News aggregator websites, like Feedly, Inoreader, Panda, SmartNews, or Flipboard, help people like you and me to follow multiple news sources without having to visit each individual news website.
In this post, we’ll show you some of the best news aggregator websites that we think are worth sharing.
As an added bonus, we will also discuss their setup and monetization strategies to answer the age-old question of how the best news aggregator websites work and support themselves.
While we’re at it, if you’re interested in creating your own news aggregator website, we’ll later walk you through how to create a news aggregator website using the WP RSS Aggregator plugin.
A Typical News Aggregator Website
The best news aggregators do one thing very well: they collect news stories from multiple news websites using RSS feeds (yes, they still exist and are going strong!) and display them on their homepage.
Follow The Winds is a great example of a news aggregator website. It provides site visitors with breaking news in windsurfing from some of the top news sources related to windsurfing, kitesurfing, and sailing – all in one place.
Here’s how it works:
- Follow The Winds fetches content by parsing (analyzing) each source site’s RSS feed through WP RSS Aggregator.
- Once a new piece of content is available on the source site, it is fetched, assigned to a category (such as windsurfing or kitesurfing), and listed on the Follow the Winds website.
- When a visitor clicks on a link, they are taken directly to the original source where the article, video, or other forms of content were originally published.
This site, in particular, is beautifully designed using WordPress and has all its breaking news powered by the WP RSS Aggregator plugin. Later on, we’ll show you how to create your own news aggregator site in WordPress using WP RSS Aggregator.
News aggregator websites are a bit different from content curation sites in that the latter typically requires more involvement. We published a content curation case study of the Personal Finance Blogs website that goes into more detail.
Examples of News Aggregator Websites
For each news aggregation site, we’ve included a brief description and its monetization model.
These are the news aggregation websites that you’ll typically find in most articles that list news aggregators. They have been around for a while, establishing a dedicated following as well as amazing search engine rankings.
Feedly is unquestionably one of the best news aggregator sites on the internet today. As its name suggests, it is at its heart an RSS feed reader that allows you to curate your very own news experience from any RSS feed you can think of. You can choose to subscribe to content directly through the platform itself, using its powerful content suggestion engine, or manually add your own favorite blogs and news sites using RSS feeds.
Feedly allows you to browse in a range of different attractive and customizable layouts in a simple, minimalist interface that makes it easy to see at a glance the stories and headlines you want to read.
It’s a flexible platform, too, with Android and iOS apps as well as the traditional browser interface, and cloud sync that allows for continuity between devices.
You can subscribe to up to 100 different sources categorized into up to 3 different boards on their free plan. They also have a range of paid plans allowing subscriptions to more sources and feed types, as well as a powerful AI assistant that can help curate your sources for you.
Fark is a content aggregator that aggregates news content across categories such as politics, sports, business, and entertainment, and has built a substantial following over time, making it one of the best news aggregator websites.
It uses a slightly different aggregation method where people can submit a link of their own and give it a unique headline. These are then selected by Fark’s own content team for display on the front page. Others can then comment through Fark itself, building a community around the aggregated content.
As per Fark’s advertising page, they get over 3 million unique pageviews per month and over 50 million total page views per month, which makes it very lucrative for display ads as visitors tend to remain on the site’s news feed for a while (low bounce rate). The minimum budget required for native ads on Fark is $5,000, just to put things into perspective.
They also have a podcast, which is another possible source of monetization, and they even have their own online shop. The brand around Fark has become strong enough to support the sale of branded clothing – not an easy feat even for the best news aggregator, but certainly a testament to their dedication.
Techmeme is a news aggregator featuring content from leading world news publications such as The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. Other sources also include pure-tech news publications such as 9to5mac.
One of the things it does very well, and which few others do, is to use contextual ads to drive traffic to their advertisers’ sites while ensuring that the readers are being presented with ads that are relevant to them.
