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

First step is to 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. 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 the fields Name and Description. You can leave the field Slug empty, as it can be generated automatically from the Name. Then click the Add New List button.

When the List is created you can see it in the table 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 about music.

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

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

  • Slug - this is a 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 be 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 be 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 click 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 
    • 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 exact same titles as already imported will be skipped.
  • Columns number - Columns number to show a category on the 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=category_slug] to the page or post, where your want to display this category. The shortcode has to contain an attribute "category" with the slug of needed 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 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 use FeedBurner feeds to ensure compatibility.
  • Prevent feed caching on feed's server - Enable this in 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 option preserves linebreaks in the description field.

Click on the  Add New Category button. 

All created categories appear in the table on the right side of the screen.

Here you can Edit, Delete or Refresh all RSS links for each Category by hovering on needed item.

Add Tags and Assign Them to Links (Optionally)

The admin can add specific tags to RSS links and let users search for articles they are interested in. The system can automatically assign tags using keywords. This is useful to mark sub-categories within the feed content. 

To add a Tag to RSS link navigate to Admin Dashboard  Curated RSS Aggregator Pro  Tags.

On the left part of the screen you need to fill the data about tag:

  • Name - The name is how it appears on your site.
  • Slug - You can leave it empty and it will be generated automatically.
  • Color - Choose the color of a tag.
  • Match keywords - Add match keywords and the tag will be automatically added to feed items.

You can see all created tags on the right part of the screen, where you can edit or delete them.

TIP: Add "New" Tag

You can create a tag  NEW and configure that every link would automatically have that tag for definite period of time, and the tag would disappear when that time passes. To do this navigate to Admin Dashboard → Curated RSS Aggregator Pro → Options, choose that Tag and choose the Duration.

Managing the Feed

To manage fetched RSS feed, navigate to  Admin Dashboard → Curated RSS Aggregator Pro → RSS Links.

There you can see a table with all fetched links that you can filter by categories. 

 You can also Edit or Delete each item by hovering on it. While editing you can add Tags to this item or Hide the link.

Include the List on a Page/Post

To display the fetched RSS on the front-end paste the shortcode [cm_rss_aggregator] to your post/page. This shortcode will display all lists and categories that we've created.

You can further specify what content to show from the list. This is done by using the following parameters:
  • list - slug or series of list slugs.
  • category - slug or series of category slugs.
  • tag - slug or series of tag slugs.

Note that, in every case, the slug is used, and not the name of the list, category or tag.

You can use many parameters at the same time, as they work like filters. 

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

Following instructions found in the plugin and guides, you should be able to aggregate posts from many sites and display them on your site in a list that links to the original content on those sites.

Use Case Front-End


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