WordPress: Displaying External RSS Feeds

 How to display an external RSS feed on your WordPress blog without causing heavy server load. I wanted to display an external RSS feed on one of my blogs. There were many plugins to display external RSS feed as widgets on sidebar. There are also plugins that can display feed content inside a post or a page. Some also used cache to store feeds, some used cron jobs, some plugins needed me to make a directory writeable.

If you ask me they are all useless since WordPress has built in functionality to fetch, cache and display external rss feeds. The function to do that is Fetch_Feed. It uses SimplePie and FeedCache to do the job and it is very effecient. However, the WordPress Codex for this function shows only one usage example for this function which is fine if you are not a person who has good knowledge of PHP, WordPress tags and HTML. But there is a lot more you can do with this function. To learn what else you can do with it you need to read the SimplePie documentation. Using Simplepie and WordPress template tags you can display RSS feeds in many different ways.

I love WordPress, but each day it is becoming more and more complicated for me. For example if I need to choose a plugin to do some job and I search for it on Google, the results will show me many plugins that do the same thing. Now the problem is that how do I choose the best one? I want to use things that do not cause heavy server load. I prefer plugins with caching abilities, better code and effecient resource usage. But believe me not many plugins out there are that good. They are ok for small blogs but on busy websites with lots of visitors they create problems. So the solution to this problem is to first look at the WordPress it self and use it’s own functions to do the job.

Published by Noumaan Yaqoob

I am a full-time WordPress blogger, I write tutorials about using WordPress, WordPress themes and plugins. Need help with your website? Feel free to contact me.