How to Improve FeedWordPress

FeedWordPress Logo

FeedWordPress is probably the best free plugin to grab articles from WordPress RSS feeds. Syndication is not the best practice, but it suits the needs of a client and their site network.

With WP_DEBUG enabled, the plugin does show strict standards warnings on newer versions of PHP. The author did add hooks, so we can make some changes in functions.php without editing the plugin.

The worst issue found was with Categories and Tags. WordPress RSS feeds have no differentiation between taxonomies, they are all listed as follows: <category><![CDATA[ Taxonomy ]]></category>. We could have customised the feeds, but then the functionality wouldn’t be compatible with other WordPress sites. The best way around this, is to have your own local Categories, and assign all that don’t match as Tags.

This then brings me to the option Don’t syndicate posts unless they match at least one local Category’. The option doesn’t work. As you can imagine it leads to articles importing without a category assigned, not even ‘Uncategorized’. Without any category at all, these posts don’t display on the website and clutter your archive. The best workaround I could think of to keep these articles useful, was to assign the WordPress default category (or one you desire) as they import.

The next issue is that sometimes the excerpts from the RSS feed have a Read More link. We’ll need to strip that out to prevent display issues on our website.

FeedWordPress has a nasty habit of syndicating duplicate posts when tapped into multiple feeds. So lets just move them to trash on import.

Lastly, we don’t want search engines to index these articles, they aren’t original content on our website. I also make use of Yoast WordPress SEO, we’ll use that to our advantage.

As you can see, we managed to get around our FeedWordPress issues without needing to modify a single line of code in a plugin. Maybe this will help you do something similar. I do hope the author will eventually update the plugin to improve the situation.