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WP RSS Aggregator – A Comprehensive RSS Feed Importer and Autoblogging Plugin

Updated on  2nd February

7 Min Read
Reading Time: 7 minutes

One can find a large number of publishers on the internet today. Given the sheer number, it can be difficult to follow them all. Hence, what you need to do is compile all of them in one place so you can get important updates from each.

The question is, how does one compile all the news and publishers in one place?

WP RSS Aggregator

The answer is simple: RSS Feed.

Today, I am going to show how you can create a WordPress website using an RSS Feed.

Let’s begin!

What Is RSS Feed?

RSS (Rich Site Summary) is a format that is used by bloggers, news sites, and other content based websites to syndicate their publications as an RSS feed.

RSS Feed and WordPress

Since WordPress is one of the most used Content Management System, it empowers more than 27% of the websites on the Internet. It comes with a built-in RSS feed system, and to access it, all you need to do is add “/feed” at the end of your URL.

To explain RSS Feed in depth, let’s consider the Cloudways blog page as an example. If you wish to add an RSS feed to all of your published blog posts, you just need to add /feed at the end of the blog URL such as below:

https://www.cloudways.com/blog/feed

You can also get an RSS for a single category. Using the URL below, you can get a feed of the content that is published under the “WordPress” category.

https://www.cloudways.com/blog/category/wordpress-2/feed

How to Integrate RSS Feed to Your WordPress Website

One can find many plugins in the WordPress repository for importing and saving feeds to your site. However, WP RSS Aggregator is the best among them. To install and configure it, log in to your WordPress admin dashboard and navigate to Plugins -> Add New. Search for “WP RSS Aggregator”, Install, and Activate it.

Your plugin search bar will look something like this:

WP RSS Aggregator PLugin INstall

Understanding WP RSS Aggregator

Once you have successfully installed the plugin to your WordPress, you will see a new option added to the left side of your WordPress admin panel.

Feed Sources

Quite a lot of information there, isn’t it? Maybe you are feeling confused? Let me give you a brief overview of what these options are all about.

  • Feed Sources: All added feed sources will be listed here.
  • Add New: From here, you can add new feed sources.
  • Feed Items: Imported feed items will be displayed here.
  • Blacklist: The feed items listed here will be disregarded when importing new items.
  • Import & Export: Import multiple feeds at once. You can also Export feeds from here.
  • Settings: General and advanced settings can be configured in this section.
  • Debugging: Update or delete all feeds items.
  • Add-Ons: To make more out of this plugin, there are many other premium features too.
  • Help & Support: WP RSS Aggregator team makes sure to help in every question.

General Settings for WP RSS Aggregator

It is also necessary that you should optimize the basic settings in accordance with your website preferences. Here, the general settings are customized according to my preference. I have attached an image below to clarify how General Settings for WP RSS Aggregator looks like at the Back-end.

General Settings for WP RSS Aggregator

Add Feeds to WordPress

Now let’s get down to business and learn how you can add feed to your WordPress website from the left pane of your WordPress dashboard. First of all, navigate to RSS Aggregator -> Add New. This section enables you to add feed URLs. You can fill them accordingly. Also, you can check either the feed URL is working fine or not by clicking on the ‘Validate feed’ option. It’s located just below the URL of the feed.

In my example, I will be using the Cloudways WordPress articles. Enter the Feed URL and hit the Publish Feed button.

Add Feeds to WordPress

It will take a few moments to pull out feed items, and they will automatically appear in the Feed Items label as shown below.

Feed Items

Display Feeds in a Post

To display feed items in a post, WP RSS Aggregator provides shortcodes. You can add the following code to the Text Editor of your post, and it will automatically display all the feed items in a post. The specified code is:

This is how your blog post will look like after adding the shortcode:

RSS Feeds

All your posts will be organised and linked to the source. Henceforth, whenever a reader visits your website and clicks on one of these links, he will be directed automatically to the original article in a new tab.

