Want to create your own news site with personally curated content?
A news aggregator website is a great way to build your brand and authority by curating the best content on a particular topic. It can also help generate traffic to your website.
The good news is that you don’t have to create your website from scratch – you can use a WordPress plugin to make your blog look and work like a professional news aggregator site.
In this article, you’ll learn how news aggregator websites work and how you can use WordPress to create one.
How do News Aggregator Websites Work?
First, knowing about RSS feeds is essential to understanding how a news aggregator site works. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. An RSS feed is a text file containing information about a website’s posts. You use an RSS reader in a web browser or app to read new posts for sites you’ve subscribed to. The reader displays the content from the feed and posts from any other feeds you’ve subscribed to.
Similarly, news aggregator websites use RSS feeds to collect and share news stories from multiple sources. You’re likely familiar with Google News, probably the most well-known news aggregator around. Other popular aggregators include Feedly and Techmeme. These sites get millions of page views per day, generating significant ad revenue without creating original content.
Let’s look at what makes these news aggregator sites so successful.
The first thing you’ll notice about these sites is that they display well-designed multi-layouts, typically in a two or three-column format. With a site that can sometimes list hundreds of articles, that type of layout makes it easy to find information quickly.
Proper categorization of posts is also important to keep visitors engaged. For example, while the Techmeme site is obviously all about tech, they separate posts into areas like Headlines, Newest, Who’s Hiring in Tech?, and Sponsor Posts. That makes it easy to scan from the start.
While these sites have the almost-infinite web from which to display content, they are choosy. If Google News showed long lists of posts from conspiracy theory sites, they would likely lose the trust and interest of their audience. Instead, they choose to bring in fact-checked information from reliable sources.
Another way these news aggregator sites have also built a solid community reputation is by attributing the content to the original source. Rather than claim authorship of an article, they make sure it’s obvious where the piece originated.
A valuable feature for visitors to these sites is the ability to sort and filter content. That way, they can easily find the type of content they’re interested in reading.
Why Use an RSS Feed in a News Aggregator?
Imagine if you tried to build your own news aggregator site and RSS feeds didn’t exist. At best, it would be a tedious nightmare. At worst, you would soon lose interest in the amount of drudgery it would take to offer up varied content on a regular basis.
That’s why RSS feeds are the lifeblood of news aggregator sites.
For one thing, it’s an easy way to aggregate content from multiple sources. It’s a one-time setup process where you select the feeds you want to display. This removes the work of manually adding content, enabling you to post content regularly without having to create it yourself. No drudgery!
When you set up custom RSS feeds, you can control what’s displayed, even from the same feed source. You can change the thumbnails and show only specific content, skipping categories or types of posts you don’t want to be displayed.
Another reason for using an RSS feed is that it can help you find new sources for content. For example, if you want to write about a topic but don’t have any sources yet, you can use RSS feeds as a starting point for finding those sources.
It’s also a powerful way to find new readers. If you write about a particular topic that’s interesting to a lot of people, they might subscribe to your RSS feed so they can read more of your stuff.
Top News Aggregator Plugins for WordPress Compared
Getting your news aggregator site up and running is as easy as using a WordPress plugin. And as long as you’re using the best method, why not use the best plugin available?
The best free WordPress RSS plugin with 60,000+ website users, known for its user-friendly interface, comprehensive features, and ease of use. Most importantly, it’s free! Some of its most useful features are:
It gives you the ability to import unlimited posts from unlimited websites
This is important if you want a site that’s populated with rich and varied content.
You can set up separate feed sources to auto-update new articles when the source website creates them
No need to manually import content! This will save you hours of time so you can focus on creating original content or manage other areas of your website.
Displaying mixed media and dynamic content keeps visitors engaged with your site.
You can create a multi-layout that shows a variety of content that’s easy to read at a glance.
Easy customization of your template and design
WP RSS Aggregator gives you the ability to create templates that streamline the design process.
