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 User's Guide To RSSNo matter what service or product you sell or what industry your business is a part of, providing high-value information on your site or blog is vitally important. For example, if you provide health-related services, it’s not a bad idea to provide users with information from the health department, such as news or updates on medical research, health and fitness advice, etc.

The problem with providing this type of information, however, is that it is really time-consuming. You have to sort through, research, and organize a lot 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 lot of work but most of the information you are dealing with is entirely beyond your control.

Thankfully, there is a simpler way to provide your site visitors with up-to-date information.

It’s called RSS

RSS - One of the easiest ways to provide your blog subscribers with great information

(RSS - One of the easiest ways to provide your site readers with the latest information)

The Ultimate Guide To WordPress RSS

What You Need To Know About RSS

  • RSS is short for Rich Site Summary, or, as is more commonly referred, Really Simple Syndication. It can also be called a “feed” or “web feed”.
  • After a user subscribes to an RSS feed, they no longer have to physically check the source website for content updates. Instead, their web browser will constantly monitor the site and automatically keep subscribers updated.
  • RSS feeds are also used to publish information that is frequently updated, such as blog posts, news headlines, audio lists, etc., which any user can choose to subscribe to.
  • You can read an RSS feed with a software program called a feedreader, or feed aggregator. Feed readers can be used to access content on all different kinds of topics and syndicate this content online.
  • Feeds can be made available in different types and read by different feedreaders. Some of these include RSS feeds, Atom Publishing Protocol) 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 and programs.
  • Many sites and software applications also allow you to combine different RSS feeds to display news and updates sourced from a number of websites.

In this article, we show you 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 their RSS feed.

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) Feeds

Content syndication is a powerful and legitimate method used for sharing web content. RSS Feeds provide a simple and easy way for online users to receive the latest information published on different websites.

First, let’s look at syndication.

Global media publications use syndication to publish content from news agencies all around the world.

Syndication allows most leading online newspapers to deliver readers the most recent news and stories of general interest from all over the globe without actually having to set up more reporting agencies in every location around the world …

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

(Many online newspapers use syndication to publish newsworthy items from other news agencies around the globe.)

Syndication is a legitimate way of sharing information with other sites. online media publications syndicate news stories using news feeds

Digital news agencies syndicate stories using feeds

(News reporting agencies syndicate their newsworthy content using feeds)

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

Most leading online media publications include 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”, “calgary herald rss”, “sydney morning herald rss”, etc.) …

Most digital content publishing agencies and major content sites will include an RSS feed section

(Most leading online media publications will have a feed section. Source: smh.com.au )

Clicking on a site’s RSS feeds link will bring up a list of RSS feeds for different content topics on the site …

RSS feeds directory

(A website’s directory of feeds. Image Source: NY Times RSS)

These feeds give readers access to content about different sections of the website (e.g. technology news, entertainment news, health news, etc.)

An RSS directory can also contain further subcategory feeds …

RSS Feed section.

(A feed directory can also include feed subdirectories. Image Source: LA Times RSS)


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

The Benefits Of Using Feeds

Syndicating someone else’s content on your website has some obvious benefits. It gives additional exposure online to someone else’s website and helps your site by freeing you up from having to create this content …

Syndicating Content Benefits Someone Else's Website And Yours!

(The Benefits Of Content Syndication)

While adding 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 you also want other sites to syndicate your content.

When other sites syndicate your feed, this gives you the opportunity to gain more exposure online and drive new visitors …

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

(It’s a good idea to get visitors to syndicate content using your RSS feed … it will help drive more traffic to your site!)

WordPress Feed – About

WordPress automatically publishes a feed of your posts, allowing others to 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 displays the Meta widget in a standard or custom menu …

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

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

Display Full Text Or Summary Of Posts In Your RSS Feed

Another setting in the WP Reading Settings section that affects your feeds is whether to display articles as full text, or a summary …

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

(Reading Settings – ’For each article in a feed show’ options)


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

Post excerpts affect how content in your feeds will display

(Post excerpts affect how feeds will display)

To learn more about Post excerpts, refer to this step-by-step 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 an application that translates feeds into readable content.

