“I thought RSS was dead!” – you’re thinking.
Well, yes and no.
Yes – it’s no longer such a popular mechanism used by people to stay updated with their favorite sites … most of that went away with the demise of Google Reader.
And no – because it’s still an active technology, which means that we can use it for a lot of cool things happening behind the scenes on our WordPress sites.
So today, we’re looking into the 5 best RSS feed plugins for WordPress:
|FEEDZY RSS Feeds||4.7 / 5||30,000+|
|RSSImport||4.7 / 5||10,000+|
|Category Specific RSS Feed Subscription||4.8 / 5||9,000+|
|RSS Post Importer||3.3 / 5||20,000+|
|WP RSS Aggregator||4.4 / 5||60,000+|
Feedzy works through shortcodes, which means that you can add various feeds wherever you wish (posts, pages, custom content types), right via the WordPress editor screen. In the premium version, the plugin does all the work you would otherwise do manually: it can be scheduled to automatically import multiple feeds from various sources in the same page/post via Import Setup Wizard.
Furthermore, you can group the sources into categories (to re-use them across your website anytime) and extract elements from a custom feed tag (available only for single feeds).
Once you activate a feed or category, the plugin starts to import the posts either by directly publishing them or by saving them as pending.
The way the imported items are presented on the front-end is totally up to you: you can decide over the featured images, excerpts, post status and type, quantity, text length, layout – Feedzy provides three templates to choose from.
If Feedzy identifies HTTP images while importing the feeds, it will let you decide how to handle them: show with HTTP link, force HTTPS, or simply import the image as is.
Another nice thing about this RSS feed plugin for WordPress is that you can filter articles by keywords, so you can choose to display only the ones that meet your criteria exactly. Or you can even aggregate multiple feeds together. Moreover, Feedzy automatically adds your affiliate/referral IDs to the links in the feed so you can make money if people click on the posts.
Speaking of links, the plugin gives you the option to remove the ‘dofollow’ tag from all the posts in the feed.
If you want to avoid publishing duplicate content on your site, Feedzy Pro comes integrated with WordAI and SpinnerChief that can rewrite the original articles in a human, non-robotic style. The tools will be of help when you import a full-length article from external sources, which is also possible with Feedzy. You are not limited to excerpts, you can actually fetch the full text from any feed, including product prices if you own an e-commerce business.
But the features don’t end here. The plugin keeps pace with the latest WordPress trends: it is integrated with Elementor and Gutenberg, which means that you can add feeds via their builder interfaces without trouble.
Last but not least, importing a significant number of external posts won’t be a burden because the plugin has feed caching, which means that the loading speed of your site won’t be affected at all.
You can also post your RSS feeds as widgets – go to Appearance / Widgets and drag the “RSS” widget to any widget area.
This is a sample of how your imported feeds will look on the front-end (I’m using Twenty Seventeen theme):
RSSImport is a lightweight and straightforward solution among the best RSS feed plugins. You just need to install it and use either a shortcode, a widget, or a PHP function to make it work. No extra clicks or hassle. This is an example of how to be simple and efficient at the same time.
To use it as a widget, go to Appearance / Widgets, drag and drop the RSSImport button to any widget area, and fill in the empty fields. Click “Save” and you’re good to go:
To add a feed to a post or page, copy and paste the shortcode where you want it to be displayed. Shortcode example:
[RSSImport display="5" feedurl="http://www.codeinwp.com/blog/feed" use_simplepie="true"]
3. Category Specific RSS Feed Subscription
This plugin is completely different and unlike anything else here. Whereas the other ones are about importing stuff, this one is about giving your readers the option to subscribe to category-specific RSS feeds on your blog.
(Note. There’s a trick you can use to get this RSS WordPress plugin to display external feeds as well. More on that in a minute.)
Say that you publish a lot of different content, and your audience might not be interested in all of it. For example, you have a “food” category and a “travel” category. Well, with this plugin, you can let people subscribe to each of these categories separately.
After installing the plugin, go to the Settings section in the wp-admin and then to Category Specific RSS. You’ll see a list of the categories that you can create a feed for.
As you can see, I also used the section for custom categories and pointed them to external sources, which is the trick I mentioned above. That being said, those external RSS feeds aren’t getting imported or anything, they are just links pointing to another site.
Now, you have three options when it comes to displaying your custom feed links: widget, shortcode, or a line of PHP code:
I used the shortcode. Here’s what my listing of feeds looks like when put on a sample page:
4. RSS Post Importer
So this WordPress plugin is a bit different. Where the other ones featured on this list tend to work via shortcodes, RSS Post Importer imports posts from RSS feeds straight to your standard collection of posts – in other words, imported RSS posts are kept alongside your own, hand-written posts.
Before importing articles, you can choose the way you want them to appear (their status): published, drafts, pending, private, trash, etc. A great feature, I’d say, because you can pick only a few articles to be displayed on your site, and not republish everything.
Okay, let’s try it out. First, go the plugin’s settings page and fill in all the fields to set your preferences and add the feed you’d like to fetch. By clicking “Save and import,” the plugin imports all current articles from that specific feed URL. You can set it to import articles daily or even more often.
Once the plugin does its job, you can go to your posts and see everything there:
From that point on, you can decide what to do with all those posts. You can publish them as is, adjust the content, add your commentary, or whatever else you see fit.
5. WP RSS Aggregator
I have to give it to this RSS feed plugin … it’s quite friendly and intuitive. Install it, go to its section in the wp-admin, and it will guide you along through the settings.
To add a feed, just click on “Add New,” set your preferences, and publish it.
Okay, so I created a feed for our blog, CodeinWP to test things out. I’ve set it to remain active, so it can update automatically whenever there’s new content.
After adding the RSS feed, you can click on “View Items” to see the articles currently in that feed.
WP RSS Aggregator also comes with a “Blacklist” section, so you can stop specific content from popping up. Plus, there are some great add-ons too (paid).
Okay, so the next step after creating an RSS feed is to add it to your posts or pages. You can go to the text editor of a specific post, and you’ll see an icon labeled “WPRSS Aggregator Shortcode” there. After clicking it, you can select a given feed and add it as a shortcode:
Here’s what it looks like once you save the page:
Are you using any of these RSS plugins for WordPress? Let us know if there’s anything we missed.
👉 More: check out these essential plugins that all WordPress sites can benefit from.
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