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.

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A Beginner's Guide To Using WordPress RSSNo matter what service or product your business sells, providing quality information to your blog visitors is vitally important. For example, if your business provides travel services, it’s not a bad idea to publish information from government and foreign travel-related departments, such as news or updates on travel warnings, advice from embassies, etc.

To create and publish this type of information, however, is very time-consuming. You have to do a ton of information gathering, researching and organizing, checking your sources for accuracy, writing and editing content (or hire someone to do this for you), and then continually ensure that this information is kept up-to-date. As you can imagine, this not only involves a huge amount of work but most of the information you are dealing with is entirely beyond your control.

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

It’s called RSS

RSS is one of the easiest ways to provide your site visitors with the latest information

(RSS - The simplest way to provide your subscribers with up-to-date information)

What You Need To Know About RSS

  • RSS is an acronym for RDF Site Summary, or, as is more commonly referred to, Really Simple Syndication. It is often called a “feed” or “newsfeed”.
  • Once users subscribe to a website’s feed, they no longer have to physically visit and check the source website for content updates. Instead, their web browser will constantly monitor the content and keep feed subscribers updated.
  • RSS feeds are typically used to publish information that is frequently updated, such as new blog post items, news headlines, videos, etc., to which any user can then subscribe.
  • Essentially, an RSS feed is a structured XML (XML = Extensible Markup Language) document that includes either full or summarized text along with other metadata such as date of publishing, author, etc. It allows people to subscribe to content on websites and blogs that publish feeds and then browse updates posted on these websites using an RSS feed reader. Conversely, RSS feeds also enable publishers to automatically syndicate information.
  • Feeds can be made available in different formats and read by different feed aggregators. 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 that feeds are compatible with different machines and programs.
  • Many sites and software applications also let you combine several RSS feeds to receive news and updates sourced from various sites.

This comprehensive article 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 display someone else’s content on your site via RSS.

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) Feeds

Content syndication is a really powerful and legitimate way of sharing web content. Feeds provide an easy way for web users to keep up with the latest information posted on sites and blogs they are interested in.

First, let’s take a look at syndication.

Media publications rely on syndication to publish newsworthy content from content sources around the world.

Syndication allows news reporting agencies to deliver readers up-to-the-minute news headlines and fresh stories from all over the globe without actually having to post more staff to every location in the world …

Most digital agencies rely heavily on content syndication to publish stories from other news agencies around the world.

(Most news reporting agencies rely on syndication to publish content from news sources all around the world.)

Syndication is used to share content legitimately. online media publications syndicate information using feeds

Syndication is a legitimate method of sharing content

(Online newspapers syndicate stories using news feeds)

Most sites actually would like you to syndicate their content. Syndicating content not only allows great information 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 creates new ways to drive traffic back to their site.

Most leading online media publications provide links to an RSS feed section (look for navigation links that say “RSS” or “Newsfeeds” in them, or just search for “name of site/keyword + rss” – e.g. “nytimes rss”, “telegraph rss”, “sydney morning herald rss”, etc.) …

Major sites provide links to an RSS feed section

(Many news agencies and major sites will include an RSS feed section. Image Source: Sydney Morning Herald )

Clicking on a site’s RSS links section will bring up a directory of different RSS feeds …

RSS feeds directory

(RSS directory. Source: nytimes.com RSS feeds)

gives readers access to content from different areas of the site (e.g. technology news, travel news, editorials, etc.)

A feed directory can also contain further subcategories …

RSS Feed section.

(Feed sections can also include feed subdirectories. Source: latimes.com)

Important Info

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

Syndicating Content – Benefits

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

Content Syndication Benefits Someone Else's Website And Yours!

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

While adding a 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 there are benefits in getting other sites to use your content.

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

Get other sites to syndicate your feed ... it will help to increase your exposure online!

(Get users to syndicate your content … it will help increase your exposure online!)

WordPress Feed

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

Depending on the theme you have installed, there are a few ways to get your RSS feed:

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

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

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

Another setting in your Reading Settings section that affects your feeds is whether to display each article in a feed as full text, or a summary …

WordPress Reading Settings - Show 'Full Text' or 'Summary' for posts in your RSS feed

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

Tip

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

Post excerpts can affect how your feed content will display

(Post excerpts affect how your feeds will appear)

To learn more about WordPress Post excerpts, go here: Using Excerpts In WordPress Posts

As mentioned earlier, to view a feed’s content, you need 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 or blog and look for an RSS feed button using any of the methods described earlier …

Search for a 'subscribe' icon.

