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How to Completely Customize Your WordPress RSS Feeds

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Do you want to add content to your WordPress RSS feeds?

RSS stands for ‘Really Simple Syndication’, and WordPress RSS feeds show your latest content. However, by default, there is no option to customize that content for your RSS feed users.

In this article, we will show you how to easily add content and completely manipulate your WordPress RSS feeds.

Adding custom content to your WordPress RSS feeds

Here is a quick overview of the things we will cover in this article:

Add Custom Content to WordPress RSS Feeds (Easy Way)

The easiest way to add custom website content to your WordPress RSS feeds is by using the All in One SEO plugin. It is the best WordPress SEO plugin on the market and allows you to easily optimize your website SEO.

The first thing you need to do is install and activate the All in One SEO plugin. For more details, see our step-by-step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you will be prompted to set up the plugin. Simply follow the on-screen instructions or check out our guide on how to set up All in One SEO.

After that, you need to visit the All in One SEO » General Settings page and switch to the ‘RSS Content’ tab.

Adding custom content to your WordPress RSS feed using All in One SEO

From here, you can add content that you want to display before and after each RSS feed item.

You can use smart tags to add links and other metadata to the custom content.

Adding before and after content for each post in your RSS feed

You can also use basic HTML to format your custom content any way you like.

Once you are satisfied with the changes, don’t forget to click on the Save Changes button.

All in One SEO will now add your custom content to each RSS feed item.

Adding Content to WordPress RSS Feed Using Code

The first method mentioned above is the easiest way to add custom content to your WordPress RSS feeds. However, it adds content to all items in your WordPress feed.

What if you wanted to add content to specific posts, posts in select categories, or display custom metadata in your RSS feed?

These next few steps will help you flexibly add content to your RSS feed using custom code snippets. This is not recommended for beginners.

You can add these code snippets directly to your theme’s functions.php file. However, we recommend using the WPCode plugin instead because it’s the easiest way to add custom code to WordPress without breaking your WordPress website.

It even includes several RSS snippets in its library that can be activated with a few clicks.

Simply install and activate the WPCode free plugin using the instructions in our guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Let’s try some examples of adding custom content in WordPress RSS feeds manually.

1. Add Data From a Custom Field to Your WordPress RSS Feed

Custom fields allow you to add extra metadata to your WordPress posts and pages. However, this metadata is not included in RSS feeds by default.

Adding custom fields in WordPress

Here is a snippet you can use to retrieve and display custom field data in your WordPress RSS feed:

function wpb_rsstutorial_customfield($content) {
global $wp_query;
$postid = $wp_query->post->ID;
$custom_metadata = get_post_meta($postid, 'my_custom_field', true);
if(is_feed()) {
if($custom_metadata !== '') {
// Display custom field data below content
$content = $content."<br /><br /><div>".$custom_metadata."</div>
else {
$content = $content;
return $content;
add_filter('the_excerpt_rss', 'wpb_rsstutorial_customfield');
add_filter('the_content', 'wpb_rsstutorial_customfield');

This code first checks if the custom field has data inside and the custom RSS feed is displayed. After that, it simply appends the content global variable and adds custom field data below the content.

2. Adding Additional Text to Post Titles in RSS

Do you want to display additional text to the title of some posts in your RSS feed? Perhaps you want to distinguish between regular articles and guest or sponsored posts.

Here is how you can add custom content to post titles in your RSS feed.

Example 1: Adding Data from Custom Fields to RSS Feed Post Title

First, you will want to save the content you want to display as a custom field. For instance, you can add guest_post or sponsored_post custom fields.

After that, you can add the following code to your website:

function wpb_rsstutorial_addtitle($content) {
global $wp_query;
$postid = $wp_query->post->ID;
$gpost = get_post_meta($postid, 'guest_post', true);
$spost = get_post_meta($postid, 'sponsored_post', true);
if($gpost !== '') {
$content = 'Guest Post: '.$content;
elseif ($spost !== ''){
$content = 'Sponsored Post: '.$content;
else {
$content = $content;
return $content;
add_filter('the_title_rss', 'wpb_rsstutorial_addtitle');

This code simply looks for the custom fields. If they are not empty, then it appends the value of the custom field to the post title in your RSS feed.

Example 2: Adding Category Name to Post Title in RSS Feed

For this example, we will display the category name in the post title.

Simply add the following code to your website:

function wpb_rsstutorial_titlecat($content) {
$postcat = "";
foreach((get_the_category()) as $cat) {
$postcat .= ' ('.$cat->cat_name . ')';
$content = $content.$postcat;
return $content;
add_filter('the_title_rss', 'wpb_rsstutorial_titlecat');

Now, it will show categories along with post titles in the RSS feed. For example, “Top New Restaurants in Bay Area (News) (Travel)” where News and Travel are categories.

