The Fallenposters Blog

Because the posters fell down, duh.

WordPress Tip – RSS Sidebar Widget

with 21 comments

As prompted to by Lorelle, this post is a small tip on how to use the RSS Sidebar Widget in your WordPress theme. Note, you must be using a WordPress theme that allows the use of a sidebar for this to work.

A neat thing that I like to use on WordPress is the RSS Sidebar Widget. Its a widget that allows you to make a section on your sidebar download the latest entries of whatever RSS feed you want it to download. As you can see, I’ve made a sidebar widget that uses the RSS feeds for both my Last.fm tracks and my Netflix queue. This allows me to make my blog a little more personable. Let’s use my Last.fm tracks as an example.

First, you must navigate to the website that has an RSS feed you wish to use. Here, we’ll go to my Last.fm profile page. Then you must find the link to the RSS feed. This is usually found by looking for one of the standard RSS feed images. Here, it is located in the top right of this screenshot.

My Last.fm profile page

Once you click on the RSS feed image, more than likely, it’ll bring you straight to the URL for that RSS feed. Most of the time, the page corresponding to this link will be mostly code, but don’t worry about that. What we really need is the URL. All you need to do now is copy the URL for the RSS feed.

RSS URL

Once you’ve copied the URL, open up your WordPress. On your Dashboard, navigate to the Presentation tab, then the Sidebar Widgets tab.

Dashboard, Presentation, Sidebar Widgets

On the Sidebar Widgets page, drag and drop the RSS Feed widget into the Sidebar section and click the Options box. In the options box, paste the URL for the RSS feed you wish to use, give the feed a title (usually the title of the RSS feed), and set the amount of items you wish to have displayed.

RSS Widget

Personally, I usually set the item limit to 5 so as not to make my sidebar too clunky. The widget will allow a maximum of 10 items.

After you input this information, close the options box, click “Save Changes” and your blog will now have an RSS sidebar widget. You can add more RSS widgets to your side bar by creating them in the bottom portion of the Sidebar Widget page in WordPress.

There are plenty of uses for this widget. Like me, I share my recently listened to tracks and my Netflix queue. Others may wish to include things like top news stories from their favorite news organization, recent posts on other blogs, or just about anything else that has an RSS feed. And there is no shortage of those on the web.


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Written by Eric Spiegel

August 14, 2006 at 12:14 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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21 Responses

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  1. Excellent! Very good job. The great thing, which you don’t mention, is that this is another way of customizing your WordPress.com blog, not just any WordPress blog using the sidebar accessorizing Widgets. That means this tip is of value to a wider audience. Great job!

    Is there a choice, with Netflix or other similar feeds, to show the images and not just the text? That would be slick.

    Lorelle VanFossen

    August 14, 2006 at 3:03 pm

  2. I haven’t been able to figure out how to make the widget show images along with the text. It would be neat to be able to make it work like the flickr widget, but I’m not saavy enough to figure it out.

    fallenposters

    August 14, 2006 at 4:03 pm

  3. You’d have to find out if there is a link which would generate the images automatically from Netflix and last.fm. As an option. Might not be. Doesn’t discount the great WordPress tip, though. This is still wonderful.

    Lorelle VanFossen

    August 14, 2006 at 10:29 pm

  4. Wow — screen shots and everything! Thanks — very helpful! One question — how do you get the Technorati logo to show up? I’ve gotten so far (a few times) as copying the code from their site, but then where do I put it?

    doth

    August 16, 2006 at 1:03 pm

  5. For the Technorati tags (and logo), I used a bookmarklet found here. This is a bookmarklet that was modified from the code that was on an article on Lorelle’s site about using Technorati tags in your blog. I think the image is just coming from the guy that modified the code.

    fallenposters

    August 16, 2006 at 1:33 pm

  6. Thanks! I’ll try to make it work in the next week or so :)

    doth

    August 17, 2006 at 8:40 pm

  7. Good luck!

    fallenposters

    August 17, 2006 at 8:49 pm

  8. I can’t seem to find the link to download this widget. Lorelle has it well hidden as well. Where is it?

    Dale

    March 25, 2007 at 10:20 am

  9. @Dale: I’m not sure where to download this widget for non-wordpress.com users. I wrote this as a tip on how to use the RSS sidebar widget for WordPress.com users. Hopefully you’ll be able to find it somewhere though.

    fallenposters

    March 25, 2007 at 3:49 pm

  10. I’ve been attempting to use this feature for a while now, but every time I enter the feed URL, close that box and then hit “save changes”, it disappears. All the other RSS widgets I had selected to view also disappear. No matter how many times I do this, I cannot get the RSS feed to display in the sidebar widgets plugin so as to drag and drop around the layout.

    Do you have any idea why this might be so?

    Gideon

    April 2, 2007 at 2:48 am

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    May 25, 2007 at 1:54 pm

  12. very interesting, but I don’t agree with you
    Idetrorce

    Idetrorce

    December 15, 2007 at 11:57 am

  13. i have been struggling trying to get the RSS widget to work and cannot. Is there a setting on the server that but be set for it to show up in the sidebar?

    Master_Blaster

    March 1, 2008 at 6:12 am

  14. How can I use this sidebar widget in a page….?

    kartz

    October 5, 2008 at 4:29 pm

  15. I am also looking for was to incorporate this into themes that do not have the sidebar.

    TheAnand

    October 13, 2008 at 11:34 pm

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    Bourioutt

    October 27, 2008 at 6:45 pm

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    LEFROYAFFLOOP

    December 17, 2008 at 7:25 am

  18. Eric

    Can you tell me how your Twitter sidebar widget works? I’ve put an RSS feed in my sidebar, but it isn’t as elegant as your feed and I’m jealous.

    Bill Bennett

    August 28, 2009 at 7:21 pm

  19. [...] RSS Sidebar Widget on Adding Netflix and Last.fm Feeds from Do Not Cross [...]

  20. I really like what you guys are up too. This kind of clever work and coverage!

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    April 18, 2013 at 8:14 am

  21. […] Fallen Posters – RSS Sidebar Widget on Adding Netflix and Last.fm Feeds from Do Not Cross […]


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