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Ultimate Guide To WordPress RSS

No matter what what industry you belong to, providing high-value information to your blog visitors is important. For example, if your business provides medical services, it’s a good idea to include the latest information from the health department, such as news or updates on medical research, health and fitness advice, etc.

To create and publish this kind of information, however, is really time-consuming. You have to do a ton of data sifting, 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 not only involves a huge amount of work but most of the information you are dealing with is well beyond your control.

Thankfully, there is a simpler way to provide your users with great information.

It’s called RSS

(RSS is one of the easiest ways to provide your readers with great information)

The Ultimate Guide To WordPress RSS

RSS – What Is It?

In this comprehensive article, we explain where your RSS feed is located, how to syndicate your content online using RSS, and how to display content from other sites on your site via RSS.

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) Feeds

Content syndication is a very powerful way of sharing content online. Feeds provide a simple way for web users to keep up with the latest information published on different sites.

First, let’s take a look at syndication.

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

Content syndication allows most leading online newspapers to deliver readers stories from all over the globe without having to set up more news reporting agencies in every place around the world …

(Global media publications rely on syndication to publish news and stories from other news agencies around the world.)

Syndication is used to share newsworthy content legitimately with other sites. Online newspapers syndicate information using feeds

(Content syndication is a legitimate way of sharing newsworthy content)

Most websites actually would like you to syndicate their content. Syndicating content not only allows information of great value to be shared, but it can also drive visitors back to the original site that created and published the content being syndicated. This creates links that can drive traffic back to their site.

Most online newspapers and leading online media publications contain a feed section (look for menu 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.) …

(Leading digital publishers contain a feed section. Source: SMH )

Clicking on a site’s RSS links section brings up a directory of different RSS feeds …

(RSS feeds directory. Image: nytimes.com)

gives you access to content from different areas of the website (e.g. business news, entertainment news, jobs, etc.)

Feed sections can also contain feed subcategories …

(RSS Feed section. Image Source: LA Times RSS)

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

RSS Feeds – Benefits

Adding someone else’s content to your site has some obvious benefits. It not only gives additional exposure online to someone else’s site, it also adds value to your site without you having to create this content …

(Syndicating Content Benefits Someone Else’s Business And Yours!)

While adding an RSS 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 websites to use your content.

When other websites and blogs syndicate content using your RSS feed, you have the opportunity to get increased exposure online and drive new visitors …

(Get other website owners to syndicate your content … it will help drive more traffic to your site!)

WordPress RSS

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

Depending on the theme you have installed, 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

(WordPress Meta section)

2) You can also find links and buttons on certain themes that let your visitors copy your RSS feed.

For example, in the screenshot below, a visitor can simply 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 sites and again, depending on the theme you have installed, you can find the RSS feed displayed in a Link To Us, Subscribe, or Share section …

(Look for an RSS button in a a Subscribe, Link To Us, or Share floating, slide-out, or fixed 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 your WordPress RSS feed page …

(RSS feed content viewed on a Firefox browser)

Note that your feed content will display differently depending on the browser you use …

(RSS entries displayed using Google Chrome)

Specify Number Of Items To Display On Your RSS Feed

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

(WordPress Reading Settings – Syndication feeds)

The feed page will show the number of items you have specified section …

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

Display Full Text Or Summary Of Posts In Your RSS Feed

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

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

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

(Post excerpts can affect how content in your feeds display)

We have created a detailed tutorial about Post excerpts here:

View The Content Of Your RSS Feeds

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

Let’s take a look at how this works.

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

(Search for an RSS feed 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 the feed content by pasting the URL of the feed into a feed reader …

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

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

Adding An RSS Feed To Your WP Site

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

How To Add Feeds To Your Sidebar

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

Let’s add content sourced from an RSS feed to your sidebar …

(Let’s add content from an RSS feed to the WordPress sidebar navigation menu)

copy the RSS feed URL from a website containing content that you would like to add to your sidebar to your clipboard …

(Copy the URL of your feed to the clipboard)

Next, log into your wordPress Dashboard and go to Appearance > Widget paste the feed into a new RSS widget …

(WordPress RSS Widget)

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

Refresh your web browser. The content from the RSS feed should display in the sidebar (or wherever the RSS widget has been added – e.g. custom menu) …

(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 Content From RSS Feeds To WordPress Posts

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

You can do this using plugins. Search inside your Plugins admin screen (Plugins > Add New) for RSS Post, RSS feed to post, etc.

