Making RSS Your Friend–Burning Multiple Feeds

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If you’ve set up RSS feeds on your site, which most blogging and content management platforms do for you, you may want to take the next step by offering multiple custom feeds from your site. If you check out the bottom right sidebar, you’ll see that we’ve done that here, setting up feeds for both myself and Newscoma as authors as well as feeds for the main categories we use. While most pure bloggers offer only a single feed for their posts and possibly a feed for comments, I think offering readers several different feed options is a great idea for news related sites.

For example, let’s say you really, REALLY don’t want to read anything I write and are only interested in what ‘Coma has to say. That seems reasonable to me, so we’ve given you the option to subscribe to only her posts. Or maybe you’re only interested in our Featured Articles, which won’t be updated as often and will frequently be contributions by other people–you have that option too.

So how do we do it? With WordPress it’s a snap. Every category has a feed associated with it automatically, and it can be found at http://www.yoursite.com/category/category-name/feed. Similarly, author feeds are generated at http://www.yoursite.com/author/author-name/feed. All this is documented fully on this introduction to feeds.  And in answer to the logical question, yes this works for tags as well.

*Note: If you’re using a special plugin to handle your feeds, you may need to disable it to produce custom feeds–chances are it’s funneling EVERYTHING through a single feed.

We go a step further by letting FeedBurner handle all of our feeds.  They make the interface a little nicer, and allow email subscriptions.  It’s also great because we can see everything from one dashboard and there are lots of good stats kept, which gives ‘Coma the opportunity to rub my nose in the fact that more people subscribe to her feed than mine.  Ha!!!

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3 Comments

  1. dave said November 4, 2009 | Permalink

    how do you redirect the feeds to the feedburner addresses using wordpress? Currently I am using the feedburner plugin for wordpress, but it only has options to redirect one feed. Any thoughts are appreciated! Thanks!

  2. Scott Adcox said November 4, 2009 | Permalink

    If you’re using the plugin I think you’re using, it will redirect all of your feeds to Feedburner. Another option is to to set up multiple feeds in FeedBurner and direct your various feeds to those.

  3. dave said November 4, 2009 | Permalink

    thanks kindly for the info. im using a plugin called feedburner feedsmith. when i click on a link to my main feed (url/feed/) it redirects to feedburner url, and shows my feed in the browserfriendly html page with all content, etc. but when i click on a link to a category feed (url/category/xx/feed/) it doesn’t redirect anywhere and shows the page in standard rss format with no media content, etc. so I assume it’s not redirecting.

    I’ve gone ahead and burned all the category specific feeds, but I’m not sure how to get the feeds as they are now to redirect to the feedburner urls. one option is that instead of linking to the category url on my pages, i instead link directly to the feedburner address, but i’d rather not do this.

    on another related note, for my main feed, why does the url change to the feedburner url? shouldn’t it stay the same as url/feed/? I have the option checked in feedburner for redirection to always show the original url so I have no idea.

    Thanks for the help Scott!
    David

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