Installation and Setup

Here’s how to install the Related RSS Plugin.


We’ve just added “The ACME Tag” to Version 1.5. It will appear in your page and post editor and allows you to more easily customize your feeds. There’s also a “primary keyword phrase” option which will be used for another plugin we have in development.


Download the Related RSS Plugin to your desktop, or some folder you can easily find. The plugin is a zip file.

  • Log into your WordPress Blog as Admin
  • Click the Plugins menu.
  • Click Add New
  • At the top of the page, click the “Upload” link.
  • On the Upload page, you’ll see a Browse button. Click it, and in the File Upload window, navigate to the folder where you downloaded the plugin’s zip file.
  • Choose the zip file and then “Open” or “Select” in the File Upload window.
  • You’ll now be back on the Plugin Upload page. Click the Install Now button.
  • WordPress will now upload the file.
  • When the upload is complete, WordPress should report that the upload was successful, and ask you if you would like to Activate the plugin.
  • Click the Activate link.
  • Your Related RSS Plugin is now installed.


Once the plugin is installed, follow these Setup instructions. First, we’re going to make the Plugin settings. Later, we’ll make the Widget’s settings.


Scroll down to the bottom of the page and find the Related RSS menu. Click it, then click Settings.

  • FEED: Choose the feed you’d like to use on your site. You can choose between Google News, Yahoo News, Bing news and Topix. You can also choose “Custom” for the Feed URL and type in any valid RSS feed you want in the next field.
  • FEED URL: Once you click the feed, the proper syntax for that feed will appear in the Feed URL field. You can customize the feed’s URL if you want to add or change parameters.
  • DEFAULT TAGS: Most pages will have their own tags or custom fields that will be used for that page’s feed. But for pages without tags or custom fields to determine the keywords for the feed, the Related RSS Plugin will use the default tags as the keywords for the feed. Enter your default tag in the Default Tag field.
  • POST FIRST TAG: By default Related RSS uses the first tag of each post to generate a unique feed on your post pages. Not all tags will generate a feed, so if you wish to disable this function until you can check your tags, disable “Post First Tag”
  • SPREAD THE WORD: Help us spread the word about the Related RSS Plugin. Clicking this checkbox will put a link at the bottom of your feed to the Related RSS Plugin website. THANK YOU!
  • AFFILIATE PROGRAM: Join our affiliate program. Put your affiliate link in this field and the “Spread the Word” link will include your affiliate URL.
  • SAVE: After you are done making your settings, click the “Save Settings” button.


Click the Appearance Menu, and then Widgets.

Drag the Related RSS Widget into the sidebar where you’d like the Related RSS Feed to appear.

Click the title bar for the Related RSS Widget to open the widget.

  • TITLE: Enter a title for this Feed. Note that this title is the same for all of the pages where this widget will appear, regardless of the tags or keywords used for that feed. So, either use a generic title that could reasonably apply to the feed regardless of the topic, or use [keywords] in the title so that the actual words used for that page’s feed will show up in the title (ie “[keywords] News” will display as “Baseball News” for a page or post where “Baseball” is the keyword, and as “Football News” for pages or posts where “Football” is the topic.)
  • EXCLUDE: You can prevent the Related RSS feed from showing on any page or pages by typing a list of the page or post IDs you want to exclude.
  • NUMBER OF ITEMS: You can decide how many items you would like to have appear in the feed.
  • DISPLAY ITEM CONTENT: If you would like to display only the headlines for each news item, uncheck this box. If you’d like to display text as well, check this box.
  • CHARACTERS TO SHOW: If you are displaying item content, you can limit how much text for each story to show by entering a number into this field.
  • DISPLAY ITEM AUTHOR: Click this box if you’d like to show the item’s content, if available.
  • DISPLAY ITEM DATE: Click this box if you’d like to show the item’s date, if available.
  • OPEN LINKS IN NEW WINDOW: Click this box if you would like to open a new window when users click the item links.
  • SAVE: When you are done making your settings, click SAVE.


