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 Feature OverviewNo matter what your business provides or what industry you belong to, providing quality information on your site or blog is important. For example, if you provide insurance-related services, it’s not a bad idea to publish information from government departments, such as news and updates on statistical findings, insurance tips, etc.

To create and publish this type of information, however, takes a lot of time and expertise. You have to do a lot of data sifting, researching and organizing, checking your sources for accuracy, content writing and editing (or hire someone to do this for you), and then continually ensure 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 beyond your control.

Fortunately, there is a simpler way to provide your readers with great information.

It’s called RSS

RSS is one of the simplest ways to provide your subscribers with great information

(RSS - The simplest way to provide your site readers with the latest information)

The Ultimate Guide To WordPress RSS

RSS – Basic Information

  • RSS, which, according to some experts is an acronym for RDF Site Summary, is more commonly known now as Really Simple Syndication. It is often called a “feed” or “news feed”.
  • RSS allows content publishers to automatically syndicate their content so that their users can read it without having to keep revisiting sites to check for updates.
  • RSS feeds are typically used to publish information that is frequently updated, such as new blog entries, news, music playlists, etc., which users can then subscribe to.
  • Essentially, an RSS feed is a structured XML document that includes either full or summarized text along with other metadata like date of publishing, feed author, etc. It allows people to subscribe to content on websites and then browse any updates posted on these websites using a feedreader. Conversely, RSS feeds also enable publishers to syndicate web content automatically.
  • There are different kinds of feeds, read by different feed aggregators. Some of these include RSS feeds, Atom feeds and RDF feeds. All of these formats, however, use a standard XML file format to ensure compatibility with different machines and programs.
  • Many sites and software applications also let you combine many RSS feeds to receive news and updates from different sources.

This detailed article shows you where to find your WordPress RSS feed, how to use your WordPress RSS feed to get your content syndicated online, and how to display content from other websites on your site via RSS.

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) Feeds

Content syndication is a powerful and legitimate way of sharing content online. Feeds provide online users with a way to receive the latest information posted on different websites and blogs.

First, let’s take a look at syndication.

News reporting agencies and global online publications rely heavily on syndication to publish newsworthy content from news sources around the world.

Content syndication allows most digital publishers and highly-visited online publications to deliver readers stories from all over the globe without having to hire and send additional reporters to every place around the world …

Most digital content publishers and many highly-visited media publications rely on syndication to publish content from other news agencies around the world.

(Media publications rely on content syndication to publish newsworthy items from news sources around the world.)

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

Content syndication is used by global media publications to share newsworthy content with other news publications

(Online newspapers syndicate their newsworthy content using feeds)

Most sites actually would like you to syndicate their information. Syndicating content not only allows high-quality information to be shared, but it also sends visitors back to the original site that published the content being syndicated. This creates links that can drive traffic back to their site.

Many news reporting agencies and major content sites provide links to 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 mail rss”, “sydney morning herald rss”, etc.) …

Leading online newspapers provide links to a feed section

(Most digital content publishing agencies and major online media publications have an RSS feed section. Source: smh.com.au )

Clicking on a site’s RSS feeds link brings up a directory of different RSS feeds …

RSS feeds section

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

These feed items give readers access to different areas of the website (e.g. technology news, entertainment news, editorials, etc.)

Feed sections can also include further subcategory feeds …

Feed sections can also include subcategories.

(RSS Feed section. Source: latimes.com feeds)

Important

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

The Benefits Of Syndicating Content

Syndicating content from someone else’s website or blog on your site has some obvious benefits. It not only gives additional exposure online to someone else’s content, it also helps your site by freeing you up from having to create that content …

Syndicating Content 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 you also want other sites to syndicate your content.

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

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

(It’s a good idea to get visitors to syndicate your content … it will help drive more traffic to your site!)

