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 …

A Beginner's Guide To Using WordPress RSSNo matter what your business sells or what industry you are a part of, it’s vitally important to provide quality information on your site or blog that educates, informs, or improves engagement with your visitors. For example, if your business provides accounting or financial planning services, it’s a good idea to include useful information from the taxation office, such as news and updates on tax rulings, small business tax tips, etc.

To create and publish this type of information, however, is really time-consuming. You have to do a ton of information gathering, researching and organizing, fact-checking, writing and editing content (or hire someone to do this for you), and then continually ensure that this information is 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 beyond your control.

Thankfully, there is an easier way to keep your readers up-to-date with your information.

It’s called RSS

RSS - The simplest way to provide your users with up-to-date information

(RSS is the simplest way to provide your subscribers with great information)

The Ultimate Guide To WordPress RSS

RSS – Basic Definition And Overview

  • RSS stands for RDF Site Summary, or, as is more commonly referred, Really Simple Syndication. It can also be referred to as 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 typically used to publish frequently updated information, such as new blog posts, news, video lists, etc., to which any user can choose to subscribe.
  • Essentially, an RSS feed is a structured 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 using a feedreader. Conversely, RSS feeds also enable publishers to automatically syndicate information.
  • Feeds can be made available in different formats and read by different feedreaders. Some of these include RSS feeds, Atom (also called AtomPub or APP feeds and RDF (RDF = Resource Description Framework) feeds. All of these formats, however, use a standard XML file format to ensure compatibility with different devices, readers, and programs.
  • Many sites and software tools also let you combine many RSS feeds to receive news and updates from multiple sources.

This guide explains where to find your WordPress RSS feed, how to use your WordPress RSS feed to get your content syndicated online, and how to display someone else’s content on your site using RSS feeds.

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) Feeds

Content syndication is a really powerful and legitimate method used to share content online. Feeds provide online users with a simple way to stay up-to-date with the latest information posted on different websites.

First, let’s look at syndication.

Global media and news reporting agencies use content syndication to publish news from other news agencies all around the world.

Syndication allows most online newspapers and many influential online publications to deliver readers the most recent news from all around the planet without actually having to employ and post additional reporters all around the world …

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

(Media publications rely on syndication to publish newsworthy items from other news agencies around the planet.)

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

News reporting agencies syndicate information using news feeds

(News reporting agencies syndicate their news stories using feeds)

Most sites actually want you to syndicate their content. Syndicating content not only allows information to be shared, but it can also drive visitors back to the site that originally published the content being syndicated. This creates new ways to drive traffic back to their site.

Most content publishing agencies and major sites have an RSS feed section (look for navigation links that say ”RSS”, “Syndication”, or “Newsfeeds” in them, or just search for “name of site/keyword + rss” – e.g. “nytimes rss”, “belfast telegraph rss”, “sydney morning herald rss”, etc.) …

Many news reporting agencies will include an RSS feed section

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

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

RSS feeds section

(RSS feeds list. Image: nytimes.com)

Each of these feed items lets you access different areas of the website (e.g. technology news, arts news, jobs, etc.)

An RSS feed directory can also contain subcategories …

Feed sections can also include subcategory feeds.

(A feed directory can also include feed subdirectories. Source: latimes.com)

Info

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

Using RSS Feeds – Benefits

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

Using RSS Feeds

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

While adding RSS feeds from another site is a great way to add content to your site that you don’t have to create, it’s worth keeping in mind that there are benefits in getting other sites to use YOUR content.

When other websites and blogs syndicate content using your feed, you have the opportunity to get increased exposure online and drive more web traffic …

Try to get visitors to syndicate your RSS feed ... it will help increase your exposure online!

(Consider trying to get visitors to syndicate your feed … it will help to increase your exposure online!)

WordPress RSS – About

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

Depending on your WordPress site’s theme, there are a few ways to get the WordPress RSS feed:

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

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

(The feed page will display as many recent posts as 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 RSS feed is whether to display articles as full text, or as a summary …

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

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

Useful Info

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

Post excerpts affect how your feed content will appear

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

We have created a detailed tutorial about WordPress Post excerpts here:

View The Content Of Your RSS Feeds

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

Let’s see how this works.

First, find a website or blog and look for their RSS feed link …

Look for a 'subscribe' button.

(Search for a ‘subscribe’ link. Image source: http://www.yourcoffeeguru.com)

Next, copy the feed URL to your clipboard …

Copy your feed URL to the clipboard

(Copy your feed URL to your clipboard)

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

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

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

Like feed readers, WordPress also has the ability to process RSS/XML feeds and convert these into readable content for humans.

How To Add A Feed To WordPress

Let’s show you how to add content from other website or blog’s RSS feeds to yours.

How To Add An RSS Feed To Your WordPress Sidebar

As mentioned earlier, no matter what industry your business operates in, you can add to your site the latest content from an industry-related government department or authoritative site in your industry simply by adding content from their RSS feed. You can use feeds to display a range of information on your WordPress site such as news, Facebook updates, or content from thousands of sites using the WordPress RSS widget.

Let’s add RSS content to your sidebar …

Let's add an RSS feed to the WordPress sidebar navigation menu

(Add an RSS feed to the WordPress sidebar)

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

Copy your feed URL

(Copy the URL of your feed to your clipboard)

Next, paste the feed into an RSS widget …

WP RSS Widget

(RSS Widget)

To learn more about using widgets, go here:

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

RSS Feed Content Added To Sidebar

(RSS Feed Content Added To WP Sidebar Menu)

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 Feeds To Your Posts

Can content from an RSS feed be added to a post? It sure can!

You can do this using WordPress plugins. Search inside your Plugins admin screen for RSS feed, RSS feed to post, etc.

