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Ultimate Guide To WordPress RSS

No matter what product or service you sell or what industry your business is a part of, you need to provide quality information to your site or blog visitors. For example, if you provide insurance-related services, it’s not a bad idea to provide users with information from government departments, such as news and updates on statistical findings, insurance advice, etc.

To create and publish this type of information, however, is really time-consuming. You have to do a ton of data gathering, researching and organizing, fact-checking, writing and editing content (or hire someone to do this for you), and then make sure that this information is continually kept up-to-date. As you can imagine, this is not only a lot of work but most of the information you are dealing with is completely beyond your control.

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

It’s called RSS

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

The Ultimate Guide To WordPress RSS

RSS – Basic Information

In this guide, we will explain where to find your WordPress RSS feed, how to syndicate your content online using feeds, and how to add content from other sites to your site via their RSS feed.

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) Feeds

Content syndication is a powerful (and legitimate) way to share web content. Feeds provide an easy way for web users to receive the latest information posted on sites and blogs they are interested in.

First, let’s look at how content syndication is used.

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

Content syndication allows leading online newspapers to deliver readers stories from all around the globe without actually having to send additional news writers everywhere around the world …

(Media publications rely heavily on syndication to publish newsworthy items from news sources around the world.)

Syndication is a legitimate method of sharing content with other sites. Online newspapers syndicate information using news feeds

(Content syndication is used by online newspapers to share information with other news publications)

Most sites actually want you to share their content. Syndicating content not only allows information of great value to be shared, but it also sends visitors back to the site that originally published the content being syndicated. This provides websites with additional opportunities to generate significant web visitors.

Most leading online media publications will contain a 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”, “calgary herald rss”, “sydney morning herald rss”, etc.) …

(Most online newspapers and major sites contain an RSS feed section. Image Source: SMH RSS )

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

(RSS Feeds. Image Source: nytimes.com RSS feeds)

Each of these RSS feeds allows readers to access information from different sections of the website (e.g. technology news, sports news, editorials, etc.)

Feed sections can also contain subcategory feeds …

(RSS Feed section. Source: Los Angeles Times)

Note: An RSS feed is only a URL. To use a feed, all that’s required is to copy the URL and paste it into an application that can translate the feed into something readable. We’ll cover this further below.

The Benefits Of Syndicating Content

Adding content from someone else’s site on your website has some obvious benefits. It gives someone else’s site additional exposure online and adds value to your site without you having to create that content …

(Using Feeds - Benefits)

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 a great idea to try and get other sites to syndicate your content.

When other websites and blogs syndicate your feed, this gives your business the opportunity to gain increased exposure online and drive more web traffic …

(Try to get users to syndicate your RSS feed … it will help increase your exposure online!)

WordPress Feed – About

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

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

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

(The feed will show as many recent items you have specified in the Reading Settings section)

Display Full Text Or Summary Of Posts In Your RSS Feed

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

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

Post Excerpts can also affect how your feed content appears …

(Post excerpts can affect how your feed content displays)

If you need help Post excerpts, go here:

View The Content Of Your RSS Feeds

As mentioned previously, to view the content of a feed, you need to copy the feed’s URL and paste it into a feedreader, i.e. an application that can translate feeds into readable content.

Let’s show you how this works.

First, find a website or blog and look for their RSS feed icon using any of the methods described earlier …

(Search for an RSS feed icon. Image source: http://www.yourcoffeeguru.com)

Next, copy the feed URL to your clipboard …

(Copy the URL of your feed)

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

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

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

How To Add RSS Feeds To Your WP Site

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

Adding Feeds To Your Sidebar

As mentioned earlier, no matter what industry you operate in, you can add to your site the latest content from an industry-related government department or authoritative site in your industry by simply 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 from an RSS feed to your sidebar …

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

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

(Copy your feed URL)

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

(RSS Widget)

To learn more about using sidebar widgets, go here:

Refresh your browser. The content from the RSS feed should now display in the sidebar …

(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)

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 Feed Content To Posts

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

You can easily do this using plugins. Just search inside your Plugins admin screen (Plugins > Add New) for RSS Aggregator, RSS feed to post, etc.

(‘Add Plugins’ screen – RSS plugins)

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

Here are a few auto blogging plugins that allow you to automatically add posts using feeds and imported content:

WPeMatico

(WPeMatico WordPress Plugin)

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

You can manage all the feeds you import and arrange them according to categories and campaigns.

