How do I display RSS headlines from another blog?

Does anyone know of a plugin that allows you to display RSS feed headlines from other blogs?

I came across this question asked by Noobkiller from Pariah’s Guild on the most excellent Bloggeries forum. Well, if you’re using WordPress, the answer is “you don’t need an extra plugin”. You see, WordPress comes with a built-in widget that lets you display headlines from any blog you like, as long as you have their RSS feed.

Go to your widget screen and look for a widget called RSS. Add this to your Sidebar. The next step is to configure this widget. It needs to know the following information:

  • The RSS feed: This tells the widget where to gather the feed information from
  • A title for the feed: This is used as a header for your widget
  • How many items to display: The default is 10, but you can change this to anything you like
  • Display item content: This controls whether to show just the headline, or whether you want the details of the post too
  • Display item author if available: Quite useful if your feed contains posts from multiple authors
  • Display item date: Do you want a date with the headline.

Here’s an example of a configured widget:

The great thing about the RSS widget is that it is really net-friendly, using the WordPress implementation of MagpieRSS. It doesn’t go off and grab the RSS feed every time it’s needed. Instead, it caches the feed on your server and only refreshes it occasionally. This means that it doesn’t place excessive load on the website you’re syndicating information from and is really quite well-behaved. And the great thing is that you can use this widget for just about anything. If you have a health blog, you can syndicate content from a natural acne treatment feed. If you have a joke blog, you can syndicate content off another joke blog.

Hope this helps. Happy blogging!

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