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Add to or Override the Default WordPress RSS Feed

Posted in PHP

Customising your RSS feed in WordPress is relatively easy and comes in two methods: adding rows to the existing feed, or complete customisation. Each is detailed below along with example code snippets.

 

Adding Rows

If you want to add rows to the default RSS feed for each entry, the best way to do this is with the rss2_item action. In the example below I add an <image> row if my posts have featured images.

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add_action('rss2_item', function() {
	global $post;
	if ( $post->post_type != 'cctv_image' )
		return;
 
	// Only add rows to feed with post images
	if ( !has_post_thumbnail($post->ID) )
		return;
 
	// Get the featured image URL and dimensions
	$thumbnail_id = get_post_thumbnail_id( $post->ID );
	$result = wp_get_attachment_image_src( $thumbnail_id, 'full' );
 
	// Did an error occur?
	if ( !$result )
		return;
 
	$url = $result[0];
	$width = $result[1];
	$height = $result[2];
	echo "<image width='$width' height='$height'>$url</image>";
});

Now if a post has a featured image, it’s RSS entry will contain the following extra line:

<image width=”640″ height=”480″>http://mysite.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/my_image.jpg</image>

 

Complete Customisation

The above not enough for you? Do you want complete control over what is and isn’t in your feed? Add the following to your functions.php:

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remove_all_actions( 'do_feed_rss2' );
add_action( 'do_feed_rss2', function( $for_comments ) {
	if ( $for_comments )
		load_template( ABSPATH . WPINC . '/feed-rss2-comments.php' );
	else
	{
		if ( $rss_template = locate_template( 'feed-rss2.php' ) )
			// locate_template() returns path to file
			// if either the child theme or the parent theme have overridden the template
			load_template( $rss_template );
		else
			load_template( ABSPATH . WPINC . '/feed-rss2.php' );
	}
}, 10, 1 );

The above allows you to drop aΒ feed-rss2.phpΒ file into your theme folder which will be loaded in place of the default RSS template when a visitor hits your RSS feed URL. Put whatever you like in there!

  • Typically you’ll want to separate out the function from the add_action call so it’s not anonymous. Other than that, nice article!

    • flynsarmy

      This is good advice. I just tend to get lazy πŸ™‚