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 And RSSNo matter what what industry you are in, you need to provide quality information on your site or blog that educates, informs, and engages your readers. For example, if your business provides medical services, you may want to provide users with useful information from the health department, such as news or updates on medical research, health and fitness advice, etc.

The problem with providing this type of information, however, is that it takes a great deal of work and expertise. You have to sift through, research, and organize a ton of information, 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 well beyond your control.

Fortunately, there is an easier way to continually provide your users with up-to-date information.

It’s called RSS

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

(RSS is one of the simplest ways to provide your readers with great information)

The Ultimate Guide To WordPress RSS

RSS – What Is It?

  • RSS is short for Rich Site Summary, or, as is more commonly referred, Really Simple Syndication. It is often referred to as a “feed” or “news feed”.
  • When users subscribe to an RSS feed, they no longer have to manually check the website for updated content. Instead, their browser will constantly monitor the site and keep subscribers automatically updated.
  • Feeds are also used to publish frequently updated information, such as new blog posts, news headlines, audio lists, etc., to which other users can choose to subscribe.
  • You can view the content of an RSS feed with programs called feed readers, or feed aggregators. Feed readers can be used to access content on all different kinds of topics and syndicate this content (and updates made to the content) to many online properties.
  • Feeds can be made available in different types and read by different feedreaders. Some of these include RSS feeds, Atom feeds and RDF (RDF = Resource Description Framework) feeds. All of these formats, however, use a standard XML file format to ensure that feeds are compatible with different machines, feed readers, and programs.
  • Many sites and software applications also allow you to combine several RSS feeds to aggregate news and updates from multiple sources.

In this detailed article, we will explain 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 RSS feeds.

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) Feeds

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

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

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

Syndication allows news reporting agencies and highly-visited media publications to deliver readers up-to-date news headlines and content of general interest from around the globe without actually having to hire additional content writers in every location in the world …

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

(Most digital publishing agencies and popular online media publications rely on content syndication to publish newsworthy content from news sources all around the world.)

Syndication is a legitimate way of sharing content with other sites. Online newspapers syndicate their newsworthy content using feeds

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

(Online newspapers syndicate news stories using news feeds)

Most websites actually would like you to syndicate their information. Syndicating content not only allows information of great value to be shared, but it can also send visitors back to the original site responsible for publishing the content being syndicated. This provides websites with new opportunities to generate additional web visitors.

Most news reporting agencies and major content sites will include an RSS feed section (look for links in the navigation menu that say ”RSS”, “Syndication”, or “Newsfeeds” in them, or just search for “name of site/keyword + rss” – e.g. “nytimes rss”, “daily telegraph rss”, “sydney morning herald rss”, etc.) …

Major sites have a feed section

(Many news publishing agencies provide links to a feed section. Image Source: Sydney Morning Herald RSS )

Clicking on a site’s RSS feeds section brings up a directory of RSS feeds for different content sections of the site …

RSS directory

(A list of different feeds. Source: nytimes.com)

gives readers access to information from different sections of the website (e.g. business news, entertainment news, editorials, etc.)

Feed sections can also contain further feed subcategories …

An RSS list can also contain feed subcategories.

(An RSS feed directory can also include feed subcategories. Image: Los Angeles Times)

Useful Info

Note: An RSS feed is only a URL. To use an RSS feed, all that’s required is to copy the URL and paste it into software that can translate the feed code into something readable. We’ll cover this further below.

Using RSS Feeds

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

Syndicating Content - Benefits

(The Benefits Of Syndicating Content)

While adding feeds from another site is a great way to add content to your site that you don’t have to create, it’s a great idea to try and get other websites to use your content.

When other websites syndicate your feed, this gives your business the opportunity to get more exposure online and drive more visitors …

Get visitors to syndicate your RSS feed ... it will help drive more traffic to your site!

(Look for ways to get visitors to syndicate your RSS feed … it will help drive more traffic to your site!)

WordPress Feed – About

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

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

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

Meta section - Accessing your RSS feed

(Meta widget – Entries RSS)

2) You can also find built-in links and/or buttons on certain themes that allow your visitors to copy your RSS feed.

