RSS Multi Importer Plugin Faqs

Categories (1)

How Do the Categories Work?

If you go to the tab that says Categories, you can add a number of categories. Let’s call them plugin categories, to distinguish them from the WordPress categories on your web site.

You can then assign each of your feeds to 1 category – only 1 category is possible with this plugin.

If you’re using the shortcode, you can then use the category parameter (category=n) to only show the feeds from a certain category, like this:

[wp_rss_multi_importer category="n']

You can comma delimit this parameter to have several categories show on a page (e.g., category=1,2,3)

[wp_rss_multi_importer category="1,2,3']

If you are using the Feed to Post feature, you can assign your plugin categories to your blog categories – you do this at the bottom of the Feed to Post admin page.  In this way, you can have one feed assigned to it’s own plugin category and then assign that plugin category to one of your blog categories.  Once that is done, you can display different posts in different categories on your site (but, since this Feed to Post, that just puts the items into the blog category – it’s up to your wordpress settings to determine how you want this displayed on your site).

Customizing (2)

I’d Like to Change the Color of the Title on the Widget

You can do this by going to the template.css file and looking at the top.  You’ll see this:

div.news a{
//color:#cccccc;
}

Just un-comment the color line and put in whatever color you want, so it will look like this (with you own color):

div.news a{
color:#FFFFFF;
}

Changing the Way Images Float and More

For many ways you want to change the way the output looks, you can use parameters if you’re using the Shortcode. For example, if you are using the DEFAULT template and want to change the way the images float (say, to the right) and keep images smaller (say, to 100pxx in width), you simply use parameters in the shortcode, like this:

[wp_rss_multi_importer floattype="right" maximgwidth="100"]

You can find all the parameters available by going to the Shortcode Parameters tab in the admin section of the plugin.

Dates (1)

The Dates of my Posts are all set to 1970 – What’s Going On?

Simply put, that means the posting date in the RSS is badly formed…contact the source of the RSS feed and tell them to put in valid dates.

Default Category Images (1)

How Do I Get the Default Category Images to Work?

Watch this video to see how you add a default category image.

http://www.screencast.com/t/u8PBrl6sM

Double Posts (1)

I’m Getting Double Posts with the Feed to Post

To understand what might be happening, here is how the code works to prohibit a feed item being made into a post multiple times.

Each feed brings in multiple feed items.  When each feed item is brought into the plugin, the first thing the program does is see if that item has already been entered.  It does this by taking the permalink of the item (the URL) and putting into the WordPress meta_posts table.

Each feed item then is first checked to see if it’s permalink is in the meta_posts table .  If this is true, the item isn’t entered again as a post.  If the permalink doesn’t exist, this means it has been entered yet, so it’s posted as a new post.

The cron scheduler will take care of bringing in the posts and as long as the scheduler is working well, you should have no problems.  But if you click on Click to Fetch Feeds Now at the same time the cron scheduler is firing, the ability of the plugin to check if the permalink has already been entered doesn’t work well (because WordPress need to process many things at the same time).  As a result, you may get a double post.

There are also some rare situations where the permalinks for a given feed post change and that will cause double posting problems.  But, again, these are rare and are almost always due to the feed provider doing an update and changing the permalink as a result. There is nothing this plugin can do about that.

Finally, when you delete a post, the permalink is still live as far as WordPress is concerned….so if you try to bring the post in via the plugin, the permalink is still there, so the post will not come in again. But if you delete the trash, the permalink is gone so the plugin assumes the post is ok to bring in again.

Error Messages (5)

You Have One Feed and It’s Not Valid

If you get this message:  You have one feed and it’s not valid. This is likely a problem with the source of the RSS feed.

The problem is likely that your server is not able to pull an RSS feed from another web site.  This is most often due to a server configuration that your web hosting service has.  You can see what’s going on by putting in this shortcode in place of what you have now:

[wp_rss_multi_importer dumpthis="1"]

The output on the page will have a bunch of information. If you see an Array that is Null, or some error message, then this is a problem with the feed or the server.

Error Message – A feed could not be found….

If you get this type of error message:

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at (put your RSS feed URL here). A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

This means simply that there is a problem with the RSS feed.  There is no cure that can be done on the part of the plugin.  The problem resides with the RSS feed.  You can confirm this for yourself by using the WordPress RSS widget that comes with every theme.  When you put that RSS feed in the widget, you’ll get the same error.

