With the new feature in WordPress.com blogs to add feeds to your sidebar using Sidebar Widget enabled WordPress Themes and/or the soon-to-be-released Sidebar Widget WordPress Plugin, you now have a powerful feature to add content to your blog and accessorize your sidebar.
If you would like to add feeds from another WordPress blog, the feed link would look like one or more of the following:
To add a feed from other websites and blogs, search the site for RSS feed links and use that link in your WordPress RSS Feed Sidebar Widgets.
You can also add category specific feeds with WordPress. You can do it by the permalink reference or the category ID number.
- http://example.com/category-name/feed/ (for WordPress blogs not using “category” in their permalinks
When a visitors subscribes to a specific category feed, they will only see the posts from that category in their feed.
Sometimes, you’d like to further customize a WordPress blog RSS feed, highlighting a specific tag, keyword, or phrase to help narrow down the focus of the feed.
You can add a “search” string to the feed to narrow the results. For example, if you would like to create a feed for this site covering articles with the keyword “beginner”, which would include “beginner blogger” or “beginner WordPress” in the customize RSS feed search results, the customized RSS feed would look like:
This would also apply to any WordPress blog, except those which do not use permalinks or is an older WordPress version. The following RSS feed would also work, featuring posts on “web page design” from my Taking Your Camera on the Road site, as featured at the bottom of my sidebar here:
There are also a variety of customizable feeds you can use in your RSS feed links with your WordPress Sidebar Widgets to accessorize your sidebar.
By customizing your RSS feed, you can narrow the focus of the information displayed in your WordPress sidebar. For example, if your blog is about “photography”, then you can set that as a search keyword so only results returned in the RSS feed would be about photography. If you are writing about WordPress, then the keyword might be “wordpress”. Into muscle cars, then the keyword would be “muscle+cards”. It’s up to you to set whatever keyword you would like to create a custom RSS feed.
Custom Keyword Feeds from Various Sources
To help you add feed content to your WordPress blog, here is a list of the most common search engine, news, and social bookmarking sites and their feeds.
To customize these to your specific needs in the following examples, replace “wordpress” with your keyword. If you are using more than one word, connect them with a plus sign (+):
- Yahoo News: http://news.search.yahoo.com/news/rss?ei=UTF-8&p=wordpress
- Wired News: http://search.wired.com/wnews/default.asp?query=wordpress&format=rss
- Topix.net: http://rss.topix.net/search/?q=wordpress&xml=1
- Feedsfarm: http://www.feedsfarm.com/s/wordpress&format=rss
- PR Web (limits to 2 posts): http://newspad.prweb.com/rss.php?textQuery=wordpress
- Findory: http://rss.findory.com/rss/News?q=wordpress
- MSN News: http://search.msn.com/news/results.aspx?q=wordpress&format=rss
- Digg: http://www.digg.com/rss_search?search=wordpress&area=&type=&age=
- Technorati Tags: http://feeds.technorati.com/feed/posts/tag/wordpress
- Google News: http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&q=wordpress&ie=UTF-8&output=rss
- Google Site Link Search (Sites that link to the site): http://blogsearch.google.com/blogsearch?scoring=d&q=link:lorelle.wordpress.com&partner=wordpress
- del.icio.us: http://del.icio.us/rss/tag/wordpress
- Ice Rocket News: http://www.icerocket.com/search?tab=news&q=wordpress&rss=1
- Moreover News: http://p.moreover.com/page?o=rss002&query=wordpress
- Newsvine.com: http://www.newsvine.com/_feeds/rss2/tag?id=wordpress
- Spurl – Zniff: http://zniff.com/index.php?s=wordpress&p=osrss
As you see from the list, different web tools and programming language have different requirements for setting the query or search to narrow the results. If the site or blog doesn’t list customizable feeds, use the above examples to match to their feed link, and see if you can customize the results. You can check the results in your browser by typing in the feed link in the address bar and examining the feed results. If it returns a 404 Page Not Found or other error, then try another combination to see if something else might work. It might not, but it might, and you would have a customizable feed to showcase on your WordPress blog.
Custom search feeds like this are also not perfect. As you can see in the graphic image example above of the feed from my main site on this site, narrowed to “web page design”, it includes an article I wrote about “Bears in the Kitchen – Chocolate Guide”. The words “web”, “page”, and “design” appear there, so it’s included, but it isn’t an article about web page design, just a guide for chocolate lovers. For the most part, the results, especially if they use more than one keyword, offer a fairly good representation of the topic.
Do you know of any other customizable feed link examples and techniques?
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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network