Although a few years ago we could find quite a few RSS aggregators for WordPress, these projects have all been abandoned for some reason or another along the way.
Some of these plugins aren’t even available for download anymore. The reason for discontinuation is quite mysterious, however I suspect that the proliferation of Twitter has played some part in this.
Many people moved from RSS readers to Twitter feed readers, however I still feel that RSS plays a very important role on the web even today. On Twitter there is a lot of microblogging that sometimes distracts me; I find RSS feeds of actual full posts from other websites to be much more enriching. Of course, others might disagree with me. There are many uses for plugins that import RSS content into WordPress, as you can read in one of our other blog posts here.
So here’s a list of the top RSS Aggregator plugins for WordPress.
I created this plugin myself as a result of my frustration with the death of other RSS aggregators for WordPress. I wanted to create a news section on WP Mayor, which would import feeds from all the WordPress blogs I followed.
I thought it would be an interesting and useful section, both for readers of this blog and for myself to catch a quick glimpse of all the WordPress news of the day/week.
It started out as a very simple plugin, and I was mildly surprised that so many people were interested in using this plugin. However since it had a good audience I decided to keep working on it and develop it further. You can take a look at an overview of the plugin’s capabilities by reading this recent and in depth review.
The plugin comes with a set of premium add-ons that include functionality such as adding excerpts and thumbnails to your feed items, keyword filtering, sorting by category, the ability to import feeds into posts and any other custom post types, as well as the ability to import the full content of posts even when it’s not provided within the RSS feed, a great tool for creating an auto-blogging or content curation website.
Here’s an overview of the WP RSS Aggregator extensions and bundles:
- Advanced Feeds Bundle – ideal for setting up content curation and aggregation
- Simple Feed Bundle – ideal for setting up list style sections showcasing content from other blogs
- Feed to Post
- Full Text RSS Feeds
- Keyword Filtering
- Excerpts & Thumbnails
- WordAi & SpinnerChief
The two bundle choices are very popular and provide great value. The Simple Feeds Bundle includes Excerpts & Thumbnails, Categories and Keyword Filtering while the Advanced Feeds Bundle includes Keyword Filtering, Feed to Post and Full Text RSS Feeds, both of which allow you to do almost anything with your RSS feeds.
All premium add-ons are based on a yearly license giving you frequent updates and some of the best support in the WordPress world. Try it out, you won’t be disappointed!
RSS Post Importer is a free plugin found in the WordPress.org repository that is aimed at doing exactly as its name suggests – importing RSS feed items into posts.
This plugin also handles all of the work itself; it imports and publishes full text RSS posts (when using the premium version) from one or several RSS feed sources to your WordPress blog on auto-pilot. This once again helps to make your blogging, content syndication & auto-blogging life easier.
RSS Post Importer also offers a few premium features you can upgrade to. These include Full Text RSS feeds, automated featured images, as well as the ability to import & export your feeds and settings as CSV files.
Autoblog is a WordPress plugin to manage and distribute more content faster by automatically posting content to WordPress using RSS feeds. Once again, just like with the previous plugins, there is no coding required, and within minutes you can populate your blog feed with multiple streams of content.
It’s also got a nice list of features such as filtering by tag, word, phrase or expression, import a full post or just an excerpt, and more. If you need more functionality they even have a list of options and add-ons that you can use such as the ability to choose whether imported posts are published immediately, set as pending review, or sent to the drafts folder.
FeedWordPress has been around for quite some time now. In fact it was first released sometime in 2008, around 7 years ago. This has given it time to mature into a very well-rounded plugin that has been downloaded more than 850,000 times.
It has many features and isn’t purely an RSS aggregator like WP RSS Aggregator. However I think it should be listed here because it can be used as an aggregator on your site. This plugin syndicates articles from as many RSS / Atom sources as you want, and turns them into posts for your blog.
The biggest disadvantage of this plugin is that it is not commercially supported and is basically a labour of love. It only gets updates once or twice a year and support is not guaranteed.
RSSImport is another rather popular and free WordPress plugin to import and display feeds on your blog. It uses PHP in your templates or shortcode in your posts and pages to allow you to add the feed anywhere you’d like.
There is a minimal amount of code that is needed to use the plugin. It also accepts a number of parameters (almost 40) for customising the feed content import. You can also use any of the parameters with shortcodes in posts and pages.
RSSImport also hasn’t been updated in a while, since September 2014 in fact, raising some concerns as to whether it will continue to be maintained or not. Compatibility with WordPress is also slightly backwards, so while it still seems to work for many users, there might be bigger issues in the near future.
When downloading a plugin for a specific purpose, most WordPress users expect a plug-and-play experience where the plugin quickly and painlessly gives them what they are looking for. In the light of this fact, I believe WP RSS Aggregator is the most suitable plugin for aggregation of multiple external feeds into your own WordPress website.
Also, it doesn’t hurt that it offers so many additional features through its add-ons and that it’s in constant development, always incorporating new features to give the user the best possible solutions.
UPDATE: This post was updated in June 2016.