Frequently asked questions

Here you can see a list of questions that are most commonly asked by NewsPlugin users along with their answers. It also contains helpful tips about making your usage of the NewsPlugin more productive as well as some insight into the vision behind the project.

General

What is the NewsPlugin?
The NewsPlugin is a simple and easy news plugin for WordPress users. It will allow you to add news from a variety of sources to your website, blog or intranet.

Do I need a WordPress website to use the NewsPlugin?
Yes, at this time you need a WordPress website. If you’d like to use the NewsPlugin but are using a platform other than WordPress just email us. We’ll work something out for you.

How do I put a newsfeed on my website?
We’ve made a how-to video that you may find helpful. Basically, you just need to be logged into your WordPress website and then install the NewsPlugin and use the NewsPlugin widget. The NewsPlugin comes with simple instructions to guide you.

Working with the feeds

I’ve got my newsfeed installed on my site but how do I make changes and edit it?
To edit your newsfeed make sure you are logged into your WordPress website. Click on “Appearance” on the left navigation and then click on “Widgets”. Once on the Widget page you will see the NewsPlugin and you can start editing from there.

What does the star function in the newsfeed edit mode do?
When you are in the newsfeed edit mode you can use the star function to move a headline to the top of the list of headlines. The star is for editing purposes only and will not appear on your website and will not be seen by the general public.

Can I set the order of the articles?
When you are in the newsfeed edit mode, you can star an article and it will move to the top of the feed.

Article result issues

The articles are not what I expected, or are too many, too few or there are none at all. How can I improve the articles in my newsfeed?
You’ll need to take a look at the settings or keywords (located in appearance>widgets) and adjust them:

Search Mode – You can choose to show news that has your keywords in a headline or anywhere in an article. You’ll get more articles if you choose “Headlines & Full Text” in this mode. Alternatively, if you want fewer articles choose “Headlines Only” . This is the default mode.
News Age Limit (in hours) – This allows you to set the age of the articles. For example, if you want to exclude articles older than two days then you would set this limit to 48, for 3 days it would be 72 and so on. If you are not getting enough articles you may want to set this limit to 0 which is the default.

Tips for using keywords

Searching is case insensitive. Words music and mUSIC return the same results.
Some of the common words like the, is, etc. are not included in your search.

Symbol | (vertical bar) stands for OR
Using the | symbol gives you articles for every keyword in the search string.

Symbol & (ampersand) stands for AND
Using the & symbol gives you only those articles that contain all keywords in the search string.

” ” (quotation marks)
Using quotation marks limits your search for exact phrases.

* (asterisk)
Using an asterisk sign gives you variations of the root keyword. You cannot use it in phrases.

( ) (parenthesis)
You can use parenthesis to adjust the priority of your search phrase evaluation (as common math/boolean expressions).

music
will search for any articles that contain the word music.

music | band | song
will search for articles containing any of the keywords.

nhl & hockey
will search for articles containing both words. (Note: & can be omitted in this case)

“white house” | senate
will search for articles containing the phrase white house or the word senate.

“flower show” & tulip
will search for articles containing both the phrase flower show and the word tulip.

bank*
will search for articles containing bank, banks, banking, banker etc. Using * (asterisk sign) gives you variations of the root keyword.

student* & ( protest* | demonstrat* )
will search for articles containing the words student or students, etc. in combinations with protest, protests, demonstrate, demonstration, etc.

Feed management

My feed is set to automatic. Do I need to check my feed every day?
No. If your feed is set to automatic then new articles will flow onto your website. If you have set “feed publishing” to “manual” then you will have to choose new articles each day. If you don’t choose new articles then the articles that you last posted will remain online until you change them. If you don’t want to update your articles each day then set “Feed publishing” to “automatic” which is the default.

My feed is set to manual and I’m going on vacation and won’t be able to update my feed. What should I do?
You can temporarily change your “manual” feed publishing to “automatic”. This means articles will flow onto your webpage automatically.

Tech jargon demystified

What is a shortcode and why/how should I use it?
“A shortcode is a WordPress-specific code that lets you do nifty things with very little effort. Shortcodes can embed files or create objects that would normally require lots of complicated, ugly code in just one line. Shortcode = shortcut.” (source)

What’s the difference between RSS and the NewsPlugin?
The difference between the “NewsPlugin” and an “RSS” feed is the range and control of news sources. RSS is a stream of news that someone else has created and it generally contains articles from one source. With the NewsPlugin the feed you create is totally customizable, with your own keywords and the news coming from over 5,000 sources.

What is the difference between a plugin and widget?
By installing the NewsPlugin, you can use our NewsPlugin widget to create and customize the newsfeeds.
“In short, with the widget vs. plugin debate, a widget is essentially a plugin that you can drag and drop around your WordPress blog or website. The plugin is a script that is downloaded that improves the functionality of your blog in both the front end for the user and the back end for you as the website admin. Use this to help you remember the difference between plugins and widgets: WordPress widgets are always plugins, but plugins are not always widgets.” (source)

News sources explained

What sources do you use?
We’ve been scanning news sources across the internet since 1995. As of today, we’re scanning about 5,000 news websites. Our database of articles contains over 250 million articles and is growing by 75,000+ new articles each day.

Can I see a list of the publications you cover?
We understand that good article sources are very important. Our editors have reviewed and chosen only the most reputable sources. You can get a sense for the sources and the type of articles you can expect by taking a look at this page. Here you will see a live feed of all the headlines and sources.

I don’t see articles in my feed from my favorite news website, can I request you add it?
Yes, you can send us an email with any news website you would like us to add and we’ll start scanning it. Please be sure to include the URL of the site so we know where to look.

Questions?

Send us an email or call us at +1 202-540-8337
We’re real people and we’ll answer the phone.

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