s RSS feeds to your WordPress site.

How To Add Feeds To Your WordPress Sidebar

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

Let’s add RSS content to your sidebar …

Add content from an RSS feed to your sidebar

(Let’s add content from an RSS feed to the WordPress sidebar navigation menu)

First, Go to a website that publishes content that you would like to display on your sidebar and copy its feed URL …

Copy the URL of your feed to the clipboard

(Copy the feed URL to the clipboard)

Next, paste the feed into a new RSS widget …

RSS Widget

(WP RSS Widget)

To learn more about using sidebar widgets, go here:

Refresh your web browser. The content will now display in the sidebar (or wherever you have inserted the RSS widget – e.g. footer, custom menu, etc) …

RSS Feed Added To WP Sidebar Menu

(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 Feed Content To WordPress Posts

Can content from an RSS feed be added to a post instead of your sidebar? It sure can!

You can do this using plugins. Search on WordPress.org plugin repository for RSS, RSS feed to post, etc.

'Add Plugins' search results

(RSS plugins)

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

Here are a few auto blogging plugins that let you automatically add new with feeds:

WPeMatico

WPeMatico - WordPress Plugin

(WPeMatico Plugin For WordPress)

WPeMatico is an auto blogging plugin that allows you to publish posts automatically from selected RSS/Atom feeds.

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

For more details, go here:

WP RSS Aggregator

WP RSS Aggregator Plugin

(WP RSS Aggregator Plugin)

WP RSS Aggregator is an RSS feed importer and autoblogging plugin for WordPress with additional functionality with premium add-ons.

For example, the Feed to Post extension allows you to autoblog by importing RSS feeds directly into posts.

For more details, go here:

RSS Post Importer

RSS Post Importer Plugin For WordPress

(RSS Post Importer Plugin)

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

RSS Post Importer fetches an RSS feed and publishes the full content of every item in the feed as a standalone post.

For more details, go here:

Powr RSS Feed

Powr RSS Feed

(Powr RSS Feed WordPress Plugin)

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

The POWr RSS plugin also lets you display videos, images, and article content, adjust the priority of different feeds, use custom backgrounds, fonts, colors, and more. It is also mobile responsive and supports text in any language.

The premium plugin edition contains a number of additional features.

For more details, go here:

WP Pipes

WP Pipes Plugin

(WP Pipes Plugin)

WP Pipes is a powerful data migration plugin that allows you to curate content from RSS feeds, Google News, and other sources.

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

For more details, go here:

FeedWordPress

FeedWordPress - WordPress Plugin

(FeedWordPress WP Plugin)

FeedWordPress provides simple and flexible syndication options for WordPress-generated content.

As stated in the FeedWordPress site …

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.

FeedWordPress can be used to create aggregator site (sites that bring together content from many different sources), or display all of your online activity (e.g. from your blog, Twitter, Flickr, or other online services, in one place.

For more details, go here:

Autoblog by WPMUDev

Autoblog Plugin

(Autoblog by WPMUDev – WordPress Plugin)

Autoblog is an easy-to-use plugin that can be set-up in minutes, with no coding required and no complicated instructions. Simply copy and paste in your feed URL, give your feed a name (for admin purposes) and select a blog to post content to.

For more details, go here:

RSS Includes Pages and Custom Post Types

RSS Includes Pages and Custom Post Types Plugin For WordPress

(RSS Includes Pages and Custom Post Types)

Install RSS Includes Pages to include pages in your WordPress RSS feed in addition to posts (by default WordPress only includes posts in your RSS feed).

For more details, go here:

Tip

Useful Tips

Tip #1 – Comment RSS Feeds

WordPress displays RSS feeds of the latest comments posted on your site in addition to making RSS feeds of your latest posts available.

You can view the comments in your feed by clicking on Comments RSS in the ‘Meta’ section of your sidebar …

WordPress Comments Feed

(Comments Feed)

All the comments posted on your site by visitors and users can be seen in the Comments RSS page …

RSS comments feed content viewed on a Firefox browser

(RSS comments feed items seen with Firefox)

Like post entries, your comments feed page will display differently depending on the browser you are using …

RSS comments feed content displayed with a Google Chrome web browser

(Comments feed entries viewed using a Google Chrome web browser)

Again, you can check what the comments RSS feed contains by pasting the feed URL into a feed reader …

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

(Paste the URL of your comments feed into a feedreader to view the content. Image: Feedreader)

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 WP site installation is in a subdomain, e.g. “blog”)

Tip #2 – Displaying RSS Feeds For Single Items

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

The formula for creating an RSS feed for a single post is shown below:

Specific Post Feed

(RSS Feed For Individual Post)

To create the above feed, copy the post address, and add “/feed/?withoutcomments=1” to the end.

