One project my boss assigned to me is the development of one of his websites. The main column of the front page is about news. Its heading says ‘Current Events’. The thing is, most, if not all, of the events in this particular subject area are initiated and sponsored by the well established groups and published in their own websites. So I would end up re-writing their content and publishing it on ours; which I think is so un-journalistic. But there is no escaping the fact that the nature of this subject area is indeed something that forces us into this line of action, unless we ourselves could hold and sponsor our own events.
Since rewriting news usually makes us output news that are at best a day old, making it not very ‘current’, I decided to utilize the RSS feeds of my favorite sources of news, instead. This way, our site gets fresh content and stays current. Every now and then, of course, I inject some news or article I wrote myself.
Since our site is wordpress-based, I searched for RSS plugins that could pull titles and excerpts of news from other websites. I found KQF and used it for a while. The thing with KQF is that its script allow it to inject new code on the wordpress theme’s scripts. Besides injecting code in the theme’s index file, it also injects code on my footer’s script (I think at runtime) so that it creates a dofollow link to the author’s site. Now, I don’t mind giving credit where’s its due, but I noticed that other authors would put their link only on the page (the front page) where their plugin appears. This one forces itself itself on all pages since it injected itself on the footer file, and also in a style that does not conform to the theme. Another thing, when I make some changes to my index file’s code, even without touching any KQF code in there, it somehow ceases to work afterwards. Thus, I need to delete its injected code and start from the beginning again.
At the WordPress.org site, they don’t supply very clear and visual descriptions of most RSS plugins, so you end up needing to try them on your blog before you can judge them. After a while, I found KQF unsatisfactory.
The next plugin I found sounded good but it relies on the author’s server no matter where your RSS sources may be. I didn’t even cared to try it. Now, I’m using a free tool offered by rss-info.com and it seems to be working fine. So far, I like this plugin better than the first two I’ve seen so far. Probably, there are better ones out there but I’m sticking to this one, at least until I grow tired of it.