The easiest way to syndicate WordPress websites, either for your individual blogs or for a course website, is to use the plugin called FeedWordPress. This plugin will allow you pull posts from other blogs and put them into one centralized location. First things first, you need to install the plugin:
When installing FeedWordPress, you will want to install the plugin on the site to which you wish to syndicate all your other blogs (i.e. your main site or course site).
- After logging into your dashboard of your website, you’ll want to access your plugins to install FeedWordPress. Click Plugins in the menu on the left side of the window.
- From here you’ll want to add a new plugin. You can do this two different ways. One, you can select Add New from the menu on the left hand side just under Installed Plugins. Second, you can click Add New above the Active or Inactive menus.
- Next you’ll want to search for FeedWordPress. In the search bar, in the upper right hand corner, type in FeedWordPress. Click install on the first FeedWordPress to begin the installation process. *Note, some browsers may ask if it is okay to install the plugin. Click okay (or whatever the equivalent might be).
Once you have installed the plugin, you will notice a new option on your sidebar menu titled “Syndication”. This is where you will have the option to add sites you want syndicated to your main website. Additionally, you will have the option of changing specific settings to the plugin.
Resolving Broken Syndication Links
There are two very common reasons that FeedWordPress syndication links break:
- Domain Expiration / No Posts
- Wrong Feed URL
Domain Expiration / No Posts
Students’ posts may not be syndicating because their domain expired or because they have not posted anything. Both of these issues will cause FeedWordPress to throw errors, but both have easy solutions that will automatically fix the FeedWordPress errors. Students’ domains expire after 2 weeks from their sign up date if they have not confirmed their email address (it is always their UMW email). When they signed up for a domain they were sent a confirmation email (which sometimes ends up in the Junk or Spam folder) and in that email is a confirmation link that they need to click to prevent their domain from expiring. If the student’s domain has expired, they need to find that email and click the link in order for syndication to work again. If they have lost the confirmation email, they can email a member of DTLT, who can resend the confirmation email to them. Likewise, if a student has not made any blog posts then there would be nothing for FeedWordPress to syndicate.
Wrong Feed URL
Sometimes a student will forget to add /feed to the end of their site URL when entering in their feed URL in Add Link. When this happens the student’s posts will not syndicate because FeedWordPress cannot find the feed URL. Here are a few quick steps to solve this issue.
- Go to Syndicated Sites under Syndication on your Dashboard.
- Find the student’s link that is not syndicating. The FeedWordPress error will look like this:
If you look closer, you can see that the feed URL does not end in /feed. Below is a comparison between this broken feed URL a proper feed URL.
Fixing the feed URL
- Switch the feed URL
- Check for a feed
- Use the found feed
Once you’ve added the correct feed URL to the syndicated link, all you need to do is update the feed and the student’s posts should begin to populate on and in the site!