Overview Of The WordPress Feed

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

Depending on your theme, there are a number of ways to access the WordPress RSS feed:

1) If your theme has been configured to display the Meta widget in your navigation menu …

Your feed will show as many recent posts as you have specified in your WordPress Reading Settings section

(The feed will display as many recent items you have specified in your WP Reading Settings section)

Display Full Text Or Summary Of Posts In Your RSS Feed

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

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

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

Important

Post Excerpts can also affect how your feed content appears …

Post excerpts can affect how feeds appear

(Post excerpts can affect how a feed will display)

To learn more about using excerpts in WordPress Posts, go here:

View The Content Of Your RSS Feeds

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

Let’s see how this works.

First, find a website whose content you want to syndicate and search for a ’subscribe to feed’ link or button …

Search for a 'subscribe to feed' button.

(Look for an RSS feed icon. Image source: http://www.yourcoffeeguru.com)

Next, copy the feed URL to your clipboard …

Copy your feed URL to your clipboard

(Copy the feed URL)

If you want, you can check what the RSS feed contains by pasting the URL of your feed into an online feed reader …

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

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

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

Adding Feeds To Your WP Site

In the example below, we are going to add content from another site’s RSS feeds to your site.

How To Add An RSS Feed To Your WordPress Sidebar

As mentioned earlier, no matter what industry you are part of, you could easily display on your site the latest 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 such as news, Facebook comments, or content from thousands of sites using the WordPress RSS widget.

Let’s add content from an RSS feed to your sidebar …

Let's add content from an RSS feed to the WordPress sidebar navigation area

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

copy the feed URL from a website or blog containing content that you want to add to your sidebar …

Copy the URL of your feed

(Copy the URL of your feed to the clipboard)

Next, go to Appearance > Widgets and paste the feed into an RSS widget …

RSS Widget

(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 appear in 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 Feeds To Your WordPress Posts

What if you want to add content from RSS feeds to a post instead of the sidebar?

You can do this using plugins. Search inside the Plugins section for RSS feed, RSS feed to post, etc.

'Add Plugins' search results

(‘Add Plugins’ search results – WordPress RSS plugins)

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

Here are a few auto blogging plugins for WordPress that allow you to create new with RSS feeds and imported content:

WPeMatico

WPeMatico WordPress Plugin

(WPeMatico Plugin)

WPeMatico is an autoblogging plugin that allows you to publish posts automatically from RSS/Atom feeds of your choice.

You can manage all the feeds you import and organize them into categories and campaigns.

For more details, go here:

WP RSS Aggregator

WP RSS Aggregator - WordPress Plugin

(WP RSS Aggregator WP Plugin)

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

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

For more details, go here:

RSS Post Importer

RSS Post Importer Plugin

(RSS Post Importer Plugin For WordPress)

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

The plugin fetches an RSS feed and publishes the entire content of each item in your feed as a standalone post.

For more details, go here:

Powr RSS Feed

Powr RSS Feed - WordPress Plugin

(Powr RSS Feed Plugin)

POWr RSS Feed lets you combine and display content from a number of different content using RSS feeds.

The POWr RSS plugin also lets you display images, videos, and articles, adjust the priority of different feeds, use custom colors, fonts, borders, and more. It also displays feeds correctly on all phones, tablets, and computers and supports text in all languages.

The premium plugin edition contains a number of additional features, such as the ability to display different feeds, accept or reject posts in your feed, and more.

For more details, go here:

WP Pipes

WP Pipes Plugin

(WP Pipes WP Plugin)

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

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

For more details, go here:

FeedWordPress

FeedWordPress Plugin For WordPress

(FeedWordPress WP Plugin)

FeedWordPress is a flexible syndication plugin 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.

FeedWordPress can be used to create aggregator sites, or bring together all of your online activity (e.g. from your blog, Twitter, Flickr, or other online services, into a Lifestream.

For more details, go here:

Autoblog

Autoblog - WordPress Plugin

(Autoblog WordPress 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 the URL of your feed, give the feed a name (for admin purposes) and select the blog that you want it to post to.

For more details, go here:

RSS Includes Pages

RSS Includes Pages and Custom Post Types - WordPress Plugin

(RSS Includes Pages WordPress Plugin)

By default, WordPress only includes posts in your RSS feed. You can use a plugin like RSS Includes Pages and Custom Post Types to include pages in your RSS feed in addition to posts.