Built-in shortcodes that can be embedded anywhere on the website
You can also use the WP RSS Aggregator block on any post or page on your WordPress site.
Alternatives to WP RSS Aggregator
There are other WordPress RSS plugins on the market that provide some of the same basic features as WP RSS Aggregator. We’ll cover two alternatives so you can compare.
With Feedzy, you can autoblog, curate content, import, and show RSS feeds on your site. It’s known for its easy-to-use features and has a free version that includes bulk import, feed organizing, auto-imports, and more. However, the plugin has been reported to be slightly buggy, and users have found the premium version to not be very useful over the free version.
This plugin enables you to import RSS feed items as actual posts or custom post types and create personalized feeds by editing the page template, the number of items per feed, etc. It also offers keyword filtering and translation integration.
Why WP RSS Aggregator ticks all the boxes
It may be hard to tell at a glance which RSS plugin is the right one for your site. Let’s go over four key features you should look for in an RSS plugin to create a great news site: setup, management, customization, and support.
You shouldn’t have to spend hours trying to learn a new interface, especially if you’re already new to RSS aggregator sites in the first place. WP RSS Aggregator makes it easy for users unfamiliar with WordPress or RSS feeds themselves!
Easy management interface
When you’re first starting out, you’ll probably want to tweak your feeds as you learn what works and what feeds you need to drop. With WP RSS Aggregator, you can easily add new feeds and remove old ones if you want to change their subscriptions.
Remember how we discussed the importance of a well-designed multi-layout in a news aggregator site? Your site must be easy to scan and hold visitors’ attention. WP RSS Aggregator lets you choose where each feed appears on your site. There are several options, such as a sidebar widget, footer widget, or even a popup. You can also select which posts you want from each feed and whether they’re displayed as full posts or excerpts.
Inevitably, you’ll need to get help at some point — especially if you’re new to RSS feeds or WordPress. Getting the support you need is crucial to your success, so you need a team that will back you up. WP RSS Aggregator has an average rating of 4 stars out of 5 across all its versions (including free and paid).
How to use WP RSS Aggregator
Step 1: Installation
First, you need to install the plugin. In your WordPress dashboard, navigate to Plugins > Add New. Search for the keyword WP RSS Aggregator. Then, click the Install Now button and Activate.
Now you should see RSS Aggregator in your left-side dashboard menu.
Step 2: Add feeds
The WP RSS Aggregator interface is super intuitive, and adding new feeds is easy. Under Feed Sources, click Add New, then enter the URL of the feed in the Feed Source Details section. The plugin will automatically fetch all the latest posts and display them chronologically in its built-in reader view.
Step 3: Customize the feeds
You can customize which posts appear in your feed by filtering out unwanted categories or tags. You can also customize by choosing which excerpts appear, whether full posts or summaries appear, whether images appear, and much more.
Step 4: Display the feeds
Displaying the feeds on your site is as easy as selecting the WP RSS Aggregator block or using a shortcode. You can also set up multiple widgets so users can choose where each feed appears on their site. This gives you the opportunity to create a rich multi-layout by controlling which feeds, posts, categories, or other filters appear in different areas of the page.
A fantastic example is the Beyond Security website, which uses the WP RSS Aggregator plugin and its Pro plan.
Building a news aggregator site is worthwhile and easy
If you want to generate more traffic to your site, a news aggregator website is a great way to do it. By curating content on a specific topic, you can also build a brand with a solid online presence.
It’s not necessary to hire a team of developers to build a site that’s populated with rich, fresh content. Using a WordPress plugin to create a professional news aggregator site is about as easy as it gets. Once you set up your feeds, the plugin takes care of the rest.
You don’t have to go sifting through lists of WordPress RSS plugins to find something that works. With its painless setup, intuitive management interface, easy customization, and stellar support, WP RSS Aggregator ticks all the boxes.
If you want to create a great news aggregator website, WP RSS Aggregator will help you do it with minimal effort. It’s perfect for all types of content creators; non-coders, beginners, and developers will all find it easy to use and powerful.