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 …

Understanding Your WordPress RSSNo matter what product or service your business provides, it’s important to provide high-quality information to your site or blog readers. For example, if you provide travel services, it’s not a bad idea to publish useful information from government departments and foreign travel offices, such as news and updates on travel warnings, tips from consulates, etc.

The problem with creating this kind of information, however, is that it is really time-consuming. You have to sort through, research, and organize a lot 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 is not only a huge amount of work but most of the information you are dealing with is completely beyond your control.

Fortunately, there is a much easier way to keep your readers up-to-date with great information.

It’s called RSS

RSS is the easiest way to provide your subscribers with up-to-date information

(RSS - The easiest way to provide your users with great information)

The Ultimate Guide To WordPress RSS

RSS – What Does It Mean?

  • RSS stands for Rich Site Summary, or, as is more commonly known, Really Simple Syndication. It is also often referred to as a “feed” or “newsfeed”.
  • RSS allows content publishers to automatically syndicate their content to save users time from having to keep revisiting sites to check for updates.
  • RSS feeds are typically used to publish frequently updated information, such as blog entries, news headlines, video lists, etc., which other users can choose to subscribe to.
  • You can view the content of RSS feeds with a software called a feedreader, or aggregator. Feed readers are used to access content on all different kinds of topics and distribute this content (and any updates made to this content) online.
  • Feeds can be made available in different types and read by different aggregators. Some of these include RSS feeds, Atom Publishing Protocol) feeds and RDF feeds. All of these formats, however, use a standard XML file format to ensure compatibility with different devices and programs.
  • Many sites and software applications also allow you to combine many RSS feeds to receive news and updates sourced from a number of websites.

In this article, we will show you 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 via RSS feeds.

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) Feeds

Content syndication is a very powerful way to share web content. RSS Feeds provide online users with a way to keep up with the latest information published on websites they are interested in.

First, let’s take a look at syndication.

Online media publications rely heavily on syndication to publish content from other news agencies all around the world.

Content syndication allows news reporting agencies to deliver readers the latest news headlines and interesting stories from all over the planet without having to hire additional reporters in every location in the world …

Online newspapers and many leading online media publications use syndication to publish newsworthy content from other news agencies around the planet.

(Online newspapers rely heavily on content syndication to publish newsworthy content from other news agencies around the planet.)

Syndication is a legitimate method of sharing content. News reporting agencies syndicate their content using news feeds

Online newspapers syndicate newsworthy content using feeds

(Content syndication is used by news publishing agencies to share newsworthy content with other publications)

Most websites actually want you to syndicate their information. Syndicating content not only allows information to be shared, but it also sends visitors back to the original site responsible for creating and publishing the content being syndicated. This provides websites with new opportunities to generate significant web traffic.

Major content sites contain 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”, “international herald tribune rss”, “sydney morning herald rss”, etc.) …

Many digital content agencies and major content sites will include a feed section

(Many news reporting agencies and major sites provide links to a feed section. Source: smh.com.au )

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

RSS feeds section

(RSS feeds section. Source: nytimes.com RSS feeds)

gives you access to content from different areas of the website (e.g. technology news, travel news, lifestyle magazine, etc.)

An RSS directory can also contain subcategories …

RSS Feed section.

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


Note: A feed is simply a URL. To use feeds, all you have to do is copy the URLs and paste these into software that can translate the feed code into something readable. We’ll cover this further below.

Using RSS Feeds – Benefits

Adding someone else’s content to your site has some obvious benefits. It gives additional exposure online to someone else’s business and helps you by freeing you up from having to create the content …

Content Syndication Benefits Someone Else's Business And Yours!

(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 worth keeping in mind that there are benefits in getting other websites to syndicate your content.

When other websites syndicate your feed, this gives your business the opportunity to gain increased exposure online and drive new visitors …

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

(Get other websites to syndicate your RSS feed … it will help to increase traffic!)

Your WordPress Feed

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

Depending on the 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 your navigation menu, you can scroll down to the Meta section and click on Entries RSS

Meta section - Entries RSS

(You can access your WordPress RSS feed from the Entries RSS menu)

2) You can also find links or buttons on certain themes that let your visitors copy your RSS feed.

