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 The WordPress RSS FeatureNo matter what what industry you belong to, it’s important to provide quality information on your site or blog that better educates, informs, and engages your readers. For example, if your business provides insurance-related services, it’s not a bad idea to include useful information from government departments, such as news and updates on statistical research, insurance tips, etc.

The problem with providing this type of information, however, is that it takes a huge amount of time and expertise. You have to filter 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 continually make sure that this information is 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.

Fortunately, there is a much simpler way to provide your site visitors with great information.

It’s called RSS

RSS is the easiest way to provide your users with the latest information

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

The Ultimate Guide To WordPress RSS

RSS – What You Need To Know

  • RSS is an acronym for RDF Site Summary, or, as is more commonly referred, Really Simple Syndication. It can also be referred to as a “feed” or “newsfeed”.
  • After a user subscribes to an RSS feed, they no longer have to physically visit and check the website for updated content. Instead, their browser constantly monitors the content and keeps subscribers up-to-date.
  • Feeds are often used to publish frequently updated information, such as new blog post items, news, audio playlists, etc., which users can then subscribe to.
  • Essentially, an RSS feed is a structured XML document that includes full or summarized text along with metadata such as date of publishing, author, etc. It allows people to subscribe to content on sites that publish feeds and then keep up with any updates posted on these sites using an RSS feed reader. Conversely, RSS feeds also enable publishers to automatically syndicate their web content.
  • There are different feed formats and these can be read by different feed aggregators. Some of these include RSS feeds, Atom (also called AtomPub or APP feeds and RDF feeds. All of these formats, however, use a standard XML file format to ensure compatibility with different machines and programs.
  • Many sites and software applications also allow you to combine several RSS feeds to receive news and updates sourced from various sites.

This article shows you 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 using RSS.

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) Feeds

Content syndication is a very powerful (and legitimate) way of sharing content online. RSS Feeds provide online users with a way to stay up-to-date with the latest information published on different websites and blogs.

First, let’s look at content syndication.

Many news publishers and popular online publications use syndication to publish stories from content sources all around the world.

Syndication allows online newspapers and leading online media publications to deliver readers global stories and up-to-the-minute newsworthy content from around the planet without having to post additional reporters to every place around the world …

Many digital news publishing agencies rely heavily on content syndication to publish stories from news sources all around the world.

(Many online newspapers rely on content syndication to publish newsworthy content from other news agencies around the globe.)

Syndication is used to share newsworthy content legitimately with other sites. Global media publications syndicate their stories using feeds

Online newspapers syndicate their content using feeds

(Content syndication is used by digital news publishing agencies to share newsworthy content with other publications)

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

Many online newspapers provide links to a feed section (look for links in the navigation menu that say ”RSS”, “Syndication”, or “Newsfeeds” in them, or just search for “name of site/keyword + rss” – e.g. “nytimes rss”, “la times rss”, “sydney morning herald rss”, etc.) …

Leading digital news publishing agencies provide links to an RSS feed section

(Most news reporting agencies and major sites contain an RSS feed section. Image Source: SMH RSS )

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

RSS feeds list

(RSS feeds list. Image: New York Times)

gives you access to content from different areas of the website (e.g. technology news, travel news, health news, etc.)

Feed sections can also contain further feed subdirectories …

Feed sections can also include feed subcategories.

(RSS Feed section. Source: latimes.com)

Important Info

Note: An RSS feed is just a URL. All you have to do to use the feed is copy the URL and paste it into software that can process the feed into something readable. We’ll cover this further below.

The Benefits Of Syndicating Content

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

Content Syndication Benefits Someone Else's Business And Yours!

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

While adding a feed 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 there are benefits in getting other websites to syndicate YOUR content.

When other websites syndicate your content, you have the opportunity to gain increased exposure online and drive new visitors …

Look for ways to get other sites to syndicate your feed ... it will help increase your exposure online!

(Get visitors to syndicate content using your feed … it will help increase your exposure online!)

WordPress RSS – About

WordPress automatically publishes a feed of your latest posts, allowing others to easily syndicate your content on their websites and blogs.

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

1) If your theme has been configured to display the Meta widget in your navigation menu …

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

(Your feed will display as many recent items you have specified in your 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 RSS feed is whether to display posts as full text, or as a summary …

Reading Settings - Display 'Full Text' or 'Summary' for articles in a feed

(WordPress Settings – Reading Settings – ’For each article in a feed show’: ‘Full text’ or ‘Summary’)


Post Excerpts can also affect how your feed content displays …

Post excerpts can affect how your feeds appear

(Post excerpts affect how your feed content appears)

To learn more about Post excerpts, refer to this step-by-step tutorial:

View The Content Of Your RSS Feeds

As mentioned earlier, to view a feed’s content, you need to copy the feed’s URL and paste it into an application that can translate feeds into readable content for humans.

Let’s show you how this works.

First, find a website whose content you want to syndicate and look for an RSS feed icon …

Look for an RSS feed link.

(Look for a ’subscribe to feed’ link. Image source: YourCoffeeGuru.com)

Next, copy the feed URL to your clipboard …

Copy your feed URL

(Copy your feed URL)

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

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

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

Like feedreaders, WordPress has the ability to process RSS/XML feeds.

Adding RSS Feeds To WordPress Sites

Let’s show you how to add content from other site’s RSS feeds to yours.

