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 RSS FeatureNo matter what product or service you sell, providing high-value information on your site or blog is important. For example, if you provide accounting services, it’s not a bad idea to publish information from the taxation office, such as news or updates on tax rulings, small business tax deductions, etc.

The problem with providing this type of information, however, is that it is very time-consuming. You have to do a lot of data gathering, researching and organizing, checking the accuracy of your sources, content writing and editing (or hire someone to do this for you), and then ensure that this information is continually kept 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 well beyond your control.

Thankfully, there is a simpler way to keep your readers up-to-date with your information.

It’s called RSS

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

(RSS - The simplest way to provide your site readers with the latest information)

The Ultimate Guide To WordPress RSS

RSS – An Overview

  • RSS, which, according to some stands for Rich Site Summary, is more commonly known now as Really Simple Syndication. It it is also called a “feed” or “news feed”.
  • RSS lets content publishers automatically syndicate their content to save readers time from having to keep revisiting sites to check for updates.
  • RSS feeds are typically used to publish frequently updated information, such as blog posts, news headlines, audios, etc., which any user can choose to subscribe to.
  • Essentially, an RSS feed is a structured XML (XML = Extensible Markup Language) document that includes full or summarized text along with other metadata like date of publishing, feed author, etc. It allows people to subscribe to content on sites that publish feeds and then view any updates posted on these sites using a feedreader. Conversely, RSS feeds also enable publishers to automatically syndicate content.
  • There are different kinds of feeds, read by different aggregators. Some of these include RSS feeds, Atom feeds and RDF (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 tools also let you combine several RSS feeds to receive news and updates from multiple sources.

This guide shows you how 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 via RSS feeds.

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) Feeds

Content syndication is a very powerful method used for sharing content online. Feeds provide web users with a way to keep up with the latest information published on sites they are interested in.

First, let’s take a look at syndication.

Media publications use syndication to publish newsworthy content from news agencies all around the world.

Content syndication allows leading online newspapers to deliver readers up-to-the-minute news headlines and newsworthy stories from all over the globe without having to post more staff everywhere in the world …

Global media publications rely on content syndication to publish newsworthy content from news sources around the world.

(Online newspapers rely heavily on syndication to publish stories from news sources all around the world.)

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

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

(Syndication is a legitimate method of sharing information)

Most websites actually want you to share their content. Content syndication not only allows information of great value to be shared, but it can also send visitors back to the site that originally created theoriginally created and published the content being syndicated. This can be an effective way to generate web traffic.

Many news reporting agencies and major sites will include a feed section (look for links in their navigation section that say ”RSS”, “Syndication”, or “Newsfeeds” in them, or just search for “name of site/keyword + rss” – e.g. “nytimes rss”, “salt lake tribune rss”, “sydney morning herald rss”, etc.) …

Most online newspapers and leading online media publications have a feed section

(Most online newspapers and major content sites contain an RSS feed section. Image: smh.com.au )

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

A site's directory of different RSS feeds

(RSS feeds section. Image: New York Times)

gives you access to information about different sections of the site (e.g. business news, travel news, lifestyle magazine, etc.)

An RSS feed list can also contain further subcategory feeds …

RSS Feed section.

(An RSS feed list can also contain subcategories. Source: LA Times)

Important Info

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

Syndicating Content – Benefits

Adding content from someone else’s website on your website has some obvious benefits. It not only helps someone else’s website, it also adds value to your site without you having to create this content …

Content Syndication Benefits Someone Else's Business And Yours!

(Syndicating Content Benefits Someone Else’s Website And Yours!)

While adding an RSS feed 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 RSS feed, this gives your business the opportunity to gain increased exposure online and drive more web traffic …

Look for ways to get other websites to syndicate your feed ... it will help drive more traffic to your site!

(Look for ways to get users to syndicate your content … it will help to increase traffic!)

