Adding an RSS Feed Widget to Blogger
Today, I received a phone call from an old friend asking how to add a list of recent blog posts from another blog onto the side of his blog. What he was looking for is an RSS Feed Widget. He uses Blogger, so I thought I would dust off my old Blogger blog and try to find the easiest and cleanest way to do it.
However, first, I had a problem. My old Blogger blog hasn’t been updated in years and was still using classic templates. My guess was that the there might already be a gadget easily available for the new templates, so I thought I would start off by upgrading to the new templates.
This is where I ran into my first problem. You see, I set up the Blogger account a long time ago using my gmail id. Since then, I’ve started using a Google Account tied to my Orient Lodge domain. It can be confusing at times and I wish there were better ways of linking the accounts.
Anyway, when I went into my dashboard on Blogger, I found that I could create a post, and change a few minor settings, but I couldn’t change the template or design. After a while I finally figured out that I was logged in using my Orient Lodge userid which did not have administrative rights to the blog. I logged in using my gmail id and upgraded to the new template.
Then, I started looking around for a good predefined template that provides a nice RSS feed functionality. I didn’t find any, so I started looking for a more general approach. Finally, I settled on Widgetbox.
Here is what you should do:
Go to http://www.widgetbox.com/widget/rss. Put in the desired Feed URL. This is not the URL for the website itself, but for the feed. As an example, the Feed URL for Orient Lodge is http://www.orient-lodge.com/node/feed. Different blogs have different URLs for their feeds, so you’ll probably have to poke around a little bit.
Once you set the parameters you want, click on Get Widget, and then the Blogger button. It will then take you to a page where you can add the widget to your blog. After this, you may want to go to the Design page on your blogger dashboard and in the page elements section, move the widget to the place you want it on your blog.
It is worth noting that you can also add widgets this way to other blogging platforms. There are probably lots of other ways to do this, but this is one that I found that seems particularly easy. Do you add lists of other blog posts on your website?