Suggestion:  Drop that RSS feed, or contact whoever provides the RSS feed to tell them there is problems with their feed.

I’m Told the Feed Isn’t Valid or Working

All feeds must be at least validated by using a resource like:

http://validator.w3.org/appc/

If the feed isn’t valid, it will not work in the plugin.

Also, put the feed into a Firefox browser. If nothing shows, then then feed doesn’t work. If it sometimes shows, when you refresh the browser, then the plugin will sometimes show the feed, and sometimes not.

Finally, put your feed in this demo

www.simplepie.org/demo

In short, if the feed isn’t valid or isn’t working in the demo, it simply won’t work in the plugin.  Now, note that when you do this on the simplepie site, you are using THEIR server, so it might work there, but not on your server (and your server could be the cause of this problem – see below).

If you’re using the shortcode, the next step is to check off this box in the shortcode admin tab

screenshot_914

Now, if you find that the feed is valid (using the link above) and the demo is showing your feed, and you’ve tried checking off the box above, but it doesn’t work when using the plugin, then the problem lies with your server. The reason for this is because the plugin uses simplepie (just like the demo) to read the feed in exactly the same way as the demo…but the demo is on a server that is accepting the feed. This means your server is not accepting the feed – this could be due to your WP installation or your server.

Finally, it’s also likely your server has blocked the feed from coming in, so you need to check on your server to see what’s going on.

I’m getting this message: Warning: file_get_contents(http:) [function.file-get-contents]: failed to open stream:

This error occurs where an external feed is causing problems (typically do to their server), or possibly when the feed is not formed correctly in the admin section of the plugin.

To find out what’s going on with that error message, you need to try this. Change out the short code you have their now and put this in instead:
[wp_rss_multi_importer dumpthis="1"] (you can add any category parameter if you current have them)

Then, go to the page and refresh until to see the error message. Above the output you’ll see a lot of garbage (it’s actually an array of the information brought in by the RSS feeds), but that is what I need. So, wait until you get the error message, then send me the garbage output. You can send that to me using the contact form on this site.

Warning: getimagesize(…) [function.getimagesize]: failed to open stream:

If you get this warning message, this means your server is having a difficult time retrieving the image from the server that is giving you the RSS feed. This happens for several reasons but is typically unrelated to the plugin.

Here is workaround. You’ll need to edit the final called template.css. If you don’t know how to do this, watch this quick movie.

The add the top of this file (or anywhere, really) add this code:

.imagefix img{
width:150px;
height:auto;
}

and save. Now your images will be restricted to 150px wide, which is what the getimagesize function that caused your problems was trying to do.

Excerpts (1)

How Do I Get Rid of the “Read More” in the Excerpts?

If you are using the shortcode, put in the parameter morestyle and set it to blank, like this:

[wp_rss_multi_importer morestyle=""]

If you are using the Feed to Post, put in NONE where it says what text you want to use, like this:

screenshot_126

If these do not work, it’s most likely that the RSS feed itself has “read more” in the content – and this cannot be taken away by the plugin.

Featured Images (1)

The Featured Image Isn’t Working

First of all, the featured image only works with the Feed to Post (not the Shortcode). If you think you’ve chosen to have images become featured images, the first thing is to verify this is what you’ve chosen.  So, first verify this selection in the admin page

screenshot_899

Then after you’ve input the posts, go to any post and look at the edit page and you should see the featured image as shown here:

screenshot_898

That means the image is a featured image. If it doesn’t show up on your site, that is not a problem with the plugin….that is a problem with your theme. Your theme may not recognize or use the featured image. So check with your theme settings.

Again, if you are using the Feed to Post option, and selected using the featured image in your posts, then most problems on how the featured image looks, etc, are totally due to the theme you are using and having little or nothing to do with the plugin. All the plugin does is take the image and make it the featured image…the rest is done by your theme.

Feed to Post (7)

I’ve Got Several Feeds, But Only 1 Or 2 Feeds Are Coming In

Here is a common question:

I’ve got 5 feeds but only 1 or 2 of them are coming in.  What’s wrong?

The answer often lies in the way you have 2 settings in the Feed to Post panel.  Here is one example:

screenshot_643

Here is the problem.  That this says is to pull in 10 posts per fetch (the second number) but 10 posts from each feed.  If the first of the 5 feeds has 10 posts, then the requirement of getting 10 posts is fulfilled, and there is no reason to get any more posts from any other feed.