WordPress Feed – Overview

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

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

1) If your theme has been configured to display the Meta widget on your sidebar …

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

(The feed will display 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 the Reading Settings section that affects your feeds is whether to display your posts as full text, or a summary …

WP Reading Settings - Show 'Full Text' or 'Summary' for posts in a feed

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


Post Excerpts can also affect how your feed content displays …

Post excerpts affect how a feed appears

(Post excerpts can affect how a feed displays)

We have created a detailed tutorial on Post excerpts here:

View The Content Of Your RSS Feeds

As mentioned earlier, all that’s required to view a feed’s content is to copy the feed’s URL to your clipboard and paste it into an application that can translate feeds into readable content.

Let’s see how this works.

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

Search for a 'subscribe to feed' link.

(Look for an RSS feed section. Image source: YourCoffeeGuru.com)

Next, copy the feed URL to your clipboard …

Copy the URL of your feed

(Copy the URL of your feed to the clipboard)

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

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

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

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

Adding Feeds To WordPress

Let’s show you how to add content from other website’s RSS feeds to your WordPress site.

How To Add A Feed To Your WordPress Sidebar

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

Add content from an RSS feed to the WordPress sidebar navigation menu

(Let’s add content from an RSS feed to your sidebar)

First, Go to a site that publishes content that you want to display on your site and copy its feed URL …

Copy the URL of your feed to your clipboard

(Copy the feed URL to your clipboard)

Next, paste the feed into an RSS widget …

WP RSS Widget

(RSS Widget)

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

Load your website in your web browser. The content should display on the sidebar (or wherever you have placed the RSS widget – e.g. custom menu) …

RSS Widget

(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 RSS Feed Content To Posts

What if you want to add content from an RSS feed to posts instead of your sidebar?

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

'Add Plugins' search results - WordPress RSS plugins

(RSS plugins for WordPress)

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

Here are a few autoblogging plugins for WordPress that let you automatically create new using feeds:


WPeMatico Plugin For WordPress


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

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

For more details, go here:

WP RSS Aggregator

WP RSS Aggregator

(WP RSS Aggregator WP Plugin)

WP RSS Aggregator is a comprehensive RSS feed importer and auto blogging WordPress plugin that offers additional functionality with a number of premium add-ons.

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

For more details, go here:

RSS Post Importer

RSS Post Importer Plugin For WordPress

(RSS Post Importer)

RSS Post Importer can be used to import, curate, syndicate, merge and display full text feeds on your WordPress blog.

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

For more details, go here:

Powr RSS Feed

Powr RSS Feed Plugin

(Powr RSS Feed Plugin For WordPress)

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

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

The premium version of POWr contains a number of additional features, such as the ability to display different feeds, manually accept or reject posts in your feed, and more.

For more details, go here:

WP Pipes

WP Pipes

(WP Pipes)

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

For more details, go here:


FeedWordPress - WordPress Plugin

(FeedWordPress WordPress Plugin)

FeedWordPress provides simple and flexible Atom/RSS syndication for WordPress.

As stated in the FeedWordPress website …

FeedWordPress is an open-source Atom/RSS aggregator for the WordPress blog publishing platform. You set up feeds that you choose, and FeedWordPress syndicates posts from those sources into your WordPress posts table, where they can be displayed by your WordPress templates like any other post — but with additional meta-data, so that your templates can properly attribute the post to the source it came from.

You can use this plugin to create aggregator sites, or bring together all of your online activity (e.g. from your blog, Facebook, YouTube, or other online services, in one place.

For more details, go here:

Autoblog by WPMUDev

Autoblog by WPMUDev

(Autoblog by WPMUDev)

Autoblog is an easy-to-use plugin that can be set-up in minutes, with no coding required and no complicated instructions. Just copy and paste in your feed URL, give the feed a name of your choosing (for admin purposes) and select the blog that you want it to post to.

For more details, go here:

RSS Includes Pages and Custom Post Types

RSS Includes Pages and Custom Post Types Plugin For WordPress

(RSS Includes Pages and Custom Post Types Plugin)

The RSS Includes Pages and Custom Post Types plugin lets you display pages in your RSS feed in addition to posts.

For more details, go here:


Useful Tips

Tip #1 – WP Comment RSS Feeds

In addition to giving online users access to RSS feeds of your posts, WordPress also displays RSS feeds of your latest post comments.

