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, providing high-value information on your site or blog is essential. For example, if you provide insurance services, it’s a good idea to provide users with 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 great deal of effort and resources. You have to sort 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 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 well beyond your control.

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

It’s called RSS

RSS - The simplest way to provide your site readers with up-to-date information

(RSS - The easiest way to provide your subscribers with up-to-date information)

The Ultimate Guide To WordPress RSS

Basic Information About RSS

  • RSS, which, according to some definitions is an acronym for RDF Site Summary, is more commonly referred to as Really Simple Syndication. It is also often called a “feed” or “news feed”.
  • RSS allows content publishers to automatically syndicate their content so that subscribers can read it without having to keep revisiting sites to check for updates.
  • Feeds are typically used to publish information that is frequently updated, such as blog posts, news headlines, video lists, etc., to which any user can choose to subscribe.
  • RSS feeds can be read using a software called a feedreader, or feed aggregator. Feed readers are used to find content on all kinds of topics and distribute this content online.
  • There are different feed formats and these can be read by different aggregators. Some of these include RSS feeds, Atom (also called AtomPub or APP 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 tools also let you combine different RSS feeds to aggregate news and updates from multiple sources.

This guide shows you where 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.

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) Feeds

Content syndication is a powerful and legitimate method used to share content online. RSS Feeds provide web users with a simple way to stay up-to-date with the latest information posted on different websites.

First, let’s take a look at syndication.

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

Content syndication allows online newspapers to deliver readers up-to-the-minute headlines from all over the globe without having to employ additional news reporting departments in every place around the world …

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

(Content agencies rely on content syndication to publish newsworthy items from other news agencies all around the planet.)

Syndication is used to share newsworthy content legitimately. News reporting agencies syndicate information using feeds

Online newspapers syndicate information using feeds

(Digital publishing agencies syndicate news stories using feeds)

Most websites actually want you to syndicate their information. Syndicating content not only allows information of great value to be shared, but it can also drive visitors back to the original site that published the content being syndicated. This provides websites with new opportunities to generate significant web visitors.

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

Many online newspapers and major content sites contain a feed section

(Many news publishers and major sites will contain an RSS feed section. Image Source: smh.com.au )

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

RSS directory

(RSS Feeds. Image: nytimes.com)

These feeds give readers access to content from different sections of the website (e.g. technology news, entertainment news, health news, etc.)

An RSS list can also contain subcategory feeds …

An RSS feed list can also contain subcategories.

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

Useful Information

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

Content Syndication – Benefits

Syndicating someone else’s content 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 the content …

Content Syndication Benefits Someone Else's Business And Yours!

(The Benefits Of Syndicating Content)

While adding a feed from another site is a great way to add content to your site without having to create it, it’s worth keeping in mind that you also want other websites to syndicate your content.

When other sites syndicate your RSS feed, this gives you the opportunity to get increased exposure online and drive more visitors …

Consider trying to get other sites to syndicate your content ... it will help to increase your traffic!

(Get other online users to syndicate your content … it will help to increase your web traffic!)

WordPress RSS Feed – Overview

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

Depending on your WP theme, there are a few ways to access your RSS feed:

1) If your theme allows the Meta widget to be displayed on your sidebar or footer menu, just scroll down to the Meta section and click on Entries RSS

WordPress Meta section - Entries RSS

(You can access your WordPress RSS feed in the Meta section)

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

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

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

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

3) On many websites and again, depending on the WordPress theme you have installed, you can find the RSS feed displayed in a Share, Keep In Touch, or Link To Us toolbar section …

Look for an RSS button in a a Link To Us, Keep In Touch, or Social Share toolbar

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

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

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

Using any of the above methods will bring up your site’s feed page …

Feed entries displayed on Firefox web browser

(Feed entries as seen with a Firefox web browser)

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

Feed items as seen on Google Chrome web browser

(RSS items displayed on Google Chrome)

Specify Number Of Items To Display On Your RSS Feed

You can specify how many posts you would like displayed in your RSS section, by going to your Reading Settings section and typing the number of items to show in the “Syndication feeds show the most recent” field …

WP Reading Settings - Number of syndication feed items field

(Reading Settings – Syndication items setting)

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

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

(Your feed page will display as many recent posts as you have specified in your WP Reading Settings section)

Display Full Text Or Summary Of Posts In Your RSS Feed

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

Reading Settings - 'For each article in a feed show' options

(Reading Settings – Show ‘Full Text’ or ‘Summary’ for articles in a feed)

Info

Post Excerpts can also affect how the content in your feed displays …

Post excerpts can affect how feeds appear

(Post excerpts affect how feeds will appear)

If you need help Post excerpts, see this step-by-step tutorial:

View The Content Of Your RSS Feeds

As mentioned earlier, to view the content of a feed, you have to copy the feed’s URL to your clipboard 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 or blog and look for a ‘subscribe’ button using any of the methods described earlier …

Search for an RSS feed section.

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

Next, copy the feed URL to your clipboard …

Copy the feed URL

(Copy your feed URL to your clipboard)

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

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

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

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

Adding Feeds To WordPress

In the example below, we are going to add content from another website or blog to yours.

Adding Feeds To Your WordPress Sidebar

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

Let’s add RSS content to your sidebar …

Add an RSS feed to your sidebar

(Let’s add an RSS feed to your sidebar)

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

Copy the URL of your feed to the clipboard

(Copy your feed URL)

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

RSS Widget

(Widgets Section – RSS Widget)

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

Refresh your web browser. The content will now appear on your sidebar …

RSS Feed Content Added To Sidebar Menu

(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:

Adding Feed Content To Your Posts

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

You can do this using plugins. Just search on the WordPress plugin directory for RSS Post, RSS feed to post, etc.

