Using Rss Widget in WordPress

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RSS stands for ‘Really Simple Syndication’. It is a standardized format for sharing content on the web. The RSS Widget is used to show the contents from other sites into our blog. That is, we can see the fresh contents of the specified site on our blog without even visiting that site. To fetch and import RSS feed from a site, we need a RSS feed URL. Finding RSS feed URL is very easy. For example, to get the RSS feed URLs concerning to sports, just search for “RSS feed URL sports” and we get a list of sites providing the same. In the site, look for the standard feed icon or the word “subscribe” or “feed” and copy the RSS feed URL.

We need to perform the following steps for displaying feeds from other site:

1.     In the RSS Widget options (below figure (a)), paste the RSS feed URL into the first input field. We will be using the following RSS feed URL for sports news:

http://rss.cnn.com/rss/edition_sport.rss

2.     Enter the title for the RSS feed. Since our feed is meant for displaying sports news, let us enter the title as Sports News.

3.     Specify the number of entries from the feed to show in the sidebar. Default number is 5.

4.     Check the Display item content?checkbox to show a brief description of the post in addition to its title.

5.     Check the Display item author if available?checkbox to display the author’s name.

6.     Check the Display item date?checkbox to display the date when the post was published.

The output that we might get on checking all the three checkboxes is as shown in below figure (b). We can see that along with the title, a small description of the post is also displayed. The author of the post is not available, hence is not displayed whereas we can see the date when the post was published. To see the title of the post without its description, we just need to uncheck the checkbox, Display item content? The RSS feed that is displayed will now just consist of post title and date when it was published as shown in below figure  (c).

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(a) Options of the RSS Widget  (b) RSS feeds with item content, author and date  (c) RSS feeds with item author and item date.

For more information, refer my book, “Blogging with WordPress 3 for Beginners: A Practical Guide to Build and Maintain your own Blog” available at Amazon

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