What is RSS Feed? How to integrate it with WordPress?

RSS feed

In this post I’m going to break down EVERYTHING you need to know about RSS feed.

What it is.

Why it is important.

How to integrate it with you website?

And whether it helps you grow your WordPress blog or not.

Let’s dive right in.

What is RSS Feed?

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary. It is a web feed that permits visitors to receive regular updates and news from the website they want. 

In times when RSS was not there, users have to manually visit their favourite websites on a regular basis to stay updated with the latest content and changes.

RSS resolved this problem and helped users to get regular updates of their favourite blog on their email, feed reader and other devices. It automatically syndicate the content of the website and sends it to the subscriber.

RSS is not limited to monitoring just news websites. It can be used to get updates from blogs, social media pages, finance & classified websites and government applications to name just a few.

By posting “feeds” on their pages, site owners allow RSS readers to search their website, constantly looking for new information, while maintaining user privacy. 

Learn more: How to Increase WordPress Maximum Upload File Size?

How does RSS Feed work?

It functions by publishing the latest content in a structured XML format containing its summary and metadata (date, title, author, category, etc). This XML document can be read on mail or with an RSS feed reader. 

You can integrate it with your website using following code:-

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″ ?>
<rss version=”2.0″>
<channel>
<title>W3Schools Home Page</title>
<link>https://www.w3schools.com</link>
<description>Free web building tutorials</description>
<item>
<title>RSS Tutorial</title>
<link>https://www.w3schools.com/xml/xml_rss.asp</link>
<description>New RSS tutorial on W3Schools</description>
</item>
<item>
<title>XML Tutorial</title>
<link>https://www.w3schools.com/xml</link>
<description>New XML tutorial on W3Schools</description>
</item>
</channel> 
</rss>

All WordPress sites comes with built in feature of RSS feeds. Every page of WordPress contains a meta tag which points to the blog’s RSS location. You can also choose to disable RSS feed in your WordPress site.

What are the advantages of RSS?

It makes it easy for website visitors to subscribe to your blog/content. Using RSS, you can receive updates directly from your blog or website on your feed readers, desktop apps, and many other devices. 

Subscribers don’t have to remember the URL of their website because they can bring content to a central location, and they like to read all the sites they like at once. 

Your content is also portable, and your subscribers can even take it with you for offline reading. RSS subscribers are more likely to share their content on social networks. 

As a user, you can subscribe to your favourite sites and read them in one place. This allows you to quickly scan your favourite news and blog sites. If you want to leave a blog comment, you can easily access personal articles and leave your comments. 

The most modern feed reader allows you to categorize your reading lists into categories and groups. By using RSS effectively, you can really maximise your reading time. 

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How you can use RSS to read your favourite website feed?

You can subscribe to RSS using an application called a feed reader. There are many free power readers available on the market for all popular operating systems and devices. 

 These are just some of the best RSS feed reader applications you can use. 

  1.  Feed – (Web, Browser Add-ons, iOS, Android, Kindle) 
  2.  Innocent Readers — (Web, Android, IOS) 
  3.  Old reader (web, mac, window, android, ios, and more) 
  4.  Blog ‘(Web, Android, IOS) 

How to promote your WordPress RSS Feed?

If your existing website is on WordPress, then you can find your RSS by simply adding /feed/ at the end of your website’s address. For example:

https://serverguy.com/feed/

Note:- Don’t forget to replace serverguy.com with your own domain name.

You can encourage visitors to subscribe to your RSS feed by adding RSS icons to your sidebar or other prominent locations. You can also connect your RSS feed to email marketing services and allow your users to receive their blog entries directly in their boxes.

How to build loyal following to WordPress RSS Feed?

With small efforts over a period of time, you can build a loyal following to your RSS Feed.

Build an email list via RSS Feed

RSS is one of the most easy ways to build an email list of people who can be potential leads in future. You can choose from various lead generation softwares that allows you to convert website visitors into subscribers.

Boost your Social media following using RSS

Social media following and reach can help in boosting the traffic of your website. But to achieve that you have to constantly post content on various social media platforms.

You can integrate RSS with IFTTT to share your new blog posts on your social media profiles automatically. 

Use RSS Widget to cross promote your blog

You can add default RSS widget to your sidebar and display latest posts from any other website. If you own more than 1 website, then this can be really helpful to cross-promote your own blogs.

Customize your RSS Feed

You can customize your WordPress RSS to get the best results in the following ways:-

  • Add content and featured images to your RSS 
  • Initiate RSS Feeds for custom post types
  • Initiate RSS Feeds for categories

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