In the screenshot below, for example, a visitor can copy the site’s RSS feed URL by right-clicking and copying on the Subscribe to RSS link …

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

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

3) On some sites and again, depending on your WordPress site’s theme, you can find the RSS feed displayed in a Follow, Share, or Link To Us floating, slide-out, or fixed toolbar …

Look for an RSS button in a a Links, Share, or Stay In Touch toolbar section

(Look for an RSS button in a a Link To Us, Social Share, or Follow toolbar section)

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

Using any of the above methods will bring up a page containing your WordPress RSS feed …

RSS feed entries viewed on a Firefox browser

(Feed entries as seen on Firefox browser)

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

Feed entries displayed on a Chrome browser

(RSS feed entries viewed on a Google Chrome browser)

Specify Number Of Items To Display On Your RSS Feed

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

WordPress Settings - Reading Settings - Syndication feed items field

(WP Reading Settings – Syndication feed items setting)

The feed will show the number of items you have specified in the Reading Settings section …

The feed will display the number of posts as you have specified in the 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

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

Settings - Reading Settings - Display 'Full Text' or 'Summary' for each article in a RSS feed

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

Useful Info

Post Excerpts can also affect how your feed content appears …

Post excerpts affect how content in your feeds will display

(Post excerpts affect how content in feeds appear)

We have written a detailed tutorial on using excerpts in WordPress Posts here:

View The Content Of Your RSS Feeds

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

Let’s see how this works.

First, find a website or blog and look for their RSS feed icon …

Look for an RSS feed section.

(Look for a ’subscribe to feed’ link or icon. 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 to the clipboard)

If you want, you can check the feed content by pasting the feed URL 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 feedreader to view the content. Image Source: Feedreader)

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

How To Add RSS Feeds To Your Site

Let’s show you how to add RSS content from another site to your site.

How To Add An RSS Feed To Your Sidebar

As mentioned earlier, no matter what industry you are part of, you could easily display on your site the latest news and updates from an industry-related government department or authoritative site in your industry simply by importing content from their RSS feed. You can use RSS feeds to 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 RSS content to the WordPress sidebar …

Add an RSS feed to the WordPress sidebar

(Add content from an RSS feed to your sidebar)

First, Go to a website containing content that you want to display on your site and copy the feed URL …

Copy your feed URL to your clipboard

(Copy your feed URL to your clipboard)

Next, log into your wordPress Dashboard and go to Appearance > Widget 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 web browser. The content should appear on 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 Feed Content To WordPress Posts

Can content from an RSS feed be added to WordPress posts? It sure can!

You can do this using WordPress plugins. Search inside the Plugins screen (Plugins > Add New) for RSS, RSS feed to post, etc.

'Add Plugins' screen

(’Add Plugins’ section)

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

Here are some auto blogging plugins for WordPress that allow you to create new using feeds and imported content:

WPeMatico

WPeMatico Plugin For WordPress

(WPeMatico – WordPress Plugin)

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 organize feeds into campaigns.

For more details, go here:

WP RSS Aggregator

WP RSS Aggregator Plugin

(WP RSS Aggregator)

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

For example, the Feed to Post add-on lets you add content to your site automatically by importing RSS feeds directly into WP posts.

For more details, go here:

RSS Post Importer

RSS Post Importer Plugin

(RSS Post Importer Plugin For WordPress)

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

RSS Post Importer will fetch an RSS feed and publish the full article content of each feed item as a separate post.

For more details, go here:

Powr RSS Feed

Powr RSS Feed Plugin For WordPress

(Powr RSS Feed)

POWr RSS Feed allows you to automatically combine content from a number of different RSS feeds.

The plugin also lets you display images, videos, and articles, adjust feed priority, use custom colors, fonts, backgrounds, and more. It also displays feeds correctly on all tablets, computers, and phones and supports text in any language.

The premium version of this plugin 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 - WordPress Plugin

(WP Pipes WordPress Plugin)

The WP Pipes plugin 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 powerful features like CSV importing for posts/WooCommerce, RSS feed creator, auto blogging, auto post to Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn, export your posts as podcasts, create Google XML sitemaps, and help take your WordPress CMS to new levels.

For more details, go here:

FeedWordPress

FeedWordPress Plugin For WordPress

(FeedWordPress – WordPress Plugin)

FeedWordPress is a simple and flexible Atom/RSS 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 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 by WPMUDev

Autoblog by WPMUDev WP Plugin

(Autoblog Plugin)

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 your feed URL, name your feed (for admin purposes) and select a blog to post content to.