3. Add Custom Content to Posts with Specific Tags or Categories

Now, let’s suppose you want to add custom content but only for posts filed under specific tags or categories.

The following code will help you easily add content to posts filed under specific categories and tags:

function wpb_rsstutorial_taxonomies($content) {
if( is_feed() ){
// Check for posts filed under these categories
if ( has_term( array( 'travel', 'news' ), 'category' ) ) {
$content = $content."<br /><br />For special offers please visit our website"; 
return $content;
add_filter('the_excerpt_rss', 'wpb_rsstutorial_taxonomies');
add_filter('the_content', 'wpb_rsstutorial_taxonomies');

You can modify this code to target tags as well as any custom taxonomies.

Here is an example of targeting specific tags:

function wpb_rsstutorial_taxonomies($content) {
if( is_feed() ){
// Check for posts filed under these categories
if ( has_term( array( 'holidays', 'blackfriday' ), 'post_tag' ) ) {
$content = $content."<br /><br />For special offers please visit our website"; 
return $content;
add_filter('the_excerpt_rss', 'wpb_rsstutorial_taxonomies');
add_filter('the_content', 'wpb_rsstutorial_taxonomies');

By default, your WordPress RSS feed does not show featured images for posts. You can easily add them by using a code snippet that’s included in WPCode’s library.

Simply navigate to Code Snippets » + Add Snippet and then search the library for ‘rss’.

You can then hover over the snippet named ‘Add Featured Images to RSS Feeds’ and click the ‘Use Snippet’ button.

WPCode Includes a Snippet to Add Featured Images to Your RSS Feed

Now, all you need to do is switch the ‘Active’ toggle to the On position and then click the ‘Update’ button.

Featured images have now been added to your RSS feeds.

Toggle the Active Switch On

You can also add featured images to your RSS feed manually.

This is the code you can use:

function wpb_rsstutorial_featuredimage($content) {
global $post;
if(has_post_thumbnail($post->ID)) {
$content = '<p>' . get_the_post_thumbnail($post->ID) .
'</p>' . get_the_content();
return $content;
add_filter('the_excerpt_rss', 'wpb_rsstutorial_featuredimage');
add_filter('the_content_feed', 'wpb_rsstutorial_featuredimage');

This code simply checks if a post has a thumbnail (featured image) and displays it along with the rest of your post content

Bonus Resources on Customizing WordPress RSS Feeds

RSS feeds can be a helpful tool in bringing more users and keeping your existing subscribers engaged. Here are a few resources that will help you further optimize your WordPress feeds:

We hope this article helped you learn how to add content to your WordPress RSS feeds. You may also want to see our guide on how to add email subscriptions to your WordPress blog or our expert pick on the best WordPress business directory plugins.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

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Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

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Reader Interactions

41 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

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  2. Jiří Vaněk says

    Great article. I have a blog on a subdomain and a personal portfolio on the main domain. I added an RSS aggregator to the main domain so I can display the latest blog posts in my portfolio, attracting people from the portfolio to the blog. Thanks to this article, I customized the RSS feed exactly as I wanted, and now I have a great connection between my portfolio and my blog. Thanks.

  3. Dayo Olobayo says

    Thanks for outlining the different methods for adding custom content to RSS feeds. The option to use plugins or code snippets makes this accessible to a wider range of users. I had no idea that one can customize WordPress RSS feeds to this extent. This opens up a lot of possibilities for making my feed more engaging for my readers.

  4. Roberto Diaz says

    Hi guys, I am trying to add the featured image by default to RSS posts and I have 2 questions:

    1. Where exactly do you add the code you mention?
    2. In your code I see “function wpb_rsstutorial” are we supposed to replace this or any other part of the code with our own parameters?

    Thank you for your help!

    • WPBeginner Support says

      If you check under our ‘Adding Content to WordPress RSS Feed using Code’ section we cover the different methods for adding the code from our guide.

      For the function names, those are not required to be changed unless you want to and if you change it you would want to ensure you change every instance of it with the original name to your new name.


    • WPBeginner Support says

      We do not recommend adding content after every paragraph in your RSS feed at this time.


  5. Macca Sherifi says

    On your RSS feed you’ve got a real simple “To leave a comment please visit [Post Title] on WPBeginner.”

    How do I replicate this? In your code that you’ve supplied, presumably I have to change “coolcustom”, but which one do I edit specifically?

  6. Lapan says

    If I have in post:
    [text1]Text one[text1]
    [text2]Text two[text2]

    How do I return text2 shortcode in rss only?

