For individual posts, the Extra Feeds plugin will add code into the
<header> of one’s page to provide feed readers that have built-in discovery mechanisms the ability to find the additional feeds provided by WordPress for all the tags, categories, and other custom taxonomies that appear on any given page.
Without the plugin, WordPress core will generally only provide the main feed for your site and that of your comments feed. This is fine for sites that only post a few times a day or even per week. If you’re owning more of the content you post online on your own website as part of the IndieWeb or Domain of One’s Own movements, you’ll likely want more control for the benefit of your readers.
In reality WordPress provides feeds for every tag, category, or custom taxonomy that appears on your site, it just doesn’t advertise them to feed readers or other machines unless you add them manually or via custom code or a plugin. Having this as an option can be helpful when you’re publishing dozens of posts a day and your potential readers may only want a subsection of your posting output.
In my case I have a handful of taxonomies that post hundreds to thousands of items per year, so it’s more likely someone may want a subsection of my content rather than my firehose. In fact, I just ran across a statistician yesterday who was following just my math and information theory/biology related posts. With over 7,000 individual taxonomy entries on my site you’ve got a lot of choice, so happy hunting and reading!
This is useful in that now while you’re on any particular page and want to subscribe to something on that specific page, it will be much easier to find those feeds, which have always been there, but are just not easily uncovered by many feed reader work flows because they weren’t explicitly declared.
Some examples from a recent listen post on my site now let you more easily find and subscribe to:
- my faux-cast:
<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="Chris Aldrich » listen Kind Feed" href="https://boffosocko.com/kind/listen/feed/rss/" />
- the feed of items tagged with Econ Extra Credit, which I’m using to track my progress in Marketplace’s virtual book club:
<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="Chris Aldrich » Econ Extra Credit Tag Feed" href="https://boffosocko.com/tag/econ-extra-credit/feed/rss/" />
- the feed for all posts by an author:
<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="Chris Aldrich » Posts by Chris Aldrich Feed" href="https://boffosocko.com/author/chrisaldrich/feed/rss/" />