(‘Add Plugins’ search results – RSS plugins for WordPress)

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

Here are a few autoblogging tools that allow you to create posts with feeds:

WPeMatico

(WPeMatico Plugin)

WPeMatico is an auto blogging plugin that lets you publish posts automatically from multiple RSS/Atom feeds.

You can manage all the feeds you import and arrange them according to 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 autoblogging plugin for WordPress with extended functionality with premium extensions (add-ons).

For example, the Feed to Post add-on is an advanced importer that lets you import RSS feeds directly into WP posts or any other custom post type.

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 blog.

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

For more details, go here:

Powr RSS Feed

(Powr RSS Feed Plugin For WordPress)

POWr RSS Feed lets you automatically combine and display content from a number of different RSS feeds.

The POWr RSS plugin also lets you display videos, images, and article content, adjust feed priority, use custom backgrounds, fonts, colors, and more. It also displays feeds correctly on all tablets, phones, and computers 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 WordPress Plugin)

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

This plugin provides features like CSV importing for posts/WooCommerce, RSS feed creator, auto blogging, auto post to Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn, export posts as iTunes podcasts, create Google XML sitemaps, and help take your WordPress CMS to a new level.

For more details, go here:

FeedWordPress

(FeedWordPress Plugin For WordPress)

FeedWordPress provides 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 combine and display content from different sources), or display all your online activity (e.g. from your blog, Facebook, YouTube, or other online services, in one place.

For more details, go here:

Autoblog by WPMUDev

(Autoblog by WPMUDev Plugin)

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

For more details, go here:

RSS Includes Pages and Custom Post Types

(RSS Includes Pages and Custom Post Types Plugin)

Use RSS Includes Pages to include pages in your RSS feed in addition to posts (by default WordPress only includes posts in your RSS feed).

For more details, go here:

Using WordPress RSS Feeds – Useful Tips

Tip #1 – Comment RSS Feeds

In addition to displaying feeds of your posts, WordPress also displays RSS feeds of your post comments.

To view these, go to the ‘Meta’ section on your sidebar menu (note: your theme may not be configured to display this widget) and click on Comments RSS

(Comments Feed)

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

(RSS comments feed entries viewed on Firefox)

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

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

Again, you can check what the RSS feed contains by pasting the URL of the feed into a feedreader …

(Paste the comments feed URL into a feedreader to view the feed content. Image: 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 – Single Item Feeds

Being able to create an RSS feed for individual posts 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 creating an RSS feed for single posts is shown below:

(Specific Post RSS Feed)

To create the above feed, copy the URI of your post, and add “/feed/?withoutcomments=1” to the end.

(Single Post Feed)

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

Tip #3 – Post Category RSS Feeds

Some your site visitors may only want to syndicate content about specific categories. They may not want to subscribe to all of your site’s content.

If you publish content under different categories, WordPress allows you to provide a separate RSS feed for each of your categories.

Just use the format shown below:

(Use this format for WordPress post categories RSS feed)

Copy the category link address to your clipboard …

(Copy the selected category URL to your clipboard …)

And append the word “feed” to the end of it …

(RSS feed format for post categories)

The RSS feed now only includes content assigned to this particular category …

(Category 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 Feeds Directory

You can set up a directory of feeds that allows readers to subscribe only to content in the categories they are interested in …

(Provide A Directory Of Feeds)

All you need to do is link a button graphic to your category (or single post) feeds and then create a table or a list of all your individual feeds on a new page …

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

We have written a detailed tutorial on creating tables in WordPress here:

RSS Feeds – Notes

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

WordPress allows several RSS feed configurations that do not require editing code. For example, the table below shows some of the kinds of custom feeds you can display …

(Different Feed Types You Can Create With WordPress RSS)

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

One more thing …

It’s a good idea to let users know that they can subscribe to your feeds. Make sure you place a ’subscribe to RSS’ button or link somewhere visible …

(Encourage your visitors to syndicate your feeds!)

Keep in mind that other sites will only want to syndicate your content if you publish useful content that informs, engages, and entertains. In other words, you must provide high-quality information that can add value to their sites and benefit their visitors.

(Easily add someone else’s content and get other sites to subscribe to your content using 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 RSS feed 🙂

RSS – 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 content from other sites on your site using RSS feeds.

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

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