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

Next, copy the feed URL to your clipboard …

Copy the URL of your feed

(Copy your feed URL to your clipboard)

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

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

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

Like feed readers, WordPress also has the ability to process RSS/XML feeds.

How To Add Feeds To Your Site

In the example below, we are going to add content sourced from another website or blog to yours.

Adding A Feed To Your Sidebar

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

Let’s add RSS content to the WordPress sidebar …

Add content from an RSS feed to your sidebar

(Add an RSS feed to the WordPress sidebar area)

First, go to a site that publishes content that you want to display on your site and copy its RSS feed to your clipboard …

Copy the URL of your feed

(Copy the URL of your feed to your clipboard)

Next, paste the feed into a new RSS widget …

RSS Widget

(Widgets Panel – RSS Widget)

To learn more about adding content to sidebars using widgets, go here: How To Add And Configure Widgets In WordPress

Load your website in your browser. The content will now appear in your sidebar …

RSS Feed Added To WordPress Sidebar Menu

(RSS Feed Content Added To Sidebar Menu)

How To Add Feed Content To Posts

Can you add content from RSS feeds to WordPress posts instead of a sidebar? You sure can!

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

'Add Plugins' search results - RSS plugins

(‘Add Plugins’ search results – RSS plugins for WordPress)

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

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

WPeMatico

WPeMatico - WordPress Plugin

(WPeMatico)

WPeMatico is an auto blogging plugin that lets you publish posts automatically from RSS/Atom feeds that you choose.

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

More info: WPeMatico WP Plugin

WP RSS Aggregator

WP RSS Aggregator Plugin

(WP RSS Aggregator – WordPress Plugin)

WP RSS Aggregator is a comprehensive RSS feed importer and autoblogging WordPress plugin with a number of premium add-ons for additional functionality.

For example, the Feed to Post extension for the WP RSS Aggregator plugin is a feature-filled importer that lets you add content to your site automatically by importing RSS feeds directly into posts.

To learn more about using this plugin, go here: WP RSS Aggregator – WordPress Plugin

RSS Post Importer

RSS Post Importer

(RSS Post Importer Plugin)

RSS Post Importer can be used to curate, import, syndicate, merge and display full text feeds (RSS, Atom, etc.) on your WordPress website or blog.

RSS Post Importer fetches an RSS feed and publishes the entire content of each item in your feed as a standalone post.

More info: RSS Post Importer WordPress Plugin

Powr RSS Feed

Powr RSS Feed Plugin

(Powr RSS Feed)

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

This plugin also lets you display images, videos, and article content, adjust feed size and spacing, use custom colors, fonts, backgrounds, and more. It also displays feeds correctly on all phones, computers, and tablets and supports text in all languages.

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

More information: Powr RSS Feed WP Plugin

WP Pipes

WP Pipes Plugin For WordPress

(WP Pipes Plugin)

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

Go here for more details: WP Pipes Plugin

FeedWordPress

FeedWordPress

(FeedWordPress Plugin)

FeedWordPress is a simple and flexible syndication plugin 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 display content from different sources), or display all your online activity into a Lifestream.

For more details, go here: FeedWordPress

Autoblog

Autoblog WordPress Plugin

(Autoblog by WPMUDev – WordPress 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 your feed URL, name your feed (for admin purposes) and select the blog to post content to.

More info: Autoblog – WordPress Plugin

RSS Includes Pages

RSS Includes Pages

(RSS Includes Pages and Custom Post Types Plugin)

Use a plugin like RSS Includes Pages and Custom Post Types to include pages in your RSS feed in addition to posts (by default WordPress only includes posts in your RSS feed).

For more details, go here: RSS Includes Pages

Important

Using WordPress RSS – Useful Tips

Tip #1 – Comment RSS Feeds

WordPress displays RSS feeds of comments posted on your site in addition to giving online users access to feeds of your posts.

