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 …

Using WordPress RSS For BeginnersNo matter what service or product you sell, providing high-value information to your site readers is important. For example, if you provide accounting or financial planning services, it’s a good idea to include the latest information from the taxation office, such as news and updates on tax rulings, small business tax tips, etc.

The problem with providing this kind of information, however, is that it requires a huge amount of effort and expertise. You have to do a lot of information sifting, researching and organizing, checking sources for accuracy, content writing and editing (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 beyond your control.

Thankfully, 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 subscribers with great information

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

The Ultimate Guide To WordPress RSS

RSS – Useful Information

  • RSS is an acronym for Rich Site Summary, or, as is more commonly referred, Really Simple Syndication. It it is also called a “feed” or “news feed”.
  • RSS allows content publishers to automatically syndicate their content to save users time from having to keep revisiting sites to check for updates.
  • RSS feeds are often used to publish frequently updated information, such as blog posts, news headlines, music playlists, etc., to which any user can choose to subscribe.
  • You can view RSS feeds using software-based programs called RSS readers, or feed aggregators. Feedreaders are used to find content on all kinds of topics and distribute this content (and any updates made to this content) to other sites.
  • There are different feed formats and these can be read by different feedreaders. Some of these include RSS feeds, Atom (also called AtomPub or APP 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, feed readers, and programs.
  • Many sites and software tools also let you combine different RSS feeds to display news and updates sourced from a number of websites.

This guide shows you where to find your WordPress RSS feed, 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 their RSS feed.

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) Feeds

Content syndication is a really powerful (and legitimate) way to share content online. Feeds provide a simple way for online users to receive the latest information published on different websites and blogs.

First, let’s look at syndication.

Global media publications rely on syndication to publish stories from content sources all around the world.

Content syndication allows many online newspapers and popular media publications to deliver readers the latest news headlines and stories of interest from all over the globe without actually having to post additional news reporting agencies everywhere in the world …

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

(Media publications use content syndication to publish newsworthy content from other news agencies all around the globe.)

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

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

(Digital content publishing agencies syndicate their news stories using news feeds)

Most sites 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 that published the content being syndicated. This can be an effective way to generate web traffic.

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

Major sites provide links to a feed section

(Leading online newspapers will include an RSS feed section. Source: SMH )

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

RSS directory

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

These feed items give you access to content from different sections of the site (e.g. business news, travel news, lifestyle magazine, etc.)

A feed directory can also include further subcategories …

RSS Feed section.

(RSS Feed section. Source: LA Times RSS)

Useful Info

Note: A feed is just a URL. All you need to do to use a feed is to copy the URL and paste it into an application that can translate the feed code into something readable. We’ll cover this further below.

Using RSS Feeds – Benefits

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

The Benefits Of Content Syndication

(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 there are benefits in getting other sites to syndicate YOUR content.

When other sites syndicate your feed, you have the opportunity to get more exposure online and drive more visitors …

Look for ways to get other websites and blogs to syndicate your RSS feed ... it will help to increase your web traffic!

(Get users to syndicate your feed … it will help drive more traffic to your site!)

WordPress RSS Feed – About

WordPress automatically publishes a feed of your posts, allowing others to syndicate your content on their sites.

Depending on which theme you have installed, there are a few ways to access your RSS feed:

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

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

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

Display Full Text Or Summary Of Posts In Your RSS Feed

Another setting in your WordPress 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 …

Settings - Reading Settings - 'For each article in a feed show': 'Full text' or 'Summary'

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

Important Info

Post Excerpts can also affect how your feed content appears …

Post excerpts can affect how a feed will display

(Post excerpts can affect how your feed content will appear)

We have written a detailed tutorial about Post excerpts here:

View The Content Of Your RSS Feeds

As mentioned previously, to view a feed’s content, you need to copy the feed’s URL and paste it into a feedreader, i.e. an application that can read and translate feeds into readable content.

Let’s see how this works.

First, go to a website whose content you want to syndicate and look for an RSS feed link …

Look for an RSS feed section.

(Look for a ‘subscribe’ icon or link. Image source: YourCoffeeGuru.com)

Next, copy the feed URL to your clipboard …

Copy the feed URL to the clipboard

(Copy the feed URL)

If you want, you can check the feed content by pasting the feed URL into a feedreader …

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

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

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

How To Add Feeds To WordPress

Let’s show you how to add content sourced from another website to yours.

How To Add RSS Feeds To Your WordPress Sidebar

As mentioned earlier, no matter what industry you operate in, you could easily add to your site the latest updates from an industry-related government department or authoritative site in your industry by simply adding content from their RSS feed. You can use feeds to 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 RSS content to your sidebar …

Add an RSS feed to the WordPress sidebar

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

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

Copy your feed URL

(Copy your feed URL)

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

WordPress RSS Widget

(WP RSS Widget)

To learn more about using sidebar widgets, go here:

Load your website in your web browser. The content can now be seen in your sidebar (or wherever the RSS widget has been added) …

RSS Widget

(RSS Feed 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 Feeds To Your Posts

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

You can do this using plugins. Just search inside your Plugins section for RSS, RSS feed to post, etc.

'Add Plugins' screen - WordPress RSS plugins

(‘Add Plugins’ section – WordPress RSS plugins)

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

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


WPeMatico Plugin For WordPress


WPeMatico is an auto blogging plugin that allows you to publish posts automatically from RSS/Atom feeds that you specify.

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

For more details, go here:

WP RSS Aggregator

WP RSS Aggregator WordPress Plugin

(WP RSS Aggregator Plugin For WordPress)

WP RSS Aggregator is an RSS feed importer and autoblogging plugin for WordPress that offers premium add-ons for extended functionality.

For example, the Feed to Post extension lets you autoblog by importing RSS feeds directly into posts.