'Add Plugins' section

(WordPress RSS plugins)

Note: Most RSS plugins typically require configuration – visit the plugin sites for configuration instructions, or contact us if you need assistance configuring plugins.

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

WPeMatico

WPeMatico

(WPeMatico Plugin For WordPress)

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

You can manage all of your imported feeds and organize feeds according to 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 an RSS feed importer and auto blogging WordPress plugin that offers additional functionality with premium extensions (add-ons).

For example, the Feed to Post add-on is an advanced importer that allows you to autoblog by importing RSS feeds directly into your posts.

For more details, go here:

RSS Post Importer

RSS Post Importer WP Plugin

(RSS Post Importer Plugin)

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

The plugin will fetch an RSS feed and publish the entire content of every item in the feed as a separate post.

For more details, go here:

Powr RSS Feed

Powr RSS Feed Plugin

(Powr RSS Feed Plugin)

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

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

The premium version contains many additional features, such as the ability to display different feeds, manually accept or reject posts in your feed, and more.

For more details, go here:

WP Pipes

WP Pipes Plugin For WordPress

(WP Pipes 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 loads of powerful 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 a new level.

For more details, go here:

FeedWordPress

FeedWordPress Plugin For WordPress

(FeedWordPress Plugin)

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.

You can use this plugin to create aggregator site (sites that bring together posts from different sources), or bring together all of your online activity into a Lifestream.

For more details, go here:

Autoblog by WPMUDev

Autoblog

(Autoblog by WPMUDev)

Autoblog is an easy-to-use plugin that can be set-up very quickly, 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 Plugin For WordPress

(RSS Includes Pages and Custom Post Types Plugin)

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

For more details, go here:

Important

Useful Tips

Tip #1 – WP Comment RSS Feeds

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

To view this, 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

(WordPress Comments Feed)

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

Comments feed entries viewed on a Firefox browser

(Comments feed items viewed on a Firefox browser)

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

RSS comments feed entries seen on Google Chrome

(Comments feed items seen using Google Chrome)

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

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

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

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

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

Tip #2 – Accessing RSS Feeds For Individual Items

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

Individual Post RSS Feed

(Feed For Specific Post Item)

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

Single Post RSS Feed

(Single Post Feed)

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

Tip #3 – Using Post Category RSS Feeds

Some your site users may only want to syndicate content from specific categories. They may not want to subscribe to all of your site’s content.

With WordPress, you can create separate category feeds.

All you have to do is use the format below:

Feed format for category

(WordPress category feed format)

Copy the category URL …

Copy the selected category URL ...

(Copy the selected category URL to your clipboard …)

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

WP post categories feed format

(Format for WP category RSS feed)

The feed will now only contain content posted under that particular category …

Category-specific feed page

(Category RSS feed)

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 – Set Up A List Of RSS Feeds On Your Site

You can publish your own page of RSS feeds that allows your readers to subscribe only to specific content, just like large online publishers …

Create Your Own Feeds List

(Create A Page Of Feeds)

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

RSS button

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

If you need help with creating tables in WordPress pages and posts, see this tutorial:

RSS Feeds – Notes

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

WordPress allows different RSS feed configurations without touching code. Here are some examples of custom feeds you can use on your site and how to format the feeds …

Different Feed Formats You Can Create With WordPress RSS

(Different Feed Formats You Can Create Using WordPress RSS)

Below are the feed types, descriptions, and feed examples shown above:

  • Feed Type: All Posts
  • Description: Content feed – Feed that displays your latest posts
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/feed/
  • Feed Type: All Comments
  • Description: Comments feed – Feed displaying the latest comments posted on your website
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/comments/feed/
  • Feed Type: Individual Posts
  • Description: Feed containing an individual post
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/title-of-blog-post/feed/
  • Feed Type: Individual Posts Comments
  • Description: Includes the latest comments made on specific post entries
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/title-of-your-blog-post/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Day – Displays the latest items in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2018/12/06/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Month – Displays latest items in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2017/06/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Year – Feed that includes latest items in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2012/feed/
  • Feed Type: Search Results
  • Description: RSS feed displaying latest post entries for a search query
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/search/term/feed/
  • Feed Type: Custom Post Type
  • Description: Displays the latest posts for a custom type (e.g. book)
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/feed/?post_type=book

One last thing …

Remember to promote your feed. Make sure you place a subscribe button somewhere visible …

Remember to promote your RSS feeds!

(Promote your RSS feeds!)

Also, keep in mind that other website owners will only subscribe to your content if you provide your visitors with high-quality information that can add great value to their sites and benefit their users.

Add great content from other sites and get other users to syndicate your content online with RSS!

(Add someone else’s content and get other sites to share your content with RSS feeds!)

Useful Tip

If you need help coming up with 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:

  • Feed Buttons – Visit an online resource site like iconspedia.com/search/rss or search online (e.g. “free rss icons”, “RSS logo download”, etc.) for sites that contain downloadable RSS images and icons.
  • RSSBoard.org – The RSS Advisory Board Go here if you want to learn more about RSS.
  • Wikipedia.org/RSS – Learn more about the history and benefits of using RSS feeds.
  • WordPress.org/WordPress Feeds – WordPress software documentation. Go here for additional information about using WordPress and RSS.

WordPress RSS Feed

Congratulations! Now you know 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.

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of problems that can affect your web site and how WordPress can help you build a better business online. To read more about the benefits of using the WordPress CMS software please click on links to visit our related posts section.

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"I have used the tutorials to teach all of my clients and it has probably never been so easy for everyone to learn WordPress ... Now I don't need to buy all these very expensive video courses that often don't deliver what they promise." - Stefan Wendt, Internet Marketing Success Group