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Ultimate Guide To WordPress RSS

No matter what product or service you provide or what industry your business is in, providing high-quality information to your blog readers is essential. For example, if your business provides accounting services, it’s a good idea to include useful information from the taxation office, such as news or updates on tax rulings, small business tax deductions, etc.

To create and publish this type of information, however, is very time-consuming. You have to do a lot of information sorting, researching and organizing, checking the accuracy of your sources, content writing and editing (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 not only involves 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 regularly provide your users with up-to-date information.

It’s called RSS

(RSS is one of the simplest ways to provide your users with the latest information)

The Ultimate Guide To WordPress RSS

What Does RSS Stand For?

In this in-depth article, we will explain where your RSS feed is located, how to syndicate your content online using RSS feeds, and how to add content from other websites to your site via RSS feeds.

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) Feeds

Content syndication is a very powerful way to share content online. Feeds provide an easy way for online users to keep up with the latest information published on websites and blogs they are interested in.

First, let’s look at content syndication.

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

Content syndication allows news reporting agencies and highly-visited online media publications to deliver readers the latest news headlines and newsworthy stories from all around the globe without having to employ and set up additional news reporting and content writing staff in every place around the world …

(News reporting agencies use content syndication to publish newsworthy content from news sources around the world.)

Syndication is a legitimate method of sharing content. Global media publications syndicate their newsworthy content using feeds

(Online newspapers syndicate their content using news feeds)

Most sites actually want you to syndicate their content. Content syndication not only allows information to be shared, but it also sends visitors back to the original site that created and published the content being syndicated. This provides websites with additional opportunities to generate new web visitors.

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

(Most digital content publishers and leading online media publications have a feed section. Source: Sydney Morning Herald )

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

(RSS feeds section. Image: NY Times)

These feed items allow readers to access information from different areas of the website (e.g. technology news, sports news, science news, etc.)

A feed directory can also contain subcategories …

(RSS Feed section. Image: latimes.com)

Note: An RSS feed is only a URL. All you need to do to use RSS feeds is copy the URLs and paste these into an application that can process the feed code into something readable. We’ll cover this further below.

Using Feeds

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

(The Benefits Of Using RSS Feeds)

While adding RSS feeds 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 use your content.

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

(Get visitors to syndicate content using your RSS feed … it will help to increase your traffic!)

About Your WordPress RSS Feed

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

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

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

(Meta widget)

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

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

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

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

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

4) You can also view your feed by typing your site’s URL into a 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 …

(Feed items seen with a Firefox browser)

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

(Feed entries displayed on a Chrome browser)

Specify Number Of Items To Display On Your RSS Feed

You can specify how many entries you would like to show in your RSS Feed page, by going to your Reading Settings section and selecting the number of items to show in the “Syndication feeds show the most recent” field …

(Reading Settings – Syndication feed items setting)

The feed will display the number of posts as you have specified section …

(Your feed page will display the number of items you have specified in the WordPress 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 feeds is whether to display your posts as full text, or just as a summary …

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

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

(Post excerpts can affect how feeds appear)

If you need help using WordPress Post excerpts, see this tutorial:

View The Content Of Your RSS Feeds

As mentioned previously, all that’s required to view the content of an RSS feed is to copy the feed’s URL to your clipboard and paste it into a feedreader, i.e. an application that can translate feeds into readable content for humans.

Let’s see how this works.

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

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

Next, copy the feed URL to your clipboard …

(Copy the feed URL to the clipboard)

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

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

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

How To Add Feeds To Your WordPress Site

Let’s show you how to add content sourced from another site to your WordPress site.

How To Add A Feed To Your Sidebar

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

Let’s add content sourced from an RSS feed to the WordPress sidebar navigation menu …

(Add content from an RSS feed to your sidebar)

copy the feed URL from a website that publishes content that you would like to display on your sidebar to your clipboard …

(Copy the feed URL to the clipboard)

Next, go to your WordPress Dashboard > Appearance > Widgets and paste the feed into an RSS widget …

(Widgets Panel – RSS Widget)

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

Refresh your browser. The content should display in your sidebar (or wherever the RSS widget has been added) …

(RSS Feed Added To WordPress Sidebar)

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 Posts

Can you add content from an RSS feed to WordPress posts instead of your sidebar? Yes, you can!