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

Copy RSS URLs to your clipboard from "subscribe to RSS" buttons

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

3) On many websites and again, depending on your WP theme, you can find the RSS feed displayed in a Share, Follow, or Links toolbar …

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

(Look for an RSS button in a a Share, Subscribe, or Links toolbar section)

4) You can also view your feed by simply 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 website has been installed in a subfolder, e.g. “blog”)

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

RSS items as seen with a Firefox browser

(Feed entries seen with Firefox)

Note that your feed page will display differently depending on the web browser you use …

Feed entries viewed on Google Chrome

(RSS feed entries seen with Google Chrome)

Specify Number Of Items To Display On Your RSS Feed

You can specify how many posts you would like to show in your Feeds section in the Reading Settings section. Type the number of items to show in the “Syndication feeds show the most recent” field …

WordPress Reading Settings - Syndication items

(Reading Settings – Syndication feed items)

Your feed section will display the number of items you have specified section …

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

(Your feed page will show the number of posts as you have specified in the Reading Settings section)

Display Full Text Or Summary Of Posts In Your RSS Feed

The other setting in the WordPress Reading Settings section that affects your RSS feed is whether to display posts as full text, or a summary …

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

(Reading Settings – ’For each article in a feed show’ options)


Post Excerpts can also affect how your feed content displays …

Post excerpts affect how feeds display

(Post excerpts affect how your feed content appears)

If you need help Post excerpts, refer to this tutorial:

View The Content Of Your RSS Feeds

As mentioned earlier, all that’s required 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 show you how this works.

First, find a website whose content you want to syndicate and search for an RSS feed button …

Search for an RSS feed button.

(Search for an RSS feed icon. Image source: http://www.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 what the feed contains by pasting the feed URL into a feedreader …

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

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

Like feed readers, WordPress also has the ability to process RSS/XML feeds and convert these into content that can be read by your subscribers.

Adding RSS Feeds To WordPress

In the example below, we’ll add content from other websites or blogs to yours.

How To Add Feeds To Your Sidebar

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

Let’s add RSS content to your sidebar …

Add an RSS feed to the WordPress sidebar

(Let’s add an RSS feed to the WordPress sidebar area)

copy the RSS feed from a site containing content that you would like to add to your sidebar to your clipboard …

Copy the URL of your feed

(Copy the URL of your feed to your clipboard)

Next, log into your wordPress Dashboard and go to Appearance > Widget paste the feed into an RSS widget …

WP RSS Widget

(WordPress RSS Widget)

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

Refresh your browser. The content will now appear on the sidebar (or wherever the RSS widget has been inserted) …

RSS Feed Added To Sidebar

(RSS Feed Content Added To Sidebar)

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:

How To Add A Feed To Posts

Can content from RSS feeds be added to posts instead of a sidebar? It sure can!

You can easily do this using WordPress plugins. Search inside your Plugins admin screen for RSS, RSS feed to post, etc.

'Add Plugins' screen

(’Add Plugins’ search results)

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

Here are a number of WordPress plugins that allow you to add RSS feeds to your pages:




WPeMatico is an autoblogging plugin that lets you publish posts automatically from specific RSS/Atom feeds.

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

For more details, go here:

WP RSS Aggregator

WP RSS Aggregator Plugin For WordPress

(WP RSS Aggregator Plugin For WordPress)

WP RSS Aggregator is a comprehensive RSS feed importer and auto blogging WordPress plugin that offers premium add-ons for additional functionality.

For example, the Feed to Post extension for the WP RSS Aggregator plugin lets you add content to your site automatically by importing RSS feeds directly into WordPress posts or any other custom post type.

For more details, go here:

RSS Post Importer

RSS Post Importer WP Plugin

(RSS Post Importer – WordPress Plugin)

RSS Post Importer allows you to curate, import, syndicate, merge and display full-text RSS feeds on your WordPress blog.

RSS Post Importer will fetch an RSS feed and publish the entire content of every item in your feed as a separate post.

For more details, go here:

Powr RSS Feed

Powr RSS Feed Plugin For WordPress

(Powr RSS Feed Plugin)

With POWr RSS Feed, you can automatically combine and display content from a number of different RSS feeds.

The plugin also lets you display images, videos, and article content, adjust feed spacing and size, use custom fonts, backgrounds, colors, and more. It also has mobile-responsive design and supports text in all languages.

The premium version of this plugin contains many additional features.

For more details, go here:

WP Pipes

WP Pipes

(WP Pipes – WordPress Plugin)

The WP Pipes plugin for WordPress 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 Facebook/LinkedIn/Twitter, export WordPress posts as podcasts, create Google XML sitemaps, and help take your WordPress CMS to a new level.

For more details, go here:


FeedWordPress Plugin


FeedWordPress is a flexible Atom/RSS syndication plugin for WordPress 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.

You can use this plugin to create aggregator site (sites that combine posts from different sources), or display all your online activity (e.g. from your blog, LinkedIn, Flickr, or other online services, into a Lifestream.

