Back in 2013, Google dropped support for RSS and discontinued their popular service, google reader. This move caused a huge shock in the blogosphere. Websites everywhere are scrambling to put together a list of alternative services for their RSS news aggregators, and many see this as the end of RSS.
Even though Google decided they no longer wanted to spend any time or resources using the RSS format, it still has a lot of uses, and it certainly hasn’t gone away over the past few years.
WordPress site, powered by default, to create an RSS feed during installation. These feeds can be used to turn one-time readers into regular subscribers, but they can also be used to aggregate content from other sites and publish it to your own. Responsible use of RSS services in this way allows you to create a site that can be a central portal that displays content from many sites in your field.
This can be done in a number of ways.
Your options include:
- Create a simple list of posts that link back to the original article.
- Display each item as an excerpt from the content, with a link to the original source.
- Display the full post on your website and credit the original source.
A generation always It is recommended that you credit the original source when importing content, and where possible only import snippets of the original article, not all (unless you have permission from the original author).
The easiest way to create your own RSS news aggregator site is to use a WordPress plugin. There are several options. We’ll take a look at the most powerful one currently available: WP RSS Aggregator.
WP RSS Aggregator Plugin
WP RSS Aggregator is the most popular RSS import plugin that allows you to aggregate multiple website feeds and display them on your website in two different ways. These display options are:
- Use shortcodes to display items in a list of posts/pages/widgets.
- Create WordPress posts from feed items (feeds to posts).
Each option has its own specific purpose.
For example, when using a shortcode, you can create a new (or add to an existing) page or post to display a list of related articles from your niche. The shortcode option has a number of parameters that can be combined to create a list with the details the reader needs. It can also be designed in various ways.
The Feed to Post option will create blog posts reflecting each post ingested via the RSS feed. This option allows you to specify whether it is a simple title, an excerpt of varying length, or an imported full post. I can’t think of any valid reason to republish another site’s full content unless it’s your own. If you don’t have the owner’s explicit permission, I’d recommend avoiding that option entirely.
Let’s take a closer look at each option.
Option 1: Use Shortcodes
Shortcodes allow you to aggregate any number of feed items onto a single post or page on your website. Some themes also offer widget areas where you can use shortcodes. This is especially useful if you’re publishing your own blog posts and aggregating site feeds elsewhere.
Shortcodes allow multiple parameters to control what and how certain elements are displayed. You can limit the number of feed items displayed, add pagination to lists, and more.
With the Snippets and Thumbnails and Category add-ons, you can take your shortcodes a step further. The first option allows you to enhance the display with short snippets and thumbnails using the content available in the RSS feed you are using, while the latter allows you to better organize your feed.
Shortcode parameters also extend to these two add-ons, allowing you to decide which shortcode display includes images, excerpts, or both.
This can be a useful way to display content from other sites, but it’s not the best option if your site’s purpose is simply content aggregation or focused on providing your readers with a better experience.
Option 2: Publish using a feed
Using the Feed to Post plugin is the most useful and comprehensive way to aggregate multiple website feeds into one site, no matter what niche it is or what format the content is in; be it text, images or video.
With this add-on, each feed item is created as its own post on your website. By default, it uses WordPress posts, but you can set it up to import any custom post type. These posts can be set up to display as much original content as you deem necessary. A 100-word excerpt can often convey enough of the original post to grab a reader’s interest.
Thanks to the original source, you can use the general settings of adding the same generic message to each post, or you can use the append/prepend to content feature to add custom links to each source.
With this aggregation method, you can use a large number of options. You can set posts to auto-publish or create draft posts so you can manually decide which posts to publish to your site. You can turn on comments for your excerpts, change how images are displayed if you decide to show them at all, designate existing users as authors or import original author details, and more.
Posts created using this method have additional admin options available in the plugin settings menu. These management options include quick and easy deletion of all posts created by feed items, configuration of when posts should be deleted from your site (if any), and many other features.
Final Words on Creating an RSS News Aggregation Portal
Aggregating the content of a group of websites into one place has a variety of uses, and this plugin makes the process easy.
You might be looking to have a hub for your own website, a portal for all the posts created in your niche, or even a single location to scan content excerpts from multiple sites you want to follow.
For example, the WP RSS Aggregator team established WP News Desk – A news portal covering all things WordPress, collecting posts from 100+ top sources. Each article links directly to the original source, giving them the credit they deserve. Such sites can also be monetized through advertising, affiliate links, etc.
This plugin allows multiple ways to achieve these goals and is the best and most popular RSS aggregator out there WordPress.org plugin repository.
Have you created an RSS news aggregator portal using WordPress before, or have you ever thought about creating one? Do you use RSS in other ways to add content to your site? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
If you’re interested in learning more, you might also like our guide on how to create a social feed with WordPress.