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Ultimate Guide To WordPress RSS

No matter what product or service you provide, you need to provide high-value information on your site or blog. For example, if your business provides travel services, it’s not a bad idea to provide users with information from government departments and foreign travel offices, such as news and updates on travel warnings, tips from consulates, etc.

The problem with creating this type of information, however, is that it is really time-consuming. You have to sift 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 ensure that this information is continually 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 entirely beyond your control.

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

It’s called RSS

(RSS - One of the easiest ways to provide your users with up-to-date information)

The Ultimate Guide To WordPress RSS

What You Need To Know About RSS

This detailed 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 display someone else’s content on your site via RSS feeds.

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) Feeds

Content syndication is a really powerful and legitimate method used for sharing content online. Feeds provide online users with a way to receive the latest information published on different websites.

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

Online media publications rely heavily on content syndication to publish news from content sources around the world.

Content syndication allows leading online newspapers to deliver readers stories on all kinds of topics from around the globe without actually having to set up additional staff in every place around the world …

(Global media publications use syndication to publish newsworthy stories from other news agencies all around the planet.)

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

(News reporting agencies syndicate stories using news feeds)

Most sites actually would like you to syndicate their information. Syndicating content not only allows information of great value to be shared, but it also drives visitors back to the site that originally created theoriginally created and published the content being syndicated. This provides websites with additional opportunities to generate significant web traffic.

Leading online newspapers have 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”, “daily telegraph rss”, “sydney morning herald rss”, etc.) …

(Most leading online media publications have an RSS feed section. Image Source: smh.com.au )

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

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

Each of these RSS feeds allows you to access different areas of the site (e.g. business news, arts news, editorials, etc.)

An RSS directory can also include further subcategory feeds …

(Feed sections can also include subcategories. Image Source: latimes.com)

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

The Benefits Of Syndicating Content

Syndicating someone else’s content on your website has some obvious benefits. It not only gives someone else’s site additional exposure online, it also helps you by freeing you up from having to create this content …

(Using RSS Feeds - Benefits)

While adding a feed from another site is a great way to add content to your site without having to create it, it’s a great idea to try and get other sites to use your content.

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

(Look for ways to get visitors to syndicate your RSS feed … it will help to increase traffic!)

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 your theme, there are a few ways to get your RSS feed:

1) If your theme allows the Meta widget to be displayed in a navigation menu, just scroll down to the Meta section and click on Entries RSS

(Access your WordPress RSS feed from the Meta section)

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

In the screenshot below, for example, a visitor can copy the feed URL by clicking on on the Subscribe to RSS link …

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

3) On many sites and again, depending on your WordPress theme, you can find the RSS feed displayed in a Follow Us, Share, or Link To Us fixed, floating, or slide-out toolbar …

(Look for an RSS button in a a Link To Us, Social Share, or Subscribe toolbar)

4) You can also view your WordPress site’s 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 your RSS feed page …

(RSS feed content displayed using Firefox)

Note that your feed page will display differently depending on which browser you are using …

(RSS feed content displayed on Google Chrome)

Specify Number Of Items To Display On Your RSS Feed

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

(Reading Settings – Syndication items)

The feed will display as many recent posts as you have specified in the WP Reading Settings section …

(The feed will show 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 your WordPress Reading Settings section that affects your RSS feed is whether to display each article in a feed as full text, or just as a summary …

(WordPress Settings – Reading Settings – Display ‘Full Text’ or ‘Summary’ for articles in your RSS feed)

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

(Post excerpts affect how content in your feeds appear)

We have written a detailed tutorial about Post excerpts here:

View The Content Of Your RSS Feeds

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

Let’s show you how this works.

First, find a website or blog and search for an RSS feed button using any of the methods described earlier …

(Search for a ‘subscribe’ button. Image source: YourCoffeeGuru.com)

Next, copy the feed URL to your clipboard …

(Copy the feed URL)

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

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

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

Adding RSS Feeds To Your WordPress Site

In the example below, we are going to add RSS content from another website or blog to your WordPress site.