You can easily solve this, but getting, say 2 posts from each feed…then each of the 5 feeds will have 2 posts (or a total of 10).  This is how you’d set this up:

screenshot_644

Your situation may differ but the basic idea stays the same.  As it says, the Number of Total Post Entries per Fetch (should be much greater than the number of entries per feed).

I’m Using Feed to Post, But It’s Not Updating

There are several things that could be happening here, the first one is whether the cron scheduler is working properly on your site.  First, download this plugin

Cron GUI

Then go to Tools, What’s in Cron, and you should see what the arrow’s are pointing to

If this is working as shown, and you’re still not getting an update, then it’s possible the feeds are not being pulled in by the server.  So, one thing you can try is using the shortcode on a page and see if the feeds are pulling in ok or giving you an error.

It’s also possible there are no new feeds to update, so always put the feed into a Firefox browser and see if new items are in the feed.

If you are still running into problems, then read this.

I’m Using Feed to Post and the Posts Are Messing Up My Page

If you are using the feed to post option, then the plugin does nothing more than taking the contents of the feed and making them into typical WordPress posts. If the posts are coming out strange, there are likely one of two reasons for this. Either something needs fixing in the theme and how it displays the posts (like the posts are supposed to display in the sidebar given the theme template you have them on), or there is bad html in the RSS feed and when that is brought in, the bad html is messing up your theme. The way to check the second possibility is by looking at the blog entries in your posts admin section. If you note there is a lot of divs, etc, especially unclosed divs, then that is the problem. You can fix this by checking the option to strip all html code out of the content. Other than that, the problem likely lies in the RSS feed.

Also, if you are setting the images as featured images, all this does is associate that image with your blog post. If the post is messed up its due to how your theme handles featured images.

One way to also check up on what’s happening is change your theme to the basic WordPress theme and see if the problem goes away.

I Want to Get the Entire Post From Another Site – How Do I Do That?

The fact is you can only get what is in the RSS Feed using my plugin. If it’s not in the RSS feed, it can’t go into into your blog posts (using Feed to Post). If you want to know how to find the RSS feed go here. If you want to find out how much content is in the RSS feed, put the RSS feed URL into a Firefox browser and what comes up is typically (not always) as much content with the plugin.

Finally, most sites have no incentive to give you the entire post in the RSS feed…they want users to come back to their site so putting all their content in the RSS feed doesn’t make sense.

I’m Using the Feed to Post and Want to Present the Posts in a Specific Way

All the plugin does is turn the RSS items into blog posts – everything else is up to your theme and it’s settings.

Filters (1)

How Do the Filters Work?

If you want to filter words in or out of your rss items, the first thing is to put the feed into a category.  If you have several feeds you want filter out same words, then put all those feeds into the same category (this is because the plugin only filters at the category level). Then go to the Categories tab and look for this section.

screenshot_64

What you see here is a way to put in words you want to filter for a given category.  In this case the category is Tech and the words I want to include are “I want these words” – that is only posts that have the words “I want these words” will come through.  (NOTE: You can put in more than one word or phrase – just separate them by a comma.) If I click the box that says “check to exclude words”, then posts that do not have the words “I want these words” will come through.

General question (11)

How to Get Help

Here is a simple way to get help fixing a problem you think my plugin is causing. Just do 3 things:

  1. Clearly explain what you found is the problem.
  2. Provide the RSS URLs that are involved in this problem
  3. Clearly specify any errors that you found on your site (the more precise the message, the easier it is to figure out what is going on)

Without these 3 things, it is usually impossible for me to help you.

You can state these 3 things on the discussion list on this site or at the wordpress site.

Finally, you should check out the other FAQs in  case your question has already been answered.

I’ve scheduled a cron job, but it’s not working

My plugin uses the wordpress scheduling program to do various things, most importantly to bring in feed posts at a regular interval. However, there are well known limitations with this scheduling program, including:

  • DNS issue in the server.
  • Plugins conflict
  • Heavy load in the server which results in WP-Cron not executed fully
  • WordPress bug
  • Using of cache plugins that prevent the WP-Cron from loading
  • And many other reasons

When the schedule is missed, WordPress typically fires off the cron job the next time some visitor hits the site.  But, as noted above this still may not work on your site.

The only way to solve this is to use a real cron scheduler..which your web hosting service probably has.

Go here to learn more about this.

 

How Do I Use the Categories?

Here’s how you use the categories. First, set up categories on the Category Settings tab.

