WordPress – Change Your Feed

If terms like feed, syndication, and RSS make your head spin, stop right now and read an Introduction to Syndication. That will give you a good overview of feeds and syndication. We have an article on WordPress Feeds to help you understand the basics, if you need them, but from here on, this article assumes that you know the basics of what feeds are and how they are used.

Customized feeds give your readers more information about you and your blog: you can include the names of additional collaborators on your blog posts, or a link to your Friend-of-a-Friend file. Contrariwise, it can also help you restrict the information available for syndication, by removing extraneous data or providing a machine-readable version of your copyright statement.

How WordPress Produces Feeds

WordPress uses a set of feed templates to display your site’s feeds, in much the same way as it uses theme templates to display your content. These feed templates are located in the wp-includes WordPress directory. These core files are not directly compatible with the Theme system, however it is possible to use custom page templates to achieve a theme-based solution (see further information below) or change which templates are used.

The following feed templates are included with WordPress:

feed-rss2.php – Displays your entries in RSS 2.0 format.
feed-rss.php – Displays your entries in RSS 0.92 format.
feed-rdf.php – Displays your entries in RDF/RSS 1.0 format
feed-atom.php – Displays your entries in Atom format.
feed-atom-comments.php – Displays comments – either the most recent comments on all posts, or the comments on a specific post – in Atom format.
feed-rss2-comments.php – Displays comments – either the most recent comments on all posts, or the comments on a specific post – in RSS 2.0 format.

Customizing Your Feeds

There are a variety of ways to customize your feeds, through the use of third-party software you install and add-on to your WordPress site, or by manually changing the feed templates to meet your needs.

Customizing Feed Templates

Editing your feed templates is much the same as editing your theme templates. However, feed templates are not integrated into the WordPress theme system; if you would like different versions of your feeds, you’ll need to create extra feed templates.

The Feed templates are located in the /wp-includes/feed-{type}.php files and include formats for rdf, rss, rss2 and atom. They are triggered by feed rewrite rules using a series of actions defined in wp-includes/functions.php and attached using add_action in wp-includes/default-filters.php.

In order to override with your own templates it will be required to clear the default actions then take appropriate steps to call load_template. An example of using a template for the default RSS2 feed located in the template directory for a custom post type:

remove_all_actions( ‘do_feed_rss2’ );
add_action( ‘do_feed_rss2’, ‘acme_product_feed_rss2’, 10, 1 );

function acme_product_feed_rss2( $for_comments ) {
$rss_template = get_template_directory() . ‘/feeds/feed-acme_product-rss2.php’;
if( get_query_var( ‘post_type’ ) == ‘acme_product’ and file_exists( $rss_template ) )
load_template( $rss_template );
do_feed_rss2( $for_comments ); // Call default function

Many specialized template tags exist specifically to format your content in a way that complies with the RSS standards. They include:

bloginfo_rss / get_bloginfo_rss

Some information Provided by WordPress.org

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Author Spotlight

TJ Marsh

My name is Tj Marsh. I spend about 16 hours a day on the internet. Running my company and helping out here at Arvixe. I live in the good ole Arizona where it gets ridiculously hot. I love WordPress and a lot of other open source software along with coding.

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