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Ultimate Guide To WordPress RSS

No matter what service or product you sell or what industry your business belongs to, it’s vitally important to provide high-value information on your site or blog that better educates, informs, and engages your visitors. For example, if you provide health-related services, you may want to publish useful information from the health department, such as news or updates on medical research, health and fitness advice, etc.

The problem with creating this kind of information, however, is that it takes a lot of work and expertise. You have to do a lot of information sorting, 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 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 an easier way to keep your site visitors up-to-date with the latest information.

It’s called RSS

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

The Ultimate Guide To WordPress RSS

RSS – What Does It Mean?

This in-depth guide shows you where your RSS feed is located, how to syndicate your content online using feeds, and how to display content from other websites on 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 way to keep up with the latest information published on different websites and blogs.

First, let’s look at syndication.

News reporting agencies rely heavily on content syndication to publish newsworthy content from content sources all around the world.

Syndication allows most leading online newspapers to deliver readers stories on all kinds of topics from around the globe without having to send more news reporters and writers to every location around the world …

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

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

(Content syndication is a legitimate way of sharing information)

Most sites actually would like you to share 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 new ways to drive traffic back to their site.

Many digital content publishing agencies include an RSS feed section (look for links in the navigation menu that say “RSS” or “Newsfeeds” in them, or just search for “name of site/keyword + rss” – e.g. “nytimes rss”, “salt lake tribune rss”, “sydney morning herald rss”, etc.) …

(Major sites provide links to a feed section. Source: Sydney Morning Herald RSS )

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

(RSS Feeds. Image: nytimes.com)

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

Feed sections can also include further feed subcategories …

(RSS Feed section. Source: latimes.com)

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

Content Syndication – Benefits

Syndicating content from someone else’s site on your website has some obvious benefits. It helps someone else’s site and adds value to your site without you having to create this content …

(The Benefits Of Syndicating Content)

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 you also want other sites to syndicate YOUR content.

When other sites syndicate your content, this gives your business the opportunity to get more exposure online and drive new web traffic …

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

About Your WordPress Feed

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

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

1) If your theme allows the Meta widget to display in a standard or custom menu, just scroll down to the Meta section and click on Entries RSS

(Access your WordPress RSS feed in the Entries RSS menu)

2) You can also find links and 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 right-clicking and copying on the Subscribe to RSS link …

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

3) On some websites and again, depending on your theme, you can find the RSS feed displayed in a Links, Social Share, or Follow section …

(Look for an RSS button in a a Subscribe, Links, or Share toolbar)

4) You can also view your feed by 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 WordPress RSS …

(Feed entries seen on Firefox browser)

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

(RSS items as seen using a Google Chrome web browser)

Specify Number Of Items To Display On Your RSS Feed

To specify how many posts you want to display in your Feeds section, go to your Reading Settings section and enter the number of items to show in the “Syndication feeds show the most recent” field …

(WP Reading Settings – Syndication items)

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

(Your feed will display as many recent items you have specified in your WP Reading Settings section)

Display Full Text Or Summary Of Posts In Your RSS Feed

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

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

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

(Post excerpts affect how a feed will appear)

For a detailed tutorial on Post excerpts, go here:

View The Content Of Your RSS Feeds

As mentioned earlier, all you have to do to view a feed’s content is to copy the feed’s URL to your clipboard and paste it into a feedreader, i.e. an application that translates feeds into readable content for humans.

Let’s see how this works.

First, find a website or blog and search for a ’subscribe to feed’ button …

(Look for an RSS feed section. 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 RSS feed contains by pasting the feed URL into a feed reader …

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

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

How To Add Feeds To Your Site

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

Adding Feeds To Your WordPress Sidebar

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

Let’s add RSS content to your sidebar …

(Add an RSS feed to your sidebar)

First, Find a website or blog containing content that you want to display on your sidebar and copy the RSS feed URL …

(Copy the URL of your feed)

Next, go to Appearance > Widgets and paste the feed into a new RSS widget …

(WP RSS Widget)

To learn more about using sidebar widgets, go here:

Refresh your web browser. The content can now be seen on 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 Content From RSS Feeds To Your WordPress Posts

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

You can easily do this using plugins. Search inside the Plugins screen for RSS feed, RSS feed to post, etc.