You can inspect these comments by clicking on Comments RSS in your ‘Meta’ section (note: this section may not be visible on some themes) …

WordPress Comments RSS

(Comments Feed)

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

Comments feed entries displayed on Firefox

(Comments feed entries as seen with a Firefox web browser)

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

RSS comments feed content seen with a Google Chrome browser

(RSS comments feed content as seen with a Google Chrome browser)

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

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

(Paste the URL of your comments feed 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 WP installation is in a subdomain, e.g. “blog”)

Tip #2 – Using Feeds For Individual Items

Being able to use an RSS feed for specific post items 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.

Essentially, the formula for making an RSS feed for single posts is shown below:

Feed For Specific Post Item

(Individual Post Feed)

To create the above feed, copy the URI 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 a post, WordPress will return the comments left on your post, not actual post content itself.

Tip #3 – Category Feeds

Some your site users may only want to syndicate content about certain categories. They may not want to subscribe to your entire site’s feed.

If your website displays content published under several categories, you can provide a separate RSS feed for each different category.

Just use the format shown below:

WordPress post categories RSS feed format

(RSS feed format for category)

Select and copy the category URL …

Copy the category link address ...

(Copy the selected category URL to your clipboard …)

Add the word “feed” to the end of it …

WP category feed format

(WP post categories RSS feed format)

Your category feed will now only contain content specific to that particular category …

Category RSS feed

(Category-specific RSS feed page)

Tip #4 – Create An RSS Feeds List

You can set up a page of feeds that allows your readers to subscribe to content in specific categories …

Provide Your Own Page Of RSS Feeds For Visitors

(Provide Your Own Page Of RSS Feeds For Subscribers)

You can also link a button graphic to your category feed URLs and then create a table or a list of all your category feeds on a separate page …

RSS image

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

We have written a detailed tutorial about adding tables to WordPress pages and posts here: How To Insert Tables Into Your Content Easily With WordPress

RSS – Notes

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

WordPress allows you to configure different feed types without code editing skills. Here are some examples of feed types you can create …

Different Feed Types You Can Create Using WordPress RSS

(WordPress RSS – Custom Feeds)

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

  • Feed Type: All Posts
  • Description: Content feed – RSS feed that contains your latest posts
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/feed/
  • Feed Type: All Comments
  • Description: Comments feed – Displays the latest comments published on your site
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/comments/feed/
  • Feed Type: Individual Posts
  • Description: RSS feed containing individual post entries
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/post-title/feed/
  • Feed Type: Individual Posts Comments
  • Description: RSS Feed for the latest comments made on individual items
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/post-title/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Day – Displays latest items in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2017/11/20/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Month – Contains the latest post entries in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2012/11/feed/
  • Feed Type: Archives
  • Description: Year – Contains the latest posts in each archive
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/2018/feed/
  • Feed Type: Search Results
  • Description: Displays the latest posts for a search query
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/search/term/feed/
  • Feed Type: Custom Post Type
  • Description: Includes the latest posts for a custom type (e.g. book)
  • Example Feed: http://yourdomain.com/feed/?post_type=book

One more thing …

Remember to promote your feeds. Place a ’subscribe to RSS’ button in a visible location …

Remember to promote your feeds!

(Encourage your visitors to subscribe to your feeds!)

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

Easily add content to your site and get other users to syndicate your content using RSS!

(Add great content from other sites and get other users to share your content with RSS feeds!)

Practical 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 RSS feed 🙂

RSS Resources:

  • RSS Feed Images – Visit FeedIcons or search online (e.g. “free RSS icons”, “RSS logo”, etc.) for sites containing downloadable RSS icons.
  • RSSBoard.org – The RSS Advisory Board Go here to learn more about RSS.
  • Wikipedia/RSS – General information about using RSS.
  • WordPress.org/RSS Feeds – WordPress documentation site. Go here for additional information about using RSS feeds in WordPress.

Your WordPress RSS

Congratulations! Now you know where your RSS feed is located, how to syndicate your content online using RSS feeds, and how to display content from other sites on your site via RSS.

Hopefully, this article has given you a better understanding of problems that can affect your website and how WordPress can help you build a better business online. To learn more about the benefits of using WordPress please see other great articles and tutorials we have published on this site.

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

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