Then add the feeds and you’ll see you’ll be able (once you save a feed) to then assign it to a category (a feed can then be assigned to a category).

You’ll notice on the category page that each category also as an ID number (the shortcode is given for you). Just take the shortcode for any category and place that on the page where you want the feed that is assigned to that category to go).

So, for example, let’s say you have the category of News and you see this shortcode next to the News category

[wp_rss_multi_importer category="1"]

Then if you place that shortcode on a page, the items you see will come from all the feeds you categorized as News.

That’s it.

In this way, you can assign all the feeds in the admin section to different categories, then have all the feeds show up on different pages on your web site, depending on the category.

How Does the Number of Entries per Feed and Page or Fetch Work?

The number of entries per feed says “give me this number of items from each feed”

Then, if you’re using the shortcode it will also say this:

The number of entries per Page of Output says “give me this number of items for the page of output”

If you’re using the Feed to Post it will say this:

Number of Total Post Entries per Fetch which means “get this total number of items each time you fetch from the rss servers”

Ok., so let’s say you have 3 feeds you’re trying to get posts from and you use this setting:

screenshot_872

 

 

 

 

What this says is “give me 5 items from each rss feed and a total of 5 items”.  So, what will happen is the plugin will pull in 5 items from the first feed and then stop (since that’s all you asked it to pull in (since the number of entries per page is 5).

The same thing happens when you use the feed to post. Here’s an example from a real user. They have 30 feeds, but here is there setting:

screenshot_944

So what will happen is simple.  The plugin will take in 20 items from the first feed, then 20 items from second, until 100 items are fetched.  Thus of the 30 feeds this person has, only the first 5 will get fetched.  They will start wondering why most of the feed items aren’t coming in…but the answer is simple.

So, here is how you solve the settings very easily.  Take the number of feeds you have (let’s call this N) and the number of items you want from each feed (let’s call this M), then the number you want to put for the Number of Entries per Page of Output or the Number of Entries Per Fetch), should be greater than or equal to M times N.

So for the first example above:  5 feeds, 3 items from each feed, total items per fetch should be 3×5=15 and for the second, 20×30=300

Things You Cannot Do With This Plugin

  • You cannot bring in the entire article from another site.  If the RSS feed doesn’t have the content in it, it cannot be imported.
  • You cannot increase the size of an image – if the image in the feed is very small, it will be blurry when you make it bigger.  The plugin doesn’t crop, enlarge, etc. any image.
  • Make a feed that is not formed correctly work – if the feed is bad, it won’t work in the plugin.
  • Bring in more feed items than the RSS feed has in it. Put the RSS feed into a Firefox browser and count the number of items you see there. That’s all that is in the RSS feed at that time.

Where Do I Find the RSS Feed URL for a Web Site?

To find the RSS feed url for a site, you need to first look for the symbol or link for the RSS feed. The typical way of doing this is to look for this icon on a web site.
RSS-icon

Clicking on this icon typical brings you to the RSS feed, or a page where a site gives you a number of RSS feed links.

On many sites, finding this RSS icon isn’t obvious so you need to look around a bit. Many times the icon (of many even there is no icon or it’s in a different color) is in the footer of the site, like this:

screenshot_937and other times it’s on a specific page (which usually gives the feed for a category on a web site, like this:

screenshot_938or maybe in the drop down menu in the upper navigation bar, like this:

screenshot_939and then there are times when the site does not tell you where the feed is. In these cases you can simply go to the site and then to to your browser to View the Source code and you can see if there is an RSS feed there, like this:

screenshot_940

Finally, the plugin uses SimplePie that has a feature called auto-discovery, which, in principle will find the RSS feed URL for a web site even if you put in the home page URL of the site.  This doesn’t always work (for example, if there is no RSS feed, it won’t find anything, or if there are multiple RSS feeds, it may find the first one but that’s all, or many other things can happen where auto-discovery won’t find the feed).  For this reason, it’s best to become savvy and finding the RSS feed URL yourself.

What’s the Difference Between Using the Shortcode and the Feed to Post?

The main difference is that feed to post results in the feed items becoming blog posts, so then you have all the features of normal blog posts on your wordpress site. The shortcode just places the feed items on your site without them becoming blog posts, so everything is then dependent on the plugin settings.

Can This Plugin Grab All the Content From Another Site?

