Aside from this site, I’ve set up a WordPress site for my research colleagues and I to share references, events, ideas, project progress and so on. We use a combination of posts and pages with numerous comments on each. So, we generate a lot of new content that we all need to keep on top of. I’ve installed the Subscribe 2 plug-in, which enables the site to send daily emails of updates, however it does not include amends to pages and some of our team would prefer to see a summary of the recent items on the site rather than via email (already having bulging in boxes). A search for plug-ins or widgets to display “recent updates” or similar on the WordPress site was proving fruitless and I thought the task impossible without resorting to coding my own solution, until I dug a little deeper on using RSS.
WordPress produces two RSS feeds out of the box, one for entries (‘blog posts) and one for comments (on both posts and pages). However the entries feed does not include new pages and page updates. Step forward another handy plug-in RSS Includes Pages which does exactly what it says on the tin. The team could now use their favourite RSS reader to view the feeds, including web-based tools such as Google Reader*. However it’s possible to go one step further and include the feeds on their source WordPress site itself. By adding RSS Widgets to the sidebar of the site with the URLs of the site’s own feeds. (WordPress eats itself?)
*Google reader isn’t without its limitations. In particular it cannot read feeds from password protected websites (as ours is). No problem as another useful and free web application, Free My Feed, will generate new URLs given the feed URL and password details (which aren’t stored and are encrypted in the new feed URL).