Nowadays, it seems like researchers are coming up with new medical treatments just about every single day, doesn’t it? So if you want to keep up with the latest medical news, how are you supposed to be able to stay on top of those advances, especially if you’re mainly interested in a specific condition?
Quite frankly, it’s not easy to stay updated! Which is why you can do a real service to the web community by aggregating news on a specific medical condition into one, easy-to-find spot.
For example, if you had a site providing information about sleep apnea, you could create a page that automatically lists all of the latest news about sleep apnea and sleep apnea treatments. Don’t you think your readers would find that helpful?
In this post, I’m going to show you exactly how to provide the latest medical news to your readers using WordPress…even if you don’t know anything about coding! Let’s go through it step by step.
Tool for the Job: WP RSS Aggregator
To create a medical news feed, you can use the WP RSS Aggregator plugin. It allows you to pull in something called RSS feeds (basically uncategorized news feeds, for our purposes).
By adding RSS feeds with medical news, you get the bedrock of your medical news feed.
While there is a free version of the plugin that you can sort of use to create a targeted medical news feed, to create the absolute best news feed, you’ll need the premium version so that you can:
- Filter news items to find items for only the specific medical condition you want to provide news about.
- Import items from the RSS feed as posts in your WordPress site.
To that end, I recommend you purchase at least these two add-ons:
With that out of the way, here’s how to use WP RSS Aggregator to create a medical news feed.
Step 1: Install WP RSS Aggregator and Configure the Basic Settings
Assuming you’ve already got your basic medical site running on WordPress, you can get started by installing and activating WP RSS Aggregator and the two premium add-ons. You can install the core plugin like any other WordPress plugin. And here’s a handy guide for how to install the add-ons.
Then, head to RSS Aggregator → Settings to configure settings for the plugin and add-ons. Honestly, there’s nothing you need to configure here. The defaults are set up pretty well.
The only thing you’ll definitely want to do is go to Feed to Post and turn on Link back to source? so that people can click a link to go read the original article:
Step 2: Add Your Medical RSS Feed Sources
Now that the plugin is active, you need to add some RSS feeds for the plugin to parse medical news from. But before you can do that…you need to actually find some good medical RSS feeds.
Here are some solid feeds to get you started:
And it’s also easy to find an RSS feed for any other site that you think has good general medical news.
For this example, I’ll use the MedicineNet feed. But you should definitely consider using multiple feeds for the best coverage possible.
To add your feed, go to RSS Aggregator → Add New. Start by giving it a name and configuring the Feed Source Details like so:
Step 3: Add Keyword Filtering to Only Get Certain Feed Items
Most medical news feeds cover all types of medical news. But remember – we’re only looking for news on one specific condition. In order to make that happen, you need to add some filtering to each feed.
Let’s pretend we’re going with the sleep apnea example from the introduction. Scroll down to the Feed Keyword Filtering and add “sleep apnea” to the Contains all of these words/phrases box:
Now, WP RSS Aggregator will only import posts that contain the phrase “sleep apnea” somewhere in the title AND content. Anything unrelated will be excluded. You could also set it up to only look for your keyword in one of those fields if you want the filtering to be a little less strict.
Step 4: Configure Feed to Post Settings
If you want even more control over your medical news feed, you can keep scrolling down and fill out some of the Feed to Post functionality.
There’s a lot here, though. And most of it should be left as the default. So again, don’t feel like you have to configure every item here.
With that being said, one good thing to configure is Post Status:
Depending on whether or not you want to automatically publish news items, you can choose between a default status of Draft (requires manual approval) or Published (no manual approval).
And you should also set a default category for your news items:
Once you’re happy with the settings, click the button to Publish Feed:
Repeat the process for as many medical feeds as you’d like. By the end, you should end up with something like this when you go to RSS Aggregator → Feed Sources:
Step 5: Approve Your Medical News Items
Unless you told WP RSS Aggregator to automatically publish feed items, you’ll need to manually approve each post by going to the Posts tab of your WordPress dashboard.
Just publish each news item like you would any other post:
And once you do that, you’ll have your very own news feed of medical news specifically for sleep apnea:
What If You Want Your Medical News Feed to Be Separate From Your Blog?
The example I went through above assumes you’re ok with bringing in news items to your regular blog posts. But if you want your news section to be separate from your blog, you can create a custom post type. This is a little advanced, but there are plenty of custom post type plugins to help you along.
Then, you can use all of the same principles I outlined above to import RSS feeds to that custom post type instead of your regular blog posts.
Wrapping Things Up
Creating a targeted medical news feed allows you to provide your readers with all the latest news for the particular medical condition they’re interested in. While there are plenty of general purpose medical news alerts, “niching down” in this manner allows you to truly provide some helpful curated content.
Remember – to create your own targeted medical news feed, all you need to do is:
- Install the free WP RSS Aggregator plugin.
- Purchase the premium add-ons for Feed to Post and Keyword Filtering.
- Add your feed sources with keyword filters for the medical condition you’re interested in providing news for.
- Publish your feed items as regular WordPress posts or a custom post type that you create.
And then you’re off to the races!
As always, if you have any questions about how to create a news feed for a specific medical condition, leave them in the comments and we’ll try to help out.