How to find and set up your WordPress blog’s RSS feed

This tutorial will show you where to find your blog’s RSS feed, and how to set it up. Your WordPress blog should include two RSS feeds by default. One RSS feed is for recent articles, and the other is for recent blog comments.

[reveal title=”What is RSS?” open=”false,true” color=”grey-lite”]RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is a format that lets other websites synidcate content that changes frequently. See this website for more information on RSS. [/reveal]

Finding your blog’s RSS feeds

You do not need to create an RSS feed for your blog: it comes built in.

As of WordPress 4.1, the links to your blog’s feeds are: http://yourblogname.com/?feed=rss2 and http://yourblogname.com/?feed=comments-rss2 respectively (or depending on your Permalink structure (Settings > Permalinks), the links may be /feed/ and /comments/feed/).

These RSS feeds let your visitors subscribe to your latest blog content using a news reader such as Flipboard (iOS/Android/online), Feedly (online), Reeder (iOS, OSX), Feedreader (online), Boxcar (iOS), as well as most major web browsers, and countless other applications.

Setting up your RSS feed in WordPress

You can change how your RSS feed is delivered to your readers. For example, you can change how much content is delivered in the feed, and what is delivered with it (images, and so on).

To set up your WordPress blog’s RSS feed, log in to your WordPress admin site and go to the Settings > Reading page where you will see the following two options:

  • Syndication feeds show the most recent X items
  • For each article in a feed, show: Full text, Summary

The first option controls how many items/articles will appear in your RSS feed. Ten is a good default, depending on how frequently you publish content and whether your RSS feed contains the full article text or just a summary. If you post several times a day, you may want to increase the number of items in your RSS feed so that if a visitor only checks your RSS feed once a day they won’t miss any content.

The second option specifies whether the entire article is available in the RSS feed (“Full text”) versus just an auto-generated summary of the content (“Summary”). By default, the summary/excerpt length is set to the first 55 words of the article (with all shortcodes and tags removed). If you tend to write longer posts on your blog, you may want to set this option to only include an article summary so visitors don’t have to download large RSS files if they are on a mobile phone/device.

For more information on WordPress RSS feeds, see codex.wordpress.org/WordPress_Feeds and codex.wordpress.org/Customizing_Feeds.

Advanced RSS feed options

You can add an image to your RSS feed, which can deliver your featured image along with the excerpt. Subscribe to our updates to read upcoming articles on more advanced functionality like this.

Author Jen deHaan

Jen deHaan is a freelance graphic and web designer, fascinated with great layout and usability. She has been working in the software industry since 2001, and has held positions with Macromedia, Adobe, and Motorola. Jen has written and contributed to over 20 print publications on web design that have been published by Peachpit, Adobe Press, and Wiley. She is also a professional pet blogger at DOGthusiast, and owns a small business called Stylish Canine.

More posts by Jen deHaan

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