DiggingIntoWordPress

by Chris Coyier & Jeff Starr

Tag: feeds

Customizing WordPress Feeds

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WordPress feeds enable your visitors to subscribe to your content for use in their favorite feed-reader. For example, subscribing to the main-posts feed and/or the comments feed is a great way for your readers to stay current with all the latest from your site.

With WordPress, you can deliver a wide variety of “Full-text” or “Summary” (partial) feeds in numerous formats, including Atom, RDF, and RSS2. This variety extends the reach of your content by enabling your feeds to be read in more apps, readers, and devices.

Import Feed, Display in Multiple Columns

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Recently I worked on a project where a single RSS feed was imported and displayed in multiple columns on the web page. Certain pages display feed items in two columns, others in groups of three or more. This technique uses WordPress’ built-in fetch_feed functionality to parse external feeds, and a slice of PHP magic to display them in multiple columns. It’s flexible too, enabling any number of columns and feed items from anywhere in your theme/template files. For example, you could display any of the following:

Create an Articles-Only Feed

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WordPress makes it easy to publish content in any number of categories, with any number of tags, and with any type of custom post format. So for example, in addition to full articles, you could also offer screencasts, links, side posts, tweets, and all sorts of other peripheral content. Complementary material may work great for visitors surfing around your site, but including all of that extra stuff in your RSS feed dilutes the potency of your main articles. The idea here is that your visitors will subscribe to the more focused content.

Show Post Thumbnails in Feeds

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One of the nice things about using WordPress’ new post-thumbnails feature is that they provide tons of flexibility in terms of where and how you display your post thumbnails. By design, post thumbnails are not included within post content, so they will not be displayed in your blog posts unless you call them specifically with the proper template tag:

Easy Custom Feeds in WordPress

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Now that we have seen how to setup Tumblr-style posts, it would be nice to be able to segregate the Tumblr-posts category from the main feed into its own, separate feed. This would enable readers to subscribe exclusively to the Tumblr-posts feed and maybe display it in their sidebar or something. While we’re at it, it would also be cool to be able to provide readers with a full menu of feed choices, including the following:

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