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Toolbox for RSS Feeds
Jason Olliver avatar
Written by Jason Olliver
Updated over a week ago

Your Feed is typically automatically generated from your blog site. There are multiple options that you can use to edit your feed and change the output.

Note that Digesto does not provide support on customizing your Feed, but in this article we'll share some tools that can help you out.

The Basics

What Is an RSS Feed?
RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is a type of web content published in XML format which allows users or programs to access online content in a standardized, computer-friendly format. It was originally used to aggregate content from multiple sources called news aggregators (RIP Google Reader). Websites usually use RSS feeds to publish frequently updated information, such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, video, etc., so that people can get timely updates from their favorite websites without having to manually check / visit them, but rather, to be "alerted" when new stuff comes in.

RSS feed aggregators typically automatically check the RSS feed for new content and pass it from website to website or from website to user. This passing of content is called web syndication. RSS-to-email is another form of web syndication, but it requires a transformation of format to be compatible with Email standards, which are different from Web standards.

An RSS document is (also called a feed) will host various elements such as Title, Link, Description (Excerpt), Author, Publication Date, etc., which can all be extracted and reused by feed aggregators.

Where Is My Feed?

Check this article for help with finding your Feed URL (WordPress).

Technical Resources

RSS Advisory Board - is THE reference for RSS 2.0 standard specifications. The Internet Society - published this document The Atom Syndication Format back in 2005 - to our knowledge it has not changed since then.
W3C Feed Validator - will help you validate compliance of your feed vs RSS or ATOM standards (both supported by Digesto).

Third-Party RSS Tools

There are a wide variety of apps that help further customize or even transform your RSS feeds. Here are a few we've tested or have been recommended by our customers.

Feed Rinse - Merge, alter, and filter RSS feeds
Feed Informer - Merge multiple RSS feeds into a single stream
And many more... Check out this blog post published on Mashable for more inspiration: The Ultimate RSS Toolbox - 120+ RSS Resources

WordPress - Control Panel, Plugins, and How to Articles

Control Panel

WordPress typically allows you to control basic configurations of your RSS feed. The features available in there will depend on the native functionalities built in your Template.

To access the native feed settings, from your Admin Panel, go to Settings/Reading (WP 3.9.1 - May vary based on your Blog's version and settings)

You can typically control the number of posts that appear in your feed as well as the length of the article (Summary of Full Text).

Choosing "Full text" option will typically add the <content:encoded> element top your feed - which can then be available to populate your email with images and/or full article in your Digesto emails.

Thanks to the WordPress community, a great number of plugins and how-to articles are available to help you get the most out of your feed.
SB RSS Feed Plus - Add a featured image to your RSS feed

Do it yourself: hack into you Wordpress templates (advanced users only)
How to
- Customize your RSS feed - RSS Feed in WordPress by Yoast
- Customize your WordPress feed using specific categories and tags - by
- Customize (almost) anything in your feed - by

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