“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:
|* based on 9 reviews|
|FEEDZY RSS Feeds||4.7 / 5||10,000+|
|RSSImport||5 / 5 *||10,000+|
|Category Specific RSS Feed Subscription||4.8 / 5||10,000+|
|RSS Post Importer||3.4 / 5||20,000+|
|WP RSS Aggregator||4.4 / 5||30,000+|
The elephant: it’s our plugin and we believe in it wholeheartedly, hence its position on this very list of the best RSS feed plugins for WordPress.
The nice thing about FEEDZY RSS Feeds is that it works through shortcodes, which means that you can add various RSS feeds wherever you wish, right through the WordPress editor screen.
After installing it, you don’t need to do anything but to go to the page or post where you want to add a certain feed, and then click the FEEDZY icon:
Once you do that, a window pops up and presents you with all the available options. Just fill in the information, set the customizations and you’re almost done.
After clicking the “OK” button, the plugin takes your settings and puts them into a shortcode form:
Basically, that shortcode is the one that adds the RSS feed to your page, so be careful to keep its original format. You can place it wherever you want … posts, pages, custom content types.
Let’s take a look at what the feed looks like on the front-end (by the way, I’m on the Twenty Fifteen theme):
Things like article summaries, their length, article thumbnails, and so on, are all up to you. You can tweak their appearance however you like.
You can also post your RSS feeds as widgets – by going to Appearance / Widgets and dragging the “RSS” widget to any widget area.
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.
RSSImport is a lightweight and straightforward WordPress plugin. 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.