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Ultimate Guide To WordPress RSS

No matter what what industry you are a part of, providing quality information to your blog visitors is vitally important. For example, if your business provides travel-related services, it’s not a bad idea to provide users with information from government and foreign travel-related departments, such as news or updates on travel warnings, tips from consulates, etc.

The problem with creating this type of information, however, is that it is very time-consuming. You have to sort through, gather, and organize a ton of information, check your sources for accuracy, write and edit 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 huge amount of work but most of the information you are dealing with is entirely beyond your control.

Thankfully, there is a much easier way to provide your readers with expert, up-to-date information.

It’s called RSS

(RSS - One of the easiest ways to provide your subscribers with the latest information)

The Ultimate Guide To WordPress RSS

What Is RSS?

This article explains where your RSS feed is located, how to syndicate your content online using feeds, and how to add someone else’s content to your site using RSS feeds.

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) Feeds

Content syndication is a very powerful and legitimate method used to share content online. RSS Feeds provide online users with a simple way to receive the latest information published on different sites.

First, let’s look at content syndication.

Online media publications use content syndication to publish news from content sources all around the world.

Content syndication allows most news reporting agencies to deliver readers stories on all kinds of topics as well as headlines from all around the planet without having to set up more writers in every location around the world …

(Most news reporting agencies use content syndication to publish newsworthy items from other news agencies all around the planet.)

Syndication is used to share content legitimately with other sites. online media publications syndicate news stories using feeds

(Content syndication is used by global media publications to share information with other publications)

Most sites actually would like you to syndicate their content. Content syndication not only allows high-quality information to be shared, but it also sends visitors back to the site that originally created theoriginally created and published the content being syndicated. This creates links that can drive traffic back to their site.

Many news reporting agencies and leading online media publications include an RSS feed section (look for menu links that say “RSS” or “Newsfeeds” in them, or just search for “name of site/keyword + rss” – e.g. “nytimes rss”, “texas tribune rss”, “sydney morning herald rss”, etc.) …

(Major sites contain a feed section. Image: Sydney Morning Herald )

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

(RSS feeds section. Image: NY Times)

Each of these feed items allows readers to access different areas of the site (e.g. business news, travel news, lifestyle magazine, etc.)

An RSS directory can also contain feed subdirectories …

(RSS Feed section. Image Source: LA Times)

Note: An RSS feed is just a URL. To use feeds, all you have to do is to copy the URLs and paste these into an application that can translate the feed code into something readable. We’ll cover this further below.

The Benefits Of Syndicating Content

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

(The Benefits Of Content Syndication)

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 a great idea to try and get other websites to use YOUR content.

When other websites syndicate content using your RSS feed, this gives you the opportunity to gain increased exposure online and drive new web traffic …

(Consider trying to get users to syndicate your RSS feed … it will help to increase your traffic!)

WordPress RSS 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 your WordPress site’s theme, there are a few ways to get your WordPress RSS feed:

1) If your theme allows the Meta widget to display as part of your navigation menu, you can scroll down to the Meta section and click on Entries RSS

(You can access your WordPress RSS feed in the Meta section)

2) You can also find built-in links and buttons on certain WordPress themes that allow your visitors to copy your RSS feed.

For example, in the screenshot below, a visitor can simply copy the feed URL by clicking on on the Subscribe to RSS link …

(Copy RSS URLs to your clipboard from “subscribe” buttons)

3) On some sites and again, depending on the WordPress theme you have installed, you can find the RSS feed displayed in a Share, Subscribe, or Link To Us toolbar section …

(Look for an RSS button in a a Social Share, Follow Us, or Links floating, fixed, or slide-out toolbar)

4) You can also view your RSS feed by simply typing your site’s URL into a web browser and adding “/feed” after the URL, e.g.:

Using any of the above methods will bring up a page containing your site’s feed …

(RSS items viewed using Firefox)

Note that your feed items will display differently depending on the browser you use …

(Feed items displayed on Google Chrome)

Specify Number Of Items To Display On Your RSS Feed

To specify how many entries you would like to show in your RSS Feed section, go to your Reading Settings section and enter the number of items to show in the “Syndication feeds show the most recent” field …

(Settings – Reading Settings – Syndication items setting)

The feed section will display as many recent items you have specified section …

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

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

Post Excerpts can also affect how your feed content appears …

(Post excerpts can affect how a feed appears)

For a detailed step-by-step tutorial on using WordPress Post excerpts, go here:

View The Content Of Your RSS Feeds

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

Let’s take a look at how this works.

First, find a website or blog and look for a ’subscribe to feed’ link …

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

Next, copy the feed URL to your clipboard …

(Copy the URL of your feed to the clipboard)

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

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

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

Adding A Feed To Your WP Site

Let’s show you how to add content from another website or blog to yours.

