Replied to a tweet by Bill BennettBill Bennett (Twitter)
“@ChrisAldrich Hi Chris, have you found an easy way to send different types or kinds to separate RSS feeds from Wordpress?”
Bill, I’m not sure I follow your question. What problem are you trying to solve?

If take a stab and read it as “how could one subscribe to a subset of content from a WordPress website”, then it helps to know that the core functionality of WordPress automatically includes feeds for all the taxonomies (and a variety of combinations) on a site. This means that all your tags, categories, Post Formats, Post Kinds (if you have those) all have individual feeds. Thus if you wanted to separate your “featured” longer reads from your status updates, checkins, likes, or other post types, you could add a specific category or tag to those posts and they’d have a feed you could provide people with to subscribe. If you added “featured” as the tag, then the feed from your site would be:

https://billbennett.co.nz/tag/featured/feed/

Since you’re using post kinds, you already have an “article” feed at: 

https://billbennett.co.nz/kind/article/

All of your top level menu items look like they have feeds associated with them, for example:

https://billbennett.co.nz/telecommunications/feed/

Post Kinds will also allow you to create aggregate feeds based on type so you could provide a linkblog feed of things you’ve liked, favorited, read, and bookmarked (if all of these are enabled on your site) with a link like:

https://billbennett.co.nz/kind/like,favorite,read,bookmark/feed/

It’s a bizarre hodgepodge of both Post Kinds and a category, but you can also specify exotic things like https://boffosocko.com/?kind=note&cat=945 which are things on my sites which are notes and categorized as reads. Simply throw in feed (to the right spot) for https://boffosocko.com/feed/?kind=note&cat=945/ et voilà! Something like this could allow you to tag/categorize your notes, likes, etc. and still not “spam” readers with them because they might be subscribed to your content with the taxonomies of “article” and “telecommunications”, for example.

Some additional illustrative examples include the fact that for most/all of the post kind links on my own homepage one could add /feed/ to the end of those URLs and get a subscribeable feed out of them. I also have some examples on my Subscribe page.

I’ve written a bit about some of this at “Cleaning up feeds, easier social following, and feed readers“, which also includes some links to prior work which may be helpful.

Here’s some additional detail from the WordPress Codex that may be helpful as well: https://wordpress.org/support/article/wordpress-feeds/#finding-your-feed-url

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Chris Aldrich

I'm a biomedical and electrical engineer with interests in information theory, complexity, evolution, genetics, signal processing, theoretical mathematics, and big history. I'm also a talent manager-producer-publisher in the entertainment industry with expertise in representation, distribution, finance, production, content delivery, and new media.

2 thoughts on “”

  1. In a sense I was looking for the opposite approach, that is offering readers a feed at the default https://billbennett.co.nz/feed/ address with everything that qualifies as my journalism but not including, say, the likes, tweets and responses to posts on other sites which can flood the feed.

    Now, the /kind/article/feed seems like an ideal way of doing this, but it’s not going to be automatically picked up by a feedreader or even the WordPress ‘follow’ feed set-up.

    So, ideally I would route /kind/article/feed to /feed/. It may be easier to think of this as a redirection for RSS feeds. Am I crazy to even think this way?

    If that’s doable what about adding, say, /kind/reppost/feed as well, or am I really heading into forbidden territory?

    1. There are different things you could do for these two different implicit questions. I’ll address the discoverability piece first since that may open up lots of other creative possibilities. The redirect solution is potentially less useful and while it fixes an immediate problem, there isn’t as much as you can do with it.

      Discovery

      Most good feed readers have discovery code built into them to find the feeds on sites, so you can help the process out by advertising your suggested feeds into the <header> of your pages. In your case you only have the couple of standard feeds that WordPress provides, so that’s all they’ll find and recommend despite the fact that you’ve probably got a hundred or more potential feeds that your site could produce. I’ve outlined a bit of it in the past. There are a number of ways to inject the code, but All in One SEO plugin provides a field to add code to your site’s header where you’d want to include something like the following:

      <link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="Bill Bennett » Articles" href="https://billbennett.co.nz/kind/article/feed/ " />
      <link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="Bill Bennett » Media Articles - How technology and new media forms affect traditional media like newspapers, radio and TV." href="https://billbennett.co.nz/media/feed/" />

      Just follow these example lines and you can add as many feeds as you’d like feed readers to be able to discover. You can modify the title element as you wish, keeping in mind that that is what the feed readers will display to the end user to describe them. As an example, putting my URL into most feed readers should pop up about a dozen or so various feeds. Here I’ll also note that if you have other sites, there’s no reason why you couldn’t throw in feeds that cover them as well to give readers options of content that’s yours from other locations. Personally, I think it would be cool if outlets would put journalists’ personal feeds into the headers of pages for which they’ve authored content, so that if a reader wanted to subscribe to related off site content, they could.

      Redirect solution

      Since you can control the URLs, you could also always do a 301 redirect of your basic /feed/ page and point it instead to the /kind/article/feed/ page and current subscribers shouldn’t see or feel a difference and future subscribers would similarly be redirected. There are probably redirect plugins that could do this too, but I would simply put the following line of code at the bottom of my .htaccess file to do it:

      Redirect 301 /feed/ /kind/article/feed/

      Here, the general pattern is Redirect, Redirect number (301 for permanent redirects and 302 for temporary ones), the URL you want to redirect followed by the URL you want it to redirect to. I’ve just used relative paths in the example, but you could include entire URLs if you wanted. (In passing, I’ll note that you could post your work for another outlet on your own website to archive it on your backend, but do a redirect for it to the original piece, with something like:

      Redirect 302 https://billbennett.co.nz/path-on-your-website/ https://nzbusiness.co.nz/article/your-5-step-it-security-parachute

      Though if you were to do this on a regular basis, a plugin with some more convenient UI may be in order.

      There are definitely other ways to do all this, but I suspect they wade into some heavy weeds with some serious code. Mucking around in questions and answers on StackExchange may be the place I’d start if you want to customize things to the nth degree.

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