Whether you’re starting an online side project or blog, content should always be your main focus.
But when you’re starting out, churning out new content can be a daunting task. So it’s likely you’ll be looking at content curation – or more specifically, news aggregation. This strategy will help supply your website with automatically updating content. It also provides a useful platform for your visitors while creating a great starting point for in-house content creation.
Ross Merritt, a multi-disciplined designer and self-proclaimed side project addict, has taken this approach in his latest project, Bristol Today.
Bristol Today is a city dashboard that collates news and events from all over Bristol. It provides a one-stop site for locals and visitors in the form of a news aggregator website. Ross’ plan is to expand the information and resources to make Bristol Today more useful to its visitors over time.
Here’s a bit more about how Bristol Today started and how WP RSS Aggregator fits into Ross’ daily workflow.
The Story Behind Bristol Today
As with many side projects, Bristol Today was created as something Ross himself would find useful. He found keeping up with multiple publications tiresome and wanted a place where he could get an overview of what was going on in his city.
That’s where Bristol Today started off. He now checks out the news aggregator website a few times a day and only browses the articles that interest him most. With time, others visitors also found it handy as organic traffic started to grow.
“As the website evolved, the main aim was to create an aggregation platform for Bristol that saves users time and acts as a resourceful landing page.”
However, aggregating content from a collection of websites proved to be troublesome – especially without a reliable aggregator.
“After identifying the news sources I wanted to link out to, I searched for the best possible way to create a reliable feed (and without ruffling any feathers!). Thankfully, RSS is still going strong and each of the sites had active feeds. After a bit of research, WP RSS Aggregator stood out as the leading WordPress plugin in the space and I was impressed with their product pages.”
WP RSS Aggregator managed to simplify the process of pulling information from RSS feeds, creating the perfect starting point for this news aggregator website. “It’s the bedrock of Bristol Today’s collection of news and events content.”
How Ross Merritt Used WP RSS Aggregator
Let’s take a look at how Ross used WP RSS Aggregator to set up Bristol Today.
For this project, WP RSS Aggregator imports news articles as feed items. It is then used to display them in two main parts of the website:
- The main content area
- The sidebar
Ross used the Templates extension to display the main feed using the grid layout. Meanwhile, the sidebar feed uses the default list layout. Combining these templates with an awesome page builder – Elementor in this case – created a slick and beautiful landing page for Bristol visitors.
“I was able to automate relevant links to make Bristol Today a useful starting point for finding out what is happening in Bristol.”
But there’s more going on than meets the eye. In the background, keyword filtering helps filter out unwanted news items. Meanwhile, the categories extension keeps everything organized – making things easier to manage over time.
All these extensions are available in WP RSS Aggregator’s Basic plan.
💡 Top Tip: Upgrade to the Pro plan to be able to import your feeds as posts on your website. This technique will help get those SEO juices flowing and your site ranking better in Google.
The Results Behind a News Aggregator Website
While Bristol Today is still in its infancy, it already started to receive traction! By combining news feed items and original content, Ross has managed to give the new project the push it needs to get started.
“I’ve noticed that the site started appearing for some pretty competitive search terms very quickly compared to other web projects I’ve launched.”
Adding a news aggregation resource to your website has the ability to spearhead your growth without much involvement from your end. Simply set up your feeds using WP RSS Aggregator and the plugin will handle all your content aggregation automatically.
Join Ross and over 2 million users to create a news aggregation website your readers will love.