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 what industry you are in, it’s important to provide high-quality information to your site visitors. For example, if you provide medical services, it’s a good idea to provide users with information from the health department, such as news or updates on medical research, health and fitness advice, etc.

To create and publish this type of information, however, requires a huge amount of time and expertise. You have to sift through, research, and organize a ton of data, check your facts, write and edit content (or hire someone to do this for you), and then make sure that this information is continually 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 completely beyond your control.

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

It’s called RSS

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

(RSS - The easiest way to provide your subscribers with the latest information)

The Ultimate Guide To WordPress RSS

Some Basic Information About RSS

  • RSS is short for RDF Site Summary, or, as is more commonly referred to, Really Simple Syndication. It can also be referred to as a “feed” or “web feed”.
  • When users subscribe to an RSS feed, they no longer have to physically visit and check the source website for updated content. Instead, their web browser will constantly monitor the content and automatically keep subscribers up-to-date.
  • Feeds are often used to publish frequently updated information, such as new blog post items, news headlines, videos, etc., which users can choose to subscribe to.
  • Essentially, an RSS feed is a structured XML document that includes either full or summarized text along with other metadata like published date, author, etc. It allows people to subscribe to content on sites that publish feeds and then view updates posted on these sites using a feedreader. Conversely, RSS feeds also enable publishers to syndicate web content automatically.
  • There are different feed formats and these can be read by different feed readers. 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 that feeds are compatible with different machines and programs.
  • Many sites and software applications also allow you to combine several RSS feeds to display news and updates sourced from many sites.

This article explains where to find your WordPress RSS feed, how to use your WordPress RSS feed to get your content syndicated online, and how to display someone else’s content on your site via RSS feeds.

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) Feeds

Content syndication is a very powerful and legitimate method used to share content online. RSS Feeds provide a simple and easy way for web users to receive the latest information posted on different sites.

First, let’s take a look at content syndication.

Global media publications use syndication to publish stories from news sources all around the world.

Syndication allows most news reporting agencies and many leading online publications to deliver readers up-to-the-minute newsworthy items from all over the globe without having to employ and post more news writers everywhere around the world …

Global media publications use syndication to publish newsworthy stories from news sources all around the globe.

(Online newspapers use syndication to publish stories from news sources around the globe.)

Syndication is used to share newsworthy content legitimately with other sites. Global media publications syndicate content using news feeds

Content publishing agencies syndicate their information using news feeds

(Online newspapers syndicate content using feeds)

Most sites actually want you to share their content. Syndicating content not only allows great 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 provides websites with additional opportunities to generate new web visitors.

Most digital news publishers and leading online media publications include an RSS feed section (look for links that say ”RSS”, “Syndication”, or “Newsfeeds” in them, or just search for “name of site/keyword + rss” – e.g. “nytimes rss”, “daily telegraph rss”, “sydney morning herald rss”, etc.) …

Major sites have an RSS feed section

(Leading news reporting agencies include a feed section. Image Source: smh.com.au )

Clicking on a site’s RSS feeds link will bring up a list of different RSS feed sections of the site …

RSS feeds section

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

These feeds give readers access to information from different areas of the site (e.g. business news, arts news, editorials, etc.)

Feed sections can also contain feed subcategories …

Feed sections can also include subcategory feeds.

(An RSS directory can also contain feed subcategories. Source: Los Angeles Times RSS)

Important Info

Note: A feed is simply a URL. To use feeds, all you have to do is to copy the URLs and paste these into a program 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 website 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 this content …

Using RSS Feeds

(The Benefits Of Content Syndication)

While adding feeds from another site is a great way to add content to your site without having to create it, it’s a great idea to try and get other websites to use your content.

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

Get visitors to syndicate your content ... it will help to increase your traffic!

(Look for ways to get other websites and blogs to syndicate your RSS feed … it will help to increase traffic!)