'Add Plugins' search results

(‘Add Plugins’ section – RSS plugins for WordPress)

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

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

WPeMatico

WPeMatico Plugin

(WPeMatico Plugin)

WPeMatico is an autoblogging plugin that lets you publish posts automatically from RSS/Atom feeds of your choice.

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

(WP RSS Aggregator Plugin)

WP RSS Aggregator is a comprehensive RSS feed importer and auto blogging plugin for WordPress that offers additional functionality with premium extensions (add-ons).

For example, the Feed to Post extension for the WP RSS Aggregator plugin is a feature-filled importer that allows you to import RSS feeds directly into posts or any other custom post type.

For more details, go here:

RSS Post Importer

RSS Post Importer

(RSS Post Importer Plugin)

The RSS Post Importer plugin lets you import, curate, syndicate, merge and display full-text feeds (RSS, Atom, etc.) on your WordPress site.

RSS Post Importer will fetch an RSS feed and publish the full 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)

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

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

The premium plugin edition contains many additional features.

For more details, go here:

WP Pipes

WP Pipes WP Plugin

(WP Pipes – WordPress Plugin)

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

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

For more details, go here:

FeedWordPress

FeedWordPress

(FeedWordPress)

FeedWordPress is a versatile syndication plugin 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 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 site (sites that combine content from many different sources), or bring together all of your online activity (e.g. from your blog, Facebook, Flickr, or other online services, into a Lifestream.

For more details, go here:

Autoblog

Autoblog Plugin

(Autoblog 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 the URL of your feed, name your feed (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

(RSS Includes Pages 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:

Idea

Using WordPress RSS Feeds – Useful Tips

Tip #1 – Comment RSS Feeds

In addition to displaying feeds of your latest posts, WordPress also displays RSS feeds of your latest post comments.

You can see your comments feed by clicking on Comments RSS in your ‘Meta’ section (note: your theme may not be configured to display this widget) …

WordPress Comments RSS

(WordPress Comments Feed)

All the comments posted on your site by visitors and users display in the Comments RSS page …

Comments feed items seen with Firefox

(Comments feed entries as seen on Firefox)

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

RSS comments feed content displayed on Google Chrome

(Comments feed items viewed on Google Chrome web browser)

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

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

(Paste your feed URL into a feed reader 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 website or blog is located in a subdomain, e.g. “blog”)

Tip #2 – Specific Post RSS Feeds

Being able to access an RSS feed for single post items 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 accessing an RSS feed for an individual post is shown below:

RSS Feed For Individual Post

(Feed For Individual Post Item)

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

Single Post RSS Feed

(Single Post Feed)

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

Tip #3 – Category 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.

With WordPress, you can easily create individual category feeds.

All you have to do is use the format below:

WP post categories RSS feed format

(WordPress post categories RSS feed format)

Copy the selected category URL …

Copy your category link address ...

(Select and copy your category link address …)

Now, add the word “feed” to the end of it …

Feed format for post categories

(WP RSS feed format for post categories)

The category RSS feed now only displays content assigned to that particular category …

Category-specific feed page

(Category RSS 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 Your Own Feeds Directory

You can set up your own page of RSS feeds for subscribers that allows readers to subscribe only to specific content …

Provide A Feeds Directory

(Publish An RSS Feeds Page)

You can link a button icon to your category (or specific post) feeds and then create a table or a list of all your category feeds on a separate page …

RSS icon

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

If you need help with creating tables in WordPress posts and pages, go here:

WordPress RSS – Additional Notes

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

WordPress allows you to configure a number of feed types without messing with code. Here are some examples of custom feeds you can create …

WordPress RSS - Feed Types

(WordPress RSS – Custom Feeds)

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

  • Feed Type: All Posts
  • Description: Content feed – displays your latest posts
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/feed/
  • Feed Type: All Comments
  • Description: Comments feed – Includes the latest comments published on your website
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/comments/feed/
  • Feed Type: Individual Posts
  • Description: RSS feed for a post entry
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/title-of-blog-post/feed/
  • Feed Type: Individual Posts Comments
  • Description: Contains the latest comments made on a specific post
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/post-title/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Day – Includes the latest post entries in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2013/09/04/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Month – Displays the latest posts in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2016/04/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Year – RSS feed that displays the latest entries in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2010/feed/
  • Feed Type: Search Results
  • Description: Displays the latest items for a search query
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/search/term/feed/
  • Feed Type: Custom Post Type
  • Description: Includes latest posts for a custom type (e.g. book)
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/feed/?post_type=book

One last thing …

Remember to let users know that they can subscribe to your feeds. Make sure you place your ’subscribe to RSS’ button in a visible location …

Remember to make your RSS feeds visible your RSS feeds!

(Encourage your visitors to syndicate your feeds!)

Finally, keep in mind that online users will only want to syndicate your content if you provide your subscribers with very high-quality content that will add great value to their sites and benefit their users.

Easily add content to your site and get other sites to share your content online using RSS!

(Add someone else’s content and get other sites to syndicate your content with WordPress and RSS!)

Useful 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™‚

RSS – Resources:

  • Feed Graphics – Visit FeedIcons.com or search online (e.g. “free RSS icons”, “rss buttons”, etc.) for sites that allow you to download RSS graphics.
  • RSSBoard.org – The RSS Advisory Board provides useful information and resources about RSS.
  • Wikipedia.org/RSS – Learn more about using RSS feeds.
  • WordPress Codex – WordPress documentation and information. Visit this site for more information about WordPress RSS feeds.

WordPress And RSS

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

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 learn more about using WordPress for a business web site please click on links to visit other posts on this site.

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"Wow! I never knew there's so much to learn about WordPress! I bought one of the WordPress for Dummies three years ago, such authors need to be on this course!" - Rich Law, Create A Blog Now