For more details, go here:

WP RSS Aggregator

(WP RSS Aggregator WordPress Plugin)

WP RSS Aggregator is an RSS feed importer and autoblogging WordPress plugin with extended functionality with premium extensions (add-ons).

For example, the Feed to Post extension is a feature-rich importer that allows you to import RSS feeds directly into your WordPress posts.

For more details, go here:

RSS Post Importer

(RSS Post Importer)

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

RSS Post Importer will fetch an RSS feed and publish the full article content of every item in the feed as a standalone post.

For more details, go here:

Powr RSS Feed

(Powr RSS Feed – WordPress Plugin)

POWr RSS Feed combines and displays content from multiple RSS feeds.

This plugin also lets you display images, videos, and article content, adjust feed size and spacing, use custom colors, backgrounds, fonts, and more. It also has mobile-responsive design and supports text in any language.

The premium plugin edition contains many 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)

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

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

For more details, go here:

FeedWordPress

(FeedWordPress Plugin For WordPress)

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 — 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 combine and display posts from different sources), or bring together all your online activity (e.g. from your blog, Facebook, YouTube, or other online services, into a Lifestream.

For more details, go here:

Autoblog

(Autoblog by WPMUDev WP Plugin)

Autoblog is an easy-to-use plugin that can be set-up very quickly, 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.

For more details, go here:

RSS Includes Pages

(RSS Includes Pages Plugin)

By default, WordPress only posts posts in your RSS feed. Install RSS Includes Pages and Custom Post Types if you would like to include pages in your WordPress RSS feed and not just posts.

For more details, go here:

Useful Tips

Tip #1 – Comment RSS Feeds

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

To inspect this, locate the ‘Meta’ widget on your sidebar (note: this section may not be visible on some themes) and click on Comments RSS

(Comments RSS)

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

(RSS comments feed entries as seen on Firefox web browser)

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

(RSS comments feed entries as seen on Google Chrome web browser)

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

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

Tip #2 – Creating Specific Post RSS Feeds

Being able to create an RSS feed for a single post 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 individual post items is shown below:

(Individual Post Feed)

To create the above feed, copy the web address of your post, and add “/feed/?withoutcomments=1” to the end.

(Single Post Feed)

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

Tip #3 – Category RSS Feeds

Some your site visitors may only want to syndicate content from specific categories. They may not want to subscribe to your entire site’s feed.

With WordPress, you can create category feeds.

Just use the format shown below:

(WP post categories feed format)

Copy the selected category URL …

(Select and copy your category URL …)

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

(WordPress post categories feed format)

Your category feed will now only include content posted in that particular category …

(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. 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)

To find the post category ID, go to Posts > Categories …

(Posts > Categories menu)

Locate the post category you want and hover your mouse over the title to reveal its unique 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)

Copy and paste the feed into your browser and hit enter …

(Paste the feed into your browser)

This will display the feed for that specific 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)

Here is the feed format again …

(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)

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)

Now that you have a method for creating feeds for specific post categories (or tags, authors, etc.), you can even create a directory or list of individual feeds for visitors.

Tip #4 – Provide A List Of Feeds For Subscribers

You can publish your own RSS feeds directory that allows readers to subscribe only to content in the categories they are interested in, just like large authoritative sites …

(Provide Your Own RSS Feeds Directory)

Link an image to each category feed URL and then create a table or a list of all category feeds on a new page …

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

If you need help with adding tables to WordPress posts and pages, go here:

RSS – Additional Notes

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

WordPress allows various feed configurations that do not require editing code. Here are some examples of custom feeds you can use …

(Different Feed Formats You Can Create With WordPress RSS)

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

One more thing …

It’s a good idea to let users know that they can subscribe to your RSS feeds. Place your subscribe button somewhere visible …

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

Keep in mind that other website owners will only syndicate your content if you publish useful information. In other words, you must provide high-quality information that will add great value to their sites and benefit their users.

(Add great content to your site and get other users to subscribe to your content using WordPress and RSS!)

If you need help coming up with content ideas subscribe to our FREE content creation course using the form below:

Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our RSS feed 🙂

RSS – Additional Resources:

Congratulations! Now you know where your RSS feed is located, how to use your WordPress RSS feed to get your content syndicated online, and how to add content from other websites to your site using RSS feeds.

Hopefully, now you have a better understanding of issues that can affect your website and how WordPress can help you get better results online. To learn more about the benefits of using WordPress for a business website please see our related posts section.

***

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

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