Let’s see how this works.

First, go to a website whose content you want to syndicate and search for a ‘subscribe’ link or icon using any of the methods described earlier …

Look for a 'subscribe' link.

(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 the URL of your feed)

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

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

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

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

Adding A Feed To WordPress Sites

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

Adding RSS Feeds To Your Sidebar

As mentioned earlier, no matter what industry you operate in, you can display on your site the latest content from an industry-related government department or authoritative site in your industry by simply importing content from their RSS feed. You can easily display a range of information on your WordPress site such as news, Facebook comments, or content from thousands of sites using the WordPress RSS widget.

Let’s add RSS content to the WordPress sidebar navigation menu …

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

(Add an RSS feed to your sidebar)

copy the RSS feed from a site that publishes content that you want to display on your sidebar …

Copy your feed URL

(Copy the URL of your feed)

Next, paste the feed into a new RSS widget …

Widgets Section - RSS Widget

(WordPress RSS Widget)

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

Refresh your browser. The content will now appear in your sidebar (or wherever the RSS widget has been placed) …

RSS Feed Added To Sidebar

(RSS Feed Content Added To WP 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 RSS Feed Content To Your Posts

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

You can easily do this using plugins. Search inside the ’Add Plugins’ section for RSS feed, RSS feed to post, etc.

RSS plugins

(RSS plugins)

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

Here are some auto blogging tools that let you automatically add posts with RSS feeds:


WPeMatico Plugin For WordPress

(WPeMatico Plugin For WordPress)

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

You can manage all of your imported feeds and arrange feeds into campaigns.

For more details, go here:

WP RSS Aggregator

WP RSS Aggregator Plugin

(WP RSS Aggregator WP Plugin)

WP RSS Aggregator is an RSS feed importer and autoblogging WordPress plugin with extended functionality with a number of premium add-ons.

For example, the Feed to Post add-on is an advanced importer that allows you to autoblog by importing RSS feeds directly into WP posts or any other custom post type.

For more details, go here:

RSS Post Importer

RSS Post Importer Plugin For WordPress

(RSS Post Importer – WordPress Plugin)

The RSS Post Importer plugin lets you curate, import, 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 entire content of each item in your feed as a separate post.

For more details, go here:

Powr RSS Feed

Powr RSS Feed Plugin For WordPress

(Powr RSS Feed – WordPress Plugin)

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

This plugin also lets you display videos, images, and articles, adjust feed spacing and size, use custom colors, fonts, backgrounds, and more. It is also mobile responsive and supports text in any language.

The premium version of this plugin contains many additional features.

For more details, go here:

WP Pipes

WP Pipes

(WP Pipes Plugin)

WP Pipes is a powerful data migration plugin that allows you to create 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 - WordPress Plugin

(FeedWordPress Plugin For WordPress)

FeedWordPress provides simple and flexible syndication for WordPress site 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 sites, or bring together all your online activity (e.g. from your blog, Twitter, YouTube, or other online services, into a Lifestream.

For more details, go here:


Autoblog by WPMUDev Plugin For WordPress

(Autoblog by WPMUDev WP Plugin)

Autoblog is an easy-to-use plugin that can be set-up in minutes, with no coding required and no complicated instructions. Simply copy and paste in your feed URL, name your feed (for admin purposes) and select a blog to post content to.

For more details, go here:

RSS Includes Pages and Custom Post Types

RSS Includes Pages

(RSS Includes Pages and Custom Post Types – WordPress Plugin)

Install RSS Includes Pages 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:


WordPress RSS Feeds – Useful Tips

Tip #1 – Comment RSS Feeds

In addition to making RSS feeds of your latest posts available to online users, WordPress also displays RSS feeds of comments posted on your site.

