CM Curated RSS Aggregator - Use Case - How to Aggregate Posts From Many Sites and Display Them in a List That Links to the Original Content on Those Sites


Use Case – How to aggregate posts from many sites and display them in a list that links to the original content on those sites

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Note: This guide requires:

Introduction

CM Curated RSS Aggregator displays lists of links gathered from RSS feed/feeds. Feeds are assigned to categories that are organized into lists (each category can have a single feed assigned to it).

Use Case Front-End

Use Case Assumptions

In this example we will consider how to aggregate posts from many sites and display them in a list that links to the original content on those sites.

It follows:


Installing The plugin

The process is the same for all CM plugins and add-ons.

  • Download the plugin from your customer dashboard
  • Log in to WordPress and navigate to the WordPress Admin → Plugins settings
  • Click on Add New
  • Activate it and add the license

Learn more: Getting Started - Plugin Overview


Setting up

Before creating lists of links gathered from RSS feed/feeds you can configure the plugin according to your needs - appearance of the RSS feed, pagination, columns, what elements should be displayed and many more options. You can learn more about it in our guides:

Create a List

Lists will be displayed on your website. They can contain multiple categories and, as such, many feeds.

So let's create one. To create a simple links list navigate to  Admin Dashboard → Curated RSS Aggregator Pro → Lists

Here on the left part of the screen you can see the form that needs to be filled. Fill it and push Add New List button.

When the List is created you can see it in list of Lists on the right part of the screen.

Create a Category

Now you need to create a Category and connect it to the related Lists.

Let's create one. Navigate to Admin Dashboard → Curated RSS Aggregator Pro → Categories.

Here on the left part of the screen you can see the form for creating a category.

Let's consider all options step-by-step using the example with creating a category about news of music.

  • Name - The name is how it appears on your site.
  • Example

    This is an example where you can see the Name in Front-End

  • Slug - this is the URL-friendly version on the name. It is usually all lowercase and contains only letters, numbers and hyphens.
  • Parent Category - Choose if the category should have a parent. On the example below we can see the categories that we created in advance, but in that case we don't need to choose any.
  • Description - Write a category description.
  • Feed URLs - Field for Feed URL. You can add multiple feeds. Each on a new line. Make sure each feed URL has an http:// or https:// in the beginning.
  • Feed name - used to display source of RSS links.
  • Match keywords - Keywords determine if the feed item would be added to the category. If one of the keywords in the list is found in the URL description or title it will be added to the list. If you add more than one keyword, they should separated by comma. In our example, let's choose keywords to see the news only when it's told about music releases.

  • Exclusion keywords - Exclusion keywords have a higher priority than match keywords. If one of the keywords in the list is found in the URL description or title it will NOT be added to the list. If you add more than one keyword, they should separated by comma.
  • Feed processing interval - The interval determines how often feed is been processed. Notice that this may have an impact on your WordPress site performance.
    Choose between: Every week, every month, every 5 minutes, every 15 minutes, every 1 hour, every 3 hours, every day and twice a day.

TIP: Creating New Values

You can create new options, such as 'Every two days". Learn more: RSS Post Importer / RSS Aggregator - Advanced - Creating Processing Intervals With WP Crontrol

  • Items per URL - Number of items fetched from each URL. 0 means no limit (all items available). Let's keep it unlimited.
  • Feed entries presentation duration - Feed entries older than the selected period of time will be deleted.
    Choose between: Never, 1 day, 2 days, 3 days, 1 week, 2 weeks, 1 month and 3 months.
  • Always refresh links before fetching - After checking this the links will be refreshed before fetching (so only the items in the feed will be displayed).
  • TIP: How to manually force refreshing the links

    You can also manually force refreshing the links with two methods.

    First method:

    While editing the category you can check Refresh all RSS links and then don't forget to push the Update button.

    Second method:

    Navigate to Admin Dashboard → Curated RSS Aggregator Pro → Categories. On the right part of the screen you can see the list of created Categories. Hover on the one you need and click on Refresh all RSS links.

  • Lists - Attach Feed to lists. You can add it to any number of created lists. As now we created only one List let's choose this one.
  • Favicons before links - Choose between Use global settings, Show or Hide.
  • Example of a Favicon

    Favicon is a small icon associated to a site.

  • Default image - Optionally, add a thumbnail image by default when feed item has no image.
  • Requires Setting

    The default image will only be shown if the option "Show big image" is enabled. It can be found at the  Admin Dashboard → Curated RSS Aggregator Pro → Options in Plugin Options tab. Learn more: Options - Plugin Options (General, Pagination, Search and Filter, Social, New Tag) - CreativeMinds Products Documentation

  • Color - Choose a color for the feed background using a color picker or by inputting the HTML value. Let's keep standard background color.

  • Example of changing background color

    You can set different colors for different Categories to visually apart different types of news. All these categories are associated to one List. You can see how it can look like in the example below.

  • User Agent - Choose between Global settings, WordPress, Kindle, iPad, iPhone, Nexus 7, Chromecast, Edge on Windows, Chrome on Windows, Firefox on Windows, Safari on Mac OS X, Chrome on Mac OS X and Linux.
  • Avoid entries with exact same title - Feed items with title exact same as already imported will be skipped.
  • Columns number - Columns number to show category in front-end single category view. We can leave it empty and the default value will be "1".
  • Example

    Columns number - this function is needed when you want to display only one definite category on the page. There're a few important things about it.

    1) To display one definite category on the page you need to put a shortcode [cm_rss_aggregator category] to the page or post, where your want to display this category with an attribute "category" and add to it the slug of the Category. In our case the slug of the Category is "music-news". So, in result the shortcode for our example should look like this: [cm_rss_aggregator category=music-news].

    2) For example, you want to display a category in 3 columns. First, you need to set that value in Category's settings: 

    Second, you need to navigate to Admin Dashboard → Curated RSS Aggregator Pro → Options to Plugin Options tab and the set value in the Number of columns field must be the same - in our case it's "3":

    In result we have only one category displayed on the page in 3 columns:

  • Add "?format=xml" to the end of the feed URL - Enable this if you are using FeedBurner feeds to ensure compatibility.
  • Prevent feed caching on feed's server - Enable this on the rare cases when the feed is cached on the feed's server for some reason. When that is the case, the feed might result in the same result for days.
  • Advanced subtitle customization - Allows you to choose the XML namespace and define its tag. Now we don't need it so we can uncheck that option.
  • Fix thumbnails relative path - Fix for RSS feeds with resources that use relative paths. This option will transform these relative paths to absolute - for instance, "/new_photo.png" to "http://example.com/new_photo.png".
  • Preserve linebreaks in description field - this options preserves linebreaks in description field.

Click on Add New Category button. Your new category will appear in the categories list on the right side.

Include the List on a Page/Post

Paste the shortcode [cm_rss_aggregator] to your post/page.

Remember: you can use shortcodes in many ways. Examples of what you can do:

  • Show one list only on a page (by applying a list attribute on the shortcode)
  • Show multiple lists on the same page  (by applying specifying multiple list attributes on the shortcode)
  • Show different lists on different pages (by applying different list attributes on different versions of the shortcode)

Learn more about shortcodes in the specific guide.

Important 

WordPress may take a few minutes to load new feeds for the first time. You can force it to process feeds manually if needed. Learn how.

End Result

Let's see what we have in result. In this example we created a List for Categories, created a Category "Music News" with RSS-links, and we created Categories "Fashion News" and "Movies News" in advance in a similar way to show you, how different Categories that belong to the same List can be displayed in Front-end.

Use Case Front-End


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