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 what industry you are in, you need to provide high-quality information on your site or blog that better educates, informs, and engages your visitors. For example, if you provide travel services, it’s a good idea to provide users with useful information from government and foreign travel departments, such as news and updates on travel warnings, advice from consular offices, etc.

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

Fortunately, there is a much simpler way to keep your site readers up-to-date with great information.

It’s called RSS

RSS is the simplest way to provide your readers with up-to-date information

(RSS is one of the easiest ways to provide your readers with the latest information)

The Ultimate Guide To WordPress RSS

RSS – What You Need To Know

  • RSS stands for RDF Site Summary, or, as is more commonly referred to, Really Simple Syndication. It it is also called a “feed” or “web feed”.
  • RSS allows content publishers to automatically syndicate their content so that users can read it without having to keep revisiting their site to check for updates.
  • RSS feeds are also used to publish frequently updated information, such as new blog posts, news headlines, audios, etc., which any user can choose to subscribe to.
  • Essentially, an RSS feed is an XML document that includes full or summarized text along with metadata like published date, feed author, etc. It allows people to subscribe to content on sites that publish feeds and then keep up with any updates posted on these websites through a feedreader. Conversely, RSS feeds also enable publishers to automatically syndicate their web content.
  • Feeds can be made available in different formats and read by different feedreaders. Some of these include RSS feeds, Atom feeds and RDF (Resource Description Framework) feeds. All of these formats, however, use a standard XML file format to ensure compatibility with different machines, feedreaders, and programs.
  • Many sites and software applications also allow you to combine many RSS feeds to aggregate news and updates sourced from different sites.

This guide shows you where your RSS feed is located, how to use your WordPress RSS feed to get your content syndicated online, and how to display someone else’s content on your site via RSS feeds.

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) Feeds

Content syndication is a really powerful and legitimate method used to share web content. Feeds provide online users with a way to keep up with the latest information posted on websites and blogs they are interested in.

First, let’s look at syndication.

Content publishing agencies rely on syndication to publish newsworthy content from other news agencies around the world.

Syndication allows news reporting agencies to deliver readers stories on all kinds of topics from around the globe without having to post additional news reporters and content writers everywhere around the world …

Online newspapers use syndication to publish content from other news agencies all around the planet.

(News reporting agencies and popular online media publications rely on content syndication to publish news and stories from other news agencies all around the globe.)

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

Syndication is a legitimate method of sharing newsworthy content

(Online newspapers syndicate information using news feeds)

Most websites actually want you to syndicate their content. Content syndication not only allows great information to be shared, but it can also send 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 sites include a feed section (look for menu links that say “RSS” or “Newsfeeds” in them, or just search for “name of site/keyword + rss” – e.g. “nytimes rss”, “international herald tribune rss”, “sydney morning herald rss”, etc.) …

Leading online newspapers contain a feed section

(Most news reporting agencies and major content sites have an RSS feed section. Image Source: smh.com.au )

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

RSS Feeds

(RSS feeds directory. Image: NY Times RSS)

Each of these RSS feed items allows readers to access information from different areas of the site (e.g. technology news, arts news, lifestyle magazine, etc.)

An RSS list can also contain subcategory feeds …

An RSS feed list can also include feed subdirectories.

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

Important

Note: A feed is only a URL. All you need to do to use RSS feeds is to copy the URLs and paste these into a program that can process the feed into something readable. We’ll cover this further below.

Using Feeds

Syndicating content from someone else’s site on your site has some obvious benefits. It helps someone else’s site and adds value to your site without you having to create the content …

Syndicating Content Benefits Someone Else's Business And Yours!

(The Benefits Of Syndicating Content)

While adding RSS 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 websites to syndicate your content.

When other sites syndicate your RSS feed, you have the opportunity to get increased exposure online and drive more web traffic …

It's a good idea to get users to syndicate your content ... it will help increase your exposure online!

(Get other websites and blogs to syndicate your content … it will help increase your exposure online!)

