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Ultimate Guide To WordPress RSS

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

The problem with providing this kind of information, however, is that it requires a huge amount of effort and expertise. You have to sort through, research, and organize a ton of data, check your sources for accuracy, write and edit content (or hire someone to do this for you), and then continually make sure that this information is 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 well beyond your control.

Fortunately, there is an easier way to keep your users up-to-date with your information.

It’s called RSS

(RSS is the easiest way to provide your site visitors with great information)

The Ultimate Guide To WordPress RSS

RSS – What Is It?

In this comprehensive article, we will show you where your RSS feed is located, how to syndicate your content online using RSS feeds, and how to add content from other websites and blogs to your site using RSS.

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) Feeds

Content syndication is a really powerful (and legitimate) way of sharing web content. RSS Feeds provide an easy way for web users to stay up-to-date with the latest information published on different websites.

First, let’s take a look at content syndication.

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

Content syndication allows leading news reporting agencies to deliver readers stories on all kinds of topics from around the planet without actually having to post additional content writers everywhere around the world …

(News publishing agencies use syndication to publish newsworthy items from news sources all around the planet.)

Syndication is a legitimate way of sharing newsworthy content with other sites. Global media publications syndicate news stories using feeds

(Content syndication is used by news reporting agencies to share content with other publications)

Most websites actually would like you to share their content. Content syndication not only allows information to be shared, but it can also drive visitors back to the original site that created and published the content being syndicated. This can be an effective way to generate web traffic.

Many online newspapers and major sites have 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”, “nz herald rss”, “sydney morning herald rss”, etc.) …

(Many content agencies and major online media publications have a feed section. Image Source: SMH )

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

(RSS feeds list. Image: nytimes.com)

These feeds give you access to information from different sections of the website (e.g. business news, entertainment news, science news, etc.)

An RSS list can also contain feed subcategories …

(RSS Feed section. Source: LA Times)

Note: A feed is only a URL. All that’s required to use the feed is to copy the URL and paste it into an application that can process 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 not only gives someone else’s site additional exposure online, it also helps your site by freeing you up from having to create this content …

(Syndicating Content - 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 RSS feed, this gives your business the opportunity to gain more exposure online and drive new visitors …

(Get visitors to syndicate your content … it will help increase your exposure online!)

WordPress Feed – Overview

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

Depending on your theme, there are a number of ways to get your RSS feed:

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

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

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

Post Excerpts can also affect how your feed content displays …

(Post excerpts can affect how feeds appear)

For a detailed step-by-step tutorial about 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 and paste it into 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 a ‘subscribe’ button or link …

(Search for an RSS feed section. 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 what the RSS feed contains by pasting the feed URL into an online feed reader …

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

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

How To Add A Feed To WordPress Sites

In the example below, we’ll add content from another site’s RSS feeds to yours.

How To Add Feeds To Your Sidebar

As mentioned earlier, no matter what industry you operate in, you can add to your site the latest updates from an industry-related government department or authoritative site in your industry simply by adding their RSS feed. You can use feeds to display a range of information on your WordPress site such as news, social media 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 an RSS feed to the WordPress sidebar navigation menu)

copy the feed URL from a site containing content that you want to display on your sidebar …

(Copy the URL of your feed to your clipboard)

Next, paste the feed into an RSS widget …

(Widgets Section – RSS Widget)

To learn more about using widgets, go here:

Load your website in your web browser. The content from the RSS feed should 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:

How To Add RSS Feeds To Posts

Can content from an RSS feed be added to WordPress posts? It sure can!

You can easily do this using WordPress plugins. Search inside the Plugins section (Plugins > Add New) for RSS Post, RSS feed to post, etc.

(’Add Plugins’ screen)

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

Here are a few plugins you can check out that allow you to add RSS feeds to your site:

WPeMatico

(WPeMatico Plugin For WordPress)

WPeMatico is an auto blogging plugin that lets you publish posts automatically from multiple 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 plugin for WordPress that offers premium add-ons for additional functionality.

For example, the Feed to Post extension is a feature-rich importer that lets you autoblog by importing RSS feeds directly into your posts.

For more details, go here:

RSS Post Importer

(RSS Post Importer – WordPress Plugin)

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

The plugin 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 WP Plugin)

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

The POWr RSS Feed plugin also lets you display videos, images, and articles, adjust feed size and spacing, use custom fonts, borders, colors, and more. It also has mobile-responsive design and supports text in any language.

The premium version 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 Plugin)

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

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

For more details, go here:

FeedWordPress

(FeedWordPress WP Plugin)

FeedWordPress provides simple and flexible Atom/RSS syndication options for WordPress site content.

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.

You can use this FeedWordPress to create aggregator site (sites that display content from different sources), or bring together all of your online activity into a Lifestream.

For more details, go here:

Autoblog by WPMUDev

(Autoblog by WPMUDev WordPress Plugin)

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

For more details, go here:

RSS Includes Pages

(RSS Includes Pages and Custom Post Types)

The RSS Includes Pages and Custom Post Types plugin modifies RSS feeds to include pages and not just posts.

For more details, go here:

Useful Tips

Tip #1 – Comment RSS Feeds

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

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

(Comments Feed)

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

(Comments feed items viewed using Firefox)

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

(RSS comments feed entries viewed on Google Chrome)

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

(Paste the URL of your comments feed into a feed reader to view the feed content. Source: 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 – Accessing Individual Item RSS Feeds

Being able to access an RSS feed for individual post items 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 using an RSS feed for a specific post is shown below:

(Single Post Feed)

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

(Single Post RSS Feed)

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

Tip #3 – Displaying Category RSS Feeds

Some your site users may only want to syndicate content from a specific category. They may not want to subscribe to all of your site’s content.

If your website contains content published under a number of categories, you can provide a separate feed for each post category.

All you have to do is use the format below:

(Feed format for post categories)

Copy the selected category link address to your clipboard …

(Copy the category URL …)

Add “feed” to the end of it …

(Feed format for category)

Your category RSS feed now only contains content assigned to this particular 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 – Publish Your Own RSS Feeds Page

You can publish a directory of feeds for your site visitors that allows readers to subscribe only to content in specific categories …

(Publish A Page Of RSS Feeds)

All you need to do is link a button graphic like the one shown below to the URL of your feed and then create a table or a list of your category feeds on a new page …

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

To learn more about creating tables in WordPress posts and pages, see this tutorial:

RSS Feeds – Notes

Feeds can be customized in various different ways, such as adding videos to feeds, ads, etc. Some of these customizations require editing code.

WordPress allows you to configure various feed formats that do not require touching code. Here are some examples of custom feed formats you can create …

(WordPress RSS – Feed Formats)

Below are the feed types, descriptions, and feed examples shown in the image above:

One last thing …

Remember to let your site users know that they can subscribe to your feeds. Place your subscribe link in a visible location …

(Remember to promote your feeds!)

Also, keep in mind that online users 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 users.

(Add great content to your site and get others to syndicate 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 🙂

Additional RSS Resources:

Congratulations! Now you know 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 their RSS feed.

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of problems that can affect your web site and how WordPress can help you build a better business online. To learn more about using WordPress for a business website or blog please click on links to visit other great articles and tutorials we have published on this site.

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