Use quick and easy to install code to create an automatically updated a list of articles on your WordPress blog.
I’ve spent over a month looking for a Medium RSS feed that I could install on my blogs.
For those who don’t know what RSS means … it stands for Really Simple Syndication, which doesn’t help much. Basically an RSS feed is a list of articles from a blog or website. The list is constantly updated as new articles are added.
An RSS feed from either your personal profile or from your publication would list the newest articles you have posted.
On this page I have included …
1. A link to my publication Freelance Writing Zone.
2. The FEED which includes the last ten articles I have posted: Photo, Title, Sub-Title and the number of claps.
Normally, an RSS feed is easy to set up and is free, but apparently RSS feeds directly from Medium are not possible, so the search for a solution was much harder than I thought.
In the end, I found three solutions.
1. The first solution is a FREE bit of code which the developers call a widget. It works similar to a feed. This is what I used in the sample above. I also installed the same widget here … to highlight the articles in my Sugar Free Zone publication.
FREE Can Often Come With Unforeseen Challenges:
- it can often be a lot more work than anticipated
- it might never work, or can easily breakdown
- there is often built-in malware and
- free is often not updated or maintained when WordPress updates
- you pretty well never have access to help
BUT in spite of all of the potential problems, it turned out that …
The FREE Widget was what I decided to use.
The results from the code I installed looks fine. The POTENTIAL problem might happen when Medium starts changing “things” (technical jargon for stuff) around. Will the widget developers update the code or will it simply stop working?
I decided to take a chance on FREE for these reasons:
- When it works, FREE is good.
- There is no malware–the code is transparent, I can see every line of it. NO malware.
- The display looks nice and will hopefully result in some traffic.
If you are interested in installing the free widget, scroll down to Here’s How To Install PixelPoint’s FREE Widget
2. The second solution is an online application that you have to purchase. It has a free one week trial, and then you have to purchase a full year of service at $15 per month ($180)
I am reluctant to try the PAID solution simply because of the price. I have NO idea if enough of my Blog visitors are PAID Medium members and will generate enough income on Medium to pay for the SociableKit. I have no idea if my Blog visitors will be interested in my feed, click on the post, or click through to Medium. The only way to know is to test and One WEEK is not a long enough test.
Having to purchase a $180 subscription on the off chance that it works is NOT something I’m taking my credit card out for. OH … and I have more than one website … so I’d have to double or triple the price. My decision is NO!
OK … to be fair, The SociableKit has more than just the Medium Feed. If you purchase their package you can create feeds for up to five different social media programs.
Here’s a link to the Medium demo … looks OK! If you really like it, give it a test run, especially if you want to use some of their other social media feeds. BUT let’s get this clear folks … having a pile of social media feeds on your website/blog isn’t going to do you any good unless you already have traffic to your site!
3. The third “solution” is to build your own widget or hunk of code. My eyes cross when I even start to think of he coding involved! The third choice is definitely a NO GO for me. My coding skills have deteriorated due to lack of interest. I’d have to hire someone and am quite certain the cost would be over $500 and I would be taking the chance that it does not work and would have the same “Medium changing things” problem as the FREE code. So NO NO NO!
If you are a coder and think this would be fun and easy … please go ahead! Feel free to share your code with us if you are feeling generous.
Here’s How To Install PixelPoint’s FREE Widget
I’m going to go through the process for the FREE installation. It’s pretty easy, though there are a few things I couldn’t figure out. Maybe someone who reads this article will know and can help ALL of us out.
When you click on the site link, you will see a box that asks you for the URL of your profile or the publication you want to make a feed for.
All you need is the link. For example: https://medium.com/freelance-writing-zone (for a publication) OR https://medium.com/@melanierockett (for your profile).
Click On Generate!
Next, A panel that allows you to configure the widget appears (you might have to scroll down).
Choose your options:
How many posts do you want to be displayed in your feed? Choose from one to ten.
How many columns do you want in your widget feed? I chose one, but feel free to try 2 or 3 and see what they look like.
How large do you want your article’s preview image to be on the display? You can choose from large, small image, or no image.
I actually wanted small and liked how it look in the preview. I did NOT work on my website. So I went with what did work … large!
Choose your photo aspect ratio. Original, landscape, or a square. I chose landscape … because that’s the format I try to use on all my Medium articles.
Next, you can choose which elements to display, by toggling them on or off. Description. Author credit on. Number of claps. Number of fans. Publication date.
Scroll down a bit more and you will see a PREVIEW of your widget. Looks great, right?
Finally You will see a pile of code in a box. COPY IT.
After the get code box is a pile of technical stuff … I know what CSS is but am not in the mood to fiddle. The rest? Who the heck knows what that means.
The MISSING PIECE is HOW and WHERE to install the code you just copied!
Here’s How To Install The Code On Your Website/Blog
1. Create a Post that will display your feed (you can use either a post or a page). Name it something like “Find Your Favorite Articles On Medium.”
2. Add a line of information … and include either your Medium personal profile link, or a link to your Medium publication.
Now it’s time to install the code.
There’s a trick to this. You can’t paste the code on the WYSIWYG panel that is the default editing panel … you have to click on the TEXT (or code) option. See #1 in the image below.
When you are in the TEXT editing panel, paste the code where you want it.
Go back to the WYSIWYG panel (click on visual) and make sure you see the two little symbols (#2 in the image above). If they aren’t there, regenerate the code and install again.
3. When you are ready … hit publish and check out your new Medium feed!
Here is what my post looks like.
As you can see I included #1 a link to my Medium Publication … and then the widget #2.
That’s it you are done. Fifteen minutes of work and you have a nifty feed that will help you make a few cents on Medium.
I suspect that the traffic I send to Medium will be a tiny portion of the traffic I get at my site … but even a few extra dollars a month will pay for the 15 minutes I spent installing and playing with the FREE widget!
IMPORTANT NOTE If you use PixelPoint’s Widget be sure to check your feed page once a week or so to make sure it is still working. If it has crashed, go back to PixelPoint to see if they have updated code for you.