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 sells or what industry you belong to, it’s vitally important to provide high-quality information to your site or blog readers. For example, if you provide travel-related services, you may want to publish information from government departments and foreign travel offices, such as news and updates on travel warnings, tips from consulates, etc.

The problem with providing this kind of information, however, is that it is really time-consuming. You have to filter through, research, and organize a ton of information, check your facts, write and edit content (or hire someone to do this for you), and then ensure that this information is continually kept 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 well beyond your control.

Fortunately, there is a much easier way to provide your readers with expert, up-to-date information.

It’s called RSS

RSS is the simplest way to provide your readers with great information

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

The Ultimate Guide To WordPress RSS

RSS – What Does It Mean?

  • RSS is an acronym for RDF Site Summary, or, as is more commonly referred, Really Simple Syndication. It is also often called a “feed” or “newsfeed”.
  • RSS allows content publishers to automatically syndicate their content to save users time from having to keep revisiting sites to check for updates.
  • Feeds are often used to publish information that is frequently updated, such as new blog posts, news headlines, audio lists, etc., to which any user can choose to subscribe.
  • Essentially, an RSS feed is an XML document that includes full or summarized text along with metadata like published date, feed author, etc. It allows people to subscribe to content on websites and then keep up with any updates posted on these websites through a feedreader. Conversely, RSS feeds also enable publishers to syndicate their information automatically.
  • There are different kinds of feeds, read by different feed readers. Some of these include RSS feeds, Atom feeds and 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, feedreaders, and programs.
  • Many sites and software tools also allow you to combine multiple RSS feeds to receive news and updates sourced from various sites.

This article shows you where to find your WordPress RSS feed, how to syndicate your content online using feeds, and how to display content from other sites on your site via RSS feeds.

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) Feeds

Content syndication is a really powerful method used for sharing web content. Feeds provide web users with a simple and easy way to stay up-to-date with the latest information posted on different websites and blogs.

First, let’s take a look at syndication.

Content publishing agencies and highly-visited media publications rely heavily on content syndication to publish news from news agencies around the world.

Content syndication allows content publishing agencies to deliver readers global stories and the most recent news items from around the globe without having to employ and set up additional content writers in every location in the world …

Many news reporting agencies rely on syndication to publish newsworthy items from news sources all around the world.

(Many online newspapers rely heavily on content syndication to publish newsworthy content from news sources all around the world.)

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

Syndication is a legitimate method of sharing newsworthy content

(Content syndication is a legitimate method of sharing content)

Most sites actually would like you to syndicate their information. Content syndication not only allows information to be shared, but it can also drive visitors back to the original site responsible for publishing the content being syndicated. This provides websites with additional opportunities to generate significant web traffic.

Major content sites have a 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”, “huffington post rss”, “sydney morning herald rss”, etc.) …

Many online newspapers and major content sites contain an RSS feed section

(Many digital content agencies and major sites will have a feed section. Image: smh.com.au )

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

RSS feeds section

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

gives readers access to content from different sections of the site (e.g. technology news, entertainment news, jobs, etc.)

An RSS list can also contain further feed subcategories …

Feed sections can also contain feed subcategories.

(Feed sections can also contain feed subcategories. Image Source: latimes.com feeds)


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

Content Syndication – Benefits

Adding someone else’s content to your site has some obvious benefits. It gives additional exposure online to someone else’s site and adds value to your site without you having to create this content …

Using RSS Feeds Has Many Benefits!

(The Benefits Of Syndicating Content)

While adding an RSS feed 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 sites to use YOUR content.

When other sites syndicate your content, this gives your business the opportunity to get more exposure online and drive new visitors …

Look for ways to get users to syndicate your content ... it will help increase your exposure online!

(It’s worth trying to get users to syndicate your RSS feed … it will help increase your exposure online!)