You cannot bring in the entire content from another site unless the entire content is in the RSS feed. If the RSS feed doesn’t have the content in it, it cannot be imported. You might put the RSS feed URL into a Firefox browser and see how much content shows up (you need to look at view source to see this more precisely).

Is It a Bug or Not?

When someone says there is a bug with the plugin, the first thing I do is try to replicate the problem on two different servers using the same plugin.  One server is a development server I have on my home computer (using MAMP to run the development web site) and the other is a public site on Hostgator.

Typically the bug is reported by someone who can’t get a feed to work or something else happens to make the feed not work as they want.  So I take the feed, recreate the settings on both of my servers.  If the problem cannot be reproduced on 2 completely different servers using the exact same plugin, then I conclude the problem is not with the plugin, but is with the user’s  WordPress set up.

Several things can be causing the discrepancy between my situation and that of a user.  Most likely it’s either due to the server the user is on (that is creating the problem) or the user is using other plugins that conflict with mine. Since there are over 24,000 plugins I cannot test my plugin against all others – so it’s up to the user to figure out where the conflict is.  Since this is open source, if there is a conflict between two plugins, one or other needs to change.

A final word…there are a myriad reasons why an RSS reader won’t work for you..many of those reasons have nothing to do with the plugin – it can be the RSS feed, the server, conflicting plugins, the theme you are using, and even something to do with your WordPress installation.  Many other WordPress plugins don’t have this problem since they are not trying to go out into the world and get information (like an RSS reader does) nor do they rely on your server to open up ports to go out and get these feeds.

Nothing Shows Up

If you put the shortcode on a page, save it, then nothing shows up, here are some things to do right now:

  1. Make sure the shortcode is correct, for example [wp_rss_multi_importer].  If you also have a parameter (like a category parameter), make sure that is included, as in [wp_rss_multi_importer category="1"].
  2. Make sure the shortcode is entered in the HTML mode (as compared to Visual mode).
  3. If 1 and 2 are correct, then add this parameter to the shortcode (dumpthis=”1″), like this:  [wp_rss_multi_importer dumpthis="1"].  Then look at the page again, and capture what is there and send it to me using the contact form on this site.

Googe News (1)

Google News Doesn’t Seem to Work with the Plugin

Some people have had problems getting feeds from Google News to work.  Here are some tips that can help you understand what’s going on:

  1. Get rid of the https at the beginning of the feed…just use http.
  2. Check the box as indicated here.  This will use a more direct method of getting the feed (if you are using the Shortcode):screenshot_957
  3. Sometimes Google News acts strangely – if you put the RSS feed URL in to the address bar of a Firefox browser, sometimes you’ll see the feed as XML and other times not.  This causes all sorts of problems for the feed reader (SimplePie) and there is nothing that can be done about this.
  4. The images from Google News are typically small (80×80), so setting the image size to 150px in the admin section will make the images blurry.
  5. Finally, Google doesn’t always make the image links fully qualified – meaning there is no http associated with the image link.  This can also cause problems.

The net of all of this is that feeds from Google News may or may not work on your site – this is not a problem due to the plugin, but is a problem due to RSS feeds and the ways companies use them.

 

Images (6)

Why Is the Resolution of My Images Reduced?

The plugin takes whatever is image in the feed, and adjusts it according to what size you choose. But if the image is smaller that the size you choose the image will be stretched and thus the resolution will be reduced. Here is an example.

screenshot_922

Notice the original size of the image is 160×67, but it is being adjusted (by the choice of the user of the plugin) to be bigger (to a width of 250), thus the resolution is reduced.

The fix, don’t choose a size bigger than the images in your RSS feed.

But wait, some people think because the images on the originating web site are big, therefore they should have large images showing up on their site. It makes no difference how large the image is on the original site, it depends totally on the size of the image in the RSS feed – and that is determined by the feed provider (not the plugin).

Why Are the Images from my Google News Site so Blurry?

The reason for this is because many of the images are about 80×80 pixels large.

screenshot_920

If you have the shortcode admin setting for making the image 150px wide, the images will be blurry because they are being enlarged. So the solution is to turn off the setting to make them 150px large.

I’m Using Google News and the Shortcode But the Images Aren’t Showing Up

Just check the box indicated by arrow…this should solve the problem.
screenshot_1005

Images aren’t showing up on my page

Here is a quick way to see if images are in the RSS feed in a way that this plugin can recognize them. Watch this quick video.

