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 …

Understanding WordPress RSSNo matter what what industry you belong to, it’s vitally important to provide high-quality information to your site visitors. For example, if you provide taxation services, you may want to include information from the taxation office, such as news and updates on tax rulings, small business tax deductions, etc.

To create and publish this kind of information, however, takes a great deal of effort and expertise. You have to sift through, gather, and organize a ton of data, 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 not only involves a huge amount of work but most of the information you are dealing with is completely beyond your control.

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

It’s called RSS

RSS is the simplest way to provide your blog subscribers with the latest information

(RSS - The simplest way to provide your subscribers with great information)

The Ultimate Guide To WordPress RSS

RSS – What Does It Mean?

  • RSS, which, according to some is short for Rich Site Summary, is more commonly known as Really Simple Syndication. It is often called a “feed” or “web feed”.
  • RSS allows content publishers to automatically syndicate their content to save users time from having to keep revisiting their site to check for updates.
  • Feeds are often used to publish information that is frequently updated, such as new blog entries, news, video lists, etc., to which users can then subscribe.
  • Essentially, an RSS feed is an XML document that includes either full or summarized text along with other metadata like date of publishing, author, etc. It allows people to subscribe to content on websites and then browse updates posted on these sites using an RSS feed reader. Conversely, RSS feeds also enable publishers to syndicate their web content automatically.
  • There are different kinds of feeds, read by different aggregators. Some of these include RSS feeds, Atom feeds and RDF feeds. All of these formats, however, use a standard XML file format to ensure compatibility with different devices, readers, and programs.
  • Many sites and software tools also let you combine many RSS feeds to receive news and updates sourced from different websites.

In this comprehensive guide, we show 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 content from other sites to your site using RSS feeds.

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) Feeds

Content syndication is a very powerful and legitimate method used to share content online. Feeds provide online users with a simple and easy way to keep up with the latest information posted on different websites and blogs.

First, let’s look at content syndication.

Online newspapers and leading media publications use syndication to publish stories from news agencies all around the world.

Content syndication allows most news reporting agencies and many popular online publications to deliver readers the most recent news and content of interest from around the globe without having to employ more news writers in every location in the world …

Most news reporting agencies rely heavily on content syndication to publish newsworthy stories from news sources around the planet.

(Global media publications rely heavily on syndication to publish content from other news agencies all around the world.)

Syndication is used to share content legitimately. Digital content publishers syndicate their information using news feeds

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

(Syndication is a legitimate way of sharing newsworthy content)

Most websites actually would like you to syndicate their information. Syndicating content not only allows great information to be shared, but it also sends visitors back to the original site responsible for publishing the content being syndicated. This creates links that can drive traffic back to their site.

Major content sites will include an RSS 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”, “daily telegraph rss”, “sydney morning herald rss”, etc.) …

Many news reporting agencies and major sites contain an RSS feed section

(Most online newspapers and major sites have a feed section. Image Source: smh.com.au )

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

RSS directory

(RSS directory. Image: nytimes.com)

Each of these feeds lets you access content about different areas of the site (e.g. technology news, travel news, jobs, etc.)

Feed sections can also include subcategories …

Feed sections can also include feed subdirectories.

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

Important Info

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

The Benefits Of Using RSS Feeds

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

Syndicating Content Benefits Someone Else's Business And Yours!

(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 worth keeping in mind that you also want other websites to syndicate your content.

When other websites syndicate your feed, you have the opportunity to gain increased exposure online and drive new web traffic …

Try to get other website owners to syndicate your content ... it will help drive more traffic to your site!

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

WordPress RSS Feed – About

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

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

1) If your theme allows the Meta widget to display on your sidebar, scroll down to the Meta section and click on Entries RSS

Access your WordPress RSS feed from the Entries RSS menu

(WordPress Meta widget – Entries RSS)

2) You can also find links or buttons on certain themes that let your visitors copy your feed.