About Your WordPress RSS Feed

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

Depending on your WP theme, there are a number of ways to get your WordPress RSS feed:

1) If your theme allows the Meta widget to be displayed in a navigation menu, scroll down to the Meta section and click on Entries RSS

Access your WordPress RSS feed from the Entries RSS menu

(Access your WordPress RSS feed in the Meta section)

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

In the screenshot below, for example, a visitor can simply copy the feed URL by right-clicking and copying on the Subscribe to RSS link …

Copy RSS URLs to your clipboard from "subscribe" buttons

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

3) On some websites and again, depending on the WP theme you have installed, you can find the RSS feed displayed in a Subscribe, Share, or Link To Us toolbar …

Look for an RSS button in a a Follow, Social Share, or Links fixed, floating, or slide-out toolbar

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

4) You can also view your feed by simply typing your site’s URL into a web browser and adding “/feed” after the URL, e.g.:

  • http://www.yourdomain.com/feed
  • http://www.yourdomain.com/blog/feed (if your WP site installation is in a subfolder, e.g. “blog”)

Using any of the above methods will bring up your WordPress RSS feed page …

RSS feed content displayed using Firefox

(Feed entries displayed using a Firefox browser)

Note that your feed items will display differently depending on the web browser you are using …

RSS feed entries viewed using a Google Chrome web browser

(RSS feed content seen on Google Chrome)

Specify Number Of Items To Display On Your RSS Feed

Specify how many posts you want to show in your RSS page in the Reading Settings section. Enter the number of items to show in the “Syndication feeds show the most recent” field …

Settings - Reading Settings - Syndication items setting

(WordPress Reading Settings – Syndication feed items)

Your feed will show as many recent posts as you have specified section …

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

(Your feed page will show the number of 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 Reading Settings section that affects your RSS feed is whether to display each article in a feed as full text, or as a summary …

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

(WordPress Settings – Reading Settings – Display ‘Full Text’ or ‘Summary’ for each article in a RSS feed)

Idea

Post Excerpts can also affect how your feed content appears …

Post excerpts can affect how content in your feeds appear

(Post excerpts can affect how content in your feeds will display)

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

View The Content Of Your RSS Feeds

As mentioned previously, to view a feed’s content, you have to copy the feed’s URL to your clipboard and paste it into an application that reads and translates feeds into readable content.

Let’s see how this works.

First, find a website whose content you want to subscribe to and look for a ’subscribe to feed’ button or link …

Search for an RSS feed icon.

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

Next, copy the feed URL to your clipboard …

Copy your feed URL to your clipboard

(Copy the URL of your feed)

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

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

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

Like feedreaders, WordPress has the ability to process RSS feeds and convert these into human-readable content.

Adding Feeds To WordPress

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

How To Add An RSS Feed To Your Sidebar

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

(Add an RSS feed to your sidebar)

First, Find a website or blog that publishes content that you would like to add to your sidebar and copy its RSS feed URL to your clipboard …

Copy the feed URL

(Copy the feed URL to your clipboard)

Next, go to your Widgets screen and paste the feed into a new RSS widget …

RSS Widget

(Widgets Screen – RSS Widget)

To learn more about using sidebar widgets, go here:

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

RSS Feed Content Added To Sidebar Menu

(RSS Feed Added To 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 Content From RSS Feeds To Your WordPress Posts

Can you add content from an RSS feed to WordPress posts? You sure can!

You can do this using plugins. Just search on the WordPress plugin directory for RSS Post, RSS feed to post, etc.

'Add Plugins' section

(’Add Plugins’ section)

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

Here are a number of autoblogging tools that allow you to create posts with feeds:

WPeMatico

WPeMatico

(WPeMatico WP Plugin)

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

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

For more details, go here:

WP RSS Aggregator

WP RSS Aggregator WordPress Plugin

(WP RSS Aggregator Plugin For WordPress)

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

For example, the Feed to Post extension for the WP RSS Aggregator plugin is a popular, feature-rich importer that lets you import RSS feeds directly into posts.

For more details, go here:

RSS Post Importer

RSS Post Importer Plugin For WordPress

(RSS Post Importer WordPress Plugin)

RSS Post Importer allows you to syndicate, curate, import, 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 each feed item as a standalone post.

For more details, go here:

Powr RSS Feed

Powr RSS Feed WordPress Plugin

(Powr RSS Feed Plugin)

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

The POWr RSS plugin also lets you display images, videos, and articles, adjust the priority of different feeds, use custom colors, fonts, borders, and more. It is also mobile responsive and supports text in every language.

The premium version of this plugin contains many additional features.

For more details, go here:

WP Pipes

WP Pipes

(WP Pipes Plugin)

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

This plugin provides loads of powerful features 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 help take your WordPress CMS to a new level.

For more details, go here:

FeedWordPress

FeedWordPress Plugin For WordPress

(FeedWordPress Plugin For WordPress)

FeedWordPress is a versatile syndication plugin for WordPress.

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 of 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

Autoblog Plugin For WordPress

(Autoblog by WPMUDev)

Autoblog is an easy-to-use plugin that can be set-up very quickly, with no coding required and no complicated instructions. Simply copy and paste in your feed URL, give the feed a name of your choosing (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 Plugin For WordPress

(RSS Includes Pages WordPress Plugin)

By default, WordPress only includes posts in your RSS feed. Install RSS Includes Pages and Custom Post Types to include pages in your RSS feed in addition to posts.