(‘Add Plugins’ section – RSS plugins)

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

Here are some auto blogging plugins for WordPress that allow you to create new with RSS feeds:

WPeMatico

(WPeMatico WordPress Plugin)

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

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

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 that offers extended functionality with a number of premium extensions (add-ons).

For example, the Feed to Post add-on for the WP RSS Aggregator plugin allows you to add content to your site automatically by importing RSS feeds directly into your posts.

For more details, go here:

RSS Post Importer

(RSS Post Importer)

RSS Post Importer allows you to import, syndicate, curate, merge and display full-text RSS 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 separate post.

For more details, go here:

Powr RSS Feed

(Powr RSS Feed Plugin)

With the POWr RSS Feed plugin, you can automatically combine and display content from a number of different content using RSS feeds.

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

The premium edition of this plugin contains a number of additional features.

For more details, go here:

WP Pipes

(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 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 podcasts, create Google XML sitemaps, and more!

For more details, go here:

FeedWordPress

(FeedWordPress)

FeedWordPress provides flexible syndication options 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 display posts from multiple sources), or display all your online activity (e.g. from your blog, LinkedIn, YouTube, or other online services, into a Lifestream.

For more details, go here:

Autoblog

(Autoblog Plugin For WordPress)

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, give your feed a name (for admin purposes) and select the blog that you want it to post to.

For more details, go here:

RSS Includes Pages and Custom Post Types

(RSS Includes Pages Plugin)

The RSS Includes Pages plugin modifies RSS feeds to include pages in addition to posts.

For more details, go here:

WordPress 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 comments posted on your site.

To access the comments in your feed, go to the ‘Meta’ widget area on your sidebar menu (note: your theme may not be configured to display this widget) and click on Comments RSS

(WordPress Comments RSS)

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

(Comments feed entries as seen with Firefox)

Like post entries, your comments feed page will display differently depending on the web browser you are using …

(RSS comments feed entries viewed using Google Chrome)

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

(Paste the URL of your comments feed into a feedreader 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:

Tip #2 – Displaying Individual Item RSS Feeds

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

(Single Post Feed)

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

(Single Post Feed)

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

Tip #3 – Displaying Category Feeds

Some your site users may only want to subscribe to content about specific topics. They may not want to subscribe to your entire site’s feed.

If your website or blog contains content published under various categories, you can easily provide a separate feed for each post category.

All you need to do is use the format below:

(WordPress post categories RSS feed format)

Select and copy the category link address to your clipboard …

(Copy the category link address to your clipboard …)

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

(Use this format for WordPress category feed)

The feed will now only contain content specific to that 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 – Set Up Your Own Feeds Page

You can set up an RSS feeds page that allows readers to subscribe to content in specific categories …

(Provide Your Own Feeds List)

All you need to do is link an icon to the URL of your category feed and then create a table or a list of all category feeds on a separate page …

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

To learn more about adding tables to WordPress, see this step-by-step tutorial:

WordPress 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 several RSS feed configurations without code editing skills. For example, here are just some of the kinds of feeds you can create …

(Different Custom Feeds You Can Create With WordPress RSS)

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

One last thing …

It’s a good idea to promote your RSS feeds. Place your ’subscribe to RSS’ link or button somewhere visible …

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

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

(Add someone else’s content and get visitors to subscribe to your content with 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 RSS feed 🙂

RSS – Resources:

Congratulations! Now you know where to find your WordPress RSS feed, how to syndicate your content online using RSS, and how to display content from other websites on your site via RSS.

Hopefully, now you have a better understanding of problems that can affect your web site and how WordPress can help you build a better business online. To read more about the benefits of using WordPress please click on links to visit other great content we have published on this site.

***

"This is AMAZING! I had learnt about how to use WordPress previously, but this covers absolutely everything and more!! Incredible value! Thank you!" - Monique, Warrior Forum

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