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 …

Your WordPress RSSNo matter what what industry you are a part of, providing quality information on your site or blog is important. For example, if your business provides accounting or financial planning services, you may want to publish the latest information from the taxation office, such as news and updates on tax rulings, small business tax deductions, etc.

The problem with creating this kind of information, however, is that it involves a huge amount of time and resources. You have to do a ton of data gathering, researching and organizing, checking the accuracy of your facts, writing and editing 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 not only involves a huge amount of work but most of the information you are dealing with is entirely beyond your control.

Fortunately, there is a simpler way to keep your users up-to-date with your information.

It’s called RSS

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

(RSS - One of the easiest ways to provide your site visitors with up-to-date information)

The Ultimate Guide To WordPress RSS

What Is RSS?

  • RSS stands for Rich Site Summary, or, as is more commonly referred, Really Simple Syndication. It it is also referred to as a “feed” or “web feed”.
  • Once a user subscribes to a website’s feed, they no longer have to manually check the website for updated content. Instead, their browser will continually monitor the feed and keep subscribers updated.
  • RSS feeds are often used to publish frequently updated information, such as blog entries, news, audio lists, etc., which any user can then subscribe to.
  • Essentially, an RSS feed is an XML document that includes either full or summarized text along with metadata like date of publishing, feed author, etc. It allows people to subscribe to content on websites and then keep up with any updates posted on these websites through an RSS feed reader. Conversely, RSS feeds also enable publishers to automatically syndicate their information.
  • There are different kinds of feeds, read by different feedreaders. Some of these include RSS feeds, Atom (also called AtomPub or APP feeds and RDF (RDF = Resource Description Framework) feeds. All of these formats, however, use a standard XML file format to ensure compatibility with different devices and programs.
  • Many sites and software applications also allow you to combine several RSS feeds to display news and updates from multiple sources.

In this 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 content from other sites to your site using RSS feeds.

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) Feeds

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

First, let’s look at how syndication is used.

Global media and digital content publishing agencies rely heavily on content syndication to publish news from other news agencies all around the world.

Content syndication allows news agencies to deliver readers the latest news items and all kinds of stories from all around the planet without actually having to employ and send more news reporters and content writers to every location in the world …

Media publications use syndication to publish content from news sources all around the globe.

(Many online newspapers rely on syndication to publish newsworthy content from other news agencies all around the globe.)

Syndication is a legitimate way of sharing content with other sites. online media publications syndicate their content using feeds

Content syndication is used by digital publishers to share newsworthy content with other publications

(News reporting agencies syndicate news stories using feeds)

Most sites actually want you to share their information. Content syndication not only allows information to be shared, but it can also send visitors back to the original site responsible for creating and publishing the content being syndicated. This can be an effective way to generate web traffic.

Leading digital news publishers provide links to a 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”, “belfast telegraph rss”, “sydney morning herald rss”, etc.) …

Many online newspapers and major content sites include a feed section

(Most news agencies and major content sites will have a feed section. Source: Sydney Morning Herald )

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

RSS feeds list

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

These RSS feeds allow readers to source content about different sections of the website (e.g. technology news, entertainment news, editorials, etc.)

Feed sections can also include further feed subcategories …

RSS Feed section.

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

Important Info

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

The Benefits Of Using Feeds

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

Content Syndication Benefits Someone Else's Business And Yours!

(Content Syndication Benefits Someone Else’s Business And Yours!)

While adding RSS feeds 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 there are benefits in getting other sites to use YOUR content.

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

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

(Get users to syndicate your feed … it will help increase your exposure online!)

WordPress Feed – About

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

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

1) If your theme has been configured to display the Meta widget on your sidebar menu …

Your feed page will show the number of items you have specified in your Reading Settings section

(Your feed will show the number of 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 the WP 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 …

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

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


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

Post excerpts affect how a feed will appear

(Post excerpts affect how your feed content will appear)

We have written a detailed tutorial on Post excerpts here:

View The Content Of Your RSS Feeds

As mentioned previously, all you need to do to view a feed’s content is to copy the feed’s URL and paste it into a feedreader, i.e. an application that reads and translates feeds into readable content.

Let’s see how this works.

First, go to a website whose feed you want to syndicate and look for their RSS feed icon …

Look for an RSS feed icon.

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

Next, copy the feed URL to your clipboard …

Copy the URL of your feed

(Copy your feed URL to your clipboard)

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

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

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

Like feedreaders, WordPress has the ability to process XML/RSS feeds and convert these into readable content.

How To Add Feeds To Your WordPress Site

Let’s show you how to add content from other websites and blogs to yours.

How To Add Feeds To Your Sidebar

As mentioned earlier, no matter what industry your business is in, you can easily display on your site the latest content from an industry-related government department or authoritative site in your industry simply by adding 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 …

Let's add content from an RSS feed to your sidebar

(Add an RSS feed to the WordPress sidebar navigation menu)

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

Copy the URL of your feed to the clipboard

(Copy the feed URL)

Next, go to your Widgets area and paste the feed into an RSS widget …

WP RSS Widget

(WP RSS Widget)

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

Load your website in your web browser. The content will now show in the sidebar (or wherever you have placed the RSS widget – e.g. footer) …

RSS Feed Content Added To Sidebar Menu

(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:

How To Add RSS Feeds To WordPress Posts

Can you add content from RSS feeds to a post? You sure can!

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

RSS plugins

(’Add Plugins’ screen)

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

Here are a few WordPress plugins that let you add RSS feeds to your content:


WPeMatico WP Plugin

(WPeMatico WP Plugin)

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

You can manage all of your imported feeds and arrange feeds according to categories.

For more details, go here:

WP RSS Aggregator

WP RSS Aggregator WP Plugin

(WP RSS Aggregator WordPress Plugin)

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

For example, the Feed to Post extension is a feature-rich importer that lets you import RSS feeds directly into WP posts.