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

(’Add Plugins’ search results)

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

The plugins below are useful if you would like to add feed content to posts, or “auto blog” (An autoblog is a blog with content that is automatically gathered and compiled from RSS feeds):

WPeMatico

(WPeMatico)

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

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

For more details, go here:

WP RSS Aggregator

(WP RSS Aggregator WP Plugin)

WP RSS Aggregator is a comprehensive RSS feed importer and auto blogging plugin for WordPress that offers extended functionality with a number of premium add-ons.

For example, the Feed to Post extension for the WP RSS Aggregator plugin is a feature-filled importer that allows you to import RSS feeds directly into posts.

For more details, go here:

RSS Post Importer

(RSS Post Importer Plugin)

RSS Post Importer allows you to syndicate, import, curate, merge and display full text feeds on your WordPress blog.

The plugin will fetch an RSS feed and publish the entire content of each item in the feed as a standalone post.

For more details, go here:

Powr RSS Feed

(Powr RSS Feed)

POWr RSS allows you to combine content from multiple RSS feeds.

The plugin also lets you display videos, images, and articles, adjust sizing and spacing of feeds, use custom colors, borders, fonts, and more. It also displays feeds correctly on any phone, tablet, or computer and supports text in every language.

The premium edition of POWr contains many 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 – WordPress Plugin)

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

This plugin provides functionality like CSV importing for posts/WooCommerce, RSS feed creator, auto blogging, auto post to LinkedIn/Facebook/Twitter, export your posts as podcasts, create Google XML sitemaps, and more!

For more details, go here:

FeedWordPress

(FeedWordPress – WordPress Plugin)

FeedWordPress is a flexible Atom/RSS syndication plugin for WordPress.

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.

You can use this plugin to create aggregator site (sites that display posts from multiple sources), or display all of your online activity into a Lifestream.

For more details, go here:

Autoblog by WPMUDev

(Autoblog – WordPress 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 the URL of your feed, name your feed (for admin purposes) and select a blog that you want it to post to.

For more details, go here:

RSS Includes Pages

(RSS Includes Pages and Custom Post Types – WordPress Plugin)

RSS Includes Pages modifies RSS feeds to include pages and not just posts.

For more details, go here:

Using RSS Feeds – Useful Tips

Tip #1 – Comment RSS Feeds

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

To see these, go to the ‘Meta’ widget area on your sidebar menu (note: this section may not be visible on some themes) and click on Comments RSS

(Comments RSS)

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

(Comments feed entries displayed with Firefox)

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

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

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

(Paste your comments feed URL into a feed reader to view the feed content. Image 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 – Specific Item RSS Feeds

Being able to create an RSS feed for single posts can be useful. For example, you may want to add feeds from specific items to RSS directories, or you may have created a valuable resource that other online users will want to syndicate.

The formula for displaying an RSS feed for a single post is shown below:

(Feed For Single Post Item)

To create the above feed, copy the URL 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 web address of your post, WordPress will return the comments made on your post, not actual content of the post itself.

Tip #3 – Displaying Post Category RSS Feeds

Some your site visitors may only be interested in subscribing to content about certain categories. They may not want to subscribe to all of your site’s content.

With WordPress, you can create separate category feeds.

Just use the format below:

(Format for WP category feed)

Select and copy the category URL …

(Copy your category link address …)

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

(WordPress post categories feed format)

The feed will now only display content posted under this particular category …

(Category-specific 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 – Publish Your Own RSS Feeds List

You can create your own directory of RSS feeds for visitors that allows your readers to subscribe to content in the categories they are interested in, just like the larger authoritative sites do …

(Publish An RSS Feeds Directory)

You can link an icon like the one shown below to category (or specific post) feed URLs and then create a table or a list of your feeds on a separate page …

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

We have created a detailed tutorial on adding tables to WordPress posts and pages here:

RSS – Notes

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

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

(WordPress RSS – Feed Types)

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

One last thing …

Remember to let your users know that they can subscribe to your feed. Make sure you place a ’subscribe to RSS’ link somewhere visible …

(Promote your RSS feeds!)

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

(Easily add content to your site and get other sites to syndicate 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 feed 🙂

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 display someone else’s content on your site using RSS.

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

***

"These tutorials have so much information and are easy to understand. If you use WordPress or plan to in the future these will help you with everything you need to know." - Valisa (Mesa, Arizona)

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