For more details, go here:

Autoblog by WPMUDev


(Autoblog by WPMUDev Plugin)

Autoblog is an easy-to-use plugin that can be set-up in minutes, without coding skills or complicated instructions. Just copy and paste in your feed URL, give it a name of your choosing (for admin purposes) and select a blog to post content to.

For more details, go here:

RSS Includes Pages

RSS Includes Pages and Custom Post Types Plugin For WordPress

(RSS Includes Pages and Custom Post Types Plugin For WordPress)

RSS Includes Pages and Custom Post Types lets you display pages in your RSS feed in addition to posts.

For more details, go here:


Using RSS – Useful Tips

Tip #1 – Comment RSS Feeds

WordPress displays RSS feeds of your post comments in addition to making RSS feeds of your posts available.

You can access the comments in your feed 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 RSS)

Comments posted on your site by visitors and users will appear in the Comments RSS page …

Comments feed entries viewed on Firefox

(RSS comments feed items displayed using Firefox)

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

RSS comments feed entries seen using a Google Chrome browser

(Comments feed items displayed on a Google Chrome browser)

Again, you can check the feed content by pasting the feed URL into an online feed reader …

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

(Paste the URL of your comments feed into a feed reader to view the content. Image Source: 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 WordPress installation is in a subfolder, e.g. “blog”)

Tip #2 – Displaying Feeds For Single Posts

Being able to display an RSS feed for a specific post 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 using an RSS feed for an individual post item is shown below:

Individual Post RSS Feed

(Individual Post RSS Feed)

To create the above feed, copy the post URL, 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 associated with that post, not the content of the post itself.

Tip #3 – Category RSS Feeds

Some your site visitors may only want to syndicate content about certain topics. They may not want to subscribe to your entire site’s feed.

If you publish content under a number of categories, you can easily create a separate RSS feed for each category.

All you have to do is use the format below:

Format for WordPress category RSS feed

(Format for WordPress category feed)

Select and copy the category link address …

Copy your category link address ...

(Copy your category link address …)

Now, add “feed” to the end of it …

WP category feed format

(RSS feed format for category)

Your feed will now only contain content assigned to that particular category …

Category-specific 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 List Of Feeds On Your Site

You can publish a list of RSS feeds that allows your readers to subscribe only to content in the categories they are interested in …

Publish An RSS Feeds List

(Provide Your Own Page Of Feeds For Visitors)

All you need to do is link an RSS button image to your category feeds and then create a table or a list of all your feeds on a separate page …

RSS icon

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

We have written a detailed tutorial on inserting tables into WordPress here:

WordPress RSS – Additional Notes

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

WordPress allows different RSS feed configurations without touching code. Below are examples of some of the kinds of custom feeds you can use and how to create the feeds …

Different Custom Feeds You Can Create With WordPress RSS

(Different Custom Feeds You Can Create Using WordPress RSS)

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

  • Feed Type: All Posts
  • Description: Content feed – RSS feed that includes your latest post entries
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/feed/
  • Feed Type: All Comments
  • Description: Comments feed – Feed that displays the latest comments posted on your website
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/comments/feed/
  • Feed Type: Individual Posts
  • Description: RSS feed for a single post
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/title-of-blog-post/feed/
  • Feed Type: Individual Posts Comments
  • Description: Feed for the latest comments made on single items
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/blog-post-title/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Day – Displays the latest items in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2016/10/13/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Month – Contains latest posts in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2015/07/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Year – RSS feed that contains latest post entries in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2018/feed/
  • Feed Type: Search Results
  • Description: Feed displaying latest posts 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 …

It’s a good idea to let users know that they can subscribe to your feeds. Place your subscribe button somewhere visible …

Promote your feeds!

(Remember to promote your feeds!)

Keep in mind that online users will only want to subscribe to your content if you provide your visitors with very high-quality content that can add great value to their sites and benefit their visitors.

Add someone else's content and get other sites to share your content with WordPress and RSS!

(Add great content to your site and get online users to subscribe to your content using RSS!)

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 feed 🙂

Additional RSS Resources:

  • Download RSS Feed Buttons – Visit FeedIcons or search online (e.g. “free RSS icons”, “rss logo download”, etc.) for sites containing downloadable Free RSS images.
  • 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 furthering the understanding of RSS.
  • Wikipedia.org/RSS – Learn more about RSS feeds.
  • WordPress.org – WordPress documentation. Go here for additional information about using WordPress RSS.

Using RSS In WordPress

Congratulations! Now you know where your RSS feed is located, how to use your WordPress RSS feed to get your content syndicated online, and how to add someone else’s content to your site via their RSS feed.

Hopefully, now you have a better understanding of problems that can affect your website and how WordPress can help you build a better business online. To read more about using WordPress for a business web site please see our related posts section.


"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