Content Widget User Guide

  1. Creating a design of a content widget.
  2. Formatting content feeds in the widget.
  3. Choosing code format for content widget.
  4. How to edit and manage code snippets.

Creating a design of a content widget.

First of all you add your RSS feeds.

Don't try to add as many feeds as possible. The main thing here is that RSS feeds are relevant to the topic of your website or blog. The main purpose of these content blocks to provide additional high quality information to your visitors.

To add RSS feeds to the Converter you can either use Generate and send to option in any RSS Feeds Generator or use Send selected to option in "My Saves" section. Or you can add your own RSS feeds manually.

Number of items to show – here you set how many RSS items to display in content block. An equal number of items will be taken from each specified feed.

Note:  don’t set plenty of items to show. Set reasonable number in order to make your content block informative but not annoying.

Shuffle – shuffle RSS items within a feed. If "Shuffle" checked a random set of RSS feed items will be displayed. This is recommended if you wish to show a unique content block with every website page reload. If "Shuffle" is unchecked only the latest items will be displayed. This is recommended if you wish to show only the latest news in your content block.

Separate RSS items with lines – this option inserts separator line between items in content block for better visual effect.

No follow - this is a SEO option. It will hide links from search engines and won’t let visitors see where links go.

Open in new window – this option will make all links open in new window. This is a useful feature for keeping your visitors on your webpage and not run off through the links.

Content block width/height - dimensions of your content block. This is very helpful if you have a limited spot on your webpage for content block. Here you can make it the best fit. It is set in pixels.

Use content block border- here you choose if your content block will be bordered or not.

Font family, Font size, Font color and Background color – these options will help making your content block adjusted to the design of a webpage.

HTML wrap before/after – use this option for further editing of your content block. You can use any HTML tags here. For example here you can enter a code with image or any kind of advertising.

To make sure your content block looks the way you want it use Preview option on the button.

Let's see an example. Pay attention to the picture above which shows what settings were made.

We have a content block 650x560 px. There are 3 items displayed. One item from every RSS feed. Content block is bordered. We have a yellow (#FFFFCC) background for our content block, font is Verdana 14 px in dark blue color (#333366). Font is italicized with HTML before/after option.

It probably looks not like a piece of art but we used all general settings to find out how it works. Once again, here you try to customize content block to match design on your website or blog.

For a more detailed customization we move to the second step to Item elements tab.

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Formatting content feeds in the widget.

Here we set each RSS feed and RSS item element separately.

RSS feed channel.

Channel title - Show/Don’t show will let you hide channel if needed.

Here you can also set Font color for channel title text. Another option - background color - for channel title. You can use an image as a background. In Background image option specify a external link to any image you wish to use. You can save your image on your server or any cloud server.

Before setting other RSS elements pay attention to the Drag and Drop feature used in this interface.

You can reorder item date, item title, item description, item link. Simply drag and drop item element to the place you wish. See the picture above.

Let’s set the following order: Date, Title, Description and Link.

Let's see how you can customize each RSS item element.

Description.

You can hide any RSS item element if you don't want to show it in your content block using Show/Don’t show option.

Also each RSS item element has HTML before/after option. Here you can use any HTML code or plain text.

Description length: this option will let you control the length of item description. For example you can set to show the entire description: Description length = All or to choose showing a limited number of symbols: Description length = Random number of symbols. If you set random number as 80-80 each item description will have 80 symbols, and if it will be 80-100 we will have the random number from 80 to 100.

Note: be careful when you cut item description which contains images. It’s more likely that some images may disappear from description.

Add other item elements. Regular RSS item contains four main elements: title, description, date and link. But there can be used other elements. Depending on a feed provider there may be used such elements as: author, enclosure, category, comments and some others. Check-mark this option to keep these elements in description. If you think that four main elements is enough for your content block, just don’t use this option.

Allowed HTML tags. Description may contain some HTML tags and you can remove them if you want. For example if you do not need images in description you need to delete <img> tag from the list of other tags mentioned in the text field. Or if you for example want to keep <br> tag in description you just add it to the list. It may seem a bit “techy” but it can appear a useful option which gives you a full control over description outlook.

Title.

Again, using HTML before/after you can customize RSS item titles or add any plain text. Let’s use HTML and make item titles red (see the image above).

Convert title into link - by default all RSS item titles link to the original content page. If you wish to use static titles uncheck this option.

Link.

Item link setting has a special feature Substitute link text with phrase. Here you may enter any text which will be added after description and will link to and original content source. If you do not need such links use Don’t show option or leave this option empty.

In our example we will use "more info … " anchor text.

Date.

Here only HTML before/after option is used. Let’s color item date in green and make it italicized.

To see how your content block looks like, please use Preview option.

When all elements are set up, press NEXT to move to the final step.

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Choosing code format for content widget.

Here you generate a code snippet which will be placed into webpage or blog template.

First, give your code snippet a name. It can be default or a custom one. This option will help you easily find it in My Saves –>My code snippets section of your RSS Ground account.

Note: we will add this name to your code snippet so you could easily find this piece of code in the source code of your webpage.

Output code format: HTML, JavaScript or PHP. HTML code will be generated in the form of iFrame.

You choose code format depending on a code format of your webpage or blog page. They have to be the same. However you can use HTML or Javascript code in PHP pages. But for better SEO we still recommend using PHP code.

Javascript and PHP code have one advantage. When you edit your code snippet and make some changes you don't need to go over and manually replace code snippets in your webpages. Just save it and it will be automatically updated wherever you use it.

Press Generate code button to receive code snippet.

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How to edit and manage code snippets.

To edit your code snippets you need to go to My account -> My Saves -> My code snippets. Find your code snippet and press Edit icon to go to code snippet editor.

Don't forget to press Generate when you finish with editing. You will get a new code snippet.

Note: if you use PHP or Javascript code format you don't need to replace your old code snippets with newly generated. They will be automatically updated. But HTML code snippet has to be replaced.

If you change your code snippet format you need to replace your old code snippet manually in any case.

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