The sidebar isn’t the only place you want to display RSS feeds, right?? Have you been searching and searching for a way to display your RSS Feeds on a page or post in your WordPress blog? The answers have all been unacceptable, either suggesting a sidebar plugin or installation of some complicated programming code. What about pages? What about posts?

I want you to know there is a way you can attractively display your RSS news feeds in summary or detailed form, right within your choice of WordPress page or post.

Lots of Feeds, One Sidebar

I have a lot of websites. They include Squidoo lenses, Blogger, Tumblr, and WordPress blogs on both the hosted and self-hosted platforms. They all have RSS news feeds that I can share with others or feature on the individual sites. On my self-hosted WordPress sites, the problem was the only place I could showcase these various feeds was in the sidebar.

Let’s face it: Placing RSS feeds in the WordPress sidebar just doesn’t cut it. After all, how many rows of titles from news feeds do you really want to display? Putting them in the sidebar takes up so much space, detracts from the purpose of the blog, and can negatively impact an otherwise beautiful design.

I needed a better way to display my feeds!

When I Googled the subject, it was obvious I was not alone in desiring to pull together my RSS Feeds from my other websites and display them in a post or on a page in my main WordPress blog. But just about every link I followed ended up in disappointment.

The Good Old Days

Years ago, in the earlier days of WordPress, I used a plugin called BDP Aggregator to display RSS feeds in my pages and posts. It was one of my all-time favorites. With lots of options, mix and match, feeds by category — you name it, it had it. It just worked and worked well. But I don’t know what happened to it,other than it is no longer available.

On my non-WordPress sites, you know — those good old HTML websites — I used CaRP, which is an RSS to HTML parser/converter written in PHP. CaRP never had a WordPress plugin version, but it could be manipulated to add your RSS feed to pages and posts, if you didn’t mind fiddling with some programming code. They still have offer a free version, but not in WordPress plugin format.

Those days are gone, and I had almost given up when I finally discovered a plugin that will display RSS feeds in templates, pages, posts, and sidebars. I gave it a whirl as soon as I installed it and it just worked!

The RSS Import WordPress Plugin

There are three things I like about this plugin: (1) it just works; (2) the instructions for using it are very clear; and (3) it has sensible customization options that allow me to display my news feeds just the way I want. A bonus is it is peer-reviewed and located in the Official WordPress Plugin Repository.

RSSImport has three methods for including news feeds in a template, page, post, or sidebar.

1. PHP Code in Pages, Posts, and Templates

The first option is to use PHP. No worries because the plugin author gives you the little snippet of code you will need. This php code displays RSS Feeds with just the title of the feed item, as show below. It can be placed within a template file, a sidebar text widget, as well as within pages and posts. When used within a template file, you simply place the code (along with any configuration options). BUT if using the php code within a post, page, or a sidebar text widget, you’ll need to also have the Exec-PHP plugin (or similar) installed in order to actually execute the code and see the results.

2. Shortcodes

The second option for pulling your feeds into your posts or pages is to use something called a shortcode. In case you have never had occasion to use a shortcode, it’s a small piece of code (really only a few words) that represent the command that would be used to execute a longer PHP version of the code. In the case of RSSImport plugin, the shortcode can only be placed within posts, pages, or sidebar text widgets. As with the PHP option above, customizing the look of the results is done by adding configuration details to the shortcode.

3. Use The RSS Import Widget in the Sidebar

This plugin comes with a widget of its own, the RSS Import Widget, which is not the same as the plain-old sidebar text widget referenced above. The configuration options I spoke about earlier have to be input by hand when using either the PHP code or the shortcode within a page, post, or template. However, when using the RSS Import Widget, all configuration options are selected from a drop-down list. I have to warn you, it is a looooong drop-down list! (If you happen to be using a theme such as Hybrid News, widgets can even be included in a page, not just in the sidebar.)

How did I miss this plugin in all those searches I did?

Maybe it was buried on page five of the Google searches and page eight in the WordPress Codex database. I really don’t know; I’m just glad I finally came across it because I can finally aggregate article and comment RSS feeds from my Tumblr and WordPress blogs, Squidoo lenses, and sites like BackType and Disqus.

And now you can see for yourself the beauty of RSS feeds in your own WordPress blog pages and posts. Get a firsthand view of the possibilities at http://www.vernessataylor.com/updates-from-taylorweb-network_695.

Get a free copy of Vernessa’s Top Secret SwipeFile, a resource created just for local business owners, when you stop by CoachNotes blog.

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