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Ultimate Guide To WordPress RSS

No matter what your business provides or what industry you are a part of, it’s important to provide high-quality information on your site or blog. For example, if your business provides insurance services, it’s not a bad idea to include the latest information from government departments, such as news and updates on statistical findings, insurance tips, etc.

The problem with providing this type of information, however, is that it is very time-consuming. You have to do a lot of information gathering, researching and organizing, fact-checking, content writing and editing (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 is not only a lot of work but most of the information you are dealing with is completely beyond your control.

Thankfully, there is an easier way to keep your site visitors up-to-date with the latest information.

It’s called RSS

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

The Ultimate Guide To WordPress RSS

What Does RSS Stand For?

In this detailed article, we will explain where your RSS feed is located, how to syndicate your content online using feeds, and how to add content from other sites to your site using their RSS feed.

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) Feeds

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

First, let’s look at content syndication.

Global media and online newspapers rely heavily on content syndication to publish news from content sources around the world.

Syndication allows most digital publishers to deliver readers interesting stories and up-to-the-minute newsworthy items from all over the globe without actually having to hire more news reporting departments in every place around the world …

(Digital publishing agencies and many influential online media publications rely heavily on syndication to publish newsworthy items from other news agencies around the world.)

Syndication is a legitimate method of sharing content with other sites. online media publications syndicate their stories using feeds

(Syndication is a legitimate method of sharing newsworthy content)

Most websites actually want you to share their content. Content syndication not only allows high-quality information to be shared, but it can also drive visitors back to the original site responsible for creating and publishing the content being syndicated. This provides websites with additional opportunities to generate new web visitors.

Major content sites include 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”, “calgary herald rss”, “sydney morning herald rss”, etc.) …

(Many online newspapers and major online media publications contain an RSS feed section. Source: Sydney Morning Herald RSS )

Clicking on a site’s RSS links section will bring up a directory of different RSS feed sections of the site …

(RSS feeds directory. Source: New York Times RSS)

Each of these feeds allows you to access different sections of the site (e.g. business news, entertainment news, health news, etc.)

An RSS feed directory can also include feed subdirectories …

(RSS Feed section. Source: latimes.com feeds)

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

RSS Feeds – Benefits

Adding content from someone else’s website on your site 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 that content …

(Content Syndication Benefits Someone Else’s Website And Yours!)

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 worth keeping in mind that you also want other websites to syndicate YOUR content.

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

(Get other website owners to syndicate your content … it will help increase your exposure online!)

WordPress RSS Feed – About

By default, WordPress automatically publishes a feed of all your posts, allowing others to syndicate your content on their sites.

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

1) If your theme displays the Meta widget in a standard or custom menu …

(The feed will show the number of posts as you have specified in the 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 posts as full text, or just a summary …

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

Post Excerpts can also affect how your feed content appears …

(Post excerpts affect how a feed appears)

If you need help 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 can read and translate feeds into readable content for humans.

Let’s see how this works.

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

(Search for a ’subscribe to feed’ link or icon. Image source: YourCoffeeGuru.com)

Next, copy the feed URL to your clipboard …

(Copy the URL of your feed)

If you want, you can check what the 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. Image: http://feedreader.com/online)

Like feedreaders, WordPress has the ability to process RSS feeds.

How To Add Feeds To WordPress Sites

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

Adding An RSS Feed To Your WordPress Sidebar

As mentioned earlier, no matter what industry you are part of, you can display on your site the latest news from an industry-related government department or authoritative site in your industry by simply importing content from their feed. You can use RSS 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 RSS content to the WordPress sidebar area …

(Add an RSS feed to the WordPress sidebar)

copy the RSS feed from a website or blog containing content that you want to display on your site to your clipboard …

(Copy the URL of your feed)

Next, go to your Widgets section and paste the feed into an RSS widget …

(WP RSS Widget)

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

Refresh your web browser. The content will now show in the sidebar …

(RSS Feed Content 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:

How To Add Content From RSS Feeds To WordPress Posts

Can content from an RSS feed be added to posts instead of your sidebar? It sure can!

