ExpressionEngine® User Guide

Legacy Documentation

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RSS Parser

The RSS Parser plugin provides RSS parsing tags for your templates. It uses SimplePie to parse and render any RSS or Atom feed you throw at it.


Here’s a simple example where we’re pulling the EllisLab blog feed and showing the five most recent posts:

{exp:rss_parser url="" limit="5"}
            <h2><a href="{item_link}">{item_title}</a></h2>
            <ul class="metadata">
                <li class="byline">by {item_authors backspace="2"}{author_name}, {/item_authors}</li>
                <li class="date">{item_date format="%F %d %Y"}</li>


There are four available parameters:

url:The URL of the RSS or Atom feed
limit:Number of items to display from the feed
offset:Number of items to skip from the feed
refresh:How long you want the feed to be cached (default cache length is three hours)

Single Variables

Most of the variables are fairly self explanatory:

  • {feed_title}
  • {feed_link}
  • {feed_copyright}
  • {feed_description}
  • {feed_language}

Both RSS 2.0 and Atom 1.0 feeds can have a “feed logo”. The following variables can be used to display the logo:

  • {logo_title}
  • {logo_url}
  • {logo_link}
  • {logo_width}
  • {logo_height}

Also, if there’s an error in retrieving the feed, you can use the following variable to display the error:

  • {feed_error}

Pair Variables

There are three pair variables available: {feed_items}, {item_categories}, and {item_authors}. Both {item_categories} and {item_authors}, are only available within {feed_items}.


The {feed_items} variable contains all of the items found within the feed:

  • {item_title}
  • {item_link}
  • {item_date}: uses standard ExpressionEngine date formatting (e.g. {date format="%F %d %Y"})
  • {item_description}: tends to be a short excerpt of the full {item_content}, but varies
  • {item_content}: tends to be full content, but varies


The {item_authors} variable contains information about all of the authors of a particular item. Each author has three single variables associated with it:

  • {author_email}
  • {author_link}
  • {author_name}


The {item_categories} variable contains all of the categories that a feed item has been assigned. Each category has one useful variable:

  • {category_name}


There are only two conditionals:

  • {if feed_error}: In case of a feed error the parser will only display content inside of this conditional, if the conditional does not exist, nothing is shown.
  • {if no_results}: Just like the Channel module, if there are no results only show the contents of this conditional.