Enhance Feed Display Layout

The style of displaying feed items above may look old and messy. If you want to show feed items as a complete post while keeping the homepage of your website attractive, the WP RSS Aggregator allows you to enhance feed display layouts.

Here is an example of how your site’s homepage will look like:

example

Do you wish to display RSS feed as shown in the template above? Well, look no further, here’s how you can do it.

Install Baskerville Theme

First up, get an excellent layout for the RSS Feed on your website! All you need to do is install a theme called Baskerville theme. Why Baskerville? Because it will display your feed items in a much organised pattern. However, before going any further, install the theme from your WordPress Admin dashboard first.

Install Baskerville Theme

Feed to Post

Secondly, you will need an add-on called Feed to Post. All thanks to this add-on, you can now convert RSS feed items into full fledged posts on your website. All your display feed items can now be stored as WordPress posts. You can get this plugin by clicking the URL above.

To access it, navigate to RSS Aggregator -> Settings. You can now see that a new tab is automatically added to your RSS Aggregator settings under the title “Feed To Post” as shown in the image below:

RSS Aggregator Settings

One can find general settings that can be customized. You can set them according to your preferences, but as a reference, here are some of the settings from my website:

General setting

Assuming that you have configured your RSS Aggregator accordingly but still failing to convert feed items as posts, it could be because the settings may have not been applied to the already fetched items. To overcome that, you need to delete previous version of the posts and fetch them all over again. To do so, just navigate to Feed Sources, hover on the feed source and click on Delete Posts. Once deleted, click on the Fetch Posts option to get feed items as WordPress Posts.

Feed Sources

Then click on View Posts, all fetched posts will be shown as in the image below.

View Posts

And that’s how the posts will show up on the homepage of your WordPress website.

homepage example

Doesn’t it look attractive now?

Now, whenever you click on the title of the post or the Continue Reading button, a new tab will appear that contains a few lines of the actual content along with the original article link. If someone wants to read the complete article, he can visit it by clicking the link above the banner image.

WordCamp events 2017

You can also append or prepend additional content using available shortcodes like {{post_author_name}} and {{post_url}} in your feed post to give proper credits to the original post and author. Below are the shortcodes that can be used.

Fetch the Full Content

If you wish to fetch the complete article and display it on your blog post and you also want to give credit to the original publisher, here is an awesome extension that can come in handy. It’s called the Full Text RSS Feeds. This plugin enables your readers to gain full access to the articles displayed as RSS feed on your website alongside mentioning the original publisher.

To observe the functionality of this add-on as a part of your RSS Aggregator, navigate to RSS Aggregator -> Settings -> Feed To Post, scroll down and find the Full Text RSS Service, select Premium Full Text Service from the drop-down and click on Save located at the end of the page.

Feed To Post

To enable Full Text Service, check the box Force full content for that specific feed. To do so, Navigate to Feed Source, edit a feed, scroll down and mark the checkbox where it says, Force Full Content and update the feed.

edit a feed

Assuming you have properly configured, now you need to delete previous posts and fetch them again. As we have already discussed, these settings do not apply to already imported posts.

Navigate to Feed Sources tab, hover on any feed and click on Delete Posts. All imported posts will be deleted, then click on Fetch Posts. It will start importing the posts with full text again.

Delete Posts

Once done, visit your website and click on any post. You will get the complete original content along with a link back to the original post.

Final Words

Today, we have learned how to import feeds and display them as WordPress posts. WP RSS Aggregator is not limited to this only; it has many features that can be utilised to make it more attractive and user-friendly. If you plan to create an RSS Feed website, I would suggest you to have a look at which addons are best for you.

If you encounter any further problem, feel free to contact support or leave a comment below.

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Mustaasam Saleem

Mustaasam is the WordPress Community Manager at Cloudways - A Managed WordPress Hosting Platform, where he actively works and loves sharing his knowledge with the WordPress Community. When he is not working, you can find him playing squash with his friends, or defending in Football, and listening to music. You can email him at mustaasam.saleem@cloudways.com

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