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

(’Add Plugins’ section)

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

The plugins listed below can be used to feed content to posts, or “auto blog” (An auto blog is a blog with content that is automatically gathered and compiled from RSS feeds):

WPeMatico

(WPeMatico Plugin For WordPress)

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

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

For more details, go here:

WP RSS Aggregator

(WP RSS Aggregator)

WP RSS Aggregator is an RSS feed importer and autoblogging WordPress plugin with a number of premium add-ons for additional functionality.

For example, the Feed to Post extension for the WP RSS Aggregator plugin is a feature-filled importer that lets you 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 WP Plugin)

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

The plugin will fetch an RSS feed and publish the full content of every item in your feed as a separate post.

For more details, go here:

Powr RSS Feed

(Powr RSS Feed WP Plugin)

POWr RSS Feed allows you to automatically combine content from a number of different sources using RSS feeds.

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

The premium plugin version contains many additional features.

For more details, go here:

WP Pipes

(WP Pipes)

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, auto blogging, auto post to Twitter/LinkedIn/Facebook, export posts as podcasts, create Google XML sitemaps, and more!

For more details, go here:

FeedWordPress

(FeedWordPress WP Plugin)

FeedWordPress is a 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 site (sites that bring together content from many different sources), or display all your online activity (e.g. from your blog, LinkedIn, Flickr, or other online services, in one place.

For more details, go here:

Autoblog by WPMUDev

(Autoblog by WPMUDev WP Plugin)

Autoblog is an easy-to-use plugin that can be set-up very quickly, without coding skills or complicated instructions. Simply copy and paste in your feed URL, give the feed a name (for admin purposes) and select the blog to post content to.

For more details, go here:

RSS Includes Pages

(RSS Includes Pages and Custom Post Types WordPress Plugin)

By default, WordPress only includes posts in your RSS feed. Install the RSS Includes Pages plugin to include pages in your WordPress RSS feed and not just posts.

For more details, go here:

Useful Tips

Tip #1 – WordPress Comment RSS Feeds

In addition to displaying RSS feeds of your posts, WordPress also displays RSS feeds of the latest comments posted on your site.

You can view this by clicking on Comments RSS in the ‘Meta’ widget area of your sidebar …

(Comments RSS)

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

(Comments feed items seen using a Firefox web browser)

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

(Comments feed items displayed using a Google Chrome browser)

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 feed reader to view the feed 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 – Creating Feeds For Individual Items

Being able to display an RSS feed for specific 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 using an RSS feed for an individual post is shown below:

(RSS Feed For Single Post)

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 append “/feed” to the end of the post, WordPress will return the comments for your 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 your entire site’s feed.

If your site publishes content under different categories, WordPress allows you to easily create a separate RSS feed for each category.

Just use the format shown below:

(Feed format for category)

Select and copy the category URL …

(Copy your category link address …)

Append “feed” to the end of it …

(WP category feed format)

The RSS feed now only displays content specific to 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 – Set Up A Page Of Feeds For Your Visitors

You can publish a feeds list that allows your readers to subscribe only to specific content …

(Publish A Page Of RSS Feeds For Your Subscribers)

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

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

To learn more about inserting tables into WordPress pages and posts, refer to this step-by-step tutorial:

RSS – Notes

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

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

(Different Feed Formats You Can Create Using WordPress RSS)

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

One last thing …

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

(Promote your feeds!)

Finally, keep in mind that other website owners will only syndicate your content if your information is useful, educational, or highly entertaining. In other words, you need to provide high-quality information that can add great value to their sites and benefit their visitors.

(Easily add content to your site and get others to share your content online with RSS feeds!)

If you need help coming up with content ideas subscribe to our FREE content creation course using the form below:

Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our feed 🙂

Additional Resources:

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

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of problems that can affect your website and how WordPress can help you grow your business online. To read more about using WordPress for a business website please see other posts we have published on this site.

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"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)
For a white label version of this tutorial visit WPTrainingManual.com.