For more details, go here:

RSS Post Importer

RSS Post Importer WordPress Plugin

(RSS Post Importer WordPress Plugin)

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

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

For more details, go here:

Powr RSS Feed

Powr RSS Feed

(Powr RSS Feed)

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

The plugin also lets you display images, videos, and articles, adjust feed size and spacing, use custom borders, colors, fonts, and more. It also displays feeds correctly on any tablet, phone, or computer and supports text in any language.

The premium version contains a number of 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

(WP Pipes WP 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 functionality like CSV importing for posts/WooCommerce, RSS feed creator, autoblogging, auto post to LinkedIn/Facebook/Twitter, export WordPress posts as podcasts, create Google XML sitemaps, and more!

For more details, go here:



(FeedWordPress Plugin)

FeedWordPress provides flexible Atom/RSS syndication options 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.

FeedWordPress can be used to create aggregator sites, or display all your online activity (e.g. from your blog, Facebook, Flickr, or other online services, into a Lifestream.

For more details, go here:


Autoblog by WPMUDev WordPress Plugin

(Autoblog – WordPress Plugin)

Autoblog is an easy-to-use plugin that can be set-up in minutes, without coding skills or complicated instructions. Just copy and paste in your feed URL, 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 and Custom Post Types

RSS Includes Pages Plugin

(RSS Includes Pages WordPress Plugin)

The RSS Includes Pages and Custom Post Types plugin modifies your default WordPress RSS feed to include pages and not just posts.

For more details, go here:


Using RSS – Useful Tips

Tip #1 – Comment RSS Feeds

WordPress displays RSS feeds of comments posted on your site in addition to displaying RSS feeds of your posts.

You can access this feed by clicking on Comments RSS in the ‘Meta’ widget of your sidebar menu (note: your theme may not be configured to display this widget) …

Comments Feed

(Comments Feed)

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

Comments feed entries viewed on Firefox

(RSS comments feed content seen on Firefox)

Like post entries, your comments feed page will display differently depending on which browser you are using …

RSS comments feed content seen with Google Chrome

(RSS comments feed items as seen using a Google Chrome browser)

Again, you can check the feed content by pasting the feed URL into a feed reader …

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

(Paste the URL of your comments feed into a feed reader to view the content. Source: 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 – Specific Item Feeds

Being able to use an RSS feed for single posts 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 an individual post is shown below:

Specific Post RSS Feed

(Feed For Single Post Item)

To create the above feed, copy the post URI, 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 URI of your post, WordPress will return the comments made on that post, not the content of the post itself.

Tip #3 – Displaying Post Category RSS Feeds

Some your site users may only be interested in syndicating content from specific categories. They may not want to subscribe to your entire site’s feed.

If your website or blog contains content published under multiple categories, WordPress allows you to easily create a separate feed for each of your categories.

Just use the format below:

WordPress post categories RSS feed format

(Feed format for post categories)

Select and copy the category link address …

Copy your category link address ...

(Copy your category URL …)

And append “feed” to the end of it …

WP post categories RSS feed format

(WP RSS feed format for category)

The RSS feed now only contains content published under this category …

Category-specific RSS feed

(Category-specific RSS feed page)

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 – Create Your Own Directory Of Feeds

You can set up a feeds directory that allows readers to subscribe only to content in the categories they are interested in, just like large authoritative sites …

Create An RSS Feeds Page

(Publish Your Own Feeds Directory)

Link an icon to each feed and then create a table or a list of your feeds on a separate page …

RSS button

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

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

RSS – Additional Notes

RSS feeds can be customized in several ways, such as adding videos to feeds, ads, etc. Some of these customizations require editing code.

WordPress allows you to configure various feed types that do not require touching code. Below are examples of some of the kinds of custom feeds you can use …

WordPress RSS - Feed Formats

(WordPress RSS – Feed Types)

For your convenience, here are the different feed types, descriptions, and feed examples shown in the table above:

  • Feed Type: All Posts
  • Description: Content feed – Includes your latest posts
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/feed/
  • Feed Type: All Comments
  • Description: Comments feed – Displays the latest comments published on your website
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/comments/feed/
  • Feed Type: Individual Posts
  • Description: Feed containing single items
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/post-title/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 – RSS feed displaying the latest post entries in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2014/02/14/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Month – Displays latest items in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2016/02/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Year – Includes latest posts in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2011/feed/
  • Feed Type: Search Results
  • Description: Contains latest post entries for a search query
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/search/term/feed/
  • Feed Type: Custom Post Type
  • Description: Feed containing latest post entries for a custom type (e.g. book)
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/feed/?post_type=book

One more thing …

It’s a good idea to promote your feed. Make sure you place your ’subscribe to RSS’ buttons somewhere visible …

Promote your feeds!

(Remember to make your RSS feeds visible your RSS feeds!)

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

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

(Add content from other sites and get online users to syndicate your content using RSS feeds!)


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

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

Additional Resources:

  • RSS Icons – Visit sites like iconspedia.com/search/rss or search online (e.g. “free rss icons”, “rss logo download”, etc.) for sites containing downloadable RSS graphics.
  • RSSBoard.org – The RSS Advisory Board Go here to learn more about RSS.
  • Wikipedia/RSS – General information about the benefits of using RSS feeds.
  • WordPress.org – WordPress documentation and information repository. Visit this site for more information about WordPress RSS.

A Beginner's Guide To Understanding WordPress RSS

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

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of issues that can affect your website and how WordPress can help you grow your business online. To learn more about using the WP software please see our related posts section.


"Learning WordPress has been a huge stumbling block for me. I've been looking for something that covers absolutely everything but doesn't cost an arm and a leg. Thank you so much ... you have just provided me with what I have been looking for! Truly appreciated!" - Tanya