Ultimate Guide To WordPress RSS

Learn about the benefits of using RSS and how to access, format and use WordPress RSS feeds to import and syndicate your content …

Understanding The Benefits Of Using RSS Feeds In WordPressNo matter what your business provides or what industry you belong to, providing high-value information to your site visitors is important. For example, if you provide accounting services, it’s a good idea to provide users with the latest information from the taxation office, such as news or updates on tax rulings, small business tax deductions, etc.

The problem with creating this type of information, however, is that it involves a huge amount of effort and expertise. You have to sort through, gather, and organize a ton of data, check your facts, write and edit content (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 beyond your control.

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

It’s called RSS

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

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

The Ultimate Guide To WordPress RSS

RSS – What Is It?

  • RSS is short for RDF Site Summary, or, as is more commonly referred to, Really Simple Syndication. It is often called a “feed” or “newsfeed”.
  • RSS lets content publishers automatically syndicate their content to save users time from having to keep revisiting sites to check for updates.
  • RSS feeds are typically used to publish information that is frequently updated, such as blog entries, news, audio lists, etc., which any user can choose to subscribe to.
  • RSS feed content can be read with a software program called a feed reader, or aggregator. Aggregators can be used to access new content published on websites and syndicate this content (and any updates made to this content) to other sites.
  • There are different feed formats and these can be read by different aggregators. 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 allow you to combine different RSS feeds to aggregate news and updates from multiple sources.

This comprehensive guide explains where your RSS feed is located, how to use your WordPress RSS feed to get your content syndicated online, and how to add someone else’s content to your site via RSS feeds.

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) Feeds

Content syndication is a very powerful (and legitimate) way to share content online. RSS Feeds provide online users with an easy way to receive the latest information published on different websites and blogs.

First, let’s look at syndication.

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

Content syndication allows most online newspapers to deliver readers the most recent stories and news items from around the globe without actually having to hire additional news staff in every location around the world …

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

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

Syndication is a legitimate method of sharing content. Global media publications syndicate content using feeds

News publishing agencies syndicate news stories using news feeds

(Online newspapers syndicate their stories 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 original site responsible for creating and publishing the content being syndicated. This can be an effective way to generate web traffic.

Many content agencies and major sites provide links to an RSS feed section (look for links in the navigation menu that say “RSS” or “Newsfeeds” in them, or just search for “name of site/keyword + rss” – e.g. “nytimes rss”, “express tribune rss”, “sydney morning herald rss”, etc.) …

Most news reporting agencies and major content sites will include an RSS feed section

(Leading online newspapers contain an RSS feed section. Image: smh.com.au )

Clicking on a site’s RSS links section brings up a list of RSS feeds for different content topics on the site …

RSS feeds list

(RSS feeds section. Image: NY Times RSS)

These RSS feed items allow you to access information from different sections of the site (e.g. technology news, travel news, editorials, etc.)

Feed sections can also include further subcategories …

RSS Feed section.

(An RSS list can also include subcategories. Source: latimes.com feeds)

Info

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

Using Feeds – Benefits

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

Syndicating Content Benefits Someone Else's Business And Yours!

(The Benefits Of Content Syndication)

While adding feeds from another site is a great way to add content to your site that you don’t have to create, it’s a great idea to try and get 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 web traffic …

Look for ways to get users to syndicate content using your RSS feed ... it will help to increase your traffic!

(Get other sites to syndicate your feed … it will help to increase traffic!)

Your WordPress RSS Feed

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

Depending on your WordPress site’s theme, there are a number of ways to access your RSS feed:

1) If your theme displays the Meta widget on the sidebar or footer …

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

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

Display Full Text Or Summary Of Posts In Your RSS Feed

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

WordPress Reading Settings - Display 'Full Text' or 'Summary' for each article in your RSS feed

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

Idea

Post Excerpts can also affect how your feed content displays …

Post excerpts affect how your feed content displays

(Post excerpts can affect how a feed will appear)

If you need help using WordPress Post excerpts, go 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 an application that reads and translates feeds into readable content.

Let’s take a look at how this works.

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

Search for an RSS feed icon.

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

Next, copy the feed URL to your clipboard …

Copy the URL of your feed to the clipboard

(Copy the URL of your feed to your clipboard)

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

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

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

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

Adding RSS Feeds To Your WordPress Site

Let’s show you how to add content sourced from another website or blog to your site.

How To Add A Feed To Your WordPress Sidebar

As mentioned earlier, no matter what industry your business is in, you can add to your site the latest news and updates from an industry-related government department or authoritative site in your industry by simply adding 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 content from an RSS feed to the WordPress sidebar area …

Let's add an RSS feed to the WordPress sidebar area

(Add an RSS feed to your sidebar)

copy the feed URL from a website containing content that you want to add to your site …

Copy the URL of your feed to the clipboard

(Copy the URL of your feed)

Next, paste the feed into an RSS widget …

Widgets Screen - RSS Widget

(RSS Widget)

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

Load your site in your browser. The content will now display in your sidebar (or wherever the RSS widget has been added) …

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:

How To Add An RSS Feed To WordPress Posts

Can content from RSS feeds be added to a post instead of the sidebar? Yes, it can!

You can easily do this using plugins. Just search on WordPress.org plugin repository for RSS, RSS feed to post, etc.

WordPress RSS plugins

(WordPress RSS plugins)

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

Here are a few plugins you can check out that allow you to curate and add content from RSS feeds to your posts:

WPeMatico

WPeMatico - WordPress Plugin

(WPeMatico Plugin)

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

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

For more details, go here:

WP RSS Aggregator

WP RSS Aggregator - WordPress Plugin

(WP RSS Aggregator Plugin For WordPress)

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 for the WP RSS Aggregator plugin is a feature-rich importer that lets you 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 WP Plugin

(RSS Post Importer – WordPress Plugin)

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

The plugin fetches an RSS feed and publishes the entire content of every item in your feed as a standalone post.