WordPress RSS Feed – About

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

Depending on which theme you have installed, there are a number of ways to get your RSS feed:

1) If your theme displays the Meta widget on your navigation menu …

The feed will display the number of items you have specified in your Reading Settings section

(Your feed will display the number of items you have specified in your WordPress Reading Settings section)

Display Full Text Or Summary Of Posts In Your RSS Feed

The other 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': 'Full text' or 'Summary'

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

Useful Info

Post Excerpts can also affect how your feed content appears …

Post excerpts affect how your feed content will display

(Post excerpts affect how a feed displays)

For a detailed step-by-step tutorial about Post excerpts, go here:

View The Content Of Your RSS Feeds

As mentioned earlier, to view the content of a feed, you need to copy the feed’s URL and paste it into an application that can translate feeds into readable content for humans.

Let’s show you how this works.

First, go to a website whose content you want to subscribe to and look for a ’subscribe to feed’ button or link using any of the methods described earlier …

Look for an RSS feed icon.

(Search for a ’subscribe to feed’ button. Image source: http://www.yourcoffeeguru.com)

Next, copy the feed URL to your clipboard …

Copy the URL of your feed

(Copy the URL of your feed to the clipboard)

If you want, you can check what the feed contains by pasting the URL of the feed into a feed reader …

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

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

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

How To Add A Feed To Your Site

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

How To Add A Feed To Your Sidebar

As mentioned earlier, no matter what industry you operate in, you can easily display on your site the latest news and 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, social media comments, or content from thousands of sites using the WordPress RSS widget.

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

Add an RSS feed to the WordPress sidebar navigation area

(Add content from an RSS feed to your sidebar)

copy the feed URL from a site containing content that you would like to display on your site to your clipboard …

Copy your feed URL

(Copy your feed URL to the clipboard)

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 website in your web browser. The content from the RSS feed can now be seen on the sidebar …

RSS Feed Added To WP 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 Feed Content To Posts

What if you want to add content from an RSS feed to posts instead of your sidebar?

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

'Add Plugins' search results - WordPress RSS plugins

(‘Add Plugins’ screen – RSS plugins)

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

The plugins below can be used to feed content to posts, or “auto blog” (An auto blog is a blog with content that is automatically gathered and compiled from RSS feeds):


WPeMatico Plugin For WordPress

(WPeMatico – WordPress Plugin)

WPeMatico is an auto blogging plugin that lets you publish posts automatically from selected RSS/Atom feeds.

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

For more details, go here:

WP RSS Aggregator

WP RSS Aggregator Plugin

(WP RSS Aggregator Plugin)

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

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

For more details, go here:

RSS Post Importer

RSS Post Importer - WordPress Plugin

(RSS Post Importer)

RSS Post Importer lets you import, curate, syndicate, merge and display full text feeds on your WordPress blog.

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

For more details, go here:

Powr RSS Feed

Powr RSS Feed - WordPress Plugin

(Powr RSS Feed)

POWr RSS Feed combines and displays content from various RSS feeds.

This plugin also lets you display videos, images, and articles, adjust feed priority, use custom fonts, borders, 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, and more.

For more details, go here:

WP Pipes

WP Pipes WordPress Plugin

(WP Pipes – WordPress Plugin)

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

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

For more details, go here:


FeedWordPress Plugin

(FeedWordPress – WordPress Plugin)

FeedWordPress provides simple and flexible syndication options 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 display all of your online activity in one place.

For more details, go here:

Autoblog by WPMUDev

Autoblog by WPMUDev

(Autoblog by WPMUDev – WordPress 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, 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 and Custom Post Types

RSS Includes Pages and Custom Post Types - WordPress Plugin

(RSS Includes Pages – WordPress Plugin)

By default, WordPress only posts posts in your RSS feed. Install the RSS Includes Pages and Custom Post Types plugin if you would like to include pages in your RSS feed and not just posts.