For more details, go here:

Tip

WordPress RSS Feeds – Useful Tips

Tip #1 – WP Comment RSS Feeds

WordPress makes available RSS feeds of comments posted on your site in addition to making RSS feeds of your posts available.

To access these comments, locate the ‘Meta’ widget on your sidebar (note: your theme may not be configured to display this widget) and click on Comments RSS

Comments Feed

(WordPress Comments RSS)

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

Comments feed items viewed on Firefox

(RSS comments feed items as seen on Firefox)

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

RSS comments feed content seen on a Google Chrome web browser

(RSS comments feed content as seen using Google Chrome)

Again, you can check what the comments RSS feed contains by pasting the URL of the feed into a feedreader …

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

(Paste the comments feed URL into a feed reader to view the content. Image: 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 website or blog is located in a subfolder, e.g. “blog”)

Tip #2 – Accessing Feeds For Specific Post Items

Being able to use an RSS feed for individual 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 making an RSS feed for specific posts is shown below:

Feed For Single Post

(Feed For Single Post Item)

To create the above feed, copy the web address of your post, 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 for that post, not actual post content itself.

Tip #3 – Using Post Category Feeds

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

With WordPress, you can create category feeds.

Just use the format below:

Use this format for WP post categories RSS feed

(Use this format for WP post categories RSS feed)

Select and copy the category URL …

Copy your category URL ...

(Copy your category URL …)

Now, add “feed” to the end of it …

Format for WP category feed

(Format for WP category RSS feed)

Your RSS feed now only includes content posted for this category …

Category-specific RSS feed page

(Category 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 – Provide A List Of RSS Feeds

You can set up your own feeds directory that allows your readers to subscribe to specific content, just like the larger websites do …

Provide An RSS Feeds Page

(Create Your Own Directory Of RSS Feeds)

You can link an RSS image to a feed and then create a table or a list of your category feeds on a separate page …

RSS button

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

To learn more about creating tables in WordPress, go here:

WordPress RSS – Notes

You can customize RSS in a number of ways, such as adding images to feeds, ads, etc. Some of these customizations require editing code.

WordPress allows several feed configurations that do not require touching code. For example, the table below lists some of the kinds of feeds you can create …

WordPress RSS - Feed Formats

(WordPress RSS – Feed Types)

Below are the feed types, descriptions, and feed examples listed above:

  • Feed Type: All Posts
  • Description: Content feed – contains your latest entries
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/feed/
  • Feed Type: All Comments
  • Description: Comments feed – RSS feed displaying the latest comments posted on your site
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/comments/feed/
  • Feed Type: Individual Posts
  • Description: Feed for single post entries
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/blog-post-title/feed/
  • Feed Type: Individual Posts Comments
  • Description: Displays the latest comments made on an individual post entry
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/title-of-blog-post/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Day – Displays the latest posts in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2018/05/27/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Month – Includes the latest post entries in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2017/07/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Year – Feed containing latest posts in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2018/feed/
  • Feed Type: Search Results
  • Description: Contains the latest post entries for a search query
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/search/term/feed/
  • Feed Type: Custom Post Type
  • Description: Includes latest 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 promote your feed. Place your ’subscribe to RSS’ link in a visible location …

Encourage visitors to subscribe to your RSS feeds!

(Remember to promote your RSS feeds!)

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

Add content to your site and get others to subscribe to your content with RSS feeds!

(Easily add content from other sites and get other sites to syndicate your content using RSS feeds!)

Useful 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 RSS feed 🙂

RSS Resources:

  • Feed Images – Visit a site like Feedicons.com or search online (e.g. “free RSS icons”, “RSS logo”, etc.) for sites that allow you to download Free RSS graphics.
  • RSSBoard.org – The RSS Advisory Board is an independent organization responsible for publishing the RSS specification, providing guidance to developers who create RSS applications and furthering the understanding of RSS.
  • Wikipedia/RSS – General information about RSS feeds.
  • WordPress.org – WordPress software documentation and information site. Visit this site for more information about using feeds in WordPress.

Understanding Your WordPress 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 via their RSS feed.

Hopefully, now you have a better understanding of problems that can affect your website and how WordPress can help you improve your business online. To learn more about using the WP content management software please click on links to visit other great articles and tutorials on this site.

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"I am beyond impressed with what you have put together. I can tell that you put a ton of hard work into building what you have. You have the absolute best content on WordPress I have ever seen!" - Robert T. Jillie