WordPress RSS Options - dummies

By Lisa Sabin-Wilson

RSS feed technology is an important part of publishing your WordPress blog. For your blog readers to stay updated with the latest and greatest content you post to your site, they need to subscribe to your RSS feed.

RSS feeds come in different flavors, including RSS 0.92, RDF/RSS 1.0, RSS 2.0, and Atom. The differences among them lie within the base code that makes up the functionality of the syndication feed. What’s important is that WordPress supports all versions of RSS — which means that anyone can subscribe to your RSS feed with any type of feed reader available.

WordPress is very intuitive, and RSS feeds are a shining example of a feature that WordPress automates. WordPress has a built-in feed generator that works behind the scenes to create feeds for you. This feed generator creates feeds from your posts, comments, and even categories.

The RSS feed for your blog posts is autodiscoverable, which means that almost all RSS feed readers and most browsers (Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer 7-9, and Safari, for example) automatically detect the RSS feed URL for a WordPress blog. Here are some good guidelines on how to find the RSS feed URLs for the different sections of your blog.

Feed Type Example Feed URL
RSS 0.92 http://yourdomain.com/wp-rss2.php
RSS 2.0 http://yourdomain.com/wp-atom.php
Comments RSS http://yourdomain.com/wp-rss2.php?cat=50

cat stands for category, and 50 is the category ID. You can
find the category ID on the Dashboard by clicking the Categories

Locate a category and hover the mouse over the title to find the ID
in the URL that displays in your browser status bar.

If you’re using custom permalinks, you can simply add /feed to the end of any URL on your blog to find the RSS feed. Some of your links will look similar to these:

  • http://yourdomain.com/feed — your main RSS feed

  • http://yourdomain.com/comments/feed — your comments RSS feed

  • http://yourdomain.com/category/cat-name/feed — RSS feed for a category

Try it with any URL on your site. Add /feed at the end and you’ll have the RSS feed for that page.

RSS feeds are important parts of delivering content from your blog to your readers. RSS feeds are expected these days, so the fact that WordPress has taken care of everything for you — WordPress provides the feeds for you, is compliant with all RSS formats, and offers so many internal feeds — gives the software a huge advantage over any of the other blog-software platforms.