There are two custom field options which can be used in both posts and pages to generate unique sidebar feeds.   Using this option will override the first tag feature as well as default posts.

Inside your post or page editor look for the “Custom Fields” form below the editor box.  If you do not see it you need to enable it via the screen options tab at top of dashboard.

If you wish to enter in specific keywords for your feed provider instead of using the first tag you would enter RRSSFEEDKEYWORDS in the Name field, and your desired keywords in the Value field.  See graphic: (Note, if you have Version 1.5, you can use our ACME Tag for your tags instead)



If you wish to enter a specific feed with your desired keywords included or perhaps just a standard feed you would enter RRSSFEEDURL in the Name field, and your desired feed in the Value field.  See graphic:

Please note in this graphic there is a plus sign between dog and training.  Certain feeds separate multiple keywords in different ways so please make sure you know the format for your feed.  Our plugin takes care of this for our default setup, but can’t override this field.


In order to upgrade the Related RSS plugin to the latest version you first need to download the latest version from our customer area here.

Then you would deactivate and delete the existing plugin, (Don’t worry your settings will be saved)  And then upload and activate the zip file via Plugins > Add New.

Please watch this video if you need more assistance.


In Version 1.1 we added the ability to insert php code into a theme template to display the plugin.  Some advanced users wanted this flexibility so we’ve added it.

In a nutshell, here’s the code snippet you’ll add:


$RRSSInstance = array(
'title' => 'Feed [keywords]', // Give the feed a title. Tag can be inserted [keywords]
'items' => 5, // How many items would you like to display?
'show_summary' => 1, // Display item content?
'show_summary_limit' => 50, // Content characters to show.
'show_author' => 1, // Display item author if available?
'show_date' => 1, // Display item date?
'exclude' => 0, // Exclude Comma separated Page IDs.
'target' => 0, // Open links in new window?
'nofollow' => 0, // Add No-Follow to links?
the_widget('Widget_Related_RSS', $RRSSInstance, array());


We’ve also added some video instruction on this in the second half of the video above.

We’re setting up a new support system so we can serve you better than simple comments allow.
Please find out new support desk here:

36 Responses to Installation and Setup

  1. Great STuff here! Will try it instantly on one or two of my blogs! Is there a way to place the related links on other places by using short codes or html codes?
    Below the post content seems to be a good place too! (Maybe at the beginning for Autoblogs?)

    Best regards
    Benjamin Hübner

    • Admin says:

      Hello Benjamin.
      Right now, we don’t have a way to place the links in other places (like in or below a post). But if you’d like to do a little brain dump here, we’d be happy to add it to our “features to consider” list for a future version.

  2. Cheryl Jones says:

    I have several websites and I successfully installed the plugin on two of them. When I tried the exact same process to install the plugin on this site, I got this error message.

    The uploaded file could not be moved to /home/imcheryl/public_html/

    I did nothing differently with this installation. I tried to upload the same zipped file that I had on my desktop for the first two installations. I am assuming that is all right to do rather than go back and download the file to the desktop each time.

    Do you know how I can fix this? Thank you.

    • Cheryl Jones says:

      I downloaded a fresh copy of the plugin and tried on even a different site than this one to see if I could install the plugin and I got the same error message.

    • Admin says:

      Hi Cheryl.
      I’ve had problems like that with other plugins. The problem is usually something having to do with permissions on your server, rather than the plugin itself. In other words, your Plugins folder (and in this case, the content/uploads folder) should both have permissions set to create and move files (for example, to 755). Without those permissions, the program (WordPress) can’t move the plugin to the right folder.
      So, make sure you’ve got permissions set right.
      How to do that is well documented online. However, if that turns out not to be the problem, or you can’t set permissions, the solution I used was to simply upload the plugin into the plugins folder via FTP. Upload the zip file using the cpanel File Manager, then unzip the file using the File Manager as well.
      Then, go back into the WordPress Plugins page, refresh it, and the plugin should be listed there.
      Activate it, and you’re good to go.
      Good luck, and let us know how it goes.