For example, in the screenshot below, a visitor can copy the site’s RSS feed URL by clicking on on the Subscribe to RSS link …

Copy feed links to your clipboard from "subscribe" buttons

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

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

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

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

4) You can also view your 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 your site’s feed page …

RSS feed content as seen on Firefox browser

(RSS items displayed with a Firefox browser)

Note that your feed content will display differently depending on the browser you use …

RSS entries viewed on Chrome browser

(RSS entries displayed on Google Chrome)

Specify Number Of Items To Display On Your RSS Feed

To specify how many posts you would like to display in your RSS Feed page, go to your Reading Settings section and enter the number of items to show in the “Syndication feeds show the most recent” field …

Settings - Reading Settings - Syndication items setting

(WordPress Settings – Reading Settings – Syndication items setting)

The feed page will display as many recent posts as you have specified section …

The feed will display as many recent items you have specified in the WordPress Reading Settings section

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

Display Full Text Or Summary Of Posts In Your RSS Feed

The other setting in your Reading Settings section that affects your RSS feed is whether to display posts in your feed as full text, or a summary …

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

(Reading Settings – ’For each article in a feed show’: ‘Full text’ or ‘Summary’)

Important Info

Post Excerpts can also affect how your feed content displays …

Post excerpts can affect how content in feeds will display

(Post excerpts affect how content in feeds will appear)

If you need help WordPress Post excerpts, refer to this tutorial:

View The Content Of Your RSS Feeds

As mentioned earlier, all you have to do to view a feed’s content is to copy the feed’s URL to your clipboard 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 or blog and search for an RSS feed button using any of the methods described earlier …

Search for a 'subscribe' button or link.

(Search for a ’subscribe to feed’ link or button. Image source: YourCoffeeGuru.com)

Next, copy the feed URL to your clipboard …

Copy the URL of your feed to your clipboard

(Copy the feed URL)

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

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

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

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

How To Add A Feed To Your WordPress Site

Let’s show you how to add content from other websites to your site.

How To Add A Feed To Your WordPress Sidebar

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

Let’s add RSS content to your sidebar …

Add content from an RSS feed to the WordPress sidebar

(Add an RSS feed to your sidebar)

First, Go to a website containing content that you would like to add to your sidebar and copy the RSS feed …

Copy your feed URL

(Copy the URL of your feed to the clipboard)

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

Widgets Screen - RSS Widget

(RSS Widget)

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

Load your site in your browser. The content should now display in your sidebar …

RSS Feed Content Added To WordPress Sidebar

(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 A Feed To Your Posts

What if you want to add content from RSS feeds to WordPress posts instead of a sidebar?

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

WordPress RSS plugins

(’Add Plugins’ search results)

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

The plugins below are useful for adding 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 Plugin For WordPress)

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

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

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 autoblogging WordPress plugin with additional functionality with premium extensions (add-ons).

For example, the Feed to Post extension for the WP RSS Aggregator plugin allows you to add content to your site automatically by importing RSS feeds directly into your WP posts.

For more details, go here:

RSS Post Importer

RSS Post Importer WordPress Plugin

(RSS Post Importer)

RSS Post Importer allows you to syndicate, import, curate, merge and display full-text feeds on your WordPress website or blog.

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

For more details, go here:

Powr RSS Feed

Powr RSS Feed

(Powr RSS Feed Plugin For WordPress)

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

This plugin also lets you display videos, images, and article content, adjust the priority of different feeds, use custom borders, fonts, colors, and more. It also displays feeds correctly on any tablet, phone, or computer and supports text in every language.

The premium version contains a number of additional features.

For more details, go here:

WP Pipes

WP Pipes Plugin

(WP Pipes Plugin For WordPress)

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

For more details, go here:


FeedWordPress - WordPress Plugin

(FeedWordPress Plugin)

FeedWordPress is a simple and flexible syndication plugin for WordPress site-generated content.

As stated in the FeedWordPress site …

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 site (sites that combine posts from multiple sources), or bring together all your online activity (e.g. from your blog, Twitter, Flickr, or other online services, in one place.

For more details, go here:


Autoblog by WPMUDev Plugin For WordPress

(Autoblog by WPMUDev 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 the URL of your feed, give your feed a name (for admin purposes) and select a 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 and Custom Post Types)

By default, WordPress only includes posts in your RSS feed. Use the RSS Includes Pages plugin if you want to include pages in your RSS feed in addition to posts.