For more details, go here:

RSS Includes Pages

RSS Includes Pages - WordPress Plugin

(RSS Includes Pages)

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

For more details, go here:

Important

Useful Tips

Tip #1 – WordPress Comment RSS Feeds

In addition to displaying RSS feeds of your posts, WordPress also makes available RSS feeds of your latest post comments.

You can see these by clicking on Comments RSS in your ‘Meta’ section (note: your theme may not be configured to display this widget) …

WordPress Comments Feed

(WordPress Comments Feed)

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

Comments feed entries seen on Firefox

(Comments feed items displayed using Firefox)

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

Comments feed items displayed on Google Chrome

(RSS comments feed entries displayed using Google Chrome)

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

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

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

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

Tip #2 – Accessing RSS Feeds For Individual Post Items

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

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

RSS Feed For Single Post Item

(Feed For Specific Post)

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 add “/feed” to the end of the post URL, WordPress will return the comments made on your post, not actual post content itself.

Tip #3 – 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.

WordPress allows you to create separate category feeds.

Just use the format below:

Use this format for WordPress category RSS feed

(Use this format for WP category RSS feed)

Copy the selected category link address to your clipboard …

Select and copy your category URL ...

(Copy the selected category URL …)

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

WordPress category RSS feed format

(WP category feed format)

Your category RSS feed will now only display content posted in that particular category …

Category feed page

(Category-specific RSS 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 – Provide A Page Of Feeds

You can provide your own list of feeds that allows readers to subscribe only to specific categories …

Provide A Feeds Page

(Create A Page Of RSS Feeds On Your Site)

You can link an RSS button image to each feed and then create a table or a list of all your individual feeds on a new page …

RSS button graphic

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

For a detailed step-by-step tutorial about adding tables to WordPress pages and posts, go here:

RSS Feeds – Notes

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

WordPress allows various RSS feed configurations without touching code. Here are some examples of feeds you can create …

Different Custom Feeds You Can Create With WordPress RSS

(WordPress RSS – Custom Feeds)

Here are the feed types, descriptions, and feed examples shown in the diagram above:

  • Feed Type: All Posts
  • Description: Content feed – RSS feed that contains your latest posts
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/feed/
  • Feed Type: All Comments
  • Description: Comments feed – RSS feed that contains 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 an individual post entry
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/blog-post-title/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Day – Includes latest post entries in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2017/02/19/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Month – Feed containing the latest items in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2013/04/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Year – Displays latest items in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2018/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: RSS feed that contains the latest items for a custom type (e.g. book)
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/feed/?post_type=book

One last thing …

It’s a good idea to let visitors know that they can subscribe to your RSS feeds. Make sure you place a ’subscribe to RSS’ link or button somewhere visible …

Encourage your visitors to subscribe to your RSS feeds!

(Remember to promote your RSS feeds!)

Finally, keep in mind that other website owners will only want to subscribe to your content if you provide useful content. In other words, focus on providing your visitors with high-quality information that can add value to their sites and benefit their users.

Easily add someone else's content and get other users to subscribe to your content online using WordPress and RSS!

(Easily add someone else’s content and get other users to syndicate your content with WordPress and RSS!)

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™‚

Resources:

  • Download RSS Icons – Visit FeedIcons.com or search online (e.g. “free RSS icons”, “rss logo”, etc.) for sites that allow you to download Free RSS icons.
  • RSSBoard.org – The RSS Advisory Board provides useful information about RSS.
  • Wikipedia.org/RSS – Learn more about RSS.
  • WordPress Codex: Feeds – WordPress documentation and reference repository. Go here for additional information about using WordPress and RSS.

Overview Of WordPress RSS

Congratulations! Now you know how to find your WordPress RSS feed, how to syndicate your content online using RSS, and how to add content from other websites to your site via RSS.

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of problems that can affect your website and how WordPress can help you expand your business online. To read more about the benefits of using WordPress for a business website or blog please click on links to visit other posts we have published on this site.

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"These tutorials have so much information and are easy to understand. If you use WordPress or plan to in the future these will help you with everything you need to know." - Valisa (Mesa, Arizona)