How To Add Feeds To Your Sidebar

As mentioned earlier, no matter what industry your business is in, you can display on your site the latest news from an industry-related government department or authoritative site in your industry simply by importing their feed. You can easily display a range of information on your WordPress site like news, social media updates, or content from thousands of sites using the WordPress RSS widget.

Let’s add RSS content to the WordPress sidebar navigation menu …

(Add an RSS feed to your sidebar)

copy the RSS feed from a website that publishes content that you want to display on your site …

(Copy the URL of your feed)

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 web browser. The content from the RSS feed can now be seen in the sidebar (or wherever you have inserted the RSS widget – e.g. custom menu, footer, etc) …

(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:

How To Add Feed Content To Posts

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

You can do this using plugins. Search inside your ’Add Plugins’ section (Plugins > Add New) for RSS, RSS feed to post, etc.

(RSS plugins)

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

Here are a few autoblogging plugins for WordPress that allow you to automatically create posts with feeds:

WPeMatico

(WPeMatico Plugin)

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

You can manage all the feeds you import and organize feeds according to categories.

For more details, go here:

WP RSS Aggregator

(WP RSS Aggregator Plugin)

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

For example, the Feed to Post extension for the WP RSS Aggregator plugin allows you to import RSS feeds directly into your WordPress posts.

For more details, go here:

RSS Post Importer

(RSS Post Importer WordPress Plugin)

RSS Post Importer lets you import, curate, syndicate, merge and display full text feeds (RSS, Atom, etc.) on your WordPress blog.

The plugin fetches an RSS feed and publishes the entire content of each item in the feed as a separate post.

For more details, go here:

Powr RSS Feed

(Powr RSS Feed WP Plugin)

POWr RSS Feed lets you combine and display content from multiple content using RSS feeds.

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

The premium plugin edition contains a number of additional features.

For more details, go here:

WP Pipes

(WP Pipes Plugin For WordPress)

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

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

For more details, go here:

FeedWordPress

(FeedWordPress Plugin)

FeedWordPress is a simple and flexible Atom/RSS 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 sites, or bring together all of your online activity (e.g. from your blog, Twitter, Flickr, or other online services, into a Lifestream.

For more details, go here:

Autoblog by WPMUDev

(Autoblog by WPMUDev)

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 the URL of your feed, give it a name of your choosing (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)

By default, WordPress only posts posts in your RSS feed. Use the RSS Includes Pages and Custom Post Types plugin to include pages in your RSS feed in addition to posts.

For more details, go here:

Using WordPress RSS – Useful Tips

Tip #1 – WordPress Comment RSS Feeds

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

You can inspect this feed by clicking on Comments RSS in your ‘Meta’ widget …

(Comments Feed)

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

(Comments feed items as seen on Firefox)

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

(Comments feed items as seen on Google Chrome)

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

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

Tip #2 – Single Post Item RSS Feeds

Being able to create an RSS feed for specific posts 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 creating an RSS feed for single post items is shown below:

(Specific Post RSS Feed)

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

(Single Post RSS Feed)

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

Tip #3 – Post Category Feeds

Some your site users may only be interested in subscribing to content from one or two categories. They may not want to subscribe to your entire site’s feed.

WordPress allows you to create category feeds.

Just use the format below:

(Use this format for WordPress category RSS feed)

Select and copy the category link address to your clipboard …

(Copy the category URL …)

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

(Use this format for WordPress post categories feed)

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

(Category 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. 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 – Publish Your Own Directory Of Feeds For Your Site Visitors

You can provide a feeds page that allows readers to subscribe to specific categories, just like the larger online publishers do …

(Publish An RSS Feeds Directory)

All you need to do is link an icon to your category (or single post) feed URLs and then create a table or a list of all feeds on a separate page …

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

If you need help with inserting tables into WordPress content, see this step-by-step tutorial:

RSS – Notes

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

WordPress allows various feed configurations without code editing skills. Here are some examples of feeds you can use and how to create your feeds …

(Different Feed Types You Can Create With WordPress RSS)

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

One last thing …

It’s a good idea to let your visitors know that they can subscribe to your RSS feed. Place your subscribe link or button in a visible location …

(Promote your RSS feeds!)

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

(Easily add great content to your site and get others to subscribe to your content with 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 RSS feed 🙂

Resources:

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 their RSS feed.

Hopefully, this information has given you a better understanding of issues that can affect your website and how WordPress can help you get better results online. To read more about using WordPress for a business website or blog please click on links to visit other posts on this site.

***

"This is an awesome training series. I have a pretty good understanding of WordPress already, but this is helping me to move somewhere from intermediate to advanced user!" - Kim Lednum

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