For more details, go here:


WordPress RSS Feeds – Useful Tips

Tip #1 – 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 access this feed, go to the ‘Meta’ widget on your sidebar menu (note: your theme may not be configured to display this widget) and click on Comments RSS

Comments Feed

(WordPress Comments RSS)

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

RSS comments feed entries as seen with Firefox

(RSS comments feed items as seen on a Firefox browser)

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

Comments feed entries displayed with a Google Chrome browser

(Comments feed items displayed on a Google Chrome web browser)

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

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

(Paste your feed URL into a feed reader to view the 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 WordPress site installation is in a subfolder, e.g. “blog”)

Tip #2 – Creating RSS Feeds For Single Post Items

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

The formula for making an RSS feed for an individual post item is shown below:

Specific Post Feed

(Individual Post Feed)

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

Single Post Feed

(Single Post RSS Feed)

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

Tip #3 – Using Post Category RSS Feeds

Some your site visitors may only be interested in syndicating content from one or two post categories. They may not want to subscribe to all of your site’s content.

If your website or blog contains content published under different categories, WordPress allows you to easily offer readers a separate RSS feed for each category.

All you have to do is use the format shown below:

Use this format for WP post categories feed

(WP post categories feed format)

Select and copy the category URL …

Copy the category URL to your clipboard ...

(Select and copy your category URL …)

Add “feed” to the end of it …

Format for WP category RSS feed

(WP category RSS feed format)

The category RSS feed will now only include content posted for that particular category …

Category-specific feed

(Category-specific 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 – Publish A List Of Feeds

You can create your own directory of RSS feeds for visitors that allows readers to subscribe only to content in the categories that interest them …

Provide An RSS Feeds Directory

(Publish A List Of Feeds)

You can also link an image to your category feed URLs and then create a table or a list of all your feeds on a new page …

RSS image

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

To learn more about creating tables in WordPress pages and posts, refer to this step-by-step tutorial:

RSS – Additional Notes

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

WordPress allows various feed configurations without touching code. Here are some examples of custom feeds you can display on your site and how to create your feeds …

WordPress RSS - Feed Formats

(WordPress RSS – Feed Types)

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

  • Feed Type: All Posts
  • Description: Content feed – Includes your latest post entries
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/feed/
  • Feed Type: All Comments
  • Description: Comments feed – RSS feed that displays the latest comments posted on your site
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/comments/feed/
  • Feed Type: Individual Posts
  • Description: RSS feed for an individual post
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/post-title/feed/
  • Feed Type: Individual Posts Comments
  • Description: Displays the latest comments made on single post entries
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/blog-post-title/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Day – Feed displaying the latest post entries in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2016/04/01/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Month – RSS feed displaying the latest items in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2016/10/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Year – Contains latest posts in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2016/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: Displays the latest posts for a custom type (e.g. book)
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/feed/?post_type=book

One more thing …

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

Remember to make your RSS feeds visible your feeds!

(Promote your RSS feeds!)

Finally, keep in mind that other sites will only syndicate your content if you publish great information. In other words, focus on providing your subscribers with high-quality information that can add great value to their sites and benefit their users.

Easily add someone else's content and get others to syndicate your content online using RSS!

(Add great content from other sites and get other sites to syndicate your content with RSS!)

Practical 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 Resources:

  • RSS Feed Graphics – Visit a site like iconspedia.com/search/rss or search online (e.g. “free rss icons”, “rss logos”, etc.) for sites that contain downloadable Free RSS icons.
  • RSSBoard.org – The RSS Advisory Board is an independent organization responsible for publishing the RSS specification, providing guidance to developers who create RSS applications and furthering the understanding of RSS.
  • Wikipedia.org/RSS – Learn more about the history and benefits of using RSS feeds.
  • WordPress Codex: RSS Feeds – WordPress documentation and reference. Visit this site for more information about RSS feeds in WordPress.

The Benefits Of Using RSS Feeds In WordPress

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

Hopefully, now you have a better understanding of issues that can affect your web site and how WordPress can help you build a better business online. To learn more about the benefits of using WordPress for a business web site please click on links to visit other great content we have published on this site.


"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)

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