You can access your comments feed by clicking on Comments RSS in your ‘Meta’ section …

WordPress Comments RSS

(Comments Feed)

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

RSS comments feed content viewed on Firefox

(Comments feed items displayed on a Firefox browser)

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

Comments feed entries seen using Google Chrome

(Comments feed entries viewed on a Google Chrome browser)

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

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

(Paste your URL of your comments feed into a feedreader 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 WordPress installation is in a subfolder, e.g. “blog”)

Tip #2 – Creating RSS Feeds For Specific Post Items

Being able to create 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 specific posts is shown below:

Individual Post RSS Feed

(RSS Feed For Single Post)

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

Single Post RSS Feed

(Single Post Feed)

Note: By default, if you only append “/feed” to the end of the web address of your post, WordPress will return the comments associated with that post, not the content of the post itself.

Tip #3 – Using Category 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.

If you publish content under multiple categories, WordPress allows you to easily create a separate feed for each post category.

All you have to do is use the format below:

WordPress RSS feed format for category

(Use this format for WP category feed)

Copy the category URL to your clipboard …

Select and copy your category link address ...

(Copy your category link address …)

And append the word “feed” to the end of it …

WordPress post categories feed format

(RSS feed format for category)

The RSS feed now only includes content posted in this particular category …

Category-specific RSS feed page

(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 – Create A Directory Of Feeds For Visitors

You can provide a feeds directory that allows readers to subscribe only to content in the categories that interest them …

Publish A Page Of RSS Feeds

(Provide A Page Of RSS Feeds)

You can also link a button like the one shown below to each feed and then create a table or a list of your feeds on a new page …

RSS button

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

We have written a detailed tutorial about creating tables in WordPress posts here:

RSS – Notes

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

WordPress allows you to configure different feed types that do not require messing with code. Here are some examples of custom feeds you can use on your site and how to create the feeds …

Different Custom Feeds You Can Create Using WordPress RSS

(WordPress RSS – Feed Formats)

Here are the feed types, descriptions, and feed examples shown above:

  • Feed Type: All Posts
  • Description: Content feed – Feed that contains your latest post entries
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/feed/
  • Feed Type: All Comments
  • Description: Comments feed – RSS feed that displays the latest comments posted on your website
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/comments/feed/
  • Feed Type: Individual Posts
  • Description: Feed containing specific post entries
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/title-of-your-blog-post/feed/
  • Feed Type: Individual Posts Comments
  • Description: Includes the latest comments made on a post
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/post-title/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Day – Feed that includes the latest items in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2016/12/02/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Month – Contains latest post entries in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2010/08/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Year – Includes latest items in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2012/feed/
  • Feed Type: Search Results
  • Description: Displays latest entries for a search query
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/search/term/feed/
  • Feed Type: Custom Post Type
  • Description: Feed containing the latest post entries for a custom type (e.g. book)
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/feed/?post_type=book

One last thing …

Remember to promote your feeds. Place your subscribe links somewhere visible …

Remember to promote your feeds!

(Encourage visitors to syndicate your RSS feeds!)

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

Easily add someone else's content and get others to subscribe to your content using RSS feeds!

(Add someone else’s content and get others 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:

  • RSS Images – Visit FeedIcons.com or search online (e.g. “free rss icons”, “RSS images”, etc.) for sites that contain downloadable RSS graphic elements.
  • RSSBoard.org – The RSS Advisory Board Go here if you want to gain a better understanding of RSS.
  • Wikipedia/RSS – Learn more about the history and benefits of using RSS.
  • WordPress Codex: WordPress Feeds – WordPress software documentation. Go here for additional information about feeds in WordPress.

The Benefits Of Using RSS In WordPress

Congratulations! Now you know how to find your WordPress RSS feed, how to syndicate your content online using feeds, and how to add someone else’s content to your site using RSS feeds.

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of problems that can affect your website and how WordPress can help you get better results online. To learn more about using WordPress for a business website please see other great articles and tutorials we have published on this site.


"These tutorials have so much information and are easy to understand. If you use WordPress or plan to in the future these will help you with everything you need to know." - Valisa (Mesa, Arizona)