Including External RSS Feeds in Your Site

To understand the power of RSS (Rich Site Summary -or- Really Simple Syndication) you need to know the basics of what blogging is about.  You use WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr or some other application to create postings.  A basic post may include text, images, and links to additional info on the Web.  Most bloggers focus on selected themes in their writings.  In WordPress, you can create post themes, which are called “categories”.   By categorizing your postings, you organize them by topic.  Postings are automatically organized chronologically, by date/time of publish, and when listed, normally show the latest posting at the top of the list.

Creating blog postings and categorizing them has nothing to do with RSS directly, but WordPress automatically creates an “RSS feed” for each post category you create.  There is a qualification with that statement.  Until you assign at least one post to a category, that category will probably not show up in a list of site categories.

What is the power of RSS?  You are writing blog articles and assigning one or more categories to each article.  Hopefully, you have visitors to your site that are interested in what you are writing.  But, instead of having to check back periodically to see if you have added new postings (content), it would be nice  if they could subscribe to your postings, or even to a specific category of your postings and then be notified automatically when you add new content.  This is the power of RSS.

There are applications called “feed readers” that add to the ease of the process.  Think of “feed” in this case as meaning a chronological list of posts being fed to you from the newest to the oldest.  You can assign one or more RSS feeds (from different blog sites, if desired) to show the titles of blog postings, in chronological order.

Below are two examples of RSS feeds pulling their content from different sites:

[do_widget ID=”rss-2″]

[do_widget ID=”rss-3″]

The above RSS feeds should change with time as new articles are added.

How to include an external RSS feed to your site:

You can use the RSS widget to place RSS feeds in the sidebar(s) or footer(s) of your site.  Normally, the width of these areas usually mean that you only want to include the post titles, and maybe their date of publication.  *See Using Widgets in Your Site for a better illustration of the Widget Menu.

 But, what if you would like to add an RSS feed to one of your pages or postings in the content area (not sidebar or footer)?   One method you have available to you is to activate the “amr shortcode any widget“.  This creates an additional “widget area” in your site called “Widgets for Shortcodes“.  You drag the RSS widget into the “Widgets for Shortcodes” area and then fill in the RSS widget as you would if it were located elsewhere (include feed URL, how many postings to include in the list, etc.).

To use the RSS feed in a page/post you would then enter the appropriate “shortcode” into the content area.  Save or Update the page/post and go view the embedded RSS feed.  Here is an example shortcode:

amr-shortcode-any-widget-eg

NOTE:  It is not always easy to determine what the correct ID is to include in the shortcode, but you can append the following script to find all existing IDs.   Add ?do_widget_debug=1 to the URL of the page where the shortcode is located.