News Importer

Enable the News Importer Module

The News Importer module must be enabled before you can use it. Currently, staff from Web Development Services must enable this module for you. Please contact us. In a future update, all site admins will be able to enable this module on their own.

The News Importer module allows you to automatically import news articles from other websites into your own. This feature requires the other website to publish an RSS feed to a publicly available URL.

Currently, imported articles are stored in the News content type. This allows you to display them in a news list block along with your site's own news. In a future update, you will be able to use an alternative method for importing articles that does not store them in your News content type.

The mapping of fields from the RSS feed items to fields in the News content type.
RSS Element News Content Type Field
<title> Title
<link> Source
<description> Body
<pubDate> Published Date
<dc:creator> Author (an author taxonomy term will be auto created as needed)
<enclosure> If the enclosure points to an image URL, it will be imported as an Image media item (see important note about alt text below)

Setup Instructions

  1. Contact WDS to have the module enabled.
  2. Login to your site as a user with the "site admin" or "content manager" role.
  3. Visit the Content » Feeds page from the admin toolbar.
  4. Click the Add Feed button
  5. Provide a descriptive title of the feed to help you quickly identify it later.
  6. Paste in the URL of the RSS feed you want to import.
  7. If you want imported articles published immediately, check "Auto publish imported news". Otherwise, you will have to manually publish articles after they're imported. Keeping them unpublished allows you to curate which imported articles you want to display.
  8. Click the Save and Import button to create the feed and immediately import items.
  9. The feed will be automatically checked every 15 minutes for new updates.

Managing Imported News Articles

  1. Visit the Content » Feeds page from the admin toolbar.
  2. Click the feed title of the feed you want to manage.
  3. You will be brought to a page that displays the list of all imported news articles. You can publish/unpublish/delete imported articles using the checkboxes and bulk actions dropdown.
  4. Because articles are imported into the News content type, you can also view and manage them from the main content dashboard.

Important Notes and Limitations

  • While you can edit imported articles (just as you could with news articles you create), changes you make to the title, body, featured image, or author may be overwritten when the feed importer runs again. This can happen if the feed source has been updated to make a correction or change to the article. Categorization you provide with taxonomy terms will not be overwritten.
  • RSS does not support providing alternative text along with images. The feed importer will import the image but will leave the alt text blank. To improve accessibility, you need to edit the image and provide descriptive alt text.
  • Imported articles that remain unpublished for 30 days will be automatically deleted, along with the image (if imported). This is to prevent the accumulation content that will never be used.
  • Most RSS feeds published by other websites do not include the full article contents and instead provide a short summary. The idea is that your site should link off to that article instead of displaying the entire contents. The original article URL is populated into the "Source" field to allow your visitors to click to read the full article contents.