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

Comments Feed

(WordPress Comments RSS)

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

RSS comments feed content as seen with a Firefox browser

(RSS comments feed entries viewed using Firefox)

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

RSS comments feed items as seen with Google Chrome

(Comments feed entries displayed on Google Chrome browser)

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

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

(Paste your URL of your comments feed into a feedreader to view the feed content. Image: 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 WordPress site installation is in a subfolder, e.g. “blog”)

Tip #2 – Creating Single Item RSS Feeds

Being able to access an RSS feed for a single post item 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 accessing an RSS feed for specific posts is shown below:

RSS Feed For Individual Post

(Single Post RSS Feed)

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

Single Post Feed

(Single Post Feed)

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

Tip #3 – Category Feeds

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

If you publish content under a number of categories, WordPress allows you to provide a separate RSS feed for each of these categories.

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

WP category RSS feed format

(WordPress post categories feed format)

Select and copy the category link address to your clipboard …

Copy the selected category URL ...

(Copy the category link address …)

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

WordPress post categories RSS feed format

(Format for WP post categories feed)

The category feed will now only display content posted in this particular category …

Category-specific feed

(Category-specific 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 Feeds Page

You can publish a feeds list that allows your readers to subscribe to specific content …

Set Up An RSS Feeds Directory

(Provide Your Own RSS Feeds List)

You can also link an icon to the URL of your feed and then create a table or a list of all your individual feeds on a separate page …

RSS button image

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

We have created a detailed tutorial on adding tables to WordPress here:

WordPress RSS – Notes

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

WordPress allows a number of feed configurations that do not require editing code. Below are examples of some of the kinds of feed types you can use …

WordPress RSS - Feed Types

(Different Feed Types You Can Create With WordPress RSS)

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

  • Feed Type: All Posts
  • Description: Content feed – Feed that contains your latest posts
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/feed/
  • Feed Type: All Comments
  • Description: Comments feed – Feed that displays the latest comments left on your website or blog
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/comments/feed/
  • Feed Type: Individual Posts
  • Description: Feed for single post entries
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/title-of-your-blog-post/feed/
  • Feed Type: Individual Posts Comments
  • Description: RSS Feed that includes the latest comments made on a specific post
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/title-of-blog-post/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Day – Contains the latest entries in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2018/01/11/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Month – Includes the latest items in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2016/05/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Year – Contains latest post entries in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2018/feed/
  • Feed Type: Search Results
  • Description: RSS feed displaying the latest posts for a search query
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/search/term/feed/
  • Feed Type: Custom Post Type
  • Description: Feed that includes the latest 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 feeds. Place your subscribe button image somewhere visible …

Encourage visitors to subscribe to your feeds!

(Encourage your visitors to subscribe to your RSS feeds!)

Keep in mind that other website owners will only syndicate your content if you provide your visitors with very high-quality content that can add value to their sites and benefit their visitors.

Add someone else's content and get other users to syndicate your content using WordPress and RSS!

(Easily add great content to your site and get visitors to share your content using RSS!)

Useful Tip

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 feed 🙂

Additional Resources:

  • Feed Graphics – Visit a site like Iconspedia.com or search online (e.g. “free RSS icons”, “rss images”, etc.) for sites containing downloadable RSS graphics.
  • RSSBoard.org – The RSS Advisory Board is an independent organization responsible for publishing the RSS specification, guiding developers who create RSS applications and broadening the public understanding of RSS.
  • Wikipedia/RSS – Learn more about the benefits of using RSS feeds.
  • WordPress.org/RSS Feeds – WordPress documentation and information. Go here for more information about using RSS feeds in WordPress.

Using WordPress RSS For Beginners

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 website and how WordPress can help you grow your business online. To read more about the benefits of using the WordPress website publishing software please click on links to visit other posts we have published 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