Single Post Feed

(Single Post RSS Feed)

Note: By default, if you only add “/feed” to the end of the URI of your post, WordPress will return the comments left on that post, not the content of the post itself.

Tip #3 – Displaying Post Category RSS Feeds

Some your site visitors may only want to syndicate content from one or two post categories. They may not want to subscribe to all of your site’s content.

If you publish content under multiple categories, you can provide a separate RSS feed for each different category.

Just use the format shown below:

Feed format for post categories

(WP RSS feed format for category)

Select and copy the category link address …

Select and copy your category URL ...

(Copy your category link address …)

Add “feed” to the end of it …

Use this format for WordPress category feed

(Use this format for WP post categories RSS feed)

The feed now only displays content published in that category …

Category-specific feed

(Category-specific 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 – Provide An RSS Feeds Directory

You can provide a list of RSS feeds that allows your readers to subscribe to content in specific categories …

Publish Your Own RSS Feeds List

(Set Up Your Own RSS Feeds List)

All you need to do is link an image like the one shown below to a feed URL and then create a table or a list of your category feeds on a separate page …

RSS graphic

(RSS graphic. Image: http://www.public-domain-photos.com/free-cliparts/computer/other/rss_button_roman_bertle_01-2522.htm)

To learn more about creating tables in WordPress posts and pages, go here:

WordPress RSS – Notes

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

WordPress allows several RSS feed configurations that do not require code editing skills. Here are some examples of feeds you can create …

Different Feed Formats You Can Create Using WordPress RSS

(Different Feed Types You Can Create With WordPress RSS)

Here are the different feed types, descriptions, and feed examples listed in the image above:

  • Feed Type: All Posts
  • Description: Content feed – RSS feed that displays your latest entries
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/feed/
  • Feed Type: All Comments
  • Description: Comments feed – Includes the latest comments published on your website or blog
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/comments/feed/
  • Feed Type: Individual Posts
  • Description: RSS feed that includes a post entry
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/blog-post-title/feed/
  • Feed Type: Individual Posts Comments
  • Description: Feed that includes the latest comments made on individual post entries
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/post-title/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Day – Contains latest posts in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2016/03/03/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Month – Includes the latest entries in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2017/07/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Year – RSS feed containing the latest items in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2011/feed/
  • Feed Type: Search Results
  • Description: Contains the latest posts for a search query
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/search/term/feed/
  • Feed Type: Custom Post Type
  • Description: Contains latest posts for a custom type (e.g. book)
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/feed/?post_type=book

One last thing …

It’s a good idea to promote your feed. Place a ’subscribe to RSS’ button somewhere visible …

Encourage visitors to subscribe to your RSS feeds!

(Remember to promote your RSS feeds!)

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

Easily add great content to your site and get others to syndicate your content with WordPress and RSS!

(Add someone else’s content and get online users to syndicate your content with RSS feeds!)

Practical Tip

If you need great content ideas subscribe to our FREE content creation course using the form below:

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

Additional Resources:

  • Download RSS Images – Visit Feedicons or search online (e.g. “free rss icons”, “RSS logo”, etc.) for sites containing downloadable Free RSS graphics.
  • RSSBoard.org – The RSS Advisory Board Go here if you want to learn more about RSS.
  • Wikipedia.org/RSS – Learn more about using RSS.
  • WordPress Codex: WordPress Feeds – WordPress software documentation repository. Go here for additional information about RSS feeds in WordPress.

Using RSS In WordPress

Congratulations! Now you know how to find your WordPress RSS feed, how to syndicate your content online using RSS, and how to add someone else’s content to your site via their RSS feed.

Hopefully, this information has given you a better understanding of problems that can affect your website and how WordPress can help you get better results online. To learn more about using the WP platform please see our related posts section.

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"This is AMAZING! I had learnt about how to use WordPress previously, but this covers absolutely everything and more!! Incredible value! Thank you!" - Monique, Warrior Forum