Techmeme has a solid monetization strategy offering sponsored posts, contextual ads, event listings, job alerts, and podcast ads.
The prices range from $2,900- $20,000 across ad formats, which will return a substantial amount for any website relying on advertisements to generate revenue.
Similar to Techmeme, Alltop is a news aggregator with content across a variety of topics, including news, tech, sports, entertainment, lifestyle, and business. Each category features content from popular sites in that niche.
Alltop uses display ads as their primary means of monetization.
Panda is a clean, tech-focused popular news aggregator that makes it easy to browse the latest and most relevant news for tech entrepreneurs, developers, web designers, and more. By default, it offers you a list of around 30 different tech feeds displayed as a smart grid of thumbnails, although you can add more as the mood takes you.
As Panda is offered free to users, it relies on sponsored advertising as its main source of revenue.
Pocket works pretty differently from most of the other aggregators on this list. Rather than offering curated feeds from the get-go, it allows you to bookmark and save content you like to a reading list so you can browse through it at leisure. It then offers recommendations based on that saved content, helping you to find more content that matches your interests.
Pocket is available both as a browser extension and as a mobile app, so you’re never too far from interesting new content.
Flipboard was originally conceived as a digital magazine, and it shows. By far one of the most attractive entrants on this list, Flipboard serves users with, essentially, a daily magazine tailored entirely to their interests. You can choose to follow specific sources and publications, such as the BBC, CNN, or your local news, or simply give it a list of topics and let it find articles that match your interests. The more you use it – making use of its “like” and “less like this” functions – the more it will understand the type of content you want to read.
Flipboard is entirely free, both as a mobile app or via browser, and allows users to integrate it with their paid subscriptions to other magazines and newspapers. If you want a reading experience like you’re reading your own personal morning papers every day, Flipboard has you covered.
Inoreader is one of the more feature-rich services on this list, with powerful automation tools for a truly custom experience. As well as serving as a news aggregator by allowing users to subscribe to RSS feeds and blogs, it also supports Facebook pages, Twitter searches, other social networks and even email newsletters.
Using its workflow rules, users can tailor their reading by setting up filters, sending push notifications about specific types of articles, marking them as read, monitoring keywords, and more.
With its Free plan, you’re limited to 150 subscriptions, supported by ads, but there are a variety of higher pricing tiers that allow more and more subscriptions and customization.
If you’re on iOS, it’s hard for Apple News to escape your notice – it’s installed by default on all new iOS devices. Like Flipboard, it’s a news reader designed for visual impact, with a clean, image-forward format entirely optimized for iPhone, iPad, and Mac.
It allows you to either read complete digital versions of popular journals, newspapers, and other publications, or curate your own feed of selected, optimized articles on your favorite topics using its streamlined search function.
On the plus side – it’s free! But on the flip side, just as with many Apple products, it’s part of a closed ecosystem and doesn’t offer anywhere like as many of the custom features that some of the other sites we’ve featured here.
The final example in our list – Google News! You didn’t think we’d leave this one out, did you?
Google News is probably the most powerful, AI-powered news aggregator on the planet. It offers highly personalized news, across thousands of sources, based on the user’s location, interests, web browsers, whether they are using an Android or iPhone, and countless other algorithms all running in real-time.
It groups the news into various categories, shows trending topics, and includes a For You page for your personalized news. With all these features, Google News is an aspirational product for a news aggregator website.
How to Build Your Own News Aggregator Website
Whether it’s an entire website or just a new feature to add to your existing WordPress blog, a news aggregator only takes a few steps to set up, but its benefits could last far longer.
Step 1: Install WP RSS Aggregator
You can either download WP RSS Aggregator for free and upload it to your site through the Plugins section in your WordPress dashboard or search for “WP RSS Aggregator” through that same section directly.
Step 2: Pick Your Sources and Add Them
Do your research and find the best sources for the audience that you have or want. Once you’ve done that, find their RSS feeds and create the feed sources within WP RSS Aggregator.
