A couple of people have asked me if setting up a syndicated feed is "easy" and I will say that it's not easy if you're not familiar with setting up your own WordPress blog but it's easy enough that I can do it!! This tutorial is a brief overview of how I do it, this is not the only way to set up a feed, but it works.
What you need to set up a feed:
1. A domain name.
You can buy a domain name at any reputable domain name registrar or register one as part of a hosting package deal. Many hosts now offers a "free domain name" with some type of hosting plan.
2. Select a hosting company (for your domain).
I went with BlueHost because they offer unlimited disk storage, gigs of site transfer (really important if you're running a feed), and a lot of other scripts that you'll need to set up the site. The cost of running a feed is minimal compared to the time that you will be dedicating to maintaining it. If you can afford hosting for 1 blog site, you can afford hosting for a 'feed' site.
3. Install WordPress.
WordPress installation is very easy. Most hosting companies now make it easier than ever to install WordPress, and other popular scripts to make your life easier! With BlueHost, I was able to set it all up without ever needing to upload the files on my own.
One thing that I think might be tricky for people who haven't done this before is setting up the MySQL database. But, anything you don't know how to do, you should refer to the Help section of hosting company or use google!!
4. Install the FeedWordPress plug-in by RadGeek.
Everyone that is running a feed on WordPress uses this plug-in to syndicate other websites.
How long will this take?
Assuming that you already have the domain + hosting all set up, it will take less than an hour to set up the feed.
– Find a WordPress theme with a wide blog column.
– Make sure your links are pointing back to the original source of the post and turn off comments on syndicated posts.
– When things break, use Google (the answer is out there, really!!)
– Don't use your feed to punish others.
If you haven't been to Avanista.com, it is a syndicated feed that I've set up using all the scripts mentioned above.
I hope this helps point you to the right direction, if you're planning on setting up a feed using WordPress. There are other, more powerful scripts out there (such as PlanetPlanet) but I can't help you with those since I don't have a clue how to install them 😀
Feel free to send me questions if you need help! I'll answer them if I know what you're talking about.
(The picture above has nothing to do with this tutorial, but I'm in a beachy mood today.)
Great tutorial Gogo. I love that you are willing to share your knowledge with others. And oh the pic is cute too!
I love this pic so muchhhhh<3<3<3<3
planet planet isn’t as robust as feedwordpress which is why charles wrote it. Meerkat is actually an old aggregator that unfortunately isn’t developed anymore but man I preferred their features. I actually was going to use planetplanet but decided against it because I preferred how feedwordpress worked. If you don’t like feed wordpress there’s also autoblog (cost- but when I looked at screenshots it honestly looked like the base code was feedwordpress). I’d also recommend if you like feedwordpress donate to him so that he can continue to develop. WP-o-matic is written by a wonderkid (he’s now 17) but he’s been slow on development probably because he’s busy, but wp-o-matic is another option for your WP feed aggregator. I have a host of plugins to help mine too. Twitter plugin to twitter every post so people can follow my feed on twitter. A plugin to help recognize when a mobile browser is looking and it will format it (I had to tweak this some and it’s not so functional on blackberries).
Hope this adds something to your post for information. Also themewise you say search for a wide column theme, exactly! Fluid width or variable width is where one should start when searching themes and know how to edit css (or ask google) it will make your life a lot easier.
If you want to add advertising I use openx which you have to manually install unless your hosting does it for you (I actually manually install it all because I’m weird like that). There are advertising and openx widgets available and help forums for them both in getting them to work (hint: Don’t have firefox’s adblock on when testing such widgets). I prefer to use openx because it offers to email information regarding how many impressions the user received during their campaign and also how many click-throughs.
Anywho, thought I would share a couple things I personally use.