Warning: getimagesize(…) [function.getimagesize]: failed to open stream:

If you get this warning message, this means your server is having a difficult time retrieving the image from the server that is giving you the RSS feed. This happens for several reasons but is typically unrelated to the plugin.

Here is workaround. You’ll need to edit the final called template.css. If you don’t know how to do this, watch this quick movie.

The add the top of this file (or anywhere, really) add this code:

.imagefix img{
width:150px;
height:auto;
}

and save. Now your images will be restricted to 150px wide, which is what the getimagesize function that caused your problems was trying to do.

My images are out of alignment – some overlap

If you get results like is show in this image, where some entries seem to be out of alignment, here is what you do.  Watch this quick movie which shows how to change the CSS file (this assumes you are using the default template).

http://screencast.com/t/ND07J2Om9j

Lightbox (3)

Lightbox goes blank

There are certain sites that do not allow other sites to show their content inside a lightbox (otherwise known is an iFrame).  This includes but is not limited to Pinterest.  I’ll post other such sites here as people point them out.  Another culprit is Twitter who has said it will discontinue it’s RSS feeds.  In both of these situation, simply choose another way to open the link.

Lightbox doesn’t work on an iPhone

If you find this is happening, first make sure you have the most updated version of the plugin.  The problem is that while the lightbox will show, you can’t scroll…this is a problem with the iphone, not the plugin.

Lightbox opens and then opens like a new window

Several sites do not allow the lightbox to work. This is because a lightbox is an iframe. Pinterest and the NYtimes are examples of sites that will not allow you to view their sites via a lightbox.

Pagination (2)

The Pagination Doesn’t Work Correctly

First of all, in some rare cases there are other plugins that may conflict with RSS Multi Importer and stop the pagination (using the Shortcode) to not work.  In most cases, however, the problem is that the user has not looked at the feeds and set the parameters correctly.

Here is an example.  This user is asking for 40 entries from each feed (and because pagination is YES) and a total of 12 posts per page.  The user has 4 feeds.

screenshot_945

However after  putting each feed into a firefox browser it was found that 2 feeds had 20 items and 1 feed had 10 items (and the 4th feed was dead and not working).  Thus, this user will not get 40 items from each feed (only 20 from the first 2 and 10 from the 3rd).

The point is put your feed into a Firefox browser and count the number of items that are in the feed…that is the maximum number of items you will get.  Want more feed items?  Then contact the company or person who provides the feed.

When I Use Load More, It Doesn’t Work or Works Slowly

If you find this feature doesn’t work on your server or with your theme, then just use the normal pagination. These features are provided as-is and if they don’t work for you there is nothing that can be done.

Parameters & Settings (1)

The Shortcode Parameters Don’t Work and Neither Does the Shortcode Settings

The shortcode parameters and settings are all designed for the Default template (in the pull down menu on the shortcode settings admin page).

screenshot_923

If you are using a different template, these parameters and settings may not work. But you can go in and customize these other templates and add whatever you need – this will require a bit of php coding. If you’re not wanting to do this coding, just use the default template.

Performance (1)

My Site is Slow on Pages Where I Have Your Plugin Running

Slowness could be due to (but not limited to):
- a poor or memory intensive theme
- poor or memory intensive plugins
- your server is slow (e.g., “process hang”, overload, you get a lot of visitors, other problems, etc.).

Try installing this plugin to see if, in fact, the problem lies with the RSS Multi Importer plugin.

http://wordpress.org/plugins/p3-profiler/

If it’s mainly slow due to loading a page (where there is shortcode), this is due to the fact that the shortcode is pulling in real time the RSS feeds. If the RSS feeds on the server that produces them is slow, they will slow down your site.

In the next version of the plugin – due out later this year – this will be solved by putting all feeds into the database – until then, you might try a caching plugin to solve the slowness issue.

RSS Feeds (2)

Where Do I Find the RSS Feed URL for a Web Site?

To find the RSS feed url for a site, you need to first look for the symbol or link for the RSS feed. The typical way of doing this is to look for this icon on a web site.
RSS-icon

Clicking on this icon typical brings you to the RSS feed, or a page where a site gives you a number of RSS feed links.