WordPress Feed – Overview

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

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

1) If your theme has been configured to display the Meta widget in a standard or custom menu …

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

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

Display Full Text Or Summary Of Posts In Your RSS Feed

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

WP Settings - Reading Settings - Show 'Full Text' or 'Summary' for posts in your feed

(WP Reading Settings – Show ‘Full Text’ or ‘Summary’ for posts in your feed)

Important Info

Post Excerpts can also affect how your feed content appears …

Post excerpts can affect how content in your feeds will display

(Post excerpts can affect how feeds appear)

If you need help WordPress Post excerpts, go here:

View The Content Of Your RSS Feeds

As mentioned previously, all you need to do to view the content of a feed is to copy the feed’s URL and paste it into a feedreader, i.e. an application that translates 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 look for their RSS feed section using any of the methods described earlier …

Look for a 'subscribe' button.

(Search for a ’subscribe to feed’ link. 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 the feed content by pasting the feed URL into an online feed reader …

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

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

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

Adding RSS Feeds To Your WP Site

In the example below, we’ll add content from other sites to yours.

Adding Feeds To Your WordPress Sidebar

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

Let’s add content from an RSS feed to the WordPress sidebar area …

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

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

First, Find a website that publishes content that you would like to display on your site and copy the RSS feed URL …

Copy the URL of your feed to the clipboard

(Copy the URL of your feed)

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

WordPress RSS Widget

(RSS Widget)

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

Load your site in your browser. The content from the RSS feed should now appear in the sidebar (or wherever the RSS widget has been placed – e.g. footer) …

RSS Feed Added To WP Sidebar Menu

(RSS Feed Content Added To WordPress 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 Feed Content To Your WordPress Posts

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

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

RSS plugins for WordPress

(RSS plugins for WordPress)

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

The plugins listed below are useful for adding feed content to posts, or “auto blog” (An autoblog is a blog with content that is automatically gathered and compiled from RSS feeds):

WPeMatico

WPeMatico WP Plugin

(WPeMatico Plugin)

WPeMatico is an easy to use plugin that lets you publish posts automatically from selected RSS/Atom feeds.

You can manage all the feeds you import and arrange feeds into categories.

For more details, go here:

WP RSS Aggregator

WP RSS Aggregator

(WP RSS Aggregator WP Plugin)

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

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

For more details, go here:

RSS Post Importer

RSS Post Importer Plugin

(RSS Post Importer – WordPress Plugin)

RSS Post Importer can be used to syndicate, curate, import, merge and display full-text feeds on your WordPress website or blog.

The plugin 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 WordPress Plugin

(Powr RSS Feed WP Plugin)

With the POWr RSS Feed plugin, you can combine and display content from multiple content using RSS feeds.

The POWr RSS plugin also lets you display videos, images, and articles, adjust feed size and spacing, use custom fonts, colors, borders, and more. It is also mobile responsive and supports text in any language.

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

For more details, go here:

WP Pipes

WP Pipes

(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 functionality like CSV importing for posts/WooCommerce, RSS feed creator, autoblogging, auto post to Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn, export your posts as iTunes podcasts, create Google XML sitemaps, and help take your WordPress CMS to new levels.

For more details, go here:

FeedWordPress

FeedWordPress Plugin

(FeedWordPress)

FeedWordPress is a versatile 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 β€” 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, Facebook, YouTube, or other online services, into a Lifestream.

For more details, go here:

Autoblog by WPMUDev

Autoblog - WordPress Plugin

(Autoblog by WPMUDev)

Autoblog is an easy-to-use plugin that can be set-up in minutes, without coding skills or complicated instructions. Simply copy and paste in the URL of your feed, name your feed (for admin purposes) and select the 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

(RSS Includes Pages – WordPress Plugin)

The RSS Includes Pages plugin lets you display pages in your WordPress RSS feed in addition to posts.