For more details, go here:

Powr RSS Feed

Powr RSS Feed - WordPress Plugin

(Powr RSS Feed Plugin For WordPress)

With the POWr RSS Feed plugin, you can automatically combine and display content from various RSS feeds.

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

The premium version of this plugin contains a number of additional features, such as the ability to display different feeds, accept or reject posts, and more.

For more details, go here:

WP Pipes

WP Pipes - WordPress Plugin

(WP Pipes WordPress Plugin)

WP Pipes is a powerful data migration plugin that allows you to 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 WordPress posts as iTunes podcasts, create Google XML sitemaps, and more!

For more details, go here:

FeedWordPress

FeedWordPress WP Plugin

(FeedWordPress)

FeedWordPress provides versatile syndication options 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 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 bring together content from different sources), or bring together all of your online activity in one place.

For more details, go here:

Autoblog by WPMUDev

Autoblog by WPMUDev WordPress Plugin

(Autoblog by WPMUDev WP Plugin)

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, name your feed (for admin purposes) and select the blog to post content to.

For more details, go here:

RSS Includes Pages

RSS Includes Pages and Custom Post Types Plugin

(RSS Includes Pages and Custom Post Types WordPress Plugin)

By default, WordPress only includes posts in your RSS feed. Use RSS Includes Pages to include pages in your RSS feed and not just posts.

For more details, go here:

Important Info

WordPress RSS – Useful Tips

Tip #1 – Comment RSS Feeds

WordPress makes available RSS feeds of your latest post comments in addition to making RSS feeds of your latest posts available to online users.

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

Comments Feed

(WordPress Comments Feed)

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

RSS comments feed items displayed using Firefox

(RSS comments feed content displayed with Firefox)

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

Comments feed entries seen with a Google Chrome web browser

(RSS comments feed entries seen with a Google Chrome web browser)

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

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

(Paste the URL of your comments feed into a feedreader to view the 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 has been installed in a subfolder, e.g. “blog”)

Tip #2 – Accessing Single Post RSS Feeds

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

RSS Feed For Single Post Item

(Individual Post RSS Feed)

To create the above feed, copy the post address, and append “/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, WordPress will return the comments for that post, not actual post content itself.

Tip #3 – Post Category Feeds

Some your site users may only be interested in subscribing to content from specific categories. They may not want to subscribe to all of your site’s content.

WordPress allows you to create category feeds.

Just use the format below:

RSS feed format for category

(Use this format for WP post categories RSS feed)

Select and copy the category URL to your clipboard …

Copy the selected category link address ...

(Select and copy your category link address …)

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

WP category RSS feed format

(Format for WordPress category feed)

Your feed will now only display content posted for this particular category …

Category feed

(Category-specific RSS feed page)

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 – Set Up Your Own Feeds List

You can publish a page of RSS feeds for your visitors that allows readers to subscribe to specific content, just like large websites …

Create A List Of Feeds

(Publish Your Own List Of Feeds)

Link an icon to category feed URLs and then create a table or a list of all your category feeds on a new page …

RSS button image

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

To learn more about adding tables to WordPress pages and posts, go here:

WordPress RSS – Additional Notes

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

WordPress allows you to configure a number of feed formats that do not require touching code. For example, the table below shows some of the kinds of custom feeds you can display …

Different Feed Formats You Can Create Using WordPress RSS

(Different Custom Feeds You Can Create Using WordPress RSS)

For your convenience, here are the different feed types, descriptions, and feed examples listed in the image above:

  • Feed Type: All Posts
  • Description: Content feed – Includes your latest posts
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/feed/
  • Feed Type: All Comments
  • Description: Comments feed – Feed that includes the latest comments posted on your website or blog
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/comments/feed/
  • Feed Type: Individual Posts
  • Description: Feed for specific post entries
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/post-title/feed/
  • Feed Type: Individual Posts Comments
  • Description: Contains the latest comments made on a post
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/post-title/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Day – Contains latest post entries in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2016/12/24/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Month – Contains latest posts in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2011/07/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Year – Includes latest posts in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2018/feed/
  • Feed Type: Search Results
  • Description: Includes latest posts for a search query
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/search/term/feed/
  • Feed Type: Custom Post Type
  • Description: Includes latest post entries for a custom type (e.g. book)
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/feed/?post_type=book

One more thing …

It’s a good idea to promote your RSS feed. Make sure you place your ’subscribe to RSS’ link or button in a visible location …

Remember to promote your feeds!

(Promote your RSS feeds!)

Keep in mind that other sites will only syndicate your content if you provide great content. In other words, focus on providing your visitors with high-quality information that can add value to their sites and benefit their visitors.

Easily add content to your site and get other users to subscribe to your content online with RSS!

(Add someone else’s content and get visitors to subscribe to your content using RSS!)

Practical 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 RSS feed πŸ™‚

Additional RSS Resources:

  • RSS Graphics – Visit sites like Feedicons or search online (e.g. “free RSS icons”, “RSS buttons”, etc.) for sites containing downloadable Free RSS images and icons.
  • RSSBoard.org – The RSS Advisory Board is an independent organization with three primary duties: publishing the RSS specification, guiding developers who create RSS applications and helping to further the understanding of RSS.
  • Wikipedia/RSS – Learn more about using RSS feeds.
  • WordPress Codex – WordPress software documentation and reference. Visit this site for additional information about using WordPress RSS feeds.

WordPress RSS Feature

Congratulations! Now you know where to find your WordPress RSS feed, how to use your WordPress RSS feed to get your content syndicated online, and how to add someone else’s content to your site using their RSS feed.

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

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"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)