For more details, go here:

Tip

Useful Tips

Tip #1 – Comment RSS Feeds

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

To access these, locate the ‘Meta’ widget area on your sidebar (note: your theme may not be configured to display this widget) and click on Comments RSS

WordPress Comments RSS

(Comments RSS)

Comments posted on your site by visitors can be seen in your Comments RSS page …

RSS comments feed items viewed using a Firefox web browser

(Comments feed entries displayed on a Firefox web browser)

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

RSS comments feed items viewed using a Google Chrome web browser

(RSS comments feed content viewed on Google Chrome web browser)

Again, you can check what the feed contains by pasting the feed URL into an online feedreader …

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

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

Tip #2 – Specific Item RSS Feeds

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

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

Single Post RSS Feed

(Individual Post Feed)

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

Single Post RSS Feed

(Single Post 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 your post, not the post content itself.

Tip #3 – Post Category Feeds

Some your site visitors may only be interested in subscribing to 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 several categories, WordPress allows you to offer readers a separate RSS feed for each of your categories.

All you need to do is use the format below:

WordPress post categories RSS feed format

(WP category RSS feed format)

Select and copy the category link address …

Select and copy your category link address ...

(Select and copy your category URL …)

Append “feed” to the end of it …

Format for WordPress category feed

(Use this format for WP category RSS feed)

Your feed now only includes content posted for this category …

Category-specific RSS feed page

(Category 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 An RSS Feeds Directory

You can create a feeds page that allows readers to subscribe only to content in specific categories …

Publish A List Of RSS Feeds

(Publish Your Own Feeds Directory)

Link an RSS icon to a feed URL and then create a table or a list of your category feeds on a new page …

RSS graphic

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

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

RSS Feeds – Notes

Feeds can be customized in a number of ways, such as adding videos to feeds, ads, etc. Some of these customizations require editing code.

WordPress allows several RSS feed configurations without touching code. Here are some examples of custom feeds you can display …

Different Feed Types You Can Create Using WordPress RSS

(WordPress RSS – Feed Types)

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

  • Feed Type: All Posts
  • Description: Content feed – displays your latest post entries
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/feed/
  • Feed Type: All Comments
  • Description: Comments feed – Feed that displays the latest comments left on your website or blog
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/comments/feed/
  • Feed Type: Individual Posts
  • Description: Feed containing a single post entry
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/blog-post-title/feed/
  • Feed Type: Individual Posts Comments
  • Description: RSS Feed containing the latest comments made on individual post entries
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/title-of-blog-post/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Day – Displays latest posts in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2014/07/09/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Month – RSS feed displaying the latest entries in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2017/09/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Year – Contains latest posts in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2012/feed/
  • Feed Type: Search Results
  • Description: Includes the latest items for a search query
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/search/term/feed/
  • Feed Type: Custom Post Type
  • Description: Contains the latest post 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 promote your RSS feed. Place a subscribe buttons in a visible location …

Promote your RSS feeds!

(Promote your RSS feeds!)

Finally, keep in mind that other website owners will only want to syndicate your content if you provide your visitors with high-quality content that will add value to their sites and benefit their visitors.

Add great content to your site and get other users to syndicate your content using RSS!

(Easily add someone else’s content and get other sites to syndicate your content using 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 feed 🙂

RSS – Additional Resources:

  • RSS Feed Icons – Visit Iconspedia.com or search online (e.g. “free RSS icons”, “RSS logos”, etc.) for sites containing downloadable Free RSS images and icons.
  • RSSBoard.org – The RSS Advisory Board is an independent organization with three primary duties: publishing RSS specifications, guiding developers who create RSS applications and helping the public gain a better understanding of RSS.
  • Wikipedia/RSS – Learn more about using RSS feeds.
  • WordPress.org/WordPress Feeds – Official WordPress documentation and reference. Visit this site for more information about WordPress RSS feeds.

WordPress RSS Feed

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

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 website please see other great content we have published on this site.

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"Wow! I never knew there's so much to learn about WordPress! I bought one of the WordPress for Dummies three years ago, such authors need to be on this course!" - Rich Law, Create A Blog Now