Step 3: Set up Your Template
Next, visit the Templates section of WP RSS Aggregator and set up the display that you want. If you’re looking for more than just a list, the Templates add-on provides other options, including a stylish grid.
Step 4: Display the Feeds
Using the [wp-rss-aggregator] shortcode or the WP RSS Aggregator block, depending on the editor you’re using, add the feeds to any page of your choice.
When using the block editor, you can also use columns to create an Alltop-style page showing multiple feeds.
Other Methods of Displaying Feeds
If you’re already using a page builder on your website or you’re using a custom theme and wish to code your solution, WP RSS Aggregator can still help you build a news aggregator app like Feedly, Flipboard, Panda, or Apple News.
For page builders, you may use the [wp-rss-aggregator] shortcode anywhere on your site using the page builder’s shortcode widget.
When choosing to work directly within the theme, there are a couple of ways that you can achieve the same results.
<?php wprss_display_feed_items( $args = array( 'limit' => '8', 'source' => '5,9' )); ?>
<?php do_shortcode('[wp-rss-aggregator]'); ?>
Optional: Supercharge Your Site with Pro
Take things a few steps further with WP RSS Aggregator’s Pro Plan. Here’s a quick look at what’s on offer.
Feed to Post automatically creates a new WordPress post for each individual entry in the RSS feed for your RSS readers, regardless of whether they use a web browser, iPhone, or Android device.
Images are vital to sprucing up any website, which is why Feed to Post includes a few different options for how to import and set both featured images and images within the content.
Apart from that, you can automatically categorize posts based on keywords or tags present in the title and/or content of the post. This is very useful when a source has news on different topics and you wish to organize them accordingly, like some of the best news aggregator sites (ex. Feedly and Flipboard).
There is also an option to automatically generate the categories from the RSS feed itself, essentially recreating the same categorization as used on the original site.
Attribution is very important to ensure that you always give credit where it’s due. For this, Feed to Post has Author options where you can choose to use the original author’s name from the RSS feed.
Other powerful features included with Feed to Post are the Append and Prepend to Content options, Custom Field Mapping that is very powerful when choosing to import certain information from the RSS feeds into custom post types or custom fields, and Extraction Rules for when you need to remove certain elements from the imported content, such as social media links and buttons within the content.
Oftentimes, the RSS feed won’t contain the full text or images, making your new post incomplete. The Full-Text RSS feed add-on is used to parse the original URL of the source post and extract images, other media, and full text (or an excerpt of the full text using Word Trimming) depending on your configuration.
Using the Templates add-on, you can create article grids or video grids with YouTube feeds, or an article list with a thumbnail and excerpt. These can be used anywhere on your site as additional content areas, such as sidebars, footers, or as part of an existing page.
The Keyword Filtering add-on is used to filter a feed’s content by keywords, phrases, or tags. You can also use keyword filtering in conjunction with shortcodes which allow you to display notifications or feed items from as many sources as you want, as long as they contain a specific keyword or phrase.
Bonus: Engage with More People Using Instagram
As we’ve seen above, curating content is a great way to build an audience. However, the influence of social media is not something to be disregarded either. Combining the two together will help to engage more with your audience wherever they’re at.
Instagram is the best social media platform for engagement. By sharing posts related to the content you’re curating or even featuring them, you can gain new followers and be active in the comment threads.
Combine your Instagram feed with your website, and you’ve suddenly created a new non-intrusive way of building a bigger audience. For this, we recommend Spotlight Instagram Feeds – a social feeds plugin that is incredibly easy to set up and looks great across all devices.
Spotlight is a free plugin that comes with a PRO version for added features. With the premium options, you can even create Instagram feeds showcasing posts that use a specific hashtag, which is another great way to curate user-generated content with no added effort. The free plan is a great start as well.
Over to you – Are you interested in starting your own news aggregator? Do you know of a news aggregator site that you’d like us to share? Let us know in the comments below.