How To Add RSS Feeds To Your Sidebar

As mentioned earlier, no matter what industry your business is a part of, you can easily display on your site the latest news from an industry-related government department or authoritative site in your industry simply by adding content from their RSS 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 from an RSS feed to your sidebar …

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

(Add content from an RSS feed to the WordPress sidebar)

copy the feed URL from a site 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 to your clipboard)

Next, log into your wordPress Dashboard and go to Appearance > Widget paste the feed into an RSS widget …

RSS Widget

(Widgets Panel – RSS Widget)

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

Refresh your web browser. The content will now show on the sidebar (or wherever you have inserted the RSS widget) …

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 RSS Feeds To Your WordPress Posts

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

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

'Add Plugins' search results

(RSS plugins for WordPress)

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

Here are some plugins you can check out that let you add RSS feeds to your content:


WPeMatico - WordPress Plugin

(WPeMatico – WordPress Plugin)

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

You can manage all the feeds you import and arrange them into campaigns.

For more details, go here:

WP RSS Aggregator

WP RSS Aggregator Plugin For WordPress

(WP RSS Aggregator WordPress Plugin)

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

For example, the Feed to Post extension is an advanced importer that lets you add content to your site automatically by importing RSS feeds directly into WP posts or any other custom post type.

For more details, go here:

RSS Post Importer

RSS Post Importer Plugin For WordPress

(RSS Post Importer WP Plugin)

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

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

For more details, go here:

Powr RSS Feed

Powr RSS Feed - WordPress Plugin

(Powr RSS Feed WordPress Plugin)

POWr RSS allows you to automatically combine content from various sources using RSS feeds.

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

The premium version contains many additional features.

For more details, go here:

WP Pipes

WP Pipes Plugin

(WP Pipes Plugin For WordPress)

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

This plugin provides features like CSV importing for posts/WooCommerce, RSS feed creator, autoblogging, auto post to Facebook/LinkedIn/Twitter, export your posts as iTunes podcasts, create Google XML sitemaps, and help take your WordPress CMS to a new level.

For more details, go here:


FeedWordPress Plugin


FeedWordPress provides simple and flexible 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.

FeedWordPress can be used to create aggregator site (sites that bring together posts from different sources), or bring together all your online activity (e.g. from your blog, LinkedIn, Flickr, or other online services, in one place.

For more details, go here:


Autoblog WP Plugin

(Autoblog Plugin)

Autoblog is an easy-to-use plugin that can be set-up in minutes, without coding skills or complicated instructions. Just copy and paste in the URL of your feed, name your feed (for admin purposes) and select the blog to post content to.

For more details, go here:

RSS Includes Pages and Custom Post Types

RSS Includes Pages and Custom Post Types WordPress Plugin

(RSS Includes Pages and Custom Post Types)

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

For more details, go here:


WordPress RSS Feeds – Useful Tips

Tip #1 – Comment RSS Feeds

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

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

Comments RSS

(Comments RSS)

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

Comments feed entries viewed using a Firefox web browser

(Comments feed entries displayed using a Firefox web browser)

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

Comments feed items displayed using Google Chrome

(Comments feed items viewed with Google Chrome)

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

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

(Paste the feed URL into a feed reader to view the feed content. Image Source: http://feedreader.com/online)

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 site is located in a subdomain, e.g. “blog”)

Tip #2 – Displaying Feeds For Individual Posts

Being able to access an RSS feed for single post items can be useful. For example, you may want to add feeds from specific posts to RSS directories, 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 is shown below:

Specific Post RSS Feed

(Feed For Individual Post)

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 add “/feed” to the end of your post URL, WordPress will return the comments made on that post, not actual post content itself.

Tip #3 – Displaying Category Feeds

Some your site visitors may only want to subscribe to content from one or two categories. They may not want to subscribe to all of your site’s content.

With WordPress, you can create separate category feeds.

All you need to do is use the format below:

WordPress post categories RSS feed format

(Format for WP category feed)

Select and copy the category URL to your clipboard …

Copy your category URL ...

(Select and copy your category link address …)

And add “feed” to the end of it …

Format for WordPress category RSS feed

(Format for WordPress category feed)

Your feed will now only include content specific to that category …

Category-specific RSS feed

(Category-specific RSS 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 – Create Your Own Feeds List

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

Provide An RSS Feeds List

(Create Your Own List Of RSS Feeds)

Link an RSS graphic to the URL of your feed and then create a table or a list of your feeds on a new page …

RSS button image

(RSS button. Image: public-domain-photos.com)

If you need help with adding tables to WordPress content, go here:

RSS Feeds – Notes

RSS feeds can be customized in several different ways, such as adding images to feeds, ads, etc. Some of these feed customizations require editing code.

WordPress allows a number of feed configurations without editing code. Here are some examples of custom feeds you can create …

WordPress RSS - Custom Feeds

(WordPress RSS – Feed Formats)

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

  • Feed Type: All Posts
  • Description: Content feed – RSS feed that includes your latest entries
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/feed/
  • Feed Type: All Comments
  • Description: Comments feed – Includes the latest comments published on your site
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/comments/feed/
  • Feed Type: Individual Posts
  • Description: Feed containing a post
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/title-of-blog-post/feed/
  • Feed Type: Individual Posts Comments
  • Description: Contains the latest comments made on an individual post entry
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/title-of-your-blog-post/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Day – Contains latest posts in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2013/04/07/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Month – Displays the latest items in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2015/12/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Year – Feed that displays the latest entries in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2016/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 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 let your site visitors know that they can subscribe to your feeds. Make sure you place a ’subscribe to RSS’ button or link in a visible location …

Encourage your visitors to subscribe to your feeds!

(Remember to make your feeds visible your RSS feeds!)

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

Easily add content from other sites and get other users to subscribe to your content using RSS feeds!

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


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 🙂

RSS – Resources:

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

Overview Of WordPress RSS

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 via RSS feeds.

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of issues that can affect your web site and how WordPress can help you build a better business online. To learn more about the benefits of using the WP web content management software please see other posts on this site.


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