RSS Feeds for WordPress – Setup and Configuration

wordpress RSS feeds

As a blog owner, it’s normal to want to grow your following quickly. However, increasing your readership can be difficult, and you may feel as though your initial efforts aren’t paying off.

One easy way to increase readership and improve user experience is with an RSS feed. By enabling RSS feeds on your blog, its content will become more accessible to your followers. This means they’re more likely to read new posts, as well as engage with them and recommend them to others.

In this post, we’ll introduce RSS feeds, including what they are and how to set them up. We’ll also show you a few advanced configuration tips, such as how to import feeds to your WordPress site and how to add images to your current feed. Let’s get started!

What Is an RSS Feed?

In a nutshell, Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds enable users to view website content in a quick and easy-to-read format. They work alongside ‘feedburners,’ which are pieces of software that turn RSS feeds into readable content. Using an RSS feed, you can see which of your favorite content sources have uploaded new pieces the moment they’re available.

Where Can You Find Your RSS Feed URL in WordPress?

Finding your RSS feed URL within WordPress is simple. All you need to do is type in the name of your website, and add /feed to the end of the URL.

For example, to access the RSS feed URL for www.examplewebsite.com, you would enter www.examplewebsite.com/feed into your browser:

Where is my RSS in wordpress

You’ll then be brought to the XML file that displays the feed in its raw form. This is what feedburners read and turn into proper content.

How to Set Up an RSS Feed in WordPress

The easiest way to set up an RSS feed in WordPress is using a reliable feedburner and a plugin. Let’s take a closer look at the process. We’ll start by choosing the right tools for the job.

RSS Feed WordPress Plugins

WordPress has RSS feeds configured by default. However, they don’t provide statistical information, such as the number of subscribers.You can configure your RSS feeds with the help of plugins, but this technique also requires a feedburner. We recommend SpecificFeeds, which is easy to use alongside WordPress plugins.

To get started with SpecificFeeds, you’ll first need to sign up for an account. Then you’ll be instructed to copy and paste a subscription code onto your WordPress site:

wrodpress rss feed plugins

You can add this code to any page or post on your website, or even to the sidebar. Simply paste it into the Text editor, and save your changes. Then, return to SpecificFeeds and click Done. What’s next?.

You’ll now be asked to claim your feed. You can do this manually, or with the use of a plugin such as RSS Redirect:

RSS Redirect wordpress plugin

This tool will help you establish your feed, and also redirect your default WordPress feed to SpecificFeeds as new content is published. Install the plugin in WordPress, and you’ll be asked to provide your FTP credentials (including hostname, username, and password). You can find this information in your hosting account.

Once that’s complete, you can connect RSS Redirect to your SpecificFeeds account. This enables you to track subscriber numbers and other statistics:

rss feed plugins for wordpress

Your readers can now sign up to your RSS feed email list (using the form you pasted onto your site earlier), or you can provide the direct link. It should look like this: www.specificfeeds.com/websitename.

RSS Feeds in WordPress Without Plugins

There’s no doubt that the RSS feed plugins above are useful. However, it is possible to configure your website’s RSS feed without using them.

The instructions are quite simple, but there are a few things to keep in mind before beginning. First, you should backup your site. This ensures that you can restore your most recent version of WordPress should an error occur.

Second, you should have at least a basic understanding of WordPress development and coding. If you don’t, it’s best to practice on a local install of WordPress to ensure you’ve got the process down before messing with your live site.

How to Import RSS Feeds to WordPress

You may also want to import RSS feeds to your WordPress site. You could then place those feeds within a blog post, or add them to your sidebar. With WordPress plugins, you can do this with ease.

For a perfect example, check out RSSImport:

how to import rss feed into wordpress

With this plugin installed, you can add RSS feeds using PHP, a widget, or a shortcode. RSSImport even enables you to set parameters to define how your RSS feed works.

Multiple RSS Feeds

As with most feedburners, SpecificFeeds enables you to manage multiple RSS feeds on one account. Their free plan includes up to five feeds. However, paid plans enable you to manage unlimited RSS feeds:

multiple RSS feeds in wordpress

With SpecificFeeds, all you need to do is go to My Feeds > My Offered Feeds. From there, you can access all of your feeds in one place. You can add/view subscribers, see statistics, and even manage subscription options.

RSS Feeds with Images

If you want to take your RSS feed a step further, you can also add images. To do this, you’ll need yet another plugin. Send Images to RSS is a solid choice:

RSS Feed with Images

This plugin turns text-only RSS feeds into more interactive experiences for your subscribers.
Using your website’s settings, Send Images to RSS will include featured images from your content in your email feed newsletters.

RSS WXR File

We’ve shown you how to import RSS feeds to your WordPress installation. However, you can also export your own RSS files. This is a good way to back up your content or transfer it to a new website. The export file is known as WordPress eXtended RSS (WXR). It contains all of your website’s content, including posts, comments, custom fields, categories, and tags.

To create this file, simply head to your WordPress dashboard. Go to Tools > Export and select the content you would like to export. You can choose All Content, or pick from a list of types (such as Posts, Pages, or Media).

Then select Download Export File, and the download will automatically begin:

wordpress extended rss wxr file

You can now transfer all content to another WordPress installation (where you can set up a new RSS feed), or save it as a backup.

Disabling RSS in WordPress

In some cases, you may wish to disable RSS on your WordPress site. This is especially common for small, static websites. Fortunately, you can disable RSS in WordPress in just a few minutes.

First, navigate to your WordPress site’s functions.php file. You can find it by going to Appearance > Editor. The file will be on the right side of the page:

how to disable rss feed in wordpress

Now, copy this code and paste it at the very end of the functions.php file:

function wpb_disable_feed() {
wp_die( __(‘No feed available,please visit our <a href=” ‘ .
get_bloginfo(‘url’) . ‘ “>homepage<a/>!) );
}

add_action(‘do_feed’, ‘wpb_disable_feed’, 1);
add_action(‘do_feed_rdf’, ‘wpb_disable_feed’, 1);
add_action(‘do_feed_rss’, ‘wpb_disable_feed’, 1);
add_action(‘do_feed_rss2’, ‘wpb_disable_feed’, 1);
add_action(‘do_feed_atom’, ‘wpb_disable_feed’, 1);
add_action(‘do_feed_rss2_comments’, ‘wpb_disable_feed’, 1);
add_action(‘do_feed_atom_comments’, ‘wpb_disable_feed’, 1);

Click Update File, and you’re all done. Now, no one will be able to access your RSS feed!

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