For more details, go here:

RSS Post Importer

RSS Post Importer Plugin For WordPress

(RSS Post Importer Plugin)

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

RSS Post Importer fetches an RSS feed and publishes the full article content of each item in the feed as a standalone post.

For more details, go here:

Powr RSS Feed

Powr RSS Feed

(Powr RSS Feed WordPress Plugin)

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

This plugin also lets you display videos, images, and article content, adjust feed priority, use custom borders, fonts, colors, and more. It is also mobile responsive and supports text in every language.

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

For more details, go here:


FeedWordPress - WordPress Plugin

(FeedWordPress Plugin)

FeedWordPress is a flexible Atom/RSS syndication plugin for WordPress site-generated content.

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.

You can use this plugin to create aggregator sites, or display all your online activity (e.g. from your blog, LinkedIn, Flickr, or other online services, in one place.

For more details, go here:


Autoblog by WPMUDev - WordPress Plugin

(Autoblog Plugin For WordPress)

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 that you want it to post to.

For more details, go here:

RSS Includes Pages

RSS Includes Pages Plugin

(RSS Includes Pages)

Use a plugin like RSS Includes Pages if you want to include pages in your WordPress RSS feed and not just posts (by default WordPress only includes posts in your RSS feed).

For more details, go here:


Using RSS Feeds – Useful Tips

Tip #1 – WP Comment RSS Feeds

WordPress makes available RSS feeds of your post comments in addition to displaying feeds of your latest posts.

To access your comments feed, locate the ‘Meta’ section on your sidebar menu (note: this section may not be visible on some themes) and click on Comments RSS

WordPress Comments RSS

(WordPress Comments Feed)

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

Comments feed entries displayed using Firefox

(Comments feed entries viewed on Firefox)

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

Comments feed entries as seen on a Google Chrome web browser

(RSS comments feed entries viewed using Google Chrome)

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

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

(Paste your URL of your comments feed into a feed reader to view the 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 website has been installed in a subdomain, e.g. “blog”)

Tip #2 – Single Item Feeds

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

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

Single Post Feed

(Specific Post RSS Feed)

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

Single Post Feed

(Single Post RSS Feed)

Note: By default, if you only append “/feed” to the end of the post address, WordPress will return the comments for that post, not the content of the post itself.

Tip #3 – Displaying Post Category Feeds

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

If your website or blog contains content published under several categories, you can easily offer users a separate RSS feed for each category.

Just use the format below:

Format for WP category RSS feed

(WordPress post categories RSS feed format)

Copy the category link address …

Copy the category URL ...

(Copy the category URL to your clipboard …)

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

Use this format for WP post categories RSS feed

(RSS feed format for category)

The category feed will now only include content posted in that category …

Category-specific feed page

(Category feed)

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 – Publish Your Own List Of RSS Feeds

You can provide a list of RSS feeds on your site that allows your readers to subscribe only to content in specific categories …

Set Up Your Own Feeds Page

(Provide Your Own Feeds List)

You can also link an RSS button to your category (or specific post) feed URLs and then create a table or a list of your individual feeds on a new page …

RSS image

(RSS icon. Source: public-domain-photos.com)

To learn more about inserting tables into WordPress, refer to this step-by-step tutorial:

WordPress RSS – Notes

Feeds can be customized in several different ways, such as adding images to feeds, ads, etc. Some of these feed customizations require editing code.

WordPress allows a number of feed configurations that do not require touching code. For example, here are some of the kinds of feeds you can display …

Different Feed Formats You Can Create Using WordPress RSS

(WordPress RSS – Feed Formats)

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

  • Feed Type: All Posts
  • Description: Content feed – contains your latest post entries
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/feed/
  • Feed Type: All Comments
  • Description: Comments feed – RSS feed that displays the latest comments left on your website
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/comments/feed/
  • Feed Type: Individual Posts
  • Description: RSS feed containing a single post entry
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/title-of-your-blog-post/feed/
  • Feed Type: Individual Posts Comments
  • Description: Displays the latest comments made on a single post
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/blog-post-title/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Day – Feed that includes the latest post entries in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2015/02/23/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Month – Contains the latest items in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2013/02/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Year – Contains the latest items in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2013/feed/
  • Feed Type: Search Results
  • Description: Contains the latest post entries for a search query
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/search/term/feed/
  • Feed Type: Custom Post Type
  • Description: Includes the latest posts 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 promote your feeds. Place a ’subscribe to RSS’ link in a visible location …

Encourage your visitors to syndicate your RSS feeds!

(Remember to promote your feeds!)

Keep in mind that other website owners will only syndicate your content if the information that you provide on your site is useful, informative, or highly engaging. In other words, you must provide high-quality information that can add great value to their sites and benefit their visitors.

Add great content to your site and get others to syndicate your content with RSS feeds!

(Add someone else’s content and get online users to share your content with RSS!)

Practical Tip

If you need help coming up with content ideas subscribe to our FREE content creation course using the form below:

Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our feed 🙂

Additional RSS Resources:

  • RSS Images – Visit sites like Feedicons or search online (e.g. “free RSS icons”, “rss images”, etc.) for sites that contain downloadable Free RSS graphic elements.
  • RSSBoard.org – The RSS Advisory Board provides useful information and links to resources about RSS.
  • Wikipedia.org/RSS – Learn more about using RSS.
  • WordPress Codex: Feeds – Official WordPress documentation and reference repository. Visit this site for additional information about using feeds in WordPress.

The Ultimate Guide To WordPress RSS

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

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of problems that can affect your website and how WordPress can help you get better results online. To learn more about the benefits of using WordPress please click on links to visit our related posts section.

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