For more details, go here:

Idea

Using RSS Feeds – Useful Tips

Tip #1 – WordPress Comment RSS Feeds

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

To access the comments in your feed, go to the ‘Meta’ widget on your sidebar (note: your theme may not be configured to display this widget) and click on Comments RSS

Comments Feed

(WordPress Comments Feed)

Comments posted on your site by visitors display in your Comments RSS page …

RSS comments feed content viewed with Firefox

(Comments feed items as seen using Firefox)

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

RSS comments feed entries seen using Google Chrome

(Comments feed entries seen on a Google Chrome web browser)

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

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

(Paste your feed URL into a feedreader to view the content. Image 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 site is located 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 posts to RSS aggregator sites, or you may have created a valuable resource that other online users will want to syndicate.

The formula for accessing an RSS feed for single posts is shown below:

RSS Feed For Single Post

(Feed For Specific Post)

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

Single Post RSS Feed

(Single Post RSS Feed)

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

Tip #3 – Using Post Category RSS Feeds

Some your site visitors may only want to subscribe to content about specific categories. They may not want to subscribe to all of your site’s content.

WordPress allows you to create individual category feeds.

Just use the format below:

WP category RSS feed format

(WP RSS feed format for category)

Copy the category URL to your clipboard …

Copy the selected category URL to your clipboard ...

(Copy the selected category URL …)

Append “feed” to the end of it …

Use this format for WordPress category RSS feed

(WordPress category feed format)

The RSS feed will now only include content specific to this category …

Category-specific feed

(Category-specific feed page)

The WordPress CodexΒ 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 – Publish Your Own Page Of Feeds

You can publish a feeds list that allows readers to subscribe to specific categories, just like the larger authoritative sites do …

Set Up Your Own Feeds Directory

(Provide Your Own RSS Feeds Page)

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

RSS button graphic

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

To learn more about inserting tables into WordPress, go here:

RSS – Notes

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

WordPress allows you to configure various feed formats without messing with code. Below are examples of some of the kinds of feed types you can display on your site and how to create your feeds …

Different Custom Feeds You Can Create With WordPress RSS

(Different Feed Formats You Can Create Using WordPress RSS)

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

  • Feed Type: All Posts
  • Description: Content feed – displays your latest posts
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/feed/
  • Feed Type: All Comments
  • Description: Comments feed – Displays the latest comments published on your site
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/comments/feed/
  • Feed Type: Individual Posts
  • Description: Feed for a post
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/blog-post-title/feed/
  • Feed Type: Individual Posts Comments
  • Description: Displays the latest comments made on individual items
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/title-of-blog-post/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Day – Contains the latest posts in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2012/10/17/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Month – Contains latest items in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2010/10/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Year – RSS feed displaying the latest items in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2011/feed/
  • Feed Type: Search Results
  • Description: Includes latest items for a search query
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/search/term/feed/
  • Feed Type: Custom Post Type
  • Description: Displays the 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 your site visitors know that they can subscribe to your RSS feeds. Place your ’subscribe to RSS’ button in a visible location …

Encourage visitors to subscribe to your RSS feeds!

(Promote your RSS feeds!)

Also, keep in mind that other sites will only want to subscribe to your content if you publish great information. In other words, you must provide high-quality information that can add value to their sites and benefit their visitors.

Easily add content to your site and get visitors to subscribe to your content using RSS!

(Easily add content to your site and get others to syndicate your content using WordPress and RSS!)

Tip

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

Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our feed πŸ™‚

Additional RSS Resources:

  • RSS Buttons – Visit Feedicons.com or search online (e.g. “free RSS icons”, “RSS logo download”, etc.) for sites that contain downloadable RSS icons.
  • RSSBoard.org – The RSS Advisory Board provides useful information and resources about RSS.
  • Wikipedia.org/RSS – Learn more about using RSS feeds.
  • WordPress.org/WordPress Feeds – WordPress documentation. Go here for more information about using feeds in WordPress.

WordPress RSS Feature Overview

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 display content from other websites on your site using their RSS feed.

Hopefully, now you have a better understanding of issues that can affect your website and how WordPress can help you build a better business online. To read more about the benefits of using the WP content publishing software please click on links to visit 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