On many sites, finding this RSS icon isn’t obvious so you need to look around a bit. Many times the icon (of many even there is no icon or it’s in a different color) is in the footer of the site, like this:

screenshot_937and other times it’s on a specific page (which usually gives the feed for a category on a web site, like this:

screenshot_938or maybe in the drop down menu in the upper navigation bar, like this:

screenshot_939and then there are times when the site does not tell you where the feed is. In these cases you can simply go to the site and then to to your browser to View the Source code and you can see if there is an RSS feed there, like this:

screenshot_940

Finally, the plugin uses SimplePie that has a feature called auto-discovery, which, in principle will find the RSS feed URL for a web site even if you put in the home page URL of the site.  This doesn’t always work (for example, if there is no RSS feed, it won’t find anything, or if there are multiple RSS feeds, it may find the first one but that’s all, or many other things can happen where auto-discovery won’t find the feed).  For this reason, it’s best to become savvy and finding the RSS feed URL yourself.

Where Can I Find Some RSS Feeds?

Here is an RSS search engine you can use:

http://ctrlq.org/rss/

Scheduling (3)

How to Have More Control over Scheduling of Feteching Feeds

If you want a lot of control over when feeds are fetched, given the problems with WordPress’ own scheduler, I suggest using a free “cron” scheduler (cron just is a technical term for something that allows you to schedule things).

However, before doing this, first  open your wp-config.php file and assure there is no a line like

define('DISABLE_WP_CRON', true);

If you see this line there -  remove it.  That was causing your scheduling problems.

If you’re using a web hosting service, they might provide this for you in the control panel.

Here are some free cron sites you might try out as well:

  • www.onlinecronjobs.com
  • cronless.com
  • www.easycron.com
  • www.mywebcron.com
  • https://www.pingdom.com/free/

The easiest thing to do is have the cron site hit the page that fires the schedules (wp-cron.php).  You do this by having the cron hit this page:

http://www.yourwebsite.com/wp-cron.php?doing_cron

You can try this out by putting the above url (with your domain there, instead of yourwebsite.com) into a browser…that will make the scheduler fire.

My posts are showing up with the wrong time

Since RSS feeds often have a timestamp that is from the country or GMT time zone, they may come into your site (if you’re using the Feed to Post option) that results in them being scheduled for the future.  You can override this by a setting in the admin section for the Feed to Post to set it for the current time.

But in some situations, even that doesn’t work.  In these situations, first make sure your wordpress site has the timezone set correctly.  Go to the settings for wordpress and you can see where to set this:

screenshot_619

If this doesn’t solve the problem, go to this web site and find your timezone:

http://php.net/manual/en/timezones.php

Then place the timezone in the server time zone field (in the Feed to Post settings).  For example, if you are in France, you could put in this:

Europe/Paris

or if you are in Montreal, you would use this:

America/Montreal

Here is an example of entering the timezone for Los Angeles

screenshot_623

The Cron Scheduler Isn’t Working…What’s Happening?

If you’ve set up to have feeds updated using the scheduler in the plugin, and you find it isn’t updating, here are some things you should first understand.

First, if you have deleted earlier posts from the plugin, you must make sure to empty the trash. The plugin looks to see if a post already exists, and if its in the trash (and not deleted), the plugin considers the post still there. So, click on Posts and make sure there is nothing in the trash.

Second, the way the WordPress scheduler works is that it tries to fire, say every 15 min (if that’s what you have it for), but it will only fire if someone actually visits your web site.  So, if nobody visits your web site, it won’t fire.

For some people, it still won’t fire, but that isn’t a problem with the plugin, but rather a problem with WordPress and/or the server it’s running on.

Read this to find out what is going on.

For this reason, you can try another solution, which requires an outside scheduling service.  You can find more about that here.

http://www.wprssimporter.com/faqs/how-to-have-more-control-over-scheduling-of-feteching-feeds/

Templates (2)

How Do I Increase the Number of Items in the Vertical Scroll Template?

Just go to the vertical_scroll.php file and increase the number as shown here.
screenshot_751

For the Boxes Template – How Do I Change the Number and Width?

Use the template.css file in the /template folder and here are the places where you can change these:

2013-07-15_14-57-01

Video (1)

The Embedded Videos are Not Working on My Site

Starting in version 2.66.4 there is an option to embed videos using iFrames when using the Feed to Post.  This should work for YouTube and Vimeo RSS feeds as well as for content where an iFrame is included (as with abcnews). This will not work for everybody and for all videos.  If you find it is not working, this is not a bug in the plugin…this is due to the way your server is configured or the way wordpress is configured (such as if you are on a shared wordpress site, the iframe may be disabled by your host) or the video is idiosyncratic and thus not recognized by the plugin.