How To Add A Feed To Your Sidebar

As mentioned earlier, no matter what industry you operate in, you could easily 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 RSS feed. You can easily 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 RSS content to the WordPress sidebar area …

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

First, find a site that publishes content that you want to add to your sidebar and copy its RSS feed …

(Copy your feed URL)

Next, go to your Widgets area and paste the feed into a new RSS widget …

(Widgets Panel – RSS Widget)

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

Refresh your web browser. The content should appear 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 A Feed To Your Posts

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

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

(RSS plugins for WordPress)

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

Here are a few autoblogging tools that allow you to automatically add posts using RSS feeds:

WPeMatico

(WPeMatico Plugin For WordPress)

WPeMatico is an autoblogging plugin that allows you to publish posts automatically from RSS/Atom feeds that you select.

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

For more details, go here:

WP RSS Aggregator

(WP RSS Aggregator Plugin For WordPress)

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

For example, the Feed to Post add-on is a feature-filled importer that lets you import RSS feeds directly into your WordPress posts or any other custom post type.

For more details, go here:

RSS Post Importer

(RSS Post Importer – WordPress Plugin)

The RSS Post Importer plugin lets you syndicate, curate, import, merge and display full-text feeds on your WordPress blog.

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

For more details, go here:

Powr RSS Feed

(Powr RSS Feed WP Plugin)

With POWr RSS Feed, you can combine and display content from various sources using RSS feeds.

The plugin also lets you display images, videos, and article content, adjust feed priority, use custom colors, fonts, borders, and more. It is also mobile responsive and supports text in any language.

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

For more details, go here:

WP Pipes

(WP Pipes)

WP Pipes 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, autoblogging, auto post to LinkedIn/Facebook/Twitter, export posts as iTunes podcasts, create Google XML sitemaps, and more!

For more details, go here:

FeedWordPress

(FeedWordPress)

FeedWordPress is a simple and flexible Atom/RSS syndication plugin for WordPress-generated content.

As stated in the FeedWordPress site …

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 content from many different sources), or display all of your online activity (e.g. from your blog, LinkedIn, Flickr, or other online services, into a Lifestream.

For more details, go here:

Autoblog

(Autoblog by WPMUDev WordPress Plugin)

Autoblog is an easy-to-use plugin that can be set-up in minutes, with no coding required and no complicated instructions. Simply copy and paste in the URL of your feed, give your feed a name (for admin purposes) and select a blog to post content to.

For more details, go here:

RSS Includes Pages

(RSS Includes Pages)

RSS Includes Pages lets you display pages in your RSS feed in addition to posts.

For more details, go here:

Using RSS – Useful Tips

Tip #1 – WP Comment RSS Feeds

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

You can see the comments in your feed by clicking on Comments RSS in your ‘Meta’ section …

(WordPress Comments Feed)

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

(Comments feed entries displayed with Firefox)

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

(RSS comments feed content seen on Google Chrome)

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

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

Tip #2 – Creating RSS Feeds For Specific Post Items

Being able to display an RSS feed for a specific 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 accessing an RSS feed for individual posts is shown below:

(Feed For Individual Post Item)

To create the above feed, copy the URL of your post, and add “/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 left on that post, not actual post content itself.

Tip #3 – Category Feeds

Some your site visitors may only be interested in syndicating content about specific topics. They may not want to subscribe to all of your site’s content.

WordPress allows you to create category feeds.

All you have to do is use the format shown below:

(Use this format for WordPress post categories RSS feed)

Select and copy the category URL …

(Copy the selected category link address to your clipboard …)

And add “feed” to the end of it …

(RSS feed format for category)

The category RSS feed now only includes content posted for that category …

(Category-specific 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 – Create Your Own RSS Feeds Page

You can publish an RSS feeds list that allows readers to subscribe only to specific categories, just like the larger online publishers do …

(Set Up Your Own Feeds Directory)

You can also link a button image to each category feed URL and then create a table or a list of your feeds on a new page …

(RSS icon. 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 content, go here:

RSS Feeds – Notes

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

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

(WordPress RSS – Feed Types)

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

One last thing …

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

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

Keep in mind that online users will only want to subscribe to your content if you provide your subscribers with very high-quality information that can add value to their sites and benefit their users.

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

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 🙂

Resources:

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

Hopefully, this post has given you a better understanding of issues that can affect your website and how WordPress can help you build a better business online. To learn more about using the WP platform please see our related posts section.

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