For more details, go here:


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.

You can inspect your comments feed by clicking on Comments RSS in your ‘Meta’ section (note: this section may not be visible on some themes) …

Comments Feed

(WordPress Comments RSS)

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

RSS comments feed entries seen with Firefox

(RSS comments feed content seen using a Firefox web browser)

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

Comments feed entries as seen on Google Chrome browser

(Comments feed items seen with a Google Chrome web browser)

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

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

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

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 site has been installed in a subdomain, e.g. “blog”)

Tip #2 – Displaying Feeds For Individual Post Items

Being able to select an RSS feed for an individual post item 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 using an RSS feed for an individual post item is shown below:

RSS Feed For Single Post

(Feed For Specific Post Item)

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

Single Post RSS Feed

(Single Post RSS Feed)

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

Tip #3 – Using Category RSS Feeds

Some your site visitors may only be interested in subscribing to content about certain topics. They may not want to subscribe to all of your site’s content.

With WordPress, you can create category feeds.

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

Feed format for post categories

(Format for WordPress post categories feed)

Select and copy the category URL …

Copy the category URL to your clipboard ...

(Select and copy your category URL …)

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

WP category feed format

(WP post categories feed format)

Your feed now only includes content published under this category …

Category feed

(Category 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 – Publish Your Own List Of Feeds

You can provide your own directory of feeds for subscribers that allows your readers to subscribe to content in specific categories, just like the larger websites do …

Set Up Your Own RSS Feeds Page

(Create A Feeds Directory)

You can link an RSS graphic like the one shown below to the URL of your category feed and then create a table or a list of your feeds on a separate page …

RSS graphic

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

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

RSS – Notes

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

WordPress allows various feed configurations without messing with code. Below are examples of some of the kinds of feed formats you can use …

Different Custom Feeds You Can Create Using WordPress RSS

(Different Custom Feeds You Can Create With WordPress RSS)

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

  • Feed Type: All Posts
  • Description: Content feed – RSS feed that displays your latest post entries
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/feed/
  • Feed Type: All Comments
  • Description: Comments feed – Displays the latest comments published on your blog
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/comments/feed/
  • Feed Type: Individual Posts
  • Description: Feed for a post entry
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/title-of-your-blog-post/feed/
  • Feed Type: Individual Posts Comments
  • Description: Contains the latest comments made on an individual post
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/post-title/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Day – Contains the latest post entries in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2016/06/25/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Month – Contains latest posts in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2013/02/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Year – Displays the latest entries in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2010/feed/
  • Feed Type: Search Results
  • Description: Displays latest post entries for a search query
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/search/term/feed/
  • Feed Type: Custom Post Type
  • Description: Includes latest post entries 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 your users know that they can subscribe to your feed. Place your subscribe links somewhere visible …

Promote your feeds!

(Encourage visitors to syndicate your feeds!)

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

Add someone else's content and get others to share your content with WordPress and RSS!

(Add someone else’s content and get others 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 🙂


  • RSS Icons – Visit Iconspedia.com or search online (e.g. “free RSS icons”, “RSS logos”, etc.) for sites that allow you to download RSS images.
  • RSSBoard.org – The RSS Advisory Board provides useful information and links to resources about RSS.
  • Wikipedia/RSS – General information about the benefits of using RSS.
  • WordPress Codex – WordPress software documentation and reference repository. Visit this site to learn more about using WordPress RSS feeds.

WordPress And RSS

Congratulations! Now you know where your RSS feed is located, how to use your WordPress RSS feed to get your content syndicated online, and how to display content from other sites on your site using RSS.

Hopefully, this post has given you a better understanding of issues that can affect your web site and how WordPress can help you build a better business online. To read more about using WordPress please click on links to visit other great content on this site.


"I love the way your email series "Infinite Web Content Creation Training Series" is documented and presented. It is very absorbing and captivating. The links and tutorials are interesting and educational. This has motivated me to rewrite my content following the concepts I am learning from the email series." - Mani Raju, www.fortuneinewaste.com