  7. Gretchen Louise says

    I’m trying to use the third option to add the Digg Digg plugin’s buttons to the bottom of my RSS feeds. Any suggestions on editing the content to incorporate PHP rather than just text?

  8. brandy says

    I am trying to use this to implement CSS disclosure buttons in my feed, but I *cannot* figure out how to get it into the description. I have code of what I tried (2 different functions for the excerpt & the post). i hate how the buttons show up in the excerpt and i don’t think it’s necessary. help? :)

  9. Matt says

    I really appreciate you sharing this information with us. I have implemented this on my site now…I always really liked how it looks in your “weekly” emails that I receive.

    I think that it looks very professional and of course it is gonna help fight back against those content scrapers (thieves).

    Again, well written code, and very useful advice. Thank you!

  10. Adam says

    Great info! One question…  on #1 Add a Custom Field to your WordPress RSS Footer, for some reason the content/custom field is displayed twice. Any idea why?

  11. rahul says

    I have problem that in my site if someone fills a contact us form then his all personal info is displayed in rss feed and any user can see it
    plz help !!!!!

  12. thehifly says

    I actually got it now. Just edited the “$content = $content.”<br /><br /><div>”.$coolcustom.”</div>n”;” line. Perfect!

  13. thehifly says

    Adding the additional text works great but I’m trying to have the RSS to show only that custom field (for example the “coolcustom”) as the post’s description. Get rid of the actual text of the post. Is that possible?

  14. scot says

    Hi, I’m looking to add two fields to my ‘full’ rss feed. One which displays the author of the post and the other which displays a list of the taxomonies, if any, that the post is in. So let’s say the author is JohnR and the post is in the NFL, Raiders and Jets taxonomies, the RSS would have two additional fields:

    NFL, Raiders, Jets

    Can someone point me in the right direction to get this done?

    – Scot

  15. Agilworld says

    Thanks for sharing…

    Your tutorial is useful to me for verify the Technorati claim token! It worked nicely. I was looking for an effective way to verify it and found articles that discuss about that. But most of it, is not effective. And in the end, thought in my mind how add extra text in each footer post RSS feeds, Great! I found a smart way through your article, Thanks!!

  16. Juri says

    your code to add Custom Fields to RSS works great!!!! Thanks!
    I’m wondering if there is a way to edit the position and not to show the custom fields in the footer but above the title, or under the title, or etc… Is there a chance to add the tag “style” and so use some css?
    Thank you very much

  17. Juri says

    Add a Custom Field to your WordPress RSS Footer:
    THANKS Your code works perfectly. I have a question: How can I edit the position to show custom field up before the title or just after the title?
    I tried to edit the code here:
    $content = $content.””.$coolcustom.”
    I can remove the br tags and it works but where can I add style and css?

    Thanks for your great help

    • Editorial Staff says

      You would have to use inline styling for the RSS to work on all different readers. To add it before, you will add it like $coolcustom.$content and then add div tags using quotation where you like…


  18. Robert Simpson says


    I’m trying to find a way to use a custom field to EXCLUDE a post from the RSS feed.

    Any ideas?


  19. Zach says

    Hey, thanks for the tutorial. It worked perfectly. Had a quick question though – after I get the extra content to load into the RSS Feed (for example if I’m viewing it in Safari), when I actually embed the RSS Feed on a website, that extra info goes away. Do you have any idea why that would happen? It’s been about 4 days as well – and I’ve tried clearing my cache several times. Thanks!

  20. kiki says

    Thanks for this so far! I haven’t been able to find much on adding custom fields to the RSS feed until now.

    Would it be difficult to add multiple custom fields with the code from section 1? I have an event listing website with custom fields for each post I want to display in the RSS, i.e. “Venue,” “Event Date,” “Address,” et al.

      • Kiki says

        Sorry, I’m a bit of a novice, but what would the code look like to get the multiple custom fields. I’ve tried playing with a few configurations of the code so far but it keeps resulting in errors. One field is working great though!

    • Editorial Staff says

      Ajay but does your plugin allows one to add custom fields in the RSS Text? Because it just seems like that it has the exact same functionality that Joost’s RSS Footer Plugin has which is not what this article is showing. What if you need to display different FTC texts for each post, then plugins like yours and RSS Footer would fail because they show the same text on each post. With this, one can set different ways: For example, if custom field this: Display that otherwise display the default copyright or something like that.


  21. Oscar says

    This is great, it should help out a lot when trying to do quick little customizations. Little bite-sized tips like this are very helpful. I’ve seen people put some of the social media icons at the bottom too, to add to digg, and su and stuff.

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