  3. debra says:

    that you included but the videos and instructions don’t work and I can’t find the sql file

    • Admin says:

      Hi Debra.
      We only got a bit of your post. Can you tell us the rest of the story? We’ll help as much as we can.

  4. Michael Tay says:

    Hi Dan,
    Just purchase your RSS plugin installed in my Socrates website.
    Is your affiliate link working?
    When I put my clickbank name in your link, I get this message.
    “The target URL was invalid. Please contact the vendor to get it fixed.”

    Appreciate your help.
    Michael Tay

  5. Michael Tay says:

    Hi Dan,
    Not sure whether this is the right place to ask this question.
    How do I create my own RSS feed for my own post in my Socrates website:

    Your help is appreciated.
    Michael Tay

  6. Wes Hopper says:

    In WordPress the tags are all sorted alphabetically and unless you only use one tag per post
    it seems impossible to select the feed for the page from a set of multiple tags. Do you know of a work around for this?

    • Admin says:

      Hi Wes.
      Good to hear from you. Here’s what we’ve discovered…
      It turns out that the QuickEdit form for posts automatically sorts the tags alphabetically. Why it does that, no one knows. But the regular edit form allows you to edit the list of tags, and then leaves the tags sorted AS-IS. So, stay away from the QuickEdit form and you’ll be Okay.
      Does that help?

      p.s. We’re looking into the possibility of inhibiting that behavior of the QuickEdit function. It’s on our list for a future update, assuming it’s at all possible.

      • Wes Hopper says:

        Thanks. I was using qe, of course. I should know better than to expect consistency.

        • Admin says:

          Well, when one programmer builds one part of the system, and gets an idea for doing something “clever” without regard to whether or not someone wants the help, things can get a little hairy.

  7. Wes Hopper says:

    In addition I’m not able to exclude my category pages from the feed. I pulled the tag_ID=xx out of the long URL – nothing. I used just ID=xx and that didn’t work either. I guess I need a Captain Midnight secret decoder ring or something.

    • Admin says:

      Rather than using ID=XX or Tag_ID=XX, try just XX.
      So, if you want to exclude posts and pages numbers 17, 42, and 67, then the Exclude field should have simply:
      There are many WordPress plugins that use this same method of excluding pages and posts, so this might be helpful at other times as well.
      –Captain Midnight

  8. Jacci says:

    I just installed the plugin following the step-by-step instructions, but there’s no settings menu option or the ability to delete the plugin and start over.

    I’m using WP 3.1.4


    • Admin says:

      Hi Jacci,
      There *should* be a settings page. Look below The actual WordPress settings menu. You will find a new section called ‘Related RSS’ right below it.
      As for deleting it, you should be able to do that with the delete link on the Plugins list.
      Do you not see either of these things?

    • Admin says:

      I just got one other report like this.
      Can you send me the following info, please:
      – WordPress version
      – Hosting company
      – Server type (apache, or some other)
      – Php version on your server
      – A list of other plugins you are running.
      – The URL of your blog
      – Anything that might be special or unusual about your site
      We will do our best to track down the problem.

  9. Nelson Minica says:

    Installed on a couple blogs and activated but there is no settings link on the plugin list and there is no Related RSS box on the left. The widget is there but does not work of course, and the settings link in the widget goes to a WordPress Error page at “/blog/wp-admin/admin.php?page=/”

    • Admin says:

      This is the second report of this that I’ve seen. Can you send me the following info, please:
      – WordPress version
      – Hosting company
      – Server type (apache, or some other)
      – Php version on your server
      – A list of other plugins you are running.
      – Anything that might be special or unusual about your site
      We will do our best to track down the problem.

  10. Dale Reardon says:

    Hi, I’m having trouble finding the custom fields tag in the page/post editor. Your instructions say:

    Inside your post or page editor look for the “Custom Fields” form below the editor box. If you do not see it you need to enable it via the screen options tab at top of dashboard.

    Can you give more detailed instructions?

    Other plugins I have such as Facebook Ilike, WordPress SEO by Yoast etc all have their own input fields on the edit page – could your plugin do this instead of using this custom field facility?


    • Admin says:

      Hi Dale.

      We have our values as custom fields because they are naturally stored, within the WordPress database, with each post. It was an elegant way to implement the functionality we needed to make the plugin work.

      Custom Fields are used very often with plugins and to do other cool tricks with WordPress.

      But I get it if you haven’t ever used them before.

      So, I made you a short video to show you exactly how it’s done. I hope this helps.


  11. Dale Reardon says:

    Forgot to add my vote and support for a shortcode feature to be added. It would be great to be able to add this news at the bottom of the page via shortcode.

    Also not all themes have widget places in the right spot so the ability for a shortcode would get around this limitation also.


  12. Dale Reardon says:


    Thanks for the video. Now have it turned on. I see now that many plugins are using the custom fields but somehow they have a custom interface to set the values and their interface was turned on by default so hadn’t had to access this custom field entry before.


  13. Ken Black says:

    Where do we find the page IDs so that we can exclude certain pages, like About Us etc. ?


    • Admin says:

      Hello Ken.
      Great question. And lucky for you, I’ve answered it already on another page. Just pop on over to the setup page and look at the very first comment from Bob. My second reply to him has your answer about PAGE IDS.
      Remarkably simple, actually.

  14. Donald says:

    I have installed the plugin on a couple of auto blogs and have found that it really doesn’t work too well because auto posting often results in poor, inappropriate or irrelevant tags being added. Using custom tags obviously doesn’t work here so the only option is to enter a default tag. This however seems to defeat the object of the plugin since you will then get the same feed appearing on every page.

    So, can we enter a list of tags which would then be used on a random basic to produce a feed? If so, what would the format be? For example, the plugin says “Enter space separated tags. (e.g. dog training)” so how would you enter more than one tag? Also, is there a limit to the number of tags that could be added?

    • Admin says:

      So you’re suggesting not one, but several “default tags” to be selected from randomly?
      Let us think about that for a bit.
      And, if there are any other auto-bloggers who are interested in such a feature, let us know with a comment here.

  15. Dale Reardon says:

    I too would be interested in multiple random tags. It would assist in putting it onto a site with many pages but tags in the wrong order already.

  16. Frank says:


    I couldn’t upload the zipped version via my wp-admin from within the blog. I received the following error message:

    Unable to create directory /home/centrale/public_html/golf/wp-content/uploads/2011/07. Is its parent directory writable by the server?

    I also unzipped and uploaded via my FTP but it does not appear in my plugins list in my wp-admin, although it shows as uploaded in my FTP panel. I have checked the FTP file attributes and the settings are the same as for every other plugin.

    Any suggestions anyone?




    • Admin says:

      Hello Frank.
      I’ve had this problem too, but not with this plugin. This is a permissions problem with your server. Your uploads folder needs to have permissions set to 755. Until you do, you won’t be able to upload any plugins at all.
      You did the right thing to try to get around it — by uploading the zip file. But there’s one more thing to do: You need to unzip the file.
      Use your Cpanel file manager to do that. Just click on the zip file and choose “Expand” and you’ll see it in your plugins list in WordPress.
      Let us know how it goes.

  17. Ron says:

    I have installed version 1.03 on this site but still get the link with the title for the rss all my other sites did not do this any thoughts to get it to just be a title and not a feed link… As It changes the color of the title to a URl link which cna not bee seen very clearly.

    You can see the feed in the sidebar of the site on post…

  18. Admin says:


    Hi. Mark here.

    We’re setting up a new support system so we can serve